Coach's Eye

  • Garrett planned more of a situational practice than a scrimmage. The first units faced off in the red zone, starting around the 25-yard line, followed by the second units. No tackling. The offense and defense each were given timeouts, and Rob Ryan's group called several in a row inside the 10 during one series. Some were attributed to pre-snap miscommunication. "It becomes a chess game," Garrett said. "Do we change the look up on offense? Do they change the look up on defense? When you have those extra timeouts you can do that and that's what we would do in a real-life situation." * After red zone drills, both sides went through "play-it-out" late-game situations. Again, no tackling. Late in practice, Garrett wanted the young players acclimated to some full-contact work. * Quarterback Tony Romo was sharp, particularly in the two-minute situations. The first-team offense got the better of the first-team defense, who's still learning Ryan's system and didn't have starters Terence Newman (groin), Mike Jenkins (stinger-limited), Jay Ratliff (hip) and Keith Brooking (hamstring). But Garrett thought the defense did have its moments. The second-team offense, in particular, leaked pressure and committed penalties at times. "I thought at different times we couldn't get drives started," Garrett said. "We went three-and-out, three-and-out. I thought they defended the run well. They got some pressure on the quarterback at different times." * They haven't been anywhere near perfect, but Garrett has liked the way the young offensive linemen practice in camp. Without Andre Gurode (knee) and Montrae Holland (back), three-fifths of the first unit featured first- and second-year guys: center Phil Costa, right guard David Arkin and right tackle Tyron Smith. The first-round pick has struggled at times against the starting pass rush, but Smith held his own against outside linebacker Anthony Spencer. "It seemed like he didn't seem in awe of the situation in any way," Garrett said. "He's been blocking these guys throughout camp. It seemed like he responded fairly well to it." * Jenkins, the starting right cornerback, has been limited in team drills since sustaining a stinger earlier in the week. He did some sprints on his own Sunday. Garrett said the team hasn't ruled him out of Thursday's preseason opener. * Garrett planned for players' and coaches' families to visit during the scrimmage. Dinner tables were set up on the far side of the Alamodome field.
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