Garrett called the recent OTA (Optional Team Activity) and mini-camp sessions "really good, productive," and said that while he and the rest of the Dallas coaches would prefer that every player attend every workout, he's not overly worried by the absence at various OTAs by such projected key members of the offense as Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Julius Jones and Marion Barber.
In the case of Owens, the fact that the veteran wideout has been on the field at all has been a bonus, in Garrett's opinion.
"I came in thinking we would have a chance to have Terrell Owens until training camp," Garrett said. "He has worked really hard to get his hand right, and he's out here with his team. Same with Terry Glenn — these guys are veteran players who will pick up the offense. I was more interested in seeing where other guys are, the Miles Austins, the Sam Hurds. Where are they (in their learning curve)?"
Garrett also lauded head coach Wade Phillips for finding a good balance between the urge to overwork players in the offseason and allow the team too much freedom.
"Coach Phillips has a great approach," Garrett said. "The problem with a lot of coaches is that they want to practice 365 days a year with their players. Some coaches work their guys a lot, some don't work them much at all. We used this offseason to introduce the team to the system, so that when we get started in training camp, they already have an idea what they're doing."
When asked to describe his overall offensive philosophy, Garrett shied away from the overused "balanced" word, but suggested that his system will feature multiple aspects.
"Like a lot of coaches, I want to be aggressive," Garrett said. "I want to attack with the running game and attack with the passing game, but there's lots of ways to do that. Whatever we do, we're going to be good at it. I have a very high standard for execution. You've got to be careful that you're not doing a lot of things, schematically, that you're not very good at. I have that high standard for execution. I'd rather we do a few things very well than do a lot of things, but not do them very well."
One reason Garrett said he wasn't overly upset with the no-shows from veterans like Owens and Glenn is the fact that as veterans, they're better-equipped to pick up a new system in a hurry.
"Being a veteran helps," he said. "When I played, I was in a lot of systems, and the longer I played, the easier it was to pick up. Part of the learning is the ‘un-learning' part. You have to forget an old system, because a new system might have the same term, or the same call, but mean something entirely different. That's always part of the transition (to a new system)."
Garrett Encouraged By What He Sees
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