Before the walkthrough today, I went into my training camp film room and took a look at the Thursday practice of guard Mackenzy Bernadeau. This was the first time that Bernadeau was in full pads and he was able to take some snaps with the first offense.
Nose tackle Jay Ratliff and Bernadeau square off on the first play with Bernadeau coming off the ball on a zone play going to his right. Ratliff is able to fire his hands inside to control Bernadeau who is also trying to work his hands inside, but he is late on Ratliff. Ratliff reads the ball going to his left and begins to push hard on the outside shoulder of Bernadeau who is now trying to fight Ratliff's pressure, but he can't work him up the field. Ratliff is able to push Bernadeau into the backfield not giving running back Ed Wesley much room to get the ball to the edge.
On the second rep, Bernadeau is matched up against defensive end Kenyon Coleman, who is like Ratliff in that he plays with good upper-body strength. Bernadeau comes off the ball low and right into the chest of Coleman who is beat off the snap. Bernadeau is able to get his hands inside and is able to work Coleman off the ball. Coleman is trying to fight the pressure, but Bernadeau is able to sustain the block, cutting off Coleman as the ball is able to go inside of his block.
On the final rep of inside runs for Bernadeau, he is matched up against nose tackle Robert Callaway and again he comes off the ball, gets his hands inside, then turns Callaway out, keeping him from getting inside to the ball. Callaway is in a bad spot, stuck on the block, as Wesley makes a cut inside off the movement that Bernadeau was able to create.
The offensive line then moved to one-on-one pass-rush drills where Bernadeau was matched up against nose tackle Josh Brent. At the snap, Brent bull-rushed Bernadeau, who was unable to sit down on him. Bernadeau tried to work his hands inside, but he was too late. Brent put Bernadeau in a bad position with his feet and gets him turned, allowing Brent to pressure inside. In his last rep, Bernadeau is matched up against defensive end Clifton Geathers, who doesn't have many pass-rush moves; he is all about playing with power. Bernadeau did a really job on his punch and working his feet. Geathers had no shot here because Bernadeau has stopped him with his hands. Geathers tries to reset, but Bernadeau doesn't let him even get a sniff on the rush – clear win here for Bernadeau.
During the team period, Bernadeau took two reps with the first until on the right side, working with Doug Free. The first snap, the defense tried to run a twist-stunt inside with Brent, Sean Lissemore and Bruce Carter running a game. The inside three of Bernadeau, Costa and Arkin did a nice job of keeping the pocket clean in front of Romo. His second rep, Bernadeau pulled to his left, but the front side didn't get much movement and the play was not clean. Bernadeau went inside but was unable to secure anyone at the point.
In the short-yardage period, Bernadeau only had one shot on a down block on Brent, sealing him from the play, but Free struggled with his cutoff block and the play went for no gain.
Overall, I thought it was a nice day for Bernadeau, who showed some pop with his hands and some power in his lower body, which was a concern for him coming back. Where Bernadeau can really help this team is if he can, in fact, play with power in the running game, but also help keep the front of the pocket clean for these quarterbacks. There is a long way to go here to make up for all the time he missed, but Thursday was a good start.