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Scout’s Notebook: Five More Thoughts On OTAs Day 1

Posted May 27, 2014


IRVING, Texas – With OTA work finally set to begin on Tuesday morning, I figured I’d take a quick look at a few more developments worth keeping an eye on at Valley Ranch.

  • If the rookies thought the pace was quick when they hit the field after the draft, wait until they get a taste of how fast things work on Tuesday. When you get veterans in the mix that understand the plays and the speed in which they need to practice, rookies tends to look confused and make mistakes. In the big picture, this helps them get ready for training camp.
  • I am very interested to see who opens at right cornerback with the first defense. Orlando Scandrick had a solid season while Morris Claiborne attempted to work himself back into shape after dealing with several injuries. It would not surprise me one bit if the coaching staff makes Claiborne have to earn that job again. Scandrick should be the starter from what we observed in 2013 but is the front office on the same page with the coaches if they were to make that type of move? Keep an eye on this spot.
  • Keep an eye on the rotation in which Derek Dooley plays these receivers. Devin Street was the one rookie that was used in the slot the majority of the time. These rotations will give you a little hint what they think of these kids.
  • I’m interested to see how Scott Linehan uses Lance Dunbar and Gavin Escobar today. The practice situations call for first and second down plays.
  • Has stretching been given a new name (Dynamic Warmup/Stretch)? With all the injuries this club has had over the years, something different needs to be done. In my view, this starts with the players who tend to treat stretching as if they are hanging out at the bus stop with their buddies shooting the breeze. Maybe this Dynamic program can make a difference or the players take it more serious.
  • There is not a better player for rookie Anthony Hitchens to study on how to practice than Sean Lee for how to play Mike linebacker in this scheme. In studying Hitchens before the draft, I felt like he was a little too heavy for the position and would be better if he slimmed down a bit. If you remember how much an influence Lee was on DeVonte Holloman when he made the switch from outside to inside linebacker, I expect the same for Anthony Hitchens as he begins this journey. 
  • With Rod Marinelli as the new defensive coordinator, he is spending more time with the entire defense than just with the line. Marinelli still has his hand in some individual periods but the majority of the work falls in the laps of Leon Lett and Ben Bloom. For a man that was painfully shy in his playing career, Lett is front and center when he deals with these players. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen him with these young players and they are walking down the hall together, they are working on pass rush moves. This is a solid transition for the Cowboys on the coaching staff.
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