IRVING, Texas – Here are some answers to questions being asked in the midst of the third week of OTAs.
Your thoughts on Zack Martin taking some snaps at center?
I think this shows you how much value Zack Martin has that he could potentially line up and play there. Jason Garrett talked about his ability to play all five positions, so why not give it a look while there is no pressure to get ready for a game. What is also interesting about this type of move, it just shows you how far along Martin is mentally. As a staff, you would never put a young offensive lineman in this situation if he was struggling in camp to learn his position. These coaches have a great deal of confidence that this type of move wouldn’t be a burden to him.
We always talk about rookies that play physically, but who plays the smartest?
I just mentioned Zack Martin and what he has been able to do. Devin Street is another guy that has lined up at several different positions, as has Davon Coleman. Anthony Hitchens has picked up things quickly, but when I watch the defense practice, I notice that safety Ryan Smith always appears to be helping his young teammates get in the right spot while not being out of position himself. I have yet to see a snap where he appears to be busting coverage or not reading his keys correctly. He plays like a very natural player in the back end, and it’s this knowledge that allows him to look very comfortable in the way he plays. With rookies, especially in the secondary, when they don’t have an understanding of what they are doing scheme wise, they panic. I haven’t noticed this at all with Smith when it comes to his
game. He is very relaxed and controlled.
Do you like the OTA and minicamp practices?
As a personnel man, it’s great to see these players practice, but deep down inside, I am scared to death for Will McClay and this staff. Coaches love to practice and if you gave them 100 days of OTAs, they would take every one of them. Coaches scheme and come up with more ways to add plays, which is their job. But with these practices comes the risk of injury, much like what we saw with Sean Lee. Depending on whom you are talking with, the OTA letters stand for “Organized Team Accident.” I am convinced that you could have one three-day camp, work the players and get some good out of it, but these extra practices are just too much. If I were a GM of a team, I would seriously ask my coach to allow these players to work more on conditioning than actually running these plays. Training camp is what you do to get your team ready. The last thing I want is to lose a player or two during a non-contact OTA practice or have players go into camp having to deal with an injury that has to be rehabbed. Let these players get stronger, faster and fresher, and I believe you would be better in the long run.