The Dallas Cowboys had the day off on Wednesday, but things were back and ready to roll on Thursday morning at The Star in Frisco. Every time that Mike McCarthy has spoken lately has always been a point of fascination. This is partly true because due to the last few months we haven’t gotten to hear from him as much as we would have in normal times, and partly true because he seems to be such a deviation from the previous regime.
Whatever the case, McCarthy’s pressers have been fun to this point. Here’s what he had to say on Thursday. A reminder that all answers are paraphrases and not exact quotes.
Thoughts on Aldon Smith
Mike McCarthy was asked what he would think about Aldon Smith the player if he didn’t know who he was. He noted that Smith has looked fantastic as a player and he would obviously be impressed.
Time away from the game
It is difficult to return to the NFL after a long time away from it. McCarthy acknowledged this truth but also noted that things are different and unique to every situation. He mentioned that things would come down to fundamentals and that physical gaps can be closed easier than mental or emotional ones.
Thought process on practice
McCarthy noted that the Cowboys will be practicing their drills outside on Thursday and take their situational drills inside. He discussed that this may adjust daily based on the practice schedule.
Praise from Mike Nolan
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan praised Mike McCarthy when he spoke on Wednesday. McCarthy was thankful for Nolan’s praise and noted that Nolan has seen a lot throughout his time in the NFL. McCarthy talked about how he has had the great fortune of working with excellent coaches and that they helped mold the way that he has formulated his own thought process as a head coach.
Coaching the coaches
McCarthy talked about how a huge part of his job is to coach the coaches and that this is something that he didn’t realize early on throughout his career. He noted that the team has a five o’clock meeting every day as a staff to learn from each other. He also talked about how so much of coaching is being yourself and that he has been fortunate to have been around people who have helped him learn a lot throughout his career.
Two minute situations
McCarthy was asked about how many games throughout the NFL come down to late fourth quarter, two minute situations and whether or not that is something he wants to practice every day.
“As a quarterback group we work on the two-minute drill every single day. To me it’s the most important situation in football and I think when you make statements like that to your football team in your training environment, you need to emulate that. So we’ll do more two-minute drills as a football team than I’ve done in the past in this training camp phase, but the quarterbacks work it every single day. We take a, we’ve broken down a number of different two-minute drills throughout the league last year, focus on opponents that we’re playing early in the season, we make it as real as we possibly can as far as the team that we’re lining up against… the situation and just trying to hit all of those crazy situations that can occur in the two-minute. As far as a football team we have a game-management phase that we put in every single day in the team period and it’s reviewed in our mock game walkthrough and then it’ll definitely, then it’ll show up in the team drill. So it’s a big part of our training, situational football.”
Seems like the Cowboys will be prepared for a lot of things.