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Scout's Eye: Second Year WR Williams Shines At Minicamp


  • A player that has quietly gone about his business during OTAs and minicamp has been receiver
  • Terrance Williams, who has been playing with more confidence each snap.
  • During the 7-on-7 period down in the red zone, Williams ran a route out of the right slot and was able to put himself in a position right between Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, who were in zone coverage along the goal line. Williams was able to drive hard inside, then straighten his route up buying a little space. Brandon Weeden nicely read the coverage and was able to just get the ball over the top of Wilcox, who was at full extension.

  • Williams, who has a tendency to body catch the ball in the middle of the field, extended his hands and grabbed the ball at the highest point before landing with both feet in bounds in the back of the end zone. It was an outstanding throw by Weeden but an even better route and catch by Williams.
  • I wrote about Bruce Carter and how much better he has played in coverage and how these defensive coaches are showing confidence in his ability to line up and play in the nickel.

During the 7-on-7 period, Scott Linehan decided to show an empty backfield with Dez Bryant as the slot receiver on the right side. At the snap of the ball, Bryant broke for the middle of the field. Brandon Weeden knew by his pre-snap look that Bryant was going to have a shot at the goal line.

Carter peeked to his left as Bryant worked behind him. J.J. Wilcox saw the route developing and broke forward on the ball. Carter was in the perfect zone drop between Weeden and Bryant as the ball was thrown. Despite having his share of issues securing the ball when he had a shot at an interception, Carter snatched the ball out of the air and killed the drive.

Later in the practice, Carter came up with another nice play dealing with Jason Witten on a "Hot" read, knocking the ball away. That's no easy feat, given how well Witten plays making contested catches.

  • There are times during these practices where the rookies get a learning experience about running across a veteran using poor technique. This happened to Devin Street when he was matched up with Morris Claiborne in 7-on-7 in the red zone.

What I have seen from Claiborne in these practices is that he is not giving these receivers much room at all to [embedded_ad] operate and especially not in the red zone. When Street came off the ball, he didn't appear that he really had a plan for how he wanted to attack Claiborne. Conversely, it was clear Claiborne had a plan for how to deal with Street.

As Street worked up the field, Claiborne was able to position himself to the inside, which forced Street wider in his route. There was no separation and no window for Weeden to fit the ball in there. Claiborne had tied up Street to the point where there was no way for him to adjust to the ball. 

  • Weeden fired the ball in Street's direction thinking he would be able to make the play, but Claiborne was right there to knock the ball away. The lesson for Devin Street in this matchup was if you do not run your routes with purpose and physically fight for position with a corner that has length and quickness, your margin for success is very slim.
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