Another two hour plus practice from the soft and cuddly Wade Phillips today. Full pads, some full contact, but they were stopping before any big hits were made on the ball carriers and receivers. Plus, we had refs out there today calling penalties. Kyle Kosier was back and T.O. was back, but Isaiah Stanbck, Alonzo Coleman, Greg Ellis, Kevin Burnett, Jamaica Rector and Jason Hatcher were all still out. Hatcher doesn’t look close to being back because he was working very gingerly with a trainer for a brief period but looked uncomfortable. He’s yet to get to the jogging stage and working on the bungee rope yet, so I don’t think he’s ready to go anytime soon. Also, for the past couple of days Ellis wasn’t doing much either, just some light jogging, I have no idea what that means for him.
Again today, MB3 took some of the first snaps with the first unit, both in warm-up drills and in some of the 11-on-11 drills. This was in contrast to the previous practices when JJ always got the first snaps. They also tried my man from Georgia Tech, Damarius Bilbo at WR in some of the warm-up drills, but he went back to defense during the regular stuff.
They started with 11-on-11 right out of the gate after stretching. Romo handed off to MB3 who followed a pulling L. Davis and Hoyte around the left tackle before Roy made the stop after an OK gain. They tried a reverse to T.O. who blew past Spears, who never saw it coming, but Roy was there to stop it short. MB3 tried a run but Spears made the tackle, then Romo hit Crayton on a sprint-out pass, followed by MB3 hitting a huge hole up the middle.
Johnson gave it to JJ who got some yards as Polite picked up K. Davis who was on a blitz. Carpenter jumped off-sides trying to time a blitz, Bowen got around the edge and a Polite block for a sack but Johnson went ahead and threw to JJ in the flats. JJ tried a run and got nothing. Moore gave it to TT who got small and slipped through a hole then he hit Andy Thorn on a bootleg pass. TT tried a run to the outside but Hamlin blew the play up deep in the backfield.
Romo was in trouble when John Saldi beat Hoyte around the edge for what might have been a sack but Romo threw a dump pass to MB3 anyway. Saldi then messed up an MB3 run. Johnson gave it to TT who shot through the middle for a good gain and then TT tried the middle again but there was too much traffic.
They worked on punts after that then broke off into 7-on-7 in the redzone while the o-line and d-line battled in individual drills. I watched the 7-on-7.
Romo completed a comeback route to T.O. in front of Newman, Fasano caught a short one in front of Ayodele, then Romo hit JJ in the flats. Witten caught one, beating Spencer, then Fasano couldn’t handle a pass because it was thrown right as he made his break. Johnson tried to connect with Adam Bergen but Alex Obomese broke it up. Brad then threw the ball away as everybody was covered, then tried to go to Bergen again, but Obomese again broke it up. Moore tried a fade route to Mike Jefferson in the endzone that was incomplete but the ref ruled pass interference on Henry. Moore went to the fade on the other side and Jerard Rabb beat Newman for the ball and the TD.
Romo was back and tried to hit JJ over the middle but he dropped the ball right before Ayodele busted him up. The next pass was incomplete for Crayton, then Romo hit Witten underneath before hitting Polite in the flats for a TD. Johnson hit Thorn in the flats for a TD and Jehreme Urban beat Quincy Butler for a TD. Bartel tried to complete one to Rodney Hannah but Abram Elam broke it up and he finished with a completion to Mike Jefferson who had a step on Ware.
They broke again for punts and Ware and Pasqualoni were back doing some 1-on-1 sessions in the endzone.
Next was 11-on-11 starting at the 25-yard line. Romo connected with Crayton in front of Newman, JJ got a good run behind a Hoyte block on Spencer, then Hurd caught one in front of A. Glenn. JJ tried a run in the middle but was met in the hole by Hamlin, then Witten caught a TD in the back of the endzone.
Johnson started from the 25 by throwing to MB3 in the flats, then MB3 tried a run but Bowen shut it down. TT couldn’t hold on to a low throw, then Ratliff crunched TT in the hole on a run. Witten was wide open on the backside of a bootleg play but Hamlin closed so fast that Witten couldn’t score. A really nice play by Hamlin. TT finished it off with a TD through a wide open hole on the left side.
Romo came back on and hit Crayton in front of Henry, then threw to JJ in the flats but Spencer was there to make the tackle. Spencer then beat a Fasano block to tackle JJ, Flozell jumped off-sides, then MB3 tried the middle but Canty was not letting that happen. Andy Thorn was wide open in the endzone but dropped a sure TD, then out of a 3-TE package at the goal line MB3 tried to score but K. Davis stood him up.
Moore’s turn and he gave it to Battle for a short run, Hannah made a catch in front of A. Glenn who grabbed on for the tackle, but it was more like a kid holding on to a horse. Jehreme Urban beat Ayodele over the middle for a TD, then Moore tried to connect with Hannah in the endzone but Carpenter had the coverage. They ran what looked like a 2-pt. conversion play and Bergen beat Henry in the back corner of the endzone, then Battle ran it in from the 1-yard line.
They lined for an 11-on-11 hurry-up drill from the 40-yard line (the offense’s 40) with the first team offense going against the second team defense. Romo started out with an out route to T.O. MB3 tried a draw play but Elam made the tackle, then Witten caught a short pass and caught another down the seam. Then came the play that got the biggest reaction from the crowd. T.O. ran a 12-yard hook pattern and Romo threw the ball, but Joey Thomas timed it perfectly and arrived at the same time as the ball and broke up the pass and sent T.O. to the turf. Even Brain Stewart was jumping up and down on the sidelines after that play. Romo then threw a short pass to T.O., threw a pass to Hurd in the endzone but the refs ruled it was incomplete, and then hit Crayton in front of J. Thomas. He tried a pass to T.O. that was just off his fingertips, then hit Witten in the middle, before trying a fake spike-to-kill-the-clock play and throwing to T.O. but the pass was a little high and T.O. couldn’t hold onto it. Update [2007-8-2 20:20:52 by Grizz]: It turns out that this play was an impromptu performance by Romo and T.O. had no idea the ball was coming, so that explains why he missed it. That crazy kid Romo, what will he come up with next? [END UPDATE] So the first team offense was unable to score on the second team defense.
Brad Johnson brought out the second team offense to battle the first team defense in the same drill. He started with a screen pass that didn’t work but Ware had already made the sack so the play was really dead. He connected with Austin in front of Henry and hit TT with a swing pass. He drew Canty and Spencer offsides on a hard count and in a comedic moment, Brad pulled out his own penalty flag out and threw it drawing a big laugh from the crowd followed by a quick bow from Johnson. He then threw to Jamel Richardson who did a nice job of shielding A. Glenn from the ball with his big body. Fasano made a short catch on the sidelines before A. Glenn "dropped" an INT. In reality, Austin had pulled Glenn but the ref didn’t call offensive pass interference causing Glenn and Hamlin to argue with the ref. Even after the drill was over Glenn was walking with the ref for about 20-yards pleading his case. Brad threw short to Richardson, and again hit Fasano before throwing incomplete to Fasano. Johnson finished the drill by throwing a sweet TD pass to Richardson who had split Henry and Hamlin.
Bartel got the last session and started with a short pass to Battle followed by two incompletes. He then got around 25 yards on a long scramble out of bounds. Marcus Smith batted down his next pass at the line of scrimmage, then Rabb beat Alan Ball on a comeback route. But Bartel’s drill ended when he lofted one up to the endzone and Courtney Brown picked it off.
After practice, A. Glenn was out there tutoring one of the young receivers for a while and Hoyte was practice his catching skills. I did a wrap-up video with Shango that should be up soon, so click on the link on the right to watch it.