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Watch For This McQuistan


"He looked like a Samurai warrior when he pinned it up," Ireland says. 

Never bothered McQuistan, who has now been permitted to shave it all off down to a buzz-cut. 

The verbal abuse doesn't get him either, partly because he understands it. 

"They're just trying to see what you can take," McQuistan shrugged after Tuesday morning's practice. "They want to know if you'll break. You don't like getting yelled at, of course, but Coach Sparano told us before we came here what would happen and not to take it personally. You can't go sit in your room and pout. You've got to let it motivate you." 

Apparently, McQuistan is succeeding at this. He is improving almost daily and in tangible ways. 

"I can see it on tape," he nods. "My pass sets and punches are way ahead of where they were." 

About this time, Parcells ambles by, and clearly aware of the two reporters talking to his big rookie, taps the youngster on the back and almost whispers, "Good job, Patrick. Good job, son. Nice work." 

Wow. Now that must be a boost, right? 

Here McQuistan flashes a quick grin, and says, "Yeah, but it just means you have to go work harder." 

But his eyes dance a little, and you can tell whatever they've got, he'll take. Parcells talks all the time about finding players who want to learn what he has to teach them. McQuistan seems like one of those. 

"He's a little hard to figure out right now," Parcells admits. "I asked him if he was Scotch or Irish the other day, and he didn't know. And Sean Ryan said he's not Irish. He said he would know that." 

Interestingly, in his one year of junior college, while his twin brother was beginning to build the football résumé that made him so sought-after, Patrick played a little baseball. He was a pitcher. A 6-6, 300 pound lefty. But his fastball, he says, "was only about 80 (mph)." 

Control? With a laugh: "Not so good." 

But shouldn't a 6-6 lefty junkballer be able to make a big living in the major leagues? 

"I don't know, I really didn't want to sit on the bench in junior college," McQuistan said, so he worked on his associate's degree, and when he went to Paul's freshman football banquet at Weber, a coach told him to get ready. 

Playing in the NFL at that point wasn't much on Patrick McQuistan's mind. But maybe when you're a twin and one of seven kids and you have a brother just back from his second tour with the Air Force in Iraq, you learn a little perspective. So Pat McQuistan goes to work every day and gets better. 

Among the reasons not to bet against him is Parcells' uncanny track record with seventh-round picks. Current Dallas nose tackle Jason Ferguson was a Parcells seventh-rounder with the Jets in 1997. Just since he's been in Dallas, Parcells has used seventh-round choices to grab Patrick Crayton, Jacques Reeves, Nate Jones and Jay Ratliff. What's his secret? 

"I have no idea," Parcells said. "I don't want to sound like a horseplayer here, but some numbers work better than others." 

And some seventh-round picks just didn't play a lot of college football, but they're smart and strong and tough and they look a little more every day like they'll be pretty hard to keep off the 53-man roster. 

Like this McQuistan.                               

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