OXNARD, Calif. –The Cowboys have a new wide receiver coach this year in Derek Dooley, whose is the son of legendary football coach Vince Dooley.
But the younger coach is making a name for himself, too, especially in his first year coaching Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and this young bunch of receivers.
Dooley talked about his work ethic, the growth of Terrance Williams and his early teaching sessions with Dez Bryant.
Can you talk about the challenges of being Vince Dooley's son and make your own mark as a coach?
Dooley: I've tried to earn respect as a coach because of how you work and not who you are. I've tried to do that every place I've been. Hopefully, that's been the case.
You're one of a handful of former head coaches on this staff. How can that be a helpful to Jason Garrett?
Dooley: I definitely believe that if you've sat in that cheer, you have a different appreciation for what a head coach goes through. It's real easy for an assistant, when you're faced with all these tough decisions as a head coach, to say, 'I would've done this' or 'I would've done that.' But maybe you don't quite have the same perspective he does. Maybe you don't realize there are four other things affecting you that you don't even know about and that's why he made that decision. So I think if you've been a head coach, if you can put your ego aside, you've really become a better assistant because you can serve the head coach in a much better capacity because you understand the challenges that he's facing. And you understand why some decisions are made, whether you agree with them or not, you certainly understand them.
What's the biggest thing for younger receivers to deal with as they get to this level?
Dooley: Probably, it's beating the press at this level. These defensive backs … I think the first shock is how good they are up here. Then, it's figuring out what kind of work it takes to beat that kind of coverage. That's probably the biggest adjustment for a receiver. And of course the speed we require them to play with every snap.
Terrance Williams still wears his Baylor bracelets out to practice.
Dooley: He does? Well, I'm just watching him run routes and catch. I'm not worried about what they wear but I hope it brings Baylor statistics to Dallas. I hope that's what that means.
What do you like about his route-running?
Dooley: I think it's much improved. This rookie thing at this position is a tough transition. From what I've seen from Terrance is just a steady growth. Now is he where we want him to be? Of course, not. But I haven't the seen the up and down days. He's been real steady, work-man like approach to what he's doing. Every day, because of that, he's doing something that makes us say, 'wow, that's better. That's good.' But then there are things he does to make us say, "ahh, we gotta work on that.' As long as he stays on that (path), he'll be in good shape."
Have you found Dez to be receptive to being coached hard? [embedded_ad]
Dooley: Yeah, whatever coached hard means. I think there's a lot of definitions … "Coached hard" doesn't mean you have to verbally beat a guy down. But all I know, we define the expectation. This is what we expect on this play. If they don't meet, you confront him and say 'you didn't do it how we want it so let's get it right.' That's the only way I know how to do it and he's been great with that.
Do you sense he enjoys coming out here to get better?
Dooley: He's been great. He's working at his craft probably better than he ever has. I have zero complaints with our relationship right now. He's been working really hard. He wants to get better. He knows there's a lot of room for improvement in his game and he's working on it."