Quarterbacks cannot tackleAnd they didn't today. For the first time in training camp, the quarterbacks did not participate in the open-field tackling drill or the kickoff coverage drill. It would seem as though Coach Jones and his staff believe the quarterbacks have learned well enough how to hit and how to take a hit.
I repeat, we are what we repetitively doOnce again today, the quarterbacks and receivers spent a considerable amount of time working on their timing patterns. The receivers and quarterbacks really seem to be getting a feel for each other, and the route running today was better than the previous days.
Dancing with the defensive backsThe defensive backs spent a good amount of time working on their footwork today, doing back-peddling, side to side, and other defensive back type footwork drills. Many of the defensive backs seem to have their footing down, and they all looked very quick. Secondary coach Derrick Odum is doing a great job with this group of players.
First Louis Armstrong, now Coltrane?In the jazz session drill which has previously been mentioned in the camp notebook, there were added blockers to the drill which made it tougher for the players with the ball. Now, they also had to concentrate on following their lead blockers. This drill was good for the players because it teaches them to follow their blockers on a turnover, and hopefully take it back for 6. Defensive points are certainly an intangible which every successful program has to produce.
Finally, some real time actionLogan Turner went with a scout offense and played against the first team defense in a simulated scrimmage. There was full contact during these drills, which consisted of running plays with Turner under center, and passing plays with Turner calling the cadence from the shotgun. Turner looked like Derek Jeter for much of this scrimmage, having to field many ground balls from freshman center Josh Emshoff.
First looks for first team offenseThe first team offense finally had some real time action against a defense. At first they went up against the 2nd team defense in 7-on-7, and then they went to live action with full squads on both sides. Justin Willis, the junior from Denton, was leading the first team offense and had many good throws. Here is a look at who was playing with Willis on that first team.
LT- #70, Kevin Beachum Jr. LG- #77, Josh LeRibeus C- #51, Mitch Enright RG- #68, Bryce Tennison RT- #64, Chase Smith QB- #16, Justin Willis RB- #8, DeMyron Martin X- #24, Aldrick Robinson Z- #5, Zach Zimmerman W- #17, Emmanuel Sanders Y- #25, La'Cori Johnson
Call him running man, because his legs are burning…Junior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders continues to shine far and above every other receiver out there. Today, his most impressive feats were his runs after the catch. To have a guy like this who can pick up an additional 8-10 yards after every catch is crucial to having a successful offense. He can turn a would-be second and five into a first and ten. This is the kind of guy who a quarterback looks for. It's no secret that Sanders is Willis' favorite receiver, and I've also heard they are roommates as well. If Willis is the starter this year, look for these two to put up big numbers together.
News Flash! Punters actually participate in team practice!Today Coach Gansz led his punting unit in a live action drill against real punt blockers. Senior punter Thomas Morstead looked phenomenal, as expected, but only when there was a good snap back to him. The deep snapper (I couldn't get a number on him) looked as though he had not been snapping in the offseason and these were his first reps since the Phil Bennett era. The blocking looked good, and if it weren't for the snaps, the unit would have looked great overall.
Offense VS. DefenseThe much anticipated live scrimmage of 1st offense versus 1st defense took place today, with no clear cut winner. The offense had a few big plays, but also the defense forced a couple of turnovers. It will be exciting to watch the two 1st units go after each other in the coming days.
From Boy Scout to Eagle Scout?There was a scout at practice today from the Philadelphia Eagles, who was said to be scouting Thomas Morstead and senior nose tackle Serge Elizee. It was rumored that after practice he was tarred and feathered in the middle of Snider Plaza for wearing an Eagles shirt in Dallas. If there are any fashion faux pas in this great city of ours, wearing an Eagles shirt is certainly one of them. Go Cowboys!