This past Monday, the Austin Street Centre hosted their 11th annual Pat Summerall Humble Beginnings Award Luncheon at Union Station. The Centre offers emergency shelter and related services for the homeless, and had new Cowboys coach Jason Garrett as their honored guest for this event. Per The Mothership, Garrett was next up in a long line of prestigious Cowboys guests, following the likes of Jason Witten, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. After the event, Garrett found time to share some of his thoughts on how he and his staff are approaching the unusual off season that isn't.
"I don't think you get bored, because there are a lot of things to do. You can do some of the things you typically do maybe a little bit better because you have a little bit of extra time. But at the same time, we're all excited to get our players back and get going. "What we have been trying to do as coaches is try to get everything ready for them when they do come back. It starts with putting structure together for the offseason, for training camp, and then we have to be able to adjust that structure once we find out what the rules are. So we are still in a little bit of a holding pattern. But we are trying to get some stuff cleaned up from last year and get stuff ready for this year and go forward when the players come back."
As Rob Phillips espoused, normally by this time we'd be in the middle of OTA's and voluntary workouts. Instead, we have the reports that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay on the lockout injunction in a manner that seems to set a tone for a successful appeal. The owners and players engaged in mediation talks, that did extend past the set end time with lawyers continuing the talks after the other parties had retired. The owners followed the court win with a proposal to the NFLPA, that is still being considered, and rumored to be more of a bullet-list of major points as opposed to a comprehensive offer (per Albert Breer). It looks as if the NFL calendar through the June 3rd hearing at the earliest is put on pause. Mediation has reconvened this morning.
So with all this extra time on his hands, an anointed genius must be having mounds of fun toying with his system. I've never been one to believe in the concept of over-thinking; I see the actual issue being the pitfalls of indecisiveness. That's not anything I worry about with Jason Garrett, to this point. We've seen the creativity of the Peyton Manning offense, as well as the wizardry of Sean Payton's Saints. Could this extra time be lending itself to the NFL masterminds crafting out the next generation of offense? Will Jason Garrett be one of those forefathers?
Look at all the toys that Offensive Coordinator Garrett has to play with on offense. He has an athlete at quarterback with a powerful arm and good timing. Any spot in the backfield could be Tony Romo's plant site on any given play. He has two dynamic, shifty runners that are great in space and above-average pass catchers. He has the most diverse set of tight ends in the league, and that includes one of the best tight ends ever. His two tackles are pure athletes that can get out in space on screens and pulls. His second best receiver might be the most prolific athlete in the game. The lead receiver has such a chemistry with the QB that they break records over 16 game spans. Fun times coming, indeed.
And what about Head Coach Garrett? You'd have to think that an intelligent gentleman such as he would have a leg up on compressing an off season regiment for his troops. I know I'm a homer, but there aren't many coaches outside of Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin that I can envision better utilizing that two-day window during the draft when communication was allowed. It should be an interesting case study to observe, if they ever get back to playing the game on the field instead of the board and court rooms.