Dallas Cowboys training camp: Practice #4

 

The Dallas Cowboys had all their draft choices practicing today as first round pick Mike Jenkins was suited up and participating. The Cowboys slid him into the second unit for most of practice. Early on they lined up for kickoffs with a variety of guys as the return men like Miles Austin, Adam Jones, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick and others. When they went to kickoff formation later in practice Miles Austin was the first unit primary return guy with Isaiah Stanback as the off-blocking return guy. Adam Jones was the primary on the second unit with Danny Amendola as the off-guy. The third unit was Felix Jones as the primary and Sam Hurd as the off-guy.

Over where the defensive line was warming up Tank Johnson was holding court with the fans telling them he has problems retaining sodium and that he can’t drink water; he needs a special mixture drink so he doesn’t get dehydrated. The guy is pretty funny. Marcus Spears decided he needed some practice catching passes and got in line with the receivers for their drills.

During the positional drills for the offensive line they were working on run blocking. They pulled Kosier on the runs to the right with Deon Anderson following him to create a seal on the edge. On some runs to the left they were pulling Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode. Later they worked on combo blocks where they double-team one guy then one offensive lineman breaks off and picks up another guy. They also worked on picking up blitzing linebackers around the edge.

Next up was some work on the running game in the redzone. MB3 tried a couple of runs that ran into a lot of traffic and after that Ratliff stuffed a run in the backfield. Felix Jones took a handoff and made a nice cutback and got into the secondary where Roy stopped him, they tried another run to the left but Bowen broke through for the tackle. Then they ran Felix Jones to the left and just as advertised he got to the corner and turned it for clear sailing to a TD. Tashard Choice got the next run and cut it through the middle for a probable TD. Anthony Spencer ate up an outside run, Coleman ran a draw, then Coleman tried to break one outside but Tyson Smith made the tackle. Keon Lattimore tried a couple of runs in the middle with limited success, Marcus Dixon stuffed one. MB3 tried a run to the outside but Ellis held his ground, then MB3 ran a nice draw into the secondary where Courtney Brown made the tackle. Felix tried a run but Bowen shut it down, Choice had a nice shifty run through the middle and then tried another one but got bottled up.

While that was going on they were running WR/CB drills on the other side, I didn’t get to watch that but I did see one play. T.O. lined up against AJ, T.O. ran what looked like a corner, but it was double move that turned into a post; AJ bit hard on the corner fake and T.O. dusted him for a long bomb TD.

Next they ran kickoff drills, above I gave you the return combinations. The first unit blockers were Curtis, Procter, McQuistan and Spencer as the wedge, with Watkins, Carpenter, Rogers, Bennett and Burnett on the front line. The second unit wedge was Crosslin, Bowen, Hatcher and Cruz with Choice, Robertson, Bradford, Walden and Davis across the front. They tried a couple of onside kicks with Bradford fumbling the recovery on one but Choice showed good hands and handled his cleanly.

Next up they ran 7-on-7 drills at one end and 1-on-1 OL/DL drills at our end. I watched the OL/DL drills. Hannah did OK on Ware, then Ware tried to bull-rush Hannah with some success. Spears put a good swim move on Colombo, Ratliff made a quick move to get by Bigg, and Tank worked Gurode. Kosier lunged at Canty and had to hold him to stop him. Ware put a speed rush on Flo but was probably too wide. Rat got the better of Colombo, Bigg handled Spears with no problem and Gurode handled Remi Ayodele. Kosier pushed Tank inside and past the QB, Canty got too deep on Flo and around the QB, and Marcus Smith got the better of McQ.

Witten then blocked Marcus Smith, Hatcher put a nice move on Joe Berger, and Proctor was fine with Junior Siavii. James Marten got pushed back by Hatcher but recovered to hold on. Ware made a nice move on Doug Free to get by him, McQ was OK with Hatcher, and Berger and Marcus Smith had a draw. Porctor was good on Siavii, and Marten was good on Marcus Dixon. Erik Walden made a sweet move to beat Free, Lekkerkerker ran Ellis wide, and Adam Stenavich was OK with Ratliff. Kosier then handled Ratliff, Flo crushed Walden, and Spencer got inside Colombo. Colombo ran Darrell Robertson outside, Gurode busted up Ratliff, and Kosier and Canty fought to a stand-still.

Ware put an up–and-in move on Flo, McQ did a poor job popping Spencer on a speed rush, Berger handled Spears and Proctor held-up Remi. Bowen got run wide by Marten, Free pushed Walden wide around the QB, and McQ did the same to Ellis. Siavii got blocked by Proctor, Marten handled Dixon and Free pushed Robertson wide.

They went back to special teams and Nick Folk kicked a few kickoffs to the five-yard line and some others to the goal line.

They closed the practice with 11-on-11. Romo hit Witten on a crossing pattern beating Zach, MB3 tried a run outside but Zach tracked him down after Ellis strung it out. Ratliff got a coverage sack and Witten caught a short pass on Henry. (They played a lot of dime in this 11-on-11 and Anthony Henry was playing linebacker in the spot that Roy Williams did last year). Felix took a handoff and went wide getting the left corner. Witten and Romo mistimed a crossing pattern. Brad came on and ran a draw to Choice, threw a pass to Jefferson on the sideline who beat Oglesby, then Jefferson dropped a pass. Coleman took a run to the outside but Alan Ball tackled him, literally. Bartel threw a short pass to Danny Amendola and Orlando Scandrick accidentally laid him out. He then hit Lattimore in the flats.

Romo threw a screen pass to MB3 with Gurode and Bigg out front but Ware beat Gurode to blow it up. Romo and MB3 fumbled a handoff and Ratliff jumped on the ball. Romo hit T.O. on a short pass where T-New fell down, then Felix tried a run but Burnett filled the hole. T.O. caught a deep pass between Carpenter and Watkins. Romo finished with a draw to Felix.

Brad was next and threw a screen to Choice but Bradie smothered it. Jefferson caught a crossing pattern beating Oglesby, Coleman ran a sweep and Jefferson caught one on the sideline. Jeff Terrel came on and fumbled a shotgun snap which Lattimore recovered, then Lattimore caught a short pass and Evan Oglesby laid him out.

Brad came back and hit Ronnie Cruz on a short catch then tried to hit Bennett who was covered by Bradie. They went to the ground but Bennett couldn’t hold onto the ball. Bartel tried to hit Crayton but Newman almost picked it off, it looked like Burnett had a sack anyway. He then overthrew Amendola in the middle, had to scramble on the next play, and finished with a swing pass to Lattimore with Hatcher in his face.

That’s it, tomorrow has two practices. Stay tuned for more 2008 Dallas Cowboys training camp.
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