Cowboys Training Camp: What The OL and DB Position Coaches Are Saying

As you read through different reports from Cowboys training camp, you'll find that many of these have quotes from different position coaches mixed in.

These quotes are often used to provide color or to spice up an article about a specific topic or player. But sometimes, for whatever reasons, they are quoted out of context. Yesterday for example, a story made the rounds though the interwebs that OL-coach Hudson Houck had said Montrae Holland was not ready to start yet. While technically true, Houck followed up that sentence by saying that none of the other linemen were ready to start yet either, but that they all would be.

So after the break, we look at the full transcript of what both Houck and DB-coach Dave Campo had to say in their sideline interviews after practice yesterday. Both interviews are up as videos on dallascowboys.com as well, if you prefer the audio-visual version.

Statements by DB Coach Dave Campo, transcribed from the mothership video.

Campo was asked to give his assessment of the defensive backs:

Dave Campo: You guys sometimes ask questions! After two or three practices, your guess is as good as mine on some guys.

But Sendejo has shown a lot of good things here. When he came in last year on the scout team, he basically showed what he can do: he showed some instincts. When he came out here, he's a smart guy. With the new system and a lot of calls that the safeties are involved in, he's doing a nice job right now.

Q: How do you think Newman played overall last year?

Dave Campo: I thought he played better when he wasn't hurt, but when he got hurt, I thought he played through it. I don't know that he felt, or that I felt, that played as good as he could play consistently, but I think overall if you look at the body of work, I thought he played well.

Q: Was he playing as well as you've seen him before he got hurt?

Dave Campo: I thought he was having as good a year as he's had since I've been here - before the injury. Now once he got the ribs a little bit, anybody that gets hurt is going to have a little bit of a tough time out there. There's a lot of guys, especially at the corner position, that kind of have a track mentality - ‘If I'm not 100 percent, I'm not running the 100.' He didn't. He went through it. He fought through it and was a big part of the last eight games, 5-3. He fought through injury and fought through the whole thing."

Q: We always like to say that guys in the secondary are independent of what's going on up front. Is that the same way in Ryan's system?

Dave Campo: We've always been a mentality of a seven-man front. Stop the run. Those guys up front, that's what they do, they're playing football. Now, in this system, our sendary is involved in run support but not a lot of primary run support. So our guys are able to do what they do technique-wise in the passing game, and I think we've got some things with this system that give us the chance to be successful.

Q: How important is confidence for Jenkins?

Dave Campo: It's important. I think he's got to get out here and play well and feel good about himself and I think right now he feels pretty good! He's moving around, he's in good shape, he's got skills. He didn't make the Pro Bowl two years ago without some skills, so I look for him to come back.

Q: Is that a thing that screwed up his season last year?

Dave Campo: I think confidence was an issue there, yeah, I do. I think when he started getting a few of those penalties (I've got to be careful so I don't get fined) there were some things that got into the back of his mind. We can't let that happen. He's just got to play football, because he's a good football player

Q: Do you talk to your players about the Cowboys' public flirtation with Nnamdi?

Dave Campo: I'll be very honest with you. They said "Ooooohh, Nnamdi went to Philadelphia", I'll be honest with you: I could [not] care less.

We came out here, we knew what we had here. I don't really know what our administartion was even doing with Nnamdi. He's an outstanding player but I'm telling you: We've got good corners. And I feel good about the guys we've got. It's my job to get them to play as well as they can play, and that's what we're going to try to do this year. I think with the system, a little more pressure, a little more change of pace of what we're doing ...

I think we got a little stereotyped last year. This year, we're not going to be stereotyped. I can promise you that right now. I don't know what we're going to be running, but we're not going to be running one thing - I can guarantee that.

Statements by OL-Coach Hudson Houck, transcribed from the mothership video except where noted.

Houck was asked whether the linemen had more to learn this year

Hudson Houck: They're not learning any more than usual. It is compressed, but it is the usual amount - and maybe a little less, quite honestly. We're not going to push too much on them at this particular point.

Q: Does Doug Free have to be more of a commanding guy in the locker room with Colombo and Davis gone?

Hudson Houck: I think he does and I think he will. I've seen it already. It's amazing, the confidence that he's grown into this year, even last year he picked it up some. When you are a starter and you are successful, it just comes naturally.

Kosier will be the same. We'll have some leadership. And obviously, there's a lot of things that we'll miss from Marc [Colombo]. He was such a great leader, such a great worker, but these guys will pick it up.

Q: Were you worried about losing Free and Kosier after cutting Colombo and Davis?

Hudson Houck: (laughing) You saw practice today, right? I don't know if you know all their names. I just learned them.

(stops smiling) I think concern is the word, worry is not the word. We did a good job on drafting some good, young kids that I think eventually will be good players.

Q: Is Montrae Holland ready to start?

Boy, I sure hope so. He's not right now. I don't think none of them are ready to play right now, but they will be. There is a lot of work ahead of us and he will be ready.

From SportsDay DFW, on where Tyron Smith is expected to play:

Hudson Houck: He'll play the right side eventually. I don't know when, maybe in a couple of days or so we'll work him over to the right side. We wanted to have him get a feel of that side and we also wanted Sam [Young] to play on the right side so we'll make those adjustments when we feel it's necessary.

From SportsDay DFW, when asked how good Smith can be:

Hudson Houck: Good enough to play.

I don't know how good is good but I do know this: He's good enough to play and we'll see how much he can learn and get him into the fold as quickly as we possibly can. I know one thing, a lot of research went into this and the man is a worker. He knows how to work, he's worked all of his life, he's a good practice player and that's all we were concerned about because we knew he had plenty of talent.

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