Well Schooled: Peterman & Rogers

SilverStarDigest.com caught up with newly drafted offensive linemen Stephen Peterman and Jacob Rogers this past weekend at the Cowboys' first mini-camp to get their thoughts on a number of subjects. "Those guys have been around football all their lives. They're coaches' sons," said Bill Parcells. "I think that's a big advantage."

There are several different schools of thought when it comes to determining what attributes are most vital when looking for new offensive linemen. Surely size is at -- or at least near -- the top of the list. A team with a collection of blockers who look like Stonehenge when they approach the line of scrimmage has a leg up on the opposition, in terms of brawn and probably in terms of intimidation.

Offensive linemen also need brute strength, balance, agility, and the ability to play through pain.

But there is another attribute that might bode well for the two offensive linemen selected in this year's Draft. Tackle Jacob Rogers (chosen in the second round from USC) and guard Stephen Peterman (the team's third-rounder from LSU) are sons of football coaches.

"I think that's a big advantage," head coach Bill Parcells said. "Those guys have been around football all their lives. They're coaches' sons. And they were coached in college by guys (Pete Carroll at USC and Nick Saban at LSU) with NFL experience. Some of the best coaching in college is being done by guys with NFL experience. Nike Saban is a terrific coach. Pete Carroll seems to recruit everyone they want out there at Southern Cal, so it looks like they're going to remain good for a while. The guy at Maryland (Ralph Friedgen) and the guy at Iowa (Kirk Ferentz) are great coaches. I wouldn't know the guy from Iowa if he walked in right now, but I know he's a good coach because of the players he turns out. That kind of coaching can only help players get ready to play at this level."

For all of the experiences Jacobs gleaned from Carroll at USC, he said it was his father who first instilled the inner drive needed to be successful on the football field.

"Coach Carroll was great," Jacobs said. "He's been in the NFL, and he knows what it takes to play at this level. But my father was my coach early on, through my senior year of high school. He taught me my work ethic. He taught me to understand the game. He taught me how much goes into being a successful football player."

If Carroll is better known as a former NFL coach than Saban (Carroll was a head coach with the New England Patriots and New York Jets, while Saban was an assistant coach in the NFL), Peterman doesn't feel less prepared than Jacobs for what awaits him in the NFL.

"LSU prepared me well," said Peterman, whose maturity is accelerated by his roles as a husband and father. "We played really good competition in the SEC, and I played for a very experienced staff. I'm very fortunate to have played for the coaches I played for."

Rogers is believed to have a legitimate chance to start at right tackle as soon as the Cowboys' season opener against the Minnesota Vikings; Peterman is thought to have a legitimate chance to join Rogers as a stalwart on the offensive line for years. They're both big (Jacobs is listed at 6-foot-6, 308; Peterman measures 6-4, 317), durable, tough and competitive … although not about the one subject over which everyone seems to assume they'd be battling.

Peterman's LSU Tigers won the BCS version of the national championship with their Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma. USC won the AP version of the national title by topping Michigan in the Rose Bowl. So which young lineman gets bragging rights?

"You know, we've spent a lot of time together, and we haven't talked about it much at all," Peterman said. "He's got his ring, I've got mine. But we've got the crystal ball (the trophy given to the BCS national champion) back in Baton Rouge.

"The president talked about it when we went to the White House. He said we should play USC in the front lawn of the White House. I guess it's good to have a little controversy. It brought a lot of attention to two great teams, but I guess we'll never know what would have happened."

"It would be nice if we could have played one more game," Rogers said. "But I guess this gives everyone something to talk about."

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