The Dallas Cowboys had an off day on Saturday, but that didn’t mean that he head coach wasn’t working.
Mike McCarthy took to the podium on Saturday to give his thoughts on a variety of things and as always, we have put together a recap for you. Remember that all answers are paraphrases and not exact quotes.
McCarthy’s thoughts on Everson Griffen
The Dallas Cowboys have added Everson Griffen to their pass rush since we last publicly heard McCarthy speak. He noted that he has a lot of familiarity in going up against Griffen when McCarthy coached the Green Bay Packers.
Overall McCarthy noted that he is excited to have him be a part of the team and thinks that things are going to go well.
All feels just about normal
Obviously the way that training camp is going on is very strange to what we all normally know. Mike McCarthy hasn’t coached football in a long time as he sat out all of last year. He noted that it felt good to get a practice in on Friday. He did note that there were a number of drills that they did with players for the first time so that there is a lot of learning taking place.
You can never have enough good pass rushers
Asked specifically what he thought of the state of the Cowboys pass rushers when he took the job, Mike McCarthy gave credit to the team’s personnel department for making incredible moves all throughout free agency, the draft, and even to this point. He noted that Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones have lived their “player acquisition is a 365-day process” mantra out.
McCarthy noted that you want to have as many good players as you possibly can, duh, and that part of the team’s mantra is going to be to have their pass rushers pin their ears back. That’s good to hear.
Aldon Smith looks good
As far as one of other new pass rushers this season, Mike McCarthy said that Aldon Smith looks good. He particularly heralded Smith’s strength and conditioning which is impressive given that the pass rusher has not played football in five years.
Conditioning overall is great
While answering this question McCarthy took the opportunity to note that the Cowboys as a whole got off to a solid start as far as strength and conditioning goes.
CeeDee Lamb looks “very natural” out there
The team’s first-round draft pick got some props from McCarthy on Saturday. The head coach noted that Lamb has fit in everywhere and the looks “very, very natural” on the football field.
A lot of time is being spent on special teams
The Dallas Cowboys struggled A LOT on special teams last season. Coach McCarthy was asked how the team is going to work on that part of the game with no preseason games, but his answer should make you feel safe about that side of the ball as a whole.
“We just, we’ve dedicated more time to special teams than I have in the past, and frankly I always felt that we were pretty high as far as time spent on special teams as far as comparables to other NFL teams. We’re just investing a little bit more time with the specialists particularly just getting them as much work as possible. As we move through training camp the competitiveness of the periods, we’ll get it as close to game-like as we possibly can.”
La’el Collins has an injury and will miss “some time”
La’el Collins did not participate in team drills during Friday’s practice. McCarthy noted that Collins has an injury that he’s working through, he noted it was nothing serious, and said that the right tackle will miss some time.
Red jersey update!
Mike McCarthy noted that the red jerseys that the quarterbacks are wearing is something that is a particular preference of his.
Dontari Poe is doing well
McCarthy noted that defensive tackle Dontari Poe looks “unbelievable” working out and is making progress. We’ll see him when we see him.
Daryl Worley has fit right in
Asked about one of the more veteran members of the secondary in Daryl Worley, Mike McCarthy said that Worley has looked solid and is adapting to the new scheme well.
The heat is definitely a factor
The Cowboys are training in the state of Texas as opposed to California and it is much hotter. McCarthy has said many times that he wants to practice and be on grass as much as possible, but that it’s important with the heat to get up and do all heavy lifting in the morning.
Special teams drills provide opportunities for others
Mike McCarthy discussed how the early segment of practices during special teams offer an opportunity for quarterbacks and linemen to do their own thing. He noted that there is often not enough time for quarterbacks to work on drills of a fundamental variety so they want to make sure that they capitalize on that.
This seems like Mike McCarthy has taken a long time to identify how to be more efficient with time.
Cam Erving is dealing with an “ailment”
McCarthy does not believe that it will be anything long-term.