IRVING, Texas – Here are some quick thoughts from the Scout’s Notebook:
Brian Watersshould see more practice time this week with the offensive unit. Last week was about getting his conditioning to the point that he could actually practice. Curious if coaches would use him like they did with Doug Freeand Jermey Parnelllast season in splitting reps in games until they feel like he is fully ready.
- The plan for now is to continue to play with four corners despite the new injury with
Morris Claiborne’s shoulder. Tuesday is traditionally a workout day for players around the league, so I will keep an eye on that for the end of the day.
Anthony Spencerreturns to practice this week for the Chiefs, George Selviecould remain the starter at left defensive end and they use Spencer as a situational player until he has fully worked himself back into football shape. In watching Jason Pierre-Paul play last week against the Cowboys after sitting out all of training camp, he looked gassed. The Cowboys have to be careful to handle this situation the right way.
- The long incomplete pass that
Tony Romohad to Dez Bryanton the double move had nothing to do with Romo’s injury but more to do, that he could not step forward to get any type of velocity on the ball. Had a rusher right in his chest when he let it go.
- Sunday night, I gave one of my Game Balls to
Dwayne Harrisfor his special teams work against the Giants. Harris was not only credited with three tackles for the game but when I had a chance to study the game, there were some other plays that I did not notice at the time. Harris along with Jeff Heathand J.J. Wilcoxwere consistently the first men down the field on kickoff coverage. On the fumble recovery of the ball that hit Trumaine McBride, it was Harris that dove into the pile to prevent Jayron Hosley from diving on the ball. Harris faced double teams on the punt team the entire night and he was rarely blocked at all because of his effort and strength to fight through the blocks. For a unit that needed a great night, Dwayne Harris delivered.
- There was a time where I would have been worried about Dez Bryant and the possibility of him missing practice time getting ready for a game and with this mild foot sprain, there is a pretty good chance that he might have to sit a day or two. No one has ever questioned the toughness of Bryant to play through pain but the club needs to be smart how they get him ready for this game against Kansas City. Bryant mentally is in a much better state than he has been at any point of his career and I fully expect receivers coach Derek Dooley to be on him every step of the way.
- There were plenty of questions the night of the game against the Giants of why was
Cole Beasleywas inactive. With this “12” personnel package, you have tight ends like Witten, Hanna and Escobar that can line up wide or even play in the slot. The offense also has the option to use Harris inside behind Austin but we also observed Bryant playing some in the slot as well. Beasley is a dynamic player, no doubt but he only does one thing while others do more in other areas.
- I have always believed that this 4-3 scheme was an outstanding fit for
Bruce Carterand his ability. His traits of speed and quickness along with his ability to finish plays with power are hard to find. This is going to sound strange but his overall skill level when you talk run and pass might be better than Sean Lee. He is a sideline to sideline player but where I feel like he causes the most problems for an offense is as a blitzer. On the first defensive snap of the Giants game, he was in Manning’s face before he had a chance to react. I know that Kiffin likes to get pressure with four but Bruce Carter has a real feel for this blitzing and I expect Kiffin to take full advantage of that.