News: Mini-Camp Notebook -

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Lord Sun, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Lord Sun

    Lord Sun New Member

    573 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Chad Peters & Nick Eatman,

    IRVING, Texas -- Center is not the only position along the offensive line that will have a three-man rotation excluding the position's returning starter, with the same situation occurring at right tackle now that Kurt Vollers is working behind Pro Bowler Flozell Adams at left tackle.

    Vollers, an eight-game starter last season at right tackle in place of veteran Ryan Young, provides steady play, but Parcells is looking for improvement at the position.

    "I know what Vollers can do (at right tackle) if I have to use him," Parcells said.

    Torrin Tucker, Javiar Collins and rookie Jacob Rogers will be competing for the starting job at right tackle according to Parcells.

    "We're going to rotate those guys exactly the same as we're doing the centers," Parcells said.

    Tucker, now in his second season, earned his first NFL start against the Miami Dolphins on Thanksgiving last year, but admittedly played inconsistently against two of the league's better pass rushers in Jason Taylor and Adewale Ogunleye.

    "I think I've gotten a little bit better since then - a better grasp on the offense and I've become a better technician," Tucker said. "But you're only as good as your last performance, so all that doesn't count until I get out there and prove myself."

    Rogers, a second round pick out of USC, is not only making an adjustment to the NFL, but to right tackle as well. Rogers was a three-year starter at left tackle in college.

    "It's just getting used to the footwork and doing it the opposite way of how I've been doing it the last three years," Rogers said. "It's the same footwork, just with a different foot back."

    Collins, a fourth-year veteran, was inactive the last nine games of the 2003 season. The only playing time he received came on special teams.

    Gut Feeling For Corners

    The Cowboys had plenty of opportunities to sign a veteran cornerback this off-season. They could have even drafted a cornerback with one of their three first-day picks.

    Instead, Bill Parcells admits he's had a feeling the Cowboys can get the job done with the personnel at hand.

    And Saturday, he stood by the notion, stating either Pete Hunter, or possibly Jemeel Powell or rookie Bruce Thornton can shoulder the load.

    "I don't know why, I just think somebody is going to do it," Parcells said, almost barely believing it himself. "I think, Pete Hunter or Jemeel, or somebody will come through for us. I just think they will. I like the way they're working. Pete improved last year quite a bit. Based on what I've seen this off-season, I think we have a chance. We have enough athletic ability there. It's just, can we get them playing soon enough. "

    Hunter is the leading candidate to start on the right side, a position now in void with the departure of Mario Edwards, a three-year starter who signed with Tampa Bay this off-season.

    Hunter has just one career start at cornerback during his two years in the league, but Parcells said he no longer can use the inexperience excuse.

    "Now Pete Hunter, this is his third year in the league," Parcells said. "He's either going to get going� you know, the circus doesn't stay in town forever. He needs to be ready to compete for a job right now and I think he's looking at that way."

    The current depth chart at right cornerback has Hunter working with the first-team defense, with Powell and Thornton on the second and third-teams, respectively.

    Missing Coaches

    The Cowboys were down a pair of coaches for Saturday's practice, including defensive ends coach Kacy Rogers, who surgery to remove his appendix on Friday.

    "I'm not sure what the timeframe is," Parcells said of Rogers, who joined the Cowboys last season. "He certainly won't be with us today and I don't think (Saturday). But maybe next week. We broke Larry Lacewell out of mothballs and he's going to help us out."

    Lacewell, the team's scouting director, spent more than 30 years as a college coach, including 12 seasons as the head coach at Arkansas State, where the school recently renamed the football locker room after Lacewell.

    The Cowboys were also without offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon, who attended his daughter's high school graduation. Parcells said Carthon should return Saturday night for the remaining four practices of mini-camp.

    Cason Beefs Up

    In an attempt to challenge for the starting job at running back, Aveion Cason has gained muscle mass this off-season to become a more complete player.

    "I gained about 15 pounds," Cason said, who appears much stronger in the upper body. "It was just something I decided to do on my own."

    Now weighing around 210 pounds, Cason said he is hoping to add more power to the blazing speed he already possessed.

    But Cason is coming off an injury of his own, missing the last four games of 2003 after suffering a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee. But while he was back in action Saturday, he's hoping the added upper-body weight can balance out his speed.

    "I always felt speed equals power anyway," Cason said. "I should be able to go out and do more now though and take a little more pounding."

    With last year's starting running back Troy Hambrick released several weeks ago, Cason will be competing with second round pick Julius Jones, and a pair of young runners in Erik Bickerstaff and ReShard Lee for a roster spot, and potentially a starting job. And don't forget about veteran fullback Richie Anderson, who Parcells said would get more carries this year and actually worked with the first-team offense Saturday at tailback.

    Jets Reunion?

    Keyshawn Johnson, in his first practice with his new team, made his presence immediately felt by pulling off one of the more impressive plays of the day. Johnson had slipped to the ground when cutting on his route, but managed to use his legs to get him back up in the air to make a leaping catch.

    It was also the first time the outspoken receiver had teamed back up with Vinny Testaverde, his former quarterback from their days with the Jets.

    Johnson indicated one of Testaverde's best qualities is the leadership he'll bring to the Cowboys, citing an example from a game against the Kansas City Chiefs during the 1998 season for how much he respects the battle-tested quarterback.

    "He's the only quarterback that I've ever let yell at me�ever," said Johnson, who apparently broke off a deep route against the Chiefs, which ended up getting intercepted.

    Short Shots
    Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight, a close friend of Parcells', attended Saturday afternoon's practice. The coach spoke privately with rookie quarterback Drew Henson, for several minutes before walking off with Parcells after practice. Henson and Knight had similar Big 10 Conference ties with the quarterback spending three years at Michigan while Knight coached at Indiana . . . Legendary announcer and Dallas resident Pat Summerall, just two months after undergoing a liver transplant in Florida, was also in attendance . . . Bill Parcells talked about giving fullback Richie Anderson more carries this season, and sure enough the veteran was working with the first team at running back during drills. Rookie Julius Jones is still expected to get plenty of carries and ultimately win the starting job at running back though.
  2. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

    25,050 Messages
    12,111 Likes Received
    I'm not real thrilled with Anderson getting a lot of carries this year.

    For whatever reason, I'm just not a real big fan of his.
  3. Nors

    Nors Benched

    22,015 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    Is the least of my concerns. Great hybrid back at his best out of the backfield catching passes. Great back for #21 to observe.
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

    25,050 Messages
    12,111 Likes Received
    IMO - he (anderson) played poorly at times last year. If RB is one of your least concerns on this team, I suggest you re-revaluate your position.

  5. zack

    zack Well-Known Member

    2,788 Messages
    1,160 Likes Received
    Why is that? He always had positive runs last year.
  6. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

    119,480 Messages
    4,208 Likes Received
    Off topic, I heard on the radio last night that Kiss is coming in concert to this area.
  7. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

    68,056 Messages
    24,628 Likes Received
    The only reason I don't want JJ get get 20-25 carries a game is because he is a rookie and I don't want him getting overworked. If that means Anderson gets a few carries that will be ok if he is the best of the rest of the lot (Lee, Bick, Cason) of RB's.

Share This Page