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Scout’s Notebook: Time For Waters, WR Injuries & CB Plans
IRVING, Texas - Here are some thoughts from the practice field at Valley Ranch this week:
This should be the week that Brian Waters gets his most work for a game and will make his first start of the season. I have totally agreed with the way that the front office and coaches have handled this in not rushing Waters into the starting lineup.
Also give a thumbs up to Mackenzy Bernadeau for the way he has played these first three games which allowed the staff the opportunity to work Waters in at a comfortable pace. Bernadeau will most likely become the swing guard and backup center which will give the club the option to dress Phil Costa or not. Costa has played in the role of the short yardage and goal line fullback the last two weeks.
Low on WRs
If you take a look at the injury report from Wednesday, both Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris missed practice. With that situation, Coale Beasley received the most work at practice since when the club was in Oxnard. In understanding how this group usually lines up, Dez Bryant was the X, Beasley in the slot and Terrence Williams as the Z when they went "11" personnel. Beasley would have also received some work on the outside which he normally doesn't get unless he is playing scout team.
Sticking With Scandrick?
Coaches are creature of habit and if something is working, they tend to stick with it until given a reason to go away from it. There is no reason to go away from continuing to play Orlando Scandrick at corner and bring Morris Claiborne in when they go to a nickel package. This rotation is accomplishing a couple of things for this staff.
They are getting their best corner currently on the field in Scandrick and they are saying on the wear-and-tear of Claiborne which is allowing him to completely heal not just his shoulder but his sometimes troublesome knee. For these next two games against the Chargers and Broncos, this club is going to need all hands on deck. The healthier Claiborne is, the better chance they have to compete in the secondary in those games.
I mentioned how coaches do not like to make changes when something is working but I am curious if Rich Bisaccia doesn't make some lineup changes to his special teams unit with Ernie Sims now back on the practice field? Sims could be considered one of those core guys that dress every week as one of the 46 but he has been out of the lineup dealing with a groin injury.
His core group is pretty solid and appear to be getting better each week but it might come down to who can help the most on offense or defense if pressed into duty. Bisaccia wants to get Sims back into action this week but to make that trade out, it might cost him a player that he has been dressing the last three weeks.
Rookie on the Rise
I have to admit and I did not believe this was possible at least in his first season but Gavin Escobar is showing some productive signs in this "12" personnel. Escobar is becoming a part of the weekly game plan and a go-to player that Tony Romo is showing nice faith in. When training camp opened, my gut feeling was that James Hanna would have been the one to succeed in this personnel grouping but it has been Escobar that has been the one that has benefited the most.
These coaches are putting more and more on his plate and he has responded in a way that has not given them the reason to back off. Escobar is still a long way away from being that complete tight end that can be a dependable blocker but each week he has made strides. But we will not fully see his development in this area until he is able to go through an entire offseason program lifting weights and working on his strength. Escobar returns to the stadium where he played his college football and it would not surprise me one bit that he would have a special game in front of his family and friends.