IRVING, Texas – Not much has changed for Cole Beasley as he enters his second season in the NFL, apart from his appearance.
The former SMU receiver shaved off the long locks and added 10 pounds to his frame, but on the football field it's a lot of the same, as he attempts to once again make the team and make a difference out of the slot.
"After a year, you start to know what to expect," Beasley said. "It kind of helps your thought process on how you've got to get your mind ready and focused to go into practice every day and getting better each day. That's what you have to do to make it in this league."
Terrance Williams is now added to the fold, while Kevin Ogletree is subtracted. Alterations happen within an offense and the personnel every season, and Beasley knows everyone who comes in to compete at receiver possesses talent every year.
He's not worried about the competition around him, because it's not changing any time soon. Instead of concentrating on his potential for playing time, he focused on a personal goal for the offseason.
"Mine was mostly to put weight on," he said. "I had a little setback with my shoulder injury the last game last year. That threw me off a little bit. But I came back pretty quick, and I probably gained 10 more pounds than what I was last year."
Beasley injured his AC joint going out for a pass in the final game of the season against the Redskins. He couldn't lift weights for two months after the season and could barely do a pushup seven weeks in. Once he could start lifting, it didn't take long for him to recover. But the entire healing process took longer than he would have expected.
"I kind of slowly came back into it," he said. "I probably started doing stuff a little before I was supposed to, but it was just light bands stuff. I was just trying to get it strong. That's probably why it was sore for a little bit longer. It was sore enough to where I could feel it but it wasn't too bad. Then I just started lifting weights, and now it's just completely gone."
Now, he enters the season healthy and ready to find a role in the offense with a new receivers coach in Derek Dooley. He can already tell this year's Organized Team Activities are more focused on the basics and keeping things simple to let the players use their talents and make plays without overthinking.
Other than that, not much is different for Beasley, apart from his knowledge of the offense and, of course, his new appearance. As for the newly shaved head, those who liked his old curls are still in luck.
"It's really simple, it just got hot," Beasley said. "I practiced one day with it, it was too long though. I'll let it grow back."