Generally speaking, Newman is thoughtful, clever, sarcastic, playful and usually pretty entertaining.
He also is generous with praise for his teammates … except, of course, the rookies who have yet to earn it.
Last Thursday Newman held court after the final practice in the Cowboys' June mini-camp at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton, outside of Dallas.
He addressed a wide range of topics, including the progress the Cowboys have made in mini-camps and Organized Team Activities (OTAs) as they prepare for training camp at the end of July, the suggestion that head coach Wade Phillips has changed his personality to more of a disciplinarian style, and the injuries that hindered his performance a year ago.
But when asked about the rookies in the secondary — Dallas drafted former Clemson safety Mike Hamlin and former Cincinnati cornerbacks DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens — who have caught his eye, he shied away from singling out any individuals.
Instead, he chose to laud the talent of the rookies as a group.
"Everybody we have does different things great," Newman said. "Some of the guys are playing safety and corner, and for them to have that knowledge retention, going from safety and two plays later having to go in and play corner … just the information they have to keep in their brain — it's a lot of information, and they're doing it on the run and not making mistakes. So that, alone, says a lot for them."
But eventually Newman singled out Hamlin, the former Clemson star who is expected to back up at both safety spots this season, as well as contributing on special teams.
"I think Mike Hamlin is definitely one of the standouts, for sure — he's been making some plays out there," Newman said.
"He's a smart guy — he understands this defense already, and he's only been here a few weeks. For a rookie, he's really picking things up fast and taking what he learns and putting it to use on the field. He's off to a really good start."
And if anybody understand talent in the defensive backfield, it's Newman.
The former first-round pick has led the Cowboys in interceptions three times since he was drafted out of Kansas State in 2003. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2007.
"He's definitely got a future if he keeps it up," he added.
Pro Bowl CB impressed with Hamlin
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