Todd Archer takes a look at some players who need to have a productive offseason, especially in the weight room. Beside the obvious re-hab of Greg Ellis, and Pat Watkins needing to gain weight, Archer singles out some other players like Bobby Carpenter.
LB Bobby Carpenter: If Greg Ellis is slow to come back from his Achilles' surgery or not, Carpenter needs to get stronger. He was engulfed at times by blockers and could not disengage. More strength should help because Carpenter does have some explosiveness. He could also have to learn a new position as an inside linebacker in the nickel defense. Part of Bradie James' dropoff late last season was because he was in on too many plays. Limit his plays and James will be more effective. That's where Carpenter comes in.
I couldn’t agree more, I wrote this a week ago.
The one thing that stood out most as a problem last year [for Bobby Carpenter] - besides confidence - was strength, he just didn't appear to have the NFL strength that you need. He had a hard time disengaging from blocks and getting rid of the offensive player. He needs a strong initial pop with his arms that knocks the blocker off balance so he can pursue the ball carrier. Hopefully, one year in the league and a solid weight training program will improve that.
Also, McQ makes Archer’s list.
OT Pat McQuistan: The Cowboys are looking at him as their swing tackle during the season. The biggest jumps offensive linemen make physically come between their rookie and second seasons. McQuistan is a solid athlete but needs to get stronger. Having a weight-room fiend like Marc Colombo around will help push McQuistan through his first really grueling off-season program.
Matt Mosley has a very long article on Roy Williams and how the Cowboys hope to use him this year. I have to admit, since Mosley went to ESPN he’s been cranking out much better material. They don’t let him be the comedian he thought he was at the DMN, when in fact, he wasn’t all that funny. And his weekly review of television shows was a real drag. For once, ESPN seems to have actually improved a person’s career, not just in exposure, but in substance. Anyway, back to the article.
One of the best safeties to ever play for the Cowboys, Charlie Waters, thinks the arrival of Hamlin might be exactly what Williams needs. Waters and free safety Cliff Harris were a big reason for the Cowboys' success in the 1970s.
"Safeties are as good as the guy next to them," Waters said. "If you have complete trust in the other guy, you feel the freedom to make plays."
When Williams is asked to line up 20 yards away from the line of scrimmage, he's barely more than an average player. Phillips will try to simplify the game for Williams and let him create havoc near the line of scrimmage.
Though they might not admit it publicly, coaches such as the Saints' Sean Payton built game plans around exposing Williams in coverage. Phillips and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart must find a way to limit that exposure.
The fact that Williams has only 2½ sacks over the past three seasons speaks to how out of place he's been.