OXNARD, Calif. – Here are some observations from the film room in Oxnard:
- It appears that the front office reached out to former New York Jets guard Brandon Moore in an effort to try and bring him on board to start at the right guard spot on this club, but Moore elected to stay away from the field and retire from the game. My view of Moore wasn't as positive as what this front office had at the time, but I don't want to focus on that. I have said that all along and I believe it even more now, it's about keeping Travis Frederick at center and not moving him to guard, but they also want to put the best five players on the field and if Frederick gives them that option, they would do it. I have observed Mackenzy Bernadeau these last two practices and I believe that he can handle this job. I like what I have seen from Ronald Leary and that gives me hope as well, but I honestly believe that keeping Frederick at center is in the best long term interest of this team. I have had my issues with Phil Costa but in this scheme he has a much better chance of succeeding, but I also feel like Frederick is a better player. As much as everyone thought that Moore was the right option, I didn't feel that way. It's been my experience that sometimes the moves you don't make are the best ones.
- There were some nice battles in practice Tuesday at some different positions. Jason Hatcher and Ronald Leary hooked up several times, with each player at times getting the better of the other. Hatcher continues to show quickness at the point which put Leary in some tough situations but, Leary was able to counter with power that put Hatcher on his heels. Doug Free and George Selvie went at it as well. Selvie was running with the first defense and was having his hands full with Free who continues to do a solid job with his technique both run and pass. Selvie's best trait in camp has been his relentless way in which he has attacked the tackle as an up field rusher, but Free was up to the challenge. Selvie didn't do much until he moved down inside over the guard in a special scheme. Sterling Moore had some nice battles with Dez Bryant and Dwayne Harris in the team period and later when the squad went into the two minute drills. It was a nice bounce-back day for Moore who I felt like didn't play his best against the Dolphins.
- A player in camp that has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout has been linebacker Ernie Sims. Sims has been one of those players that has had very few reps where he hasn't been around the football. There has been a physical side to his game that tends to upset the offensive players. He is always reaching, grabbing or poking at the ball 20 yards down the field. On Tuesday, he instigated the first fight of training camp with running back Lance Dunbar. Dunbar's disgust with Sims happened on the previous play before the altercation when Sims gave Dunbar a shot after the play was done and you could tell then that Dunbar was none too happy about it. On the next play, Dunbar starts on a zone play to his right and he is stopped on the play but with Gary Brown yelling to him to finish the play, he tries to once again get going but this time, Sims has a hold of him and slings him to the ground in which Dunbar comes firing off the ground and hits Sims with a two hand shove to the chest. To Dunbar's credit, he had enough of Sims and wanted to let him know about it. But there was also two other things that were interesting about the rumble, is that rookie Joseph Randle came sprinting in the pile to help Dunbar and DeMarcus Ware being the heads-up player that he always is, picked the ball up off the ground and took off running like it was a fumble. No blows were thrown but I guarantee that Ernie Sims will continue to get under everyone's skin and he has no problem with that. [embedded_ad]
- I observed a different wrinkle for the offense on Tuesday working out of the pistol formations with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. Callahan showed a couple of creative plays out of the look that put the ball in Murray's hands in space that were productive. On defense, Monte Kiffin used what I would call a "Double Eagle" or "Bear Front" when he covered the center and two guards, then had his defensive end standing up on the outside with the Sam linebacker standing up on the strong side. With the three inside defensive linemen, it gives him the option to run games out of the front to attack blocking schemes and with the two standing defenders, he can create one-on-one matchups that potentially can win on the outside.