GET YOUR POPCORN READY: It's Mosley Report time!
I know Archer probably covered this, but it's worth repeating that the two kickers who showed up today went a combined 1-for-8 on field goals. Mike Vanderjagt missed practice because of illness. Bill Parcells' body language (a scary thing) suggested that he wasn't thrilled about Vanderjagt staying in his room. He didn't know whether Vanderjagt would be available for the afternoon practice.
Watched Marc Colombo in 1-on-1 blocking drills this morning. He neutralized Kenyon Coleman a couple of times, and that's difficult to do in a drill that favors the pass-rushers.
Colombo worked with the first team today, but don't read too much into that. Rob Petitti has struggled a little bit early in camp. The coaches want him to take his great off-season onto the field.
Had a long discussion with Jason Ferguson about this camp compared to the last one. Last year, he got banged up early and never really seemed to hit his stride.
Parcells said today that Ferguson will be under a tremendous amount of pressure because of the lack of experience behind him.
Second-year player Thomas "Pepper" Johnson and rookie Montavious Stanley both have a chance, but they are far from polished.
"Last year, I had to share time with [La'Roi] Glover," Ferguson said. "Now, I'm getting a lot of reps and a lot of it's on me. I like it that way."
Ferguson has a very engaging personality, and he's really reached out to the younger players. And count him among the many who are raving about defensive end/tackle Jay Ratliff.
Andre Gurode appears to have the upper hand at center early in camp. He once again worked with the first team this morning. Gurode is better than Johnson against 3-4 schemes, a point that Ferguson emphasized during our conversation today.
"Al's more versatile," Ferguson said of Johnson. "I just wish we could combine the two guys."
Parcells has rotated centers before, but I get the feeling he'd rather go with one guy.
Someone named Stephen Bowen (Hofstra rookie) blew by veteran offensive tackle Jason Fabini during 1-on-1 drills this morning. To the naked eye, Fabini appears to be struggling. Parcells said Fabini's still trying to overcome shoulder injuries he had last year.
Beginning to think our Todd Archer was right when he selected Fabini as a semi-big name that could be deleted from the roster.
One of my favorite things to do during practice is to stand near former Giant Jim Burt during drills. He sort of gives you a play-by-play of what's happening on the field.
A few nuggets from today: Heard him say that no one on this roster is capable of blocking linebacker DeMarcus Ware. "I've never seen anyone like him," said Burt, who once played with a guy named Lawrence Taylor...Though you wouldn't know it by talking to Greg Ellis, Burt said of him: "He's no longer a disgruntled employee. He's got the best position on the field. He gets to go up against tight ends and running backs."
Burt thinks Ellis has a chance to make a successful transition, but Parcells keeps telling us that we're "way too far down the road" on this story.
One Dallas-area reporter ran up to tell former OU safety Roy Williams that his alma mater had dismissed its starting quarterback
while Williams was still basking in the glow of his contract extension.
This same 40-something journalist has been known to attend news conferences in UT basketball jerseys.
Back with a new feature called Coaching Shorts in just a moment. Don't turn that Internet address!
Posted by Matt Mosley
at 2:40 PM (E-mail this entry)
Morning practice observations
Since we've been asked to give some sort of news on new linebacker Akin Ayodele, here goes: He had a nice pass deflection of a Tony Romo pass, using the correct technique (arm closer to the quarterback) to bust up the throw. Parcells has said Ayodele, the Irving native, is doing a nice job. We'll have more, promise.
Parcells mentioned the possibility of having receiver Jamaica Rector play a little cornerback. He had linebacker Ryan Fowler line up as a fullback in goal-line situations Wednesday. Remember last year Marcus Spears lined up at fullback during games as a lead blocker.
Mike Vanderjagt missed practice because he was sick. Parcells isn't sure if the kicker will be out there for the afternoon workout. He's missed five of his first 12 kicks. And the Cowboys' kickers combined to make 1 of 8 tries Wednesday morning with all but one kick missing to the right.
Guard Marco Rivera had some tape outside his pants on his right leg. He didn't miss any time.
Marc Colombo was working at right tackle with the first team with Jason Fabini on the No. 2 unit and Rob Petitti with the threes. Parcells said he's just rotating his candidates. OK, but Colombo has been a surprise so far.
A Scott Shanle hit took off Marion Barber's helmet on a run, and Shanle's not known as a big hitter.
After a few poor looks in the two-minute drills, Parcells barked at Tony Romo, who has thrown four picks in camp.
Posted by Todd Archer
at 2:40 PM (E-mail this entry)
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