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News: Matt Mosley's minicamp report 06/06/: James rising?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Charles, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Matt Mosley's minicamp report: James rising?

    Linebacker works out with first-team defense

    08:00 PM CDT on Sunday, June 6, 2004

    By MATT MOSLEY / DallasNews.com

    IRVING -
    A day after Bill Parcells tried to dismiss a potential quarterback controversy, another one began to brew. Cowboys linebacker Bradie James, who Parcells has called the most improved player on the team, worked with the first-team defense Sunday in place of Dexter Coakley.

    Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer declared it a non-issue, noting that starting defensive tackle La'Roi Glover also worked with the second team. But Coakley, who did work with the first team in Sunday's afternoon practice, didn't have the same opinion. The normally congenial player wore a scowl on his face as he addressed questions after practice.

    "This is something that is going to motivate me to excel and get better," Coakley said. "You have to go through the rains to enjoy the sunshine. That is the approach I am taking."

    Parcells has always preferred big linebackers. And starters Coakley (5-10, 236) and Dat Nguyen (5-11, 243) don't fit that description. James, now in his second year out of LSU, is 6-2, 243. Parcells expects to use James when the team uses a 3-4 scheme this season, but now it appears that James is competing for an every-down job.

    James only had one tackle at linebacker last season, but emerged as one of the team's top special teams players (16 tackles, one forced fumble). He watched some of the jarring hits that safety Roy Williams made last season and tried to take the same approach on special teams. For now, he's taking all his recent praise in stride.

    "It's good to have the coach talking about you," James said. "Especially if it's good things. But I know we've got a long way to go. I just want to be able to compete, and so far, I'm doing that."

    James, a fourth-round pick, struggled to learn Zimmer's 4-3 scheme in training camp last season, but now he appears to be playing with confidence. Coakley and Nguyen played well last season, but Parcells covets linebackers who could have more of an impact in the pass rush.

    Quarterback of the day: Quincy Carter was the most accurate passer of the four quarterbacks Sunday. Carter looked comfortable dumping off the ball to his running backs and made several nice deep passes.

    Drew Henson sat out the team and 7-on-7 drills during the morning practice so the other three quarterbacks could get more work, and Vinny Testaverde sat out the same drills in the afternoon.

    Testaverde threw two interceptions during the morning practice. Cornerback Terence Newman and linebacker Dat Nguyen made the picks.

    Tony Romo, who has had a solid off-season according to Parcells, made a couple of strong throws on deep routes across the middle, but he struggled with his accuracy on short passes. Romo has a strong arm, but appeared to lack touch on quick out patterns and swing passes to running backs.

    Keyshawn gets an earful from Parcells: Keyshawn Johnson made some spectacular grabs during the morning practice, but he dropped two easy passes during the afternoon.

    After the second drop, Bill Parcells was waiting on him. For the next few minutes, an animated Parcells demonstrated how the 31-year-old Johnson should properly hold his hands to catch a pass.

    Play of the day: Rookie cornerback Bruce Thornton made a strong impression during Sunday's minicamp. In the afternoon practice, Thornton dived at the last second to knock a pass away from Keyshawn Johnson.

    Thornton, who played running back his first two seasons in college, said he's been overwhelmed by the speed at the NFL level. He said the toughest thing for him was recognizing things before they happened.

    Thornton also admitted to being a little nervous during his first minicamp with veterans. He said lining up across from Keyshawn Johnson and Vinny Testaverde was a bit unsettling. "But I love to compete," Thornton said. "So I got past that in a hurry."

    Vocal coach: New receivers coach Todd Haley is by far the loudest coach on the field. He's constantly barking instructions to his receivers – and those instructions are often laced with expletives.

    When rookie receiver Patrick Crayton was stripped of the ball in the open field, Haley shouted, "Hold on to the [expletive] ball."

    And he didn't cut Keyshawn Johnson any slack when he dropped a couple of routine passes in Sunday's afternoon practice.

    Lehr learning a new position: Matt Lehr started every game last season at center, but he'll now have to learn to play guard. Second-year player Al Johnson has recovered from knee surgery and will likely start at center.

    Lehr admitted to being upset about the move. He's never received much of an explanation for the move, but then, Bill Parcells has never been much for explanations.

    Lehr will have to learn a completely different blocking technique at his new position. Kurt Vollers started eight games at right tackle last season, but Parcells had decided to move him to left tackle, where he'll back up Flozell Adams.

    Torrin Tucker, rookie Jacob Rogers and Javiar Collins will compete for the starting job at right tackle.

    Stuff that didn't warrant a headline: Receiver Randal Williams was absent for the second day for personal reasons ... The most excitement the players showed all day was when defensive tackle La'Roi Glover ran down fullback Darian Barnes from behind on a screen play ... Rookie cornerback Jacques Reeves and safety Lynn Scott were torched on two deep passes ... Rookie offensive tackle Jacob Rogers confirmed that his old high school in Oxnard, Calif., is trying to organize a "Jacob Rogers Day." ... Cornerbacks Pete Hunter and Jemeel Powell both made excellent plays to tip away deep pass attempts ... Terrance Copper, free-agent rookie out of East Carolina, made a nice fingertip grab across the middle in the morning practice ... Running back Erik Bickerstaff, who has added weight to his frame, caught several passes out of the backfield ... Free-agent rookie Lousaka Polite appears to have the best hands of all the running backs in camp.

    E-mail mmosley@dallasnews.com
  2. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    Rookie cornerback Jacques Reeves and safety Lynn Scott were torched on two deep passes ...

    Now why did the above not suprise me:) Keith Davis should have a roster spot locked up.
  3. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    Keep an eye on this guy... he was known as a devastating blocker in college... great size... great speed... if he is a threat out of the backfield as well, he could be a keeper...

    I also like the fact that our new WR coach is ripping ace on dropped balls... this WR corp needs that...
  4. lwehlers

    lwehlers Well-Known Member

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    so far quincy has played the best so far of any of the qbs. i like how henson is being brought along at a slow pace. it does good for him to watch. i wonder if we will carry four qbs all season having romo inactived most games so we can send him to europe next season.
  5. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    No kidding. Toss Dixon into that group as well.
  6. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    This is music to my ears. As far as I am concerned - scream early, scream often and scream loudly. They are getting paid big bucks to do one thing - catch a football.
  7. BlueStar22

    BlueStar22 Well-Known Member

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    I'll go out on a limb and say that Lynn Scott's luck of making the final 53 is coming to an end.
  8. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    It'll be interesting to read Dale's take on todays practice.

    I am not surprised Vinny has thrown the most picks early in camp. He probably working out the kinks. Carter should be more comfortable in the offense. His accuracy should improve with familiarity.
  9. Lord Sun

    Lord Sun New Member

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    They have to block, too. And carry it once in a while. An occasional pass play. Return kciks. Play ST.
  10. Lord Sun

    Lord Sun New Member

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    Here I thought we didn't have a QB who could "hit open receivers."
  11. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    He's only watching because the QB's are rotating. Tommorow Q or Romo will sit.
  12. Lord Sun

    Lord Sun New Member

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    Negatory, mister.

    The report said Vinny sat the afternoon out, so Henson got jis licks in during that session. I'm surprised Romo was not the one to take a back seat.
  13. NOVA 22

    NOVA 22 Member

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    Thanks for the post.

    Nice is it to hear that B. Thornton is making a nice impression at this early stage. I wouldn't have been surprised to hear that he looked lost and was getting lit up by the WRs.
  14. da_boyz_mk

    da_boyz_mk How 'Bout Dem Cowboys

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    like we used to hear about goodrich. man what a bust.
  15. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    Always interesting stuff, but lets not get too caught up in who looks good in shorts...

    If Q starts hitting open receivers in a real game, then we ALL would be excited...

    Not suprised about Lehr, I doubt he makes the team this year...

    Not doubt Parcells needs to make a early impression that he will get on "HIS" guys too with Key...

    Also not suprised about demoting lil Dexie...Who IMHO would be much more effective for the TEAM if he just played on nickle/dime pkgs and ST...Get Bradie in there!
  16. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    No you wouldn't, you'd be quiet until he threw a bad pass so you could start talking trash again.
  17. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    "Drew Henson sat out the team and 7-on-7 drills during the morning practice so the other three quarterbacks could get more work, and Vinny Testaverde sat out the same drills in the afternoon."

    I'm assuming he's referring to this quote, that is why I said Henson is sitting out because of the rotation parcells talked about.
  18. Tenkamenin

    Tenkamenin Well-Known Member

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    Yup yup!!

    Thats the way it is

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