OXNARD, Calif. – J.J. Wilcox's big hit on Dez Bryant and Orlando Scandrick's competitiveness guarding the star receiver both stood out in a major way during Sunday's Blue-White Scrimmage.
Secondary coach Jerome Henderson's the man in charge of helping those two players progress. He's also got a load of young safeties, a seventh-round corner in Terrance Mitchell and a horde of other young corners with a lot of promise he's got to develop.
Henderson spoke Monday about Wilcox's progress, Scandrick's play and the situation at cornerback:
How's Wilcox's progression going?
Henderson:"J.J.'s doing a phenomenal job in everything you ask him to do. He's got some detail things he's working on to get cleaned up, and (assistant secondary coach) Joe Baker's doing a great job with him on those things. But when he's out here, you see his physicalness, his explosiveness, his passion. It's good for our defense."
How much does the defense need a guy like that?
Henderson: "It's not just this defense, it's any defense. You want to build around players like that that cut it loose, so to speak. That's one thing J.J. does. He's not afraid to go stick his face in. He's not afraid to be aggressive. We like that."
Wilcox stood out big time at camp last year, has he built on what he flashed there?
Henderson: "He's starting to get it back, or he's got it back. Hopefully, he goes and becomes a player we all hope he becomes."
I take it you wouldn't mind if the defense took on the 'chip on the shoulder' personality of Wilcox and Scandrick?
Henderson: "Absolutely. We want to always compete and go after everything, fight, scratch, claw to get a win. That's what we want to be about, and again, those guys bring that."
Scandrick said after the scrimmage the defense isn't supposed to like the offense. You agree?
Henderson: "I Just think when the ball is snapped, it's our ball. We're competitive. We always want to compete and go get the ball and stop the offense. So when the ball is snapped, they're not our friends." [embedded_ad]
Would you describe Scandrick as a cerebral player?
Henderson: "He's a very bright young man. If you had a conversation with him, you know how bright he is. He's a bright young man who thinks well. There are some bright people who once the game goes, they lose that. With him, I think he can retain his intelligence in the moment, which is a big, big thing."
Any concern over Morris Claiborne's knee issue?
Henderson: "I mean, obviously you'd like him out here. You'd like him out here all the time. You'd not like to have a little physical setback, but it's part of the game and we'll get him back and we'll get him back to where he was when he left."
Do you feel like you guys are going to be thin at cornerback for the preseason opener?
Henderson: "Right now, looks like we will be. Longer look for those young guys. They'll get a chance to go play and see what they're made of."