Pre-practice story. Shango and I are chilling in the local coffee house in Oxnard after I posted the morning practice report. I see Todd Archer in the restaurant next door so I decide to say hello. I walked up to his table and he turns to the guy sitting with him and says “Peter King, this is Dave Halprin, a Cowboys blogger.” So I got to talk to Peter King for a few minutes. I didn’t want to intrude too much on their lunch so I went back to the coffee house. About 10 minutes later Peter comes into the coffee shop, sees me, starts talking to me and offers to buy me a coffee. He was a very nice guy and very talkative; he was interested in the blogging business, how I make money at it, etc. I introduced him to Shango and we chatted for a bit before he left. Hats off to Peter King, he was a very nice guy and he bought me a coffee - he’s alright in my book.
OK, back to the practice report. Both Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo were back at practice. It was overcast, windy and actually turned cold in the endzone bleachers where I was standing. The practice was also a long one so that’s why the report is a little slow getting up on the blog. Before practice, T.O. was working the fence-line of fans like a politician; shaking hands, signing a few autographs, I expected him to start kissing babies at any moment.
Most of the first hour of practice consisted of positional drills and skeleton offense. They worked on hurry-up offense while over on the other end of the field the CB’s were practicing INT’s and doing the obligatory 10 pushups for drops. It was pretty sleepy during the first hour, only a couple of bombs to Amendola and T.O. during skeleton drills woke up the crowd.
They broke for CB/WR 1-on-1 drills while the rest of the team did redzone running offense. I watched the CB/WR battles. It was very windy so we got a lot of bad passes. T.O. beat AJ deep but the pass was bad, the same thing on the next two plays when Crayton battled Oglesby and Austin battled Oglesby. Hurd beat Jenkins deep but dropped a pass he should have caught. Jefferson beat Henry deep and made the catch. Stanback and Oglesby went at it but a bad pass ruined the end result. Jenkins had blanket coverage on Polk, Henry got an INT went he got inside Braford on a dig and Witten beat Roy. Austin had a bomb that he should have caught against AJ but couldn’t reel it in. Crayton then beat Jenkins deep for a catch, T.O. had Oglesby beat on a post but their feet got tangled up and T.O. fell, then Scandrick had good coverage on Hurd. Roy had good coverage on Jefferson, Jenkins had good coverage on Stanback and Lowber went deep but Henry had solid coverage. Crayton toasted Scandrick for a catch, AJ broke up a bomb to T.O. but the ref called it pass interference then Polk got by Jenkins deep. Bradford dusted Oglesby on a post and Amendola managed to shake free of Scandrick over the middle.
Next came special teams with Nick Folk hitting all seven of his FG’s from various distances and they completed a fake FG pass to Witten. After that they practiced downing punts at the goal line. Some of the comments from the coaches included “Full speed, Orlando” and “Locate the ball, Danny.” Courtney Brown had a beautiful play when he grabbed the ball at the one, jumped in the air and before coming down in the endzone threw it back into play where it was downed by another player.
They broke for 7-on-7 at one end and at the other they did OL/DL except this time it was 2-on-2 with the DL running stunts. I wasn’t able to chart that drill but I kept my eye on it some and noticed Joe Berger was doing a great job while Free and McQ were only so-so. Every time the o-line would win Gurode would jump up and down and scream while Tank would keep the respect for the d-line.
Over at 7-on-7 Romo hit Witten who beat Hamlin. MB3 caught a swing pass, Witten caught a short one and Crayton snagged a low pass after crossing Scrandrick. Bradie had good coverage on Bennett and Romo finished with a short one to Felix. Brad started with Austin in the flats and Stanback in the flats. After a swing pass to Coleman he connected with Curtis on a short pass. Bartel tried to get it to Amendola but Oglesby broke it up then Jenkins did the same on the next pass.
Romo was back in and Hurd saved his errant throw with a diving catch. MB3 caught one in the flats, Austin made a leaping grab then Romo overthrew T.O. deep. Brad threw a pass into traffic and Roy almost had the INT but couldn’t hold on, he dropped and did 10 pushups. The drill ended with a dump pass to Choice.
The team came together to run 11-on-11. Romo gave the ball to MB3 who tried to cutback but Carpenter stuffed it. Witten caught one in the flats but Carpenter and Watkins closed quickly for the stop. MB3 caught a short one and Oglesby made the tackle. Felix took a pitch wide but Courtney had a good angle on him, Witten made a nice diving catch in the endzone followed by a Felix run up the middle that Carpenter handled with no problem. Brad hit Stanback in the flats against Jenkins, then he tried to hit Jefferson in the flats but Jenkins jumped it and got the INT for a pick six. Stanback was open on a slant but appeared to get a case of alligator arms as Hamlin was bearing down on him. Brad then dumped to Witten under heavy pressure from Ware. Bartel gave it to Coleman for a run but Zach and Hamlin were all over it. Canty then got a sack but they let the play roll and Amendola had a good catch.
Romo came back and hit Cricket in the flats, Hurd made a catch over the middle, Felix made a cutback run but Oglesby stayed home and Hurd got loose against Oglesby. Brad followed by hitting Stanback on a crossing pattern then Junior Siavii ate up a Choice run.
They closed practice with 11-on-11 but in a two minute setting, keeping down and distance and calling timeouts. Romo ran the longest two minute drill in history; a total of 13 plays but didn’t score. MB3 caught one in the flats, Hurd couldn’t reel in a deep pass on AJ, MB3 ran a draw, Witten caught a short pass, Romo made a bad throw, Hurd made a catch (after Junior abused Bigg but Romo got the pass away), Hurd made another catch, Curtis caught one along the sideline, MB3 ran a draw, an incompletion intended for Hurd, MB3 caught a short one, Romo spiked the ball and on 4th down around the 15-yard line Romo overthrew Hurd in the endzone.
Brad had one almost as long that went like this: Amendola caught a crossing pattern, Felix caught one, Bennett with a catch in the flats, Jenkins broke up a deep pass to Jefferson, Brad scrambled out-of-bounds for a first down, Bennett made a catch with Brad under heavy pressure from Tank, Stanback catch in the flats, incomplete pass to Jefferson, Felix dropped a pass, Everett broke up a pass to Bennett and Everett picked off a 4th-down heave.
Two long drives but neither scored.
That’s all for today.