These guys are approaching the game with more confidence than they did at this time a year ago. And while that should come as no surprise, since veteran leadership is found on both sides of the ball, it matters as regards to the concept of team. You won't win a championship unless you've developed a strong working relationship with the guys on either side of you. That is especially true up front.
Right tackle Drew Miller said that he felt that he and right guard Ronnie Wilson getting into that comfort zone as spring practice drew to a close. Center Steve Rissler said that he feels they're better prepared to make the necessary adjustments. It's impossible to pick up blitzes and defensive stunts when a lack of confidence coupled with a communication gap as wide as a mountain pass exists.
Right now, we can only go on what we've been told, but it appears that confidence has become a welcome reality. You need only to watch the play along the lines of scrimmage to see just how close this group has gotten and the difference it has made.
The first offensive unit remains unchanged and consisted of center Steve Rissler, right guard Ronnie Wilson, right tackle Drew Miller, left guard Jim Tartt, and left tackle Phil Trautwein. They were backed up by Eddie Haupt (center), Simon Codrington (right guard), Jason Watkins (right tackle), Maurice Hurt (left guard), and Carlton Medder (right tackle).
The first defensive squad featured ends Ray McDonald and Jarvis Moss, tackle Joe Cohen, and nose tackle Marcus Thomas. Clint McMillan was Thomas' back-up, Steven Harris (tackle) backed up Cohen while Derrick Harvey, Darryl Gresham and Javier Estopinan worked at the reserve end spots.
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I spoke to Jarred Fayson's father today. He provided me with this little tidbit that I thought you'd find interesting...
Jarred Fayson is expected to work with former University of Tennessee/Dallas wide receiver Alvin Harper next summer. Harold Harper (Fayson's dad) and Alvin Harper are cousins who formed a close bond when they were young.
"We're (Alvin and Harold) cousins, but we were so close that it was more like we were brothers," said Mr. Fayson. "It just happened that we grew up together. When he was drafted by the Cowboys I went out there with him for four or five years."
"We had hoped to get him back here (in the Tampa Bay area) and work out this summer, but he was busy coaching. If we can get a month or a month and a half with him next summer that would really benefit Jarred. He agreed to it if the circumstances (job, etc.) allow everything to work out. He said that he could work with Jarred on various things that should help him become a better receiver."