News: JJT: Coakley fighting for job

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  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Coakley fighting for job

    Pro Bowl LB competes for starting spot with second-year player

    01:11 AM CDT on Monday, June 7, 2004

    By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News

    IRVING – Dexter Coakley has been to the Pro Bowl three times, including last season. But that has not resulted in more job security.

    Coakley is apparently going to spend this summer trying to keep his starting job from second-year linebacker Bradie James.

    Coakley spent much of Sunday's morning practice working with the second team as James worked with starters Dat Nguyen and Al Singleton. Coakley worked with the first team in the afternoon.

    At last month's rookie minicamp, coach Bill Parcells praised James' off-season work and said he expected James to push Coakley for a starting job.

    "Obviously they want to see what guys can do," Coakley said. "If they see what they like, that's all I can do. If not, they'll make a change."

    While Coakley has not been demoted, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said the Cowboys are experimenting with different personnel combinations. Zimmer said the coaching staff also wants to see how James plays with Nguyen and Singleton, as well as how he competes against the starters on offense.

    Coakley finished second to Nguyen in tackles (110) and solo stops (78) last season.

    Then again, the weakside linebacker is supposed to be a playmaker in the Cowboys' scheme.

    He always plays on the same side as defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, who lines up on the outside shoulder of the guard. Defensive end Marcellus Wiley will be lined up on the outside shoulder of the right tackle.

    They create a bubble that protects the weakside linebacker, allowing him to flow cleanly to the ball and make tackles.

    At 5-10 and 236 pounds, Coakley isn't a prototypical linebacker.

    He relies on speed, quickness and intelligence to make plays.

    James fits the prototype Parcells prefers. After all, Parcells often says this is a big man's game.

    James is 6-2, 248 pounds and has significantly improved his strength. He power cleans and jerks 365 pounds.

    The size and strength have caught Parcells' attention.

    Now, it must translate into results on the football field.

    "There's no such thing as waiting for your turn in the NFL," James said without a trace of arrogance. "You can't wait for someone to give you an opportunity to get on the field."

    That is the Parcells way. He encourages competition from every player at every position.

    Coakley said he's not concerned with losing his starting job, or working with the second team.

    "Our job is not to find out what's going on," Coakley said. "My job is to help the team and make our unit better. Whether it's first team, second team or third team, I have a job to do."

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  2. dmq

    dmq If I'm so pretty, why am I available?

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    Defensive end Marcellus Wiley will be lined up on the outside shoulder of the right tackle

    Didn't we just here that he'll be on the Left side? Good reporting JJT.
  3. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    If he lines up on the left side, he will be facing the offense's right tackle.

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