Here's to more scintilating moments courtesy of Bryan McCann in 2011.
Best two out of three.
One of the topics I covered in my Other Side Of Flipped Coins piece was the possible expansion of the training camp rosters to 90 or more. I wondered whether or not the excitement generated over the chance to audition more contenders balanced out the negative of a division of labor to more subjects. The DA (Devil's Advocate, not District Attorney) position was time that could be spent implementing the new schemes would also be somewhat wasted on players that had little chance to make a game day roster, even if there would be a potential diamond in the rough. Cowboys cornerback and kick returner Bryan McCann wants to prove that argument false, and wants to be the next great breakout player that Dallas has uncovered.
Rabblerousr posed the question in his Headscratcher series, whether or not McCann will provide the defense with quality snaps, or only on special teams. For his part, McCann says that he is more than ready, and is eager to impress new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan into giving him more opportunities.
Fortunately for McCann, he said he was able to sit down with his new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, before the lockout was implemented. And the 23-year-old seems to be a fan of the scheme that Ryan will be running when the lockout is lifted.
"I got a chance to sit down and meet with all the new coaches," he said. "I’m excited to play for Rob. I like his style of defense and he’s obviously one of the best at what he does. I’m excited to be able to play in his system."
"I’ve been in the weight room since two weeks after the Super Bowl," McCann said. "I’m waiting to get back on the field to show myself and my peers my improvement and go out there are perform and do better than what I did last season."
If a flare for the dramatic is any indication, McCann definitely has started off in the right direction. In 2010, McCann was responsible for the two of the most exhilarating plays not attributed to Dez Bryant. The first, a huge interception of Eli Manning in Jason Garrett's debut, he returned 101 yards for a scintillating touchdown. The next week, he fielded a bouncing punt, spun 180 degrees and flew down the field for a 97 yard score.
For all of those warm and fuzzy kind of dramatics, McCann however also produced some gut-wrenching and hand-wringing drama as well. According to Pro Football Reference's tally, McCann coughed up the ball a total of six times in 2010. That includes a fumble on a kick return where his knee was actually down but the refs blew the call. The team had burned all of it's timeouts in the first half, and couldn't challenge. Green Bay returned the fumble for a touchdown and Wade Phillips was on his way out of town.
But that was last year, and hope springs eternal in the NFL. A fan favorite from the 2010 season, McCann will only enhance his reputation if he can tighten his grip on the pigskin, continue turning in game changing plays on special teams, and earn some defensive snaps.
"I’m ready to get back out on the field," he said Saturday. "Ever since you’ve been in high school, even when you weren’t in season, you still had your off-season, spring ball workouts, and we were deprived of that this year. This is the longest I’ve gone without football since high school, so I’m getting that itch."
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