First Impressions From Cowboys Minicamp: What the Rookies Had To Say

USA TODAY Sports

The rookies give their first impressions of the practice sessions at Valley Ranch.

Here's a brief rundown of what some of the rookies had to say about the first day of rookie minicamp.

Cowboys see what they want to see from Frederick in first practice - Star-Telegram
There is not a single team in the NFL that will say they did not like what they saw from their first-round pick on day one of rookie minicamp. So naturally, the Cowboys, like every other NFL team, "saw what they wanted to see from player XYZ in first practice."

Travis Frederick focused on the things he could control on the first day, and that was taking snaps mostly at center:

"Really, I studied as hard as I could to play center," he said. "I knew I was going to take a lot of center reps. A ton of calls that go into that."

"For me, it’s just about going out and playing the way I played in college and playing the way that I know that I can play, and taking advantage of the tremendous coaching," he said. "Coach Callahan’s a tremendous coach. I think he can make me a lot better player than I have been. If I can work as hard as I can and take advantage of his coaching, I can prove some people wrong."

Notes: Camp Additions, Garrett Talks Sensabaugh, Rookies React - DC.com
Gavin Escobar stood out both for his height (he was the tallest guy yesterday) and for his soft hands (he caught everything thrown his way). But what stood out for him was the tempo at which practice was conducted.

"The tempo is really high, and everyone is competing for a job. The competition is high. The thing that kind of jumped out at me is all the plays and knowing the playbook, and that’s something that, first and foremost, I need to know and needs to be second nature to me."

Nerves go away for Terrance Williams - ESPN Dallas
Terrance Williams joked yesterday that he was going to finally get some rest between plays as a pro - something he wasn't used to at Baylor.

"The game speed was a whole lot faster than it was in college, but as far as the whole getting plays, I finally get a break," Williams said. "Instead of running from hash to hash, I can finally get into a huddle now and catch my breath for a little bit."

He also admitted to some pre-camp jitters, but is now looking forward to playing for the Cowboys.

"When they finally blew that horn I realized it was time to play football again. I wouldn’t think I would be here, so to get that call from Jerry Jones it meant a lot. I just got to return the favor and produce in any way I can."

Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox doesn't think his inexperience will keep him from competing for a starting job - Star Telegram
J.J. Wilcox only has only played one season as a safety, and DB coach noted that Wilcox had "a lot to adjust to and learn." But Wilcox doesn't think his lack of playing experience will stop him from having an immediate impact in the NFL.

"I think my ability, the characteristics I have, I can contribute and hopefully turn into an NFL starting safety on Day 1."

Rookie running back Joseph Randle limited until training camp but Cowboys not worried - Star Telegram
Randle is sidelined this weekend after surgery on his thumb on which he just got the stitches removed "a few days ago". That surgery may have caused Randle, who had hoped to be drafted in the third round, to drop further than he had expected in the draft, but he sees a positive n that:

"I use my own motivation," Randle said. "I put things on my own mirror at home to let it drive me like that. Grind, keep grinding, a lot of teams passed up on me, but it's all good I'm just going to try and make the best of the situation that I'm in. I can't really be in a better situation maybe the wait was worth it."

Kendial Lawrence says Cowboys' offense gives him best chance to show his versatility - Star-Telegram
Lawrence also said that the Cowboys offense was quite different from the spread offense he was used to at Missouri, but that the Cowboys offense overall suits him well.

"We pretty much had a lot of zone plays, but here, it’s more of the downhill plays – just getting the ball and straight going, not having to make all the different reads. I really like that a lot more."

"I liked this situation with the running backs they’re in, and I like the Cowboys’ offense," he said. "And just being in my hometown, it felt really good to be here."

Danny Coale focused on his getting his knee right to compete for a job after injury-plagued rookie season - Star Telegram
Danny Coale is one of the "redshirt rookies" who was eligible to participate in the team's rookie minicamp this weekend, but he hasn't been medically cleared yet. Coale reflects on his injury-filled first year with the Cowboys:

"It was a learning year," Coale said. "I didn't have any injuries at Virginia Tech. I think the most frustrating part is you've never been that guy who's been hurt constantly. I've never been that person, so to have year like this, it was tough. It teaches a lot about yourself and slows you down a little bit and causes you to appreciate things a little bit more. But it's part of the game. If you play the game a long enough time, at some point you're going to have some injuries."

Coale is already running routes in voluntary practices, and will continue to be limited throughout OTAs as he recovers from reconstructive ACL surgery. Coale expects to be cleared for full participation for the start of training camp.

More Cowboys coverage:

News And Notes From Day 1 Of Cowboys' Rookie Minicamp

Can Terrance Williams Become A First Year Starter?

Who Will Be The Cowboys' 2013 Breakout Player?

NFL Career Receptions Leader ... Jason Witten?

Five Cowboys Training Camp Battles On Defense

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