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Cowboys training camp practice #8

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Wednesday, Aug. 2nd (5-7 PM practice)

Coach Bill Parcells certainly lived up to his reputation today. If you've ever thought of him as cantankerous, volatile, and unforgiving or anything else along those lines, you should have been at practice today to see it in action. Several players felt the wrath of the Tuna, but I'll get to that later.

Mike Vanderjagt returned to practice this afternoon but wasn't involved in any drills, and Bobby Carpenter is still getting work at the WILB. Andre Gurode started at center again but he was one of the Tuna's marks today so we'll see where he lines up tomorrow. Marc Colombo was the starting RT again this afternoon, which was a shorts and shoulder pads practice.

They ran through the basic half-speed 7-on-7 drills in the beginning of practice followed by sprints and stretching. For the first half of practice everything was going along smoothly and was pretty mellow since it was the second practice of the day. I talked to Mickey Spagnola and he said everything was good with the Marcus Spears surgery and they were expecting him back in 2 weeks, maybe a few days more than that.

Back-up CB Nate Jones dropped a couple of passes in the DB drills and had to do push-ups as punishment. Meanwhile, Terrell Owens dropped a couple of passes in the WR drills and I didn't see any push-ups from him. But I think it's only a DB thing anyway. At the LBer position drills Paul Pasqualoni was giving Greg Ellis some intense tutoring on dropping back into coverage.

They moved on to some kickoff coverage drills and then slid into some 7-on-7 at full-speed. Bledsoe opened with a dump-off to JJ and then a short pass to Rector. He overthrew Owens on a long bomb where he had A. Glenn beat, much to the disappointment of the assembled crowd who let out an audible groan. Bledsoe then threw what appeared to be an INT to Henry but Rector wrestled the ball away from him for a completion. Romo came in and after another dump to JJ, Skyler Green lined up wrong and Todd Haley called him out of the formation and substituted another WR. Austin Miles let one go through his hands on an out pattern and then Henson threw a bullet into traffic that somehow ended up in the ends of Terry Glenn. Henson threw another dump-off to Hannam, then Mroz did the same to Crayton.

They then worked on some punt and kickoff coverage, mainly working on fair catches.

Then it was time for 11-on-11, with Parcells calling out down and distance situations. The defense opened up in a 4-2-5 with the line up: Ellis, Ratliff, Johnson and Ware; James and Burnett were the LBers; Glenn, Newman, Williams and Henry in the secondary with Watkins playing a deep center-field. After that they changed up defenses regularly depending on the situation.

Bledsoe started out with a dump-off to Owens. On the next play he was forced out of the pocket, tried to throw a shovel pass that A. Glenn almost picked off. Owens then caught a crossing pattern that he fumbled away without anyone touching him. If it had been a regular game they would've gone to instant replay to determine if it was a catch or not. They ran a draw to JJ which Bradie James snuffed out and Parcells yelled out that the defense was winning 3-1 so far.

Blesdoe then hit T. Glenn on a pass that went right through the hands of Watkins who should have picked it off. After another short pass to Owens, Henry picked off Bledsoe and took it to the house for a TD. Bledsoe finished with a pass to Witten but it looked like Ellis could've made the sack.

Romo took over and bobbled the snap on a hand-off to Barber. Thomas Johnson busted through the middle on the next play and practically ran over Romo, and this is when Parcells started getting hot. He yelled at the line that this was one of the easiest protection schemes they had and they blew it. Granted, it was the second team line at the time, but Parcells was just getting started. On the next play Copper cut his route short leading to a long overthrow from Romo. Ryan Fowler blitzed on the next play and no one picked him up and Romo threw a hot-route pass to Copper. They ran a draw to Barber and then a WR screen to Crayton that Fabini was supposed to lead; he got out there but didn't block anybody. By now the defense had been basically whipping the offense throughout the whole drill and Parcells was about to boil over. On the next play Hatcher blew past McQ and sacked Romo and Parcells unloaded on the offensive line. Screaming "run that protection again" among other things, he made them run the same protection scheme two more times without trying to pass the ball; he just wanted them to get the blocking right. They didn't do to well.

Once that was over they went back to regular plays with a pitch to Barber that went nowhere and then CB Lenny Williams dropped a sure INT on a pass intended for Crayton. Romo finally connected with Rector on a short pass to end his series.

Drew Henson came in and had no success on a running play, then overthrew Rector on a bomb. Lenny Williams then broke up a pass intended for Rector. Mroz came in and held the ball so long on his first play that they blew the whistle, then he threw a short pass to J.R. Tolver. Stephen Bowen then sacked Mroz with Parcells and other coaches screaming "throw it, take one look then throw it"! Mroz ended the drill with a medium depth catch by Sam Hurd.

So, as you can tell from that sequence of events that the offense was terrible, making mistakes and pushing Parcells to the edge.

Bloedsoe came back in and handed off to JJ but James stuffed it. JJ ran again but Ratliff made the play, JJ ran a draw and Ware and Ratliff sniffed it out. JJ tried another run but Burnett was having none of it. Romo came in overthrew Rector on a play-action pass, MB3 got an OK run off-tackle with Peterman leading the way, then Junior Glymph ate up MB3 in the backfield on another run. Henson came in and it was more of the same.

Then they went to water break and something happened to send Parcells over the edge. They were lining back up to run the hurry-up offense after the break was over, and as Andre Gurode was walking to the huddle Parcells threw the rest of his water at Gurode's legs and started to chew him out, loudly. I have no idea what started it but Parcells was yelling at him for at least a minute while everybody on offense was standing in the huddle. The only words I could make out were "there are 10 other players out here" but it was as angry as I've seen him at camp.

He finally relented and they moved on to running the hurry up offense and on 3rd down he called for MB3 to replace JJ. Kevin Burnett ran a blitz up the middle and went right past MB3 to sack Bledsoe and Parcells screamed at MB3 "why did I even put you in here"?! Bledsoe ended his series by overthrowing Crayton in the end zone.

Romo took his turn and had the offense moving but on his last play he threw a ball high that J.R. Tolver didn't even jump for causing Parcells to scream at him "come on J.R." a couple of times.

Henson's series wasn't that good as Ayodele would've sacked him, Hurd dropped a pass, he under-threw a wide-open receiver and on his last play overthrew a slant pattern causing one last outburst from Parcells, telling him "you've gotta hit that".

Thankfully, practice was over as the last 45 minutes or so was a disaster on offense. Well, there's always tomorrow.