Training camp is rolling along and our coverage rolls along as we check in with the head coach at his press conference today.
Jason Garrett took the podium on Monday. Here’s what he had to say (all answers are paraphrases of Garrett, not direct quotes).
Coach was peppered with a variety of questions about Randy Gregory. Below is a summary of what he said.
Question about taking chances on players like Gregory as an organization - A big part of our job is to develop players on and off field. The more we do it the more worthwhile it is for everyone. We take great pride in that, even though it’s not always successful. In Randy’s case our eyes were open to the issues when we drafted him. We are committed to providing a structure for him, and eventually he can become a successful player and citizen.
Question about how the team deals with helping players like this - By far best thing is bringing in RKGs (right kind of guys) on the roster, we have incredible players in this organization. They’re some of the best guys I’ve been around in my 30 years in the game, they are cornerstones of the team. It allows us to take a chance on guys with issues who could become RKGs by putting structure around them. It doesn’t always work out but our eyes are open. We’re optimistic but we’re not always 100% successful.
Question specifically about Gregory's progress in overcoming his issues -Randy has worked, he started working very hard right after the draft. We think he’s made progress, I’m not an expert on addiction so I won’t comment on that, but he’s worked hard to get things right. We appreciate him and he appreciates the support.
Question about how he’s looked in practice - It was his first day of team. He’s made progress. In camp he looked good physically, but we want to be deliberate with him. He’s worked hard with the strength and rehab coaches, be we’re being deliberate. He started with walk-thrus, then we integrated him into practice. Incremental in the progress, we’re taking steps each day, we want to grow it through the preseason, and hopefully get him ready to play in regular season.
More questions about progress for him - We all mature as we go. He is bright and engaging, he works hard, he’s very coachable. He’s been through a lot. We have great respect for him, he has been embraced by our organization. He’s put himself in a position to come back.
Question about why his teammates really seem to like him and support him - He’s a likable person, deep down he’s a good person. He’s worked hard to come back, to play and function in society. He’s tried to do everything we’ve asked of him, we have great respect for him. He just needs to come to work everyday and for him to take care of business off the field. He has a great support system. It’s a day-by-day situation.
Question about trust - None of us are finished products. Especially in our early 20s. We see a lot of good in Randy and we took the risk. We embrace that and try to help him. We put structure and support around him. We got a lot of cornerstone RKG players to help him.
Finally a different question, about the tight end competition
It’s been a healthy competition, each of them have strengths and they are addressing things they are less familiar with like blocking or running certain routes. There is a competition for snaps, they have all worked with the first-, second- and third-teams. The competition will continue.
Question about Jerry Jones comparing Tavon Austin’s energy to Michael Irvin’s
Anybody who has been around Michael Irvin knows he’s a great competitor, he came to work and had juice that was contagious throughout the team. Austin is showing the same kind of things, he loves ball, loves to compete, he’s got a chip on his shoulder and that’s a good thing for him and for the team.