Forget about yesterday's dull affair, today's practice was a spirited event that played out under clear blue skies with a hot sun beating down on the field. The team was active, loud and there was plenty of hitting going on. Parcells continues to find out what he has in WR Sam Hurd who ran with the first team again, even though Terry Glenn returned to practice. Patrick Crayton swapped in some of the time with Hurd but it's clear Parcells is trying to get a read on the kid by putting him in against Newman and Henry.
Terrell Owens continues his training for next year's Tour de France but Stephen Peterman returned to practice today running with the 3rd team. Marcus Spears continued to do some light jogging and added in some resistance training to his re-hab routine. Justin Beriault was doing some running today as well as riding the stationary bike.
Jason Fabini was moved to 1st team RT, followed by Petitti then Colombo. Flozell was the 1st team LT backed up by McQ. Tyson Thompson spent much of the day with the first team as promised by Parcells yesterday, moving JJ down to the 3rd team. Montavious Stanley got his second straight day with the 2nd team and looked better than yesterday, but still had his problems.
The team began with kickoff formation drills followed by 7-on-7 amongst the defense while the QB's and RB's practiced on the other side of the field. After sprints and stretches - during which Parcells chatted with Roy and Keith Davis, and Chris Canty sang a few lines of a song to Jay Ratliff - they moved on to position drills. Jacques Reeves had a total whiff on a Quincy Butler move in the secondary tackling drills, the first time I had seen that happen.
Next were the T/TE vs. DE/OLB and LG/C/RG vs. NT/ILB's blocking drills. Ferguson and Gurode battled to a draw, Flozell was little slow getting out on Ware, then McQ beat Hatcher causing Parcells to scream out "Let's go Hatcher" and made him do the drill again. To add insult to injury he even told Hatcher exactly what blocking scheme the T/TE combo was going to use. He did OK the next time. Coleman and Colombo fought to a draw, Pepper Johnson won against Tarullo, then Gurode drove Sammy T. backwards. Stanley got turned by Al Johnson and Flozell was good against Canty. Ware drove Witten backwards, then Gurode blew up Stanley, causing Parcells to tell Stanley, "You're not strong enough son, he's going to kill you". McQ again beat Hatcher and Hatcher got chewed out severely by Parcells.
They moved on to 11-on-11 with all runs with Parcells yelling out that he didn't want to see anybody on the ground, everybody stand up during the drill. Bledsoe started with a Thompson run through a big hole opened by Fabini and Witten. Thompson tried the right side again but didn't get much and Parcells wasn't happy with Fasano's effort. They went on a sweep to the right again and Fabini cleared a big hole causing Parcells to exclaim, "That-a-boy, Jason Fabini"! Then Thompson went to the right and Flozell got Canty turned while Kosier blocked down and the hole opened up.
Romo handed off to MB3 on the right side but Hatcher shut it down getting kudos from Parcells. MB3 then got a good run on the right side, followed by an OK run to the same side. JJ tried a sweep to the right and again Hatcher filled the hole along with a good effort by Stanley. Parcells even gave him a knuckle bump after the play.
Henson's series started with a JJ run to the left through a huge hole behind a nice Sean Ryan block. JJ went left again but John Saldi - filling in for Boiman - blew right past a Skyler Green block to stuff the play. Kincade went to the right side but Green missed his block again and Parcells threw Green out of the formation. Kincade finished with a run to the right that he broke back left for a decent gain.
Next was some 7-on-7 on one side of the field while the OL went against the DL in two-man combos, with the DL running stunts. I tried to watch both, so I'll give you the 7-on-7 first followed by the OL vs. DL.
Bledsoe started with a good catch by Sam Hurd on a bullet pass over the middle. Crayton tried to catch one on the sidelines but was out-of-bounds. A. Glenn had Rector covered on a long pass, then Bledsoe went short to Witten.
Romo hit Copper on a nice catch by the sideline, and then hit Skyler on a come-back catch, both of these plays were against Jacques Reeves. Rector ran an out for a catch against Reeves, then Glenn bobbled a ball and dropped it.
Hanson threw a pass to Ryan but Oliver Hoyte knocked it down, then hit Hannam in the flats. Matt Baker came in for Henson and threw one high over Austin's hands, then hit Ryan in the flats.
Over on the OL vs. DL stunts, Flozell handled Canty, Kosier handled Ferguson, Coleman made some good progress on Rivera, and Bowen beat Fabini to the inside. Peterman looked OK against Pepper, Stanley absolutely abused Batiste, and Bowen almost got around Colombo on the edge. Flozell handled Hatcher to the outside.
They ran some more 11-on-11 with Bledsoe throwing a bullet to Witten over the middle, then Glenn beat Henry on a deep post for a completion. Ratliff got a sack on the next play, beating Rivera. Then Bledsoe hit Hurd on a crossing pattern and Roy leveled him after the catch. After the play we had another fight, the first in a while, with Rivera taking a full swing at Ratliff, then it was quickly broken up.
Romo started his series with a bullet to Tolver, then hit Tolver on a deep post while McQ did a good job blocking Burnett. Kincade took a dump-off pass and Carpenter knocked down a pass intended for Curtis.
Henson had a bad throw on his first attempt, dumped one off to MB3, then threw a quick slant to Austin who dropped it. Baker came in and threw a quick slant that was picked off by Lenny Williams.
They practiced some kick return drills with Abram Elam and Tyson Thompson the first return duo, followed by Skyler Green with Keylon Kincaide.
They went back to some 7-on-7 with Bledsoe hitting Crayton on the sideline, then Anthony Henry picked one off on a quick slant. T. Glenn and A. Glenn got physical with each other on a pass long that was incomplete, followed by a slant for a completion.
Romo held it too long on his first play so they blew the whistle, then threw an out to Rector. Austin couldn't grab the next pass because Reeves had good coverage but Crayton grabbed a quick slant on the next play.
Henson threw to MB3 on a short dump-off, and then hit Rector on an out. Baker came in and hit Copper in the flats and then threw a bad pass on an out.
Back to 11-on-11; Bledsoe dumped one to Thompson, then overthrew Glenn and Ware bull-rushed Flozell almost back into Bledsoe. Ratliff beat Rivera and sacked Bledsoe and then Bledsoe had to rush a throw to Fasano for an incomplete because of a good pas rush. After the play Parcells yelled at Rivera, "Come on, Marco. That's two in a row." Needless to say Rivera had a bad day and Ratliff had a great day. The defense was also blitzing more today than any day since camp began.
Romo came on and handed off to MB3 who ran to the right but Burnett had jumped offsides. Hatcher got a sack as Romo held the ball too long. Then JJ ran to the right and threw a mean cut-back on Singleton. The defense blitzed and Romo had to throw incomplete.
Henson threw a bad pass intended for Ryan, rolled-out to the right and hit Crayton deep, then tried a quick pass to Green that was broken up by Elam. On his last play Henson showed nice touch by lofting one just over the LBer to hit Fasano for around 20 yards.
They worked on the punt team next with Newman, Green and Rector catching the punts, but mostly it was Green. Skyler dropped the first one but was clean on the rest. Next Vandy and Suisahm took turns kicking FG's and Vandy went 2-3 hitting from 37 and 42 yards but pushing one from 47 yards right. Suisham hit all 3 from the same distance. (Disclaimer: I can't say this is for sure accurate, it was hard to tell if they were in or out from where I was standing).
Then they practiced return punts after a safety, and the ball hit Hatcher's foot so Parcells made him run to the fence and back. It was an up-and-down day for Hatcher.
They went to redzone 11-on-11 with Bledsoe overthrowing Witten, handing off to Thompson for not much gain, a throw-away when no one was open and tried to run it on a roll-out. Romo handed off to MB3 for minimal gain, Rector dropped a low pass, MB3 ran to the left but Burnett was there, and Rector made a super one-handed catch for a TD. Henson hit Tolver on an out after Peterman picked up the blitz, JJ ran up the middle for no gain, then Butler picked him off on a bad decision to throw to Tolver and Parcells made the whole 3rd team run to the fence and back.
They finished with a hurry-up situational drill. Bledsoe was first and he was at the opponent's 45-yard line with 45 seconds left, one time-out and needed 3 points. He threw an out to Crayton, then Fabini got an illegal motion call. He hit Rector short over the middle and Crayton long on a post. They had to use a time-out and then he hit Crayton again in-bounds, and with Parcells counting down the seconds they tried to get up to the line to spike it, but time ran out and Parcells yelled out, "We lose". During this drill the defense was using an alignment of Ware, Ratliff and Ellis across the front, the first time I had seen that.
Romo had 35 seconds, 1 time-out and needed three from the same 45-yard line. The defense blitzed and Romo threw one out-of-bounds, then he threw an incomplete over the middle, then Hatcher beat McQ and hit Romo's arm as he threw the ball for an incomplete, and on 4th down he hurried a throw because of a blitz that Tolver caught but only for 9 yards so they turned it over on downs.
Henson got 45 seconds, 1 time-out and needed 3 points from the same 45-yard line. He hit Thompson over the middle on a dump-off, hit Curtis on the right side, then spiked the ball. Parcells called out 2nd and 10 with 25 seconds to go, Henson ran a draw to Thompson but Elam got him in the backfield on a blitz, then Glymph rushed in and Henson had to throw it away. Nate Jones ran a blitz on the next play and got a sack and they rushed up to run the next play which went for an incomplete, and Parcells was heard asking Henson "Why didn't you use your time-out", after the sack play.
That was it for practice today. Tomorrow's a two for one special.