News: CN: Safeties pick up the pace

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by CCBoy, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Dallas Cowboys Camp News Day 2 – Safeties pick up the pace
    Brenton Butler


    It was another beautiful day in southern California for Dallas Cowboys training camp. The sun was shining and a welcoming breeze kept the temperature bearable. Camp began with punt return drills and overall special teams work. A quick, half speed 11 on 11 drill commenced followed by stretching. Positional groups were separated and individual drills took place in different areas of the two fields. Safeties worked with linebackers and cornerbacks on different tackling drills. The coaches then had the safeties focus on dropping in coverage and tracking the deep ball. The footwork on this drill was obviously more precise than yesterday and the overall speed increased. Barry Church and JJ Wilcox were in prime form as usual. Jeff Heath’s footwork was very smooth and he transitioned well from back pedal to opening his hips, tracking the ball in the air and adjusting his body to make the catch.

    Jakar Hamilton made a couple of outstanding catches, he did a great job of back pedaling, reading the “QB”, turning his body, opening his hips and driving towards the ball. Hamilton showed tremendous leaping ability. Ahmad Dixon and Ryan Smith also made a few athletic plays. Matt Johnson looked loose during and after practice. Johnson walked with a loose swagger and even showed off his hops by air dunking the field goal post after practice.

    No one in the safety group stood out negatively, which is a positive sign. Once the safeties put the pads on and go full speed against NFL receivers, precise footwork will become very important. One step can be the difference between a pass defensed, and a touchdown scored by the offense. Safeties must make split second decisions, and their footwork must be near perfect in order to be successful. The coaches worked the players heavily on flowing to the ball, reading plays, and deciding who to cover between two different routes. Tomorrow these safeties will have the opportunity to compete against the offensive players, and their abilities will be put to the test. Not only is sound footwork necessary, but in this defensive scheme, the safeties must make plays, turnovers are crucial. We will see if Hamilton or Heath can push Wilcox out of the starting camp line up. The competition for safety is as wide open as it has ever been. A different story may be told when pads are put on. This group of players love to tackle, tomorrow we will be in for quite a show.
  2. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Safeties
    Brenton Butler


    Football is back. The Dallas Cowboys kicked off training camp today in Oxnard, California. For many players on the Cowboys roster today was their first National Football League training camp experience. It was my first as well. The practice began at exactly 3:45 PM and ran like a well oiled machine.

    I spent most of my day keyed in on the defensive backs, specifically the safeties. Although listed on the Dallas Cowboys official roster as a safety, Keith Smith was instead working with the 3rd string at the SAM linebacker position. Smith’s coverage abilities among the linebackers stood out positively, instead of potentially standing out negatively with the safety group.

    Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox ran with the ones, Jeff Heath and Jakar Hamilton with the twos, followed by Matt Johnson and Ryan Smith/Ahmad Dixon with the threes. The Offense and Defense faced off against each other (11 on 11) one time in practice for limited reps. The defensive players and offensive players were on separate fields for the majority of practice. This meant that coaches were throwing the ball in secondary drills, and defensive backs were competing against other defensive backs...

    ...None of the Cowboys safeties looked out of place in pass coverage drills. Heath’s footwork was exceptionally smooth, Wilcox made every drill look easy. Ahmad Dixon showed great ability to snatch the ball out of the air at it’s highest point in athletic fashion. Matt Johnson also displayed his ability to go up and get the ball. The process of these drills proved these players are fundamentally sound.

    Most every safety displayed a good back pedal and burst to the ball. The heat was not a concern and the conditioning of this group seems solid. The safety group responded well to the drills focusing on recognizing and calling out offensive sets. Practice ran smooth and this group of safeties sailed right through. Let’s see what happens when the pads come on.
  3. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    This group will be better and deeper. How much so is the question.
  4. lostar2009

    lostar2009 Well-Known Member

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    We all know how this story is going to end.

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