Some thoughts from Day 1 of Cowboys mini camp:
Thought that Orlando Scandrick had a really nice day of practice. In the first play of team drills, Dez Bryant tries to run a slant inside but Scandrick quickly reads the route, jumps inside and cuts him off. Romo is looking at Bryant the whole way but has to hold the ball. Coverage was so good that Romo has to go back to the other side of the field. Later in the period, Holmes tries to run an out on Scandrick but there is no separation. Holmes is in such bad shape against Scandrick that he slips and falls as the ball sails out of bounds. In the team blitz period, Ogletree goes vertical on Carr who doesn't get his hands on him, Carr is struggling to keep up as the ball is laid in a perfect spot for a touchdown but not so fast, Scandrick comes screaming off the defensive right side untouched and pulls off the rush before the pass is thrown. The result of the play would have been a sack. Even when ball were not coming in his direction, Scandrick was in good position throughout the routes. Was impressed with the way he played with quickness.
There has been a lot of talk in the OTA's about the play of Cole Beasley the undrafted free agent wide receiver from SMU. I had a chance to visit with one of his college coaches on the practice field today and I came away from the discussion with this thought: Beasley is one smart player. Where Beasley's smarts are going to serve him well is when he has to learn both the inside and outside positions at receiver in this offense. I really believed that his height would limit how much you would see him on the outside when you have guys like Holmes, Ogletree and Radway on the outside but today Beasley took some reps on the outside with Austin inside in the slot. I see this as a good sign if you are fan of Beasley because they think enough of him to try and see if in fact that he can do it. If there was no talent there, he might be stuck just trying to make this team in the slot.
I am one of those scouts that really liked David Arkin when he came out of college because of his athletic ability and toughness. The biggest question I had of him was his strength. With one offseason in the books, I really believed that he was going to be a much stronger player but in these practices, I really haven't seen that. It's really a shame that Mackenzy Bernadeau has been unable to practice. Arkin has been the starter at right guard but today, Ronald Leary took some reps at the spot with the 1's which I do not see as a bad thing. Leary plays with much more power and strength than Arkin. With Doug Free on that right side, you need a power player next to him. Where Arkin has struggled is when he gets overextended and that happens because he is trying to stop the charge of the defender. His feet are more than good enough but when you don't have power in your upper body, it's hard to extend and keep the defender off you. Until we see Bernadeau, this right guard spot will need to be continually studied.