On a very rainy day in San Antonio I made my way over to the Alamodome and managed to get some VIP passes from a friend. I already documented in the previous post my meeting with the main man, Wade Phillips. After that I settled in for the first practice which was only in helmets and shorts.
Per tradition, Terrell Owens was the last guy to get on the field. The practice started with the QB’s taking snaps and handing off to the running backs while the rest of the positions broke up into areas for some individual drills. Tyson Thompson made a great over the head catch, but T.O. dropped one in his hands and got a small jeer from the crowd. T.O. also spent some time lobbing the ball across the field with Jamaica Rector. Then it was time for stretching before the practice got going.
Greg Ellis lined up initially with the first team when the defense was doing some brief work – not against the offense but against other defensive players - but that was very brief and he spent the rest of the time standing on the sidelines. There were no surprises lining up on the first team defense except when Ellis was out, and #50 Alex Obomese lined up opposite Ware.
On the second team defense was Jason Hatcher, Montavious Stanley and Jay Ratliff. The middle linebackers were Bobby Carpenter and Kevin Burnett. On the outside were Junior Glymph and somebody wearing #55 but they aren’t listed that way on the roster? In the secondary were Pat Watkins and Keith Davis at safety and Aaron Glenn and Quincy Butler at corner.
Over on offense, Pat McQuistan was filling in for Flozell Adams and Jim Molinaro filled in for Marc Colombo. Oliver Hoyte was mostly lining up with the first team offense and the rest of the guys were who you would expect. On the second team the line was from left to right – Doug Free, Cory Procter, Trey Darilek, Joe Berger and Jim Molinaro – I think. But they did switch guys in and out so I wouldn’t take that as the gospel, but it was the best I could do on the first day.
They spent a lot of time in drills and the offense and defense working separately, so there wasn’t a whole lot of football action. Jason Garrett is pretty vocal when he’s working out the receivers and QB’s, and Dat Nguyen was putting the ILB’s through their drills while Paul Pasqualoni handled the OLB’s. It looked like Pat Crayton and Sam Hurd got the initial call as 2nd team WR’s.
They ran both kickers through FG drills from short distances moving them from hashmark to hashmark and both Martin Gramatica and Nick Folk made every one. Brad Johnson held for Gramatica and Mat McBriar held for Folk. They also did kickoffs and Gramatica’s hit at the 10, 8, 15 and 5-yard line while Folk hit at the 8, 3, and 4-yard line.
They finally did some 7-on-7 and Romo started it out by hitting T.O. on an out pattern, but on the next play Crayton dropped the ball on a hook pattern. Then Romo ran a pump-and-go with Terry Glenn that Anthony Henry bit on and fell to the ground but Romo overthrew Glenn. He finished up hitting Fasano in the flats and Witten on an out pattern.
Next up was Brad Johnson who went underneath to Fasano, out in the flats to Tyson Thompson and then to sidelines to Hurd who fell and dropped the ball, but the pass could’ve been better. Matt Baker took over and hit Andy Thorn and Rodney Hannah underneath on consecutive plays.
Romo was back up and hit Fasano underneath who made a great catch in traffic and then tried to hit Terry Glenn on a fly pattern but Joey Thomas was stride-for-stride with Glenn and the ball fell incomplete. Next he hit Crayton on a quick out and threw a swing pass to MB3, then finished by hitting Witten on a hook pattern.
Brad Johnson then hit Crayton on a deep out but Crayton dropped it. Lou Polite then dropped one over the middle and Johnson finished by hitting Jackie Battle on a swing pass.
Matt Moore then got a turn and hit Jerard Rabb on a short pass, threw one just off the fingertips of Austin Miles deep, and then completed a quick out to Sam Hurd. LB Blair Phillips then broke up a pass and Jehreme Urban dropped an out pass. Richard Bartel got a turn at QB and hit Andy Thorn in the flats, then hit Tony Curtis over the middle. Adam Bergen dropped a pass and Bartel finished by hitting Miles Austin on a deep out.
Romo got one more round and hit T.O. on an out pattern then hit Fasano underneath. Next, JJ caught one in the flats and then Anthony Henry dropped an INT on an overthrown ball. Henry dropped to the ground and did 10 push-ups.
The came the play of the day. T.O. ran a fly pattern and got behind Anthony Henry, Romo dropped the ball right on target and T.O. took it in for a score getting a huge cheer form the crowd.
After that, they did some more drills and Mat McBriar punted the ball to Newman, Rector and Quincy Butler.
That was pretty much it. No pads made for a lot of drill work and teaching, and not a lot of action. Isaiah Stanback and Alonzo Coleman were doing injury work on the side with a trainer.
Update [2007-7-25 20:20:47 by Grizz]: A couple items people have brought to my attention. Yes, Terrell Owens at one point was back catching a kickoff or two during the practice. But I was pretty sure he was just goofing off. It's hard for me to believe they would consider using him in that role. Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned it. Now, during Parcells' practices if he was back there, they were considering using him, but under Phillips the practices are much more loose. We'll see if he continues to do that.
Also, #55 might have been #58, Dedrick Harrington. That would be my guess.