I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m getting a little tired of all the complaining by certain players. Especially when they seem to be dumping all their baggage at the foot of Bill Parcells. Look, I get that Parcells has a personality that is hard for some players to work with, and his resistance to change or experimentation may have cost us some games. I’m not saying he was perfect by any means, although I think some of the revisionist history about his time here is kind of comical. Suddenly, he’s an anachronistic coach whose 3-4 defense was something from the 80’s that had no business in the new millennium. I’m dubious on this charge. On the charge of not using some players in the right way, or his inability to make adjustments down the stretch last year, I’m more willing to accept. I think any real discussion of Parcells has to include his record with and without Bill Belichick as his defensive coordinator. I think without Belichick, Parcells became a more conservative coach, probably because he never trusted a DC to make adjustments as much as he did Belichick.
Whatever the case, this really isn’t about Parcells, it’s about the mentality of some of the players. Especially this comment by Julius Jones on the new mood at minicamp with Wade Phillips in charge.
"It's not so tight," Jones said. "Everybody's just happy go lucky.
"I think that's going to be a great thing for us," Jones added. "Playing in a system like that, where you have freedom and you like the guy you're playing for, you're going to win a lot more games."
(ed. note - boldface empahsis mine)
Uggh, you have to like your coach and have more freedom to win games. I’m not going to call out JJ too harshly on that comment because a lot of people, including myself, noticed that JJ seemed to be running without any creativity last year. I likened it at one point to JJ seeing the arrows drawn up in the playbook, and following them on the field with no deviation, no matter what he saw out there. Some of that sounds like Parcells may have been limiting him.
But I hate the part of the statement about having to like the coach to play in a way to win more games. That’s dangerously close to the flip-side of the coin, which is quitting on a coach because you don’t like him or don’t believe in what he is trying to accomplish. Blame can be sent both ways on that: You can say the coach is losing the players, but you can also say that the players don’t have the pride of professionals to win no matter the circumstances.
All of this is a long way around to saying certain Cowboys players need to quit whining about Parcells, the scheme, the number of players ahead of them on the depth chart and the draft picks the Cowboys are making. They need to quit searching for excuses for their own play and start the move to performing under Wade Phillips. I don’t want to hear in a couple of years that the Cowboys didn’t win because Phillips’ style was too laid-back, that the team wasn’t razor sharp in games because Phillips didn’t instill a sense of discipline or fear for their job, or whatever excuse they could make then.
It’s all excuses to some extent. Just go out there, win your position and play the games. Rant over.
The Cowboys competition at camp extends to the kicking position.
The Cowboys want competition, not only on offense and defense, but at the kicker position.
"I think that's what we're doing," special teams coach Bruce Read said. "We got a pretty good situation. We got a veteran guy that's solid as can be and you have a young buck with a lot of leg strength who can really pound the ball on kickoffs and help you on field position."
Gramatica knows the stakes.
"We're competing for the one job, probably," he said. "So that's all we need to know."