Cowboy Preseason Camp: Day 6 AM

STILLWATER - The first day for the Cowboys to go twice to the practice field in one day saw a two-hour morning workout on Tuesday that was drills dominated as each position polished up on technique. The practice attire was helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. Head coach Mike Gundy said afterwards he was still happy with the work ethic and effort from the squad.

Gundy also addressed the fact that quarterback Bobby Reid did very little work during the team portion of the practice. He said Reid had a little soreness in his groin and they were just giving him a break, and there was no need to push him. That allowed more reps for both Al Pena and Alex Cate.

The practice started with the usual special teams period in which kickers Jason Ricks and Bruce Redden both remained perfect on PAT and field goal work. We'll have more on special teams later in this report.

At that point the drills broke out all over the field as position groups worked on basics and correcting any mistakes noticed on video during the first five practices.

When the offense and defense came back together for the team period, the defense started off with a couple of stone cold stops on running plays. Junior college running back Dantrell Savage, who had a 50-yard scoring run on Monday night, started one way and then cut back across the field for a nice gain. There was no room going left, and Savage had the speed to turn it all the way back to the right side of the field. The offense continued with success as Pena hit Tevin Williams for another nice gain, and then Keith Totson got in the act with a solid carry off tackle.

Other highlights during the team period included another cutback run by Savage. This time he started right and went back to the left, but about 10 yards dowfield here came freshman cornerback Perrish Cox full speed to blast Savage out of bounds. It served as a great example of the added speed on the Cowboy defense. Totson added a long run down the right sideline, and Zac Robinson hooked up with Adarius Bowman for a decent gain. Bowman caught the ball despite very good coverage on the play.

Special teams will progressively start getting a lot more work as kickoff return was worked on for the first time on Monday night. The Cowboys took a slip in special teams performance last season and coordinator Joe DeForest is determined to get his units back where they have been, as the best in the Big 12 and near the top of college football. It's a run that started when DeForest first arrived at Oklahoma State.

We asked DeForest to size up all of his special teams units at this stage.

"There's no doubt (there will be more returns) with the one-inch tee. Don't forget the clock starts when the ball is kicked off. You're talking at the end of the game if you've just scored and are kicking off you can do a lot of things to make sure they never touch the ball again. I think it will effect us, but our kids have worked on it all summer. We have Jason Ricks and we've charted him all camp and he has kicked every ball in the end zone that he has kicked and so he has been 30-for-30 touchbacks. It's going to be more of a line drive kick so even if he kicks it in the end zone it may be returnable. I think it will open up the return game."

Kickoff Returns
"Out of the 11 guys on the unit we only have three returning starters, so it is going to be a challenge. We are going to simplify it this year, and really work on the technique of the return game. I think we have some really good returners."

"Punt is better than it was last year just because (formation). (Matt) Fodge is doing a great job and we have three snappers on our team that are better than we were last year and they are tremendous in Zach (Allen), in Kyle (Mariacher), and in Hoyt (Dunn). That is going to make a difference. Fodge was a freshman last year and we have to take that into consideration and let him grow up just like we would any other position."

Punt Returns
"I think that is exciting because you have Cox, and Savage, and Tommy Devereaux. Guys that we think can catch the punt and make somebody miss. Again, on that unit we are still replacing about eight starters as well."

PAT and Field Goals
"Ricks and Bruce Redden haven't missed in camp. We chart every one of their kicks and they are both 100 percent. We chart 15 kicks a day and they are perfect through five days, whatever that is 90-for-90. (We haven't gone more than 40 yards) I did that for "Sunshine" (Redden) but we probably will extend it on Wednesday when we go a single practice." Redden had an emergency appendectomy just a couple of weeks prior to the start of fall camp.

The Cowboys will spend the afternoon in meetings and watching video before going back out for the second practice of the day at 5:45 p.m.

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