Thoughts from the practice field in Oxnard:
- I have sat through the majority of Jason Garrett's press conferences since he became head coach and I would have to say that this was the one that I enjoyed the most. I thought he was honest and at times even blunt about what I observed on film from the Dolphins game on Sunday.
Garrett has always been positive when accessing his team even to the point of I knew what the answer was going to be before the question was finished being asked. This afternoon was a different story all together. His tone and his message was very revealing in what he liked from his squad but there was also a message of what players, he expects more from in the coming weeks. In camp, it's about learning things about your team, but today I learned something about the head coach and I liked what I heard.
- A player that is in my sights this week from the point of evaluation, is guard, Mackenzy Bernadeau. As much as the front office will tell you that the left guard spot is open and there is a competition for the position, I believe it actually on the other side and can Bernadeau come back into the lineup and keep these coaches from having to put Travis Frederick in that role.
Phil Costa did a nice job at center on Sunday night and he would allow them to move Frederick if necessary but if Bernadeau can come in be solid in his protection but athletically move well enough in this zone scheme to handle the blocks, then Frederick stays at his best position in my view and that is center.
- A player that I knew would be a much better player when the pads came on and this squad started playing games, it was rookie linebacker Taylor Reed. What has always been interesting to me about Reed is when you studied him on tape, he was always around the ball and when he lined up against the Dolphins, he did just that.
Reed is one of those players that physically doesn't look impressive but has this trait to locate the ball and wrap the ball carrier up when he gets in position. There is a slippery element to his game and when the ball is snapped, you see him always working in that direction. He is a hard kid to fool run or pass and he did a nice job of taking advantage of the opportunity that he received last Sunday. [embedded_ad]
- In the walk through practice this morning, defensive tackle Nick Hayden was getting reps with the first defense, next to Jason Hatcher at the nose. Hayden has been one of those players that Rod Marinelli has really taken a liking to with his play in a rotational role inside giving this group some quality snaps.
There is nothing flashy about his game but for his size, he does play with a burst and when asked to anchor down at the point holding up against the run. Hayden has shown the ability to be technique sound and active in the process. Keep an eye on these spots inside at tackle. Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher will be the starters but I do not believe it's a lock that Sean Lissemore will be the first man off the bench when making an adjustment because Hayden appears to give this defense a little something inside that Lissemore might not.