FRISCO, Texas – Rookie minicamp doesn’t officially end until Sunday, but it’s a wrap for us..
Saturday marked the last open practice of the weekend, as these newcomers got a couple more sessions in with the coaching staff.
Here’s a handful of notes from the second day of on-filed work:
- We saw just a glimpse of where we might see some of these offensive linemen lining up when we get to the OTAs and training camp. Connor McGovern played guard at Penn State but was the center when this rookie group went to team period. Derrick Puni played tackle during his days at Central Missouri State but got some work at guard. Mitch Hyatt lined up at left tackle while Brandon Knight split time on the right side with practice squad player from 2018, Jake Campos.
- Interesting drill for the running backs where Gary Brown teaches his guys to keep their eyes up as they’re working through the hole. As the backs get the ball, Brown is positioned as a linebacker with a large card in his hands. As the ball carrier engages him, Brown flips the card to reveal a number, which the back has to identify. Brown switches the card after each play in order to try and fool the ball carrier.
- These coaches tested their guys a little bit in the morning practice with assignments and where to line up. The one guy that appeared to be comfortable with all of this was new safety Donovan Wilson. There were several snaps where Kris Richard shifted the formation with motion and Wilson was right where he needed to be while also communicating the proper checks to his teammates -- whether it was vocally or with hand signals.
- I don’t know if it was by design or the fact that they have a fullback in camp, but Kellen Moore is sure lining up in a lot of two back sets. Moore is using tryout fullback Joe Protheroe primarily as an off-set blocker in these practices. After practice, Moore said he wanted the offense to be more multiple in the way they present things while still maintaining their foundations and philosophy. Maybe using a fullback more is a part of that philosophy?
- The one thing I’ve noticed about Trysten Hill seeing him live is how quickly he can read the block and work his way down the line to the ball. Studying him on tape, I thought there were snaps where he had problems in this area. He didn’t always play with his eyes and it caused him to lose the ball. During these practices, Rod Marinelli has him doing a much better job in this area.
- Jalen Jelks continues to impress me as an athlete. Marinelli had the defensive linemen work down the line while the coaches rolled medicine balls at their legs to simulate having to play the low block. This required the linemen to extend their arms and hands to keep the balls away from them. Jelks looked the most natural in his movements, especially laterally. The whole time you could see the front of his number. He doesn’t overextend at the waist like several of his teammates.
- Finally got to see some receivers catching the ball during the team period in the afternoon practice. Jalen Guyton lined up as the “X” receiver and executed a nice slant route as Phillip Nelson put the ball right on him in stride. It was those types of in-breaking routes by Guyton that allowed him to shine in college while at North Texas. Guyton is so natural receiving the ball on the move.
- It’s early, but it appears they’re going to have Chris Westry work at left cornerback and Mike Jackson on the right side. That was consistent from the two practices where the defensive backs were working with the linebackers. Westry played both spots in college while Jackson was primarily on the left side, so that would be a little change for him and how he plays his eyes while reading routes.