Training camp observation from 8/16-8/18 (Offense)
I visited the Cowboys TC from 8/16 to 8/18, saw four practices, and had a very good time. The one regret I had was that I couldn’t do daily reports like I did last year because of laptop problems. In any case, I thought I’d share my thoughts and some of the pictures I took.
This is the first of two (or three) posts I’ll make. The second and/or the third part covering defensive players and misc. observation will follow.
In my write up, I will not repeat what the media’s already reported, but will try to describe some of the things I saw that fans like you might be interested.
Bledsoe has looked ok. He’s made some, missed some, but it’s just what you would expect when the top three receivers have been in and out of practices. One observation I have of him is that he’s still too slow to get rid of the ball. Half of the time he’d throw the ball only after the 2.5 sec. buzzer went off. However, keeping in mind the defense that he was throwing against, and I can see why. Bledsoe still throws with a lot of zip and velocity on the ball. I don’ think we have anything to worry about here. If he’s to start all 16 game, we’ll be fine.
“In command, in control, and a stronger arm” This is how I would describe this year’s Romo as compare to last year’s. His throws this year are noticeably sharper and with better velocity. He’s super quick with his read - a sharp contrast to Bledsoe’s style - most of the time he got rid of the ball long before the 2.5 sec. buzzer went off. The quick read implies excellent knowledge of the offense, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it will translate on the field in regular season when the opposing defense coordinators are specifically scheming against him. With that said, I am really impressed by his presence in the offense. On a side note, he definitely doesn’t look to be 6’2”. When he got duped wearing No. 4 that one evening, I actually thought that No. 4 was a kicker.
Matt Baker – It’s hard to evaluate someone new to the team. He got good arm though. I saw him throwing with Henson on the sideline, and he could throw the ball on a rope without even moving his two feet. In drills, he looked less than impressive, got sacked a lot, and also threw a few picks. But that’s just what you expect from someone who’s new to the playbook and the supporting cast.
Henson – was hoping to see more of Henson, but as you all have read by now. All of his reps in inter-squads were given to Baker so I didn’t get a chance to see how he could do.
Not much to report here that’s not already reported. It seems that Julius is still with the first team, while Barber got most of the second team snaps but of course, that might not mean much. I didn’t see much of Thompson, Kincade nor Summers.
On one of the drills where RBs are to pick up DB blitzing, I heard Anthony Lynn yelling at Thompson for having stopped moving his feet while fighting a block. It makes sense. When blocking, a lot of the time it’s your lower body that gives you leverage, and not the upper body strength. You can’t win many battles when you rely only on your upper body. It was then I think back to a lot of Parcells’ comments stressing the importance of proper technique – whether you are a receiver, a running back, or an offensive lineman. It makes sense.
The camp sensation Sam Hurd is definitely a keeper. On Thursday morning he totally owned Jacque Reeves, beating him three times in a row. He showed good hip on one catch, making a quick turn to elude Reeves. On another, he showed good awareness by diving forward at the 2-yard line (after the catch) to get six. He stayed after practice to autograph for close to 20 minutes. From what I observed, he seems like a young, humble and hard working man. I’d be hugely disappointed if we don’t keep him.
Beside Hurd, Rector was having a very good series of practices, making some sensational one-hand catches, but this receiver spot might come down to who, between him and Green, can make a difference on special team. Both will get their chances in the next two games to showcase what they can do. The loser might still earn a roster spot if the Cowboys keep six. Green hasn’t shown much to me as a receiver, but again, it’s only four practices that I observed.
Copper might be the odd man out this year. He has shown flashes in the practices that I saw, but that might not be enough to keep him around. Miles, Tolver, and Ward aren’t likely to make even the practice squad, but we’ll see.
Oh yeah, that other receiver on the squad. After seeing what I saw, I really hope the Cowboys would try to continue doing what the Eagles and the Niners have done with him, throw him some short hooks and slants and let him showcase his RAC ability. As much as I despise him, he’s got a very nice burst upfield after he catches the ball. I hope the Cowboys will take advantage of that. I didn’t see much of any of these routes for him during the practices, but the coaching staff might only be keeping that under wrap for now.
Just as in my observation (or lack of) with the RBs, I don’t have much on the TEs. Witten just keep catching them ball – shallow or deep, like we’ve come getting used to. I didn’t see anything from Fasano that impressed me nor disappointed me. He dropped a few in practices, and stayed after one of the practices to learn the proper ball catching technique with his hands, alongside Sam Hurd.
Didn’t spend much time watching the other TEs. Hannan seems to be doing good (looks better than Fasano has, IMO). Ryan and Curtis are about the same from a casual observer (me)’s point of view. I don’t recall seeing much of #49 (Jensen) doing anything. Actually, he looks more like a FB than a TE to me.
Don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been reported. Wish I paid more attention to Proctor and McQuistan.
That’s all from me for now. My observation on the defense will follow in a separate post
Last edited by radiohead : 08-19-2006 at 11:15 PM.