getting every practice.
"He competes," says Fasano's position mentor, new Cowboys tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens. "And it's a good thing, because he's having to spend extra time to learn the different positions. With two positions that are meant to be interchangeable, you have more places to learn where to be, more pass protections, when to pull and when to block, what routes to run. He's got a lot to learn about technique in pass protection, about pad level. Believe me, his plate is on overload with things to get better at."
And no one in Oxnard seems to think he won't do it. The hardest thing to do is to get Fasano to name a tight end he thinks he's like, or one he enjoyed watching while in high school in Verona, New Jersey or at Notre Dame. He flat won't do it. The closest you'll get is a big grin and a wink and (showing his smarts), "I liked watching Jason Witten at Tennessee when I was in high school."
Parcells has been heard comparing the youngster to one of his prior favorites, Mark Bavaro, another Golden Domer. The memory snapshot of Bavaro on two Giants' Super Bowl teams is of a huge, block-like man with a tapered waist. But Fasano is bigger. You could look it up, and we did. Bavaro was 6-4, 245. Fasano is listed at 6-4, 258.
"There weren't as many big tight ends in those days, remember," Parcells said after Wednesday's evening practice. "Bavaro probably seemed bigger than everyone else, and he wore those huge shoulder pads. This kid is a little thicker in the lower body."
It's the only place he's thick, apparently. Witten has taken the rookie under his wing, as Dan Campbell did for him just four years ago. "What Dan did for me more than anything," Witten recalls, "was show me how to lift weights, teach me what to say to the media. I try not to be overbearing, but he wants to learn. I think he'll be a good one."
He may be better than good. He and Witten may redefine the way to use the tight end position. It's what you'd expect of a second round pick, after all.