By Will Martin
The weekend rookie OTAs have come and gone. Regular OTAs will resume and return to Valley Ranch come May 27th, June 2nd, June 4th and 5th, and be more defined June 9th-12th. June 17th the OTAs get to mandatory status.
We’ll address some of the things that Jason Garrett liked about the rookies. May 18th there was a ‘Taste Of The NFL’ event going on at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.
As if on cue the subject matter wasn’t so much about the OTAs that just happened. Rather, the question of upcoming OTAs with the 108 million dollar quarterback whose status we are being told is coming along nicely. Yes we speak of Tony Romo. In typical cautious coach speak Coach Jason Garrett was quick to accentuate the positive.
“We’ll see how he does this week,” Garrett said. “We’re hopeful he can do something. He’s done a little bit of stuff, then he’s kind of backed off and done a little bit more and backed off, so we’ve just got to kind of evaluate how his workouts go this week.”
All well and good Coach, but is Tony Romo progressing as succinctly as you would like?
“We recognize it’s the third week of May, and what we’re trying to do is get him ready to play in the regular season,” Garrett said. “I think you want to be aggressive with it, but you also want to be smart with it. It also affords the other quarterbacks an opportunity to play and get to know the system. Being in a football setting, where they’re breaking the huddle and going against a defense, that’s different than what we’re doing right now.”
It occurs to me that there is a dearth of quarterbacks at Valley Ranch if you include Jason Garrett from a time past. There’s also one time QB Wade Wilson, now your quarterbacks coach who expressed some thoughts about Kyle Orton not being in camp and partaking amongst other things.
“Kinda, I would love for his heart to be into football and be with the guys,” Wilson. “Especially since we’ve got some new stuff going on with Scott (Linehan). I would like for him to be here but its’ certainly voluntary. There’s nothing we can do about that.”
Wilson acknowledged that there has been no contact with Orton since the season ended.
“Not since the end of the year. I texted him once,” Wilson said. “I know his agent real well. He said to hold off for now.”
Brandon Weeden is in the mix, ditto Caleb Hanie, there is also a young kid who would love the opportunity to be backup and don the Silver and Blue. He took all the snaps Saturday morning in a one hour practice that was helmetless and padless. His name is Dustin Vaughan. He knows the chances are remote yet he welcomes the chance to try and fulfill a dream.
Last Friday’s Rookie OTAs were like one big Orientation Day for the newbies like Zack Martin who played right guard most of the day. There was also an influx of receivers in the mix. Devin Smith, L’ Damian Washington, and Chris Boyd went through some routines to gauge patience, comfort level, and the inevitable adaptability that comes with the jump to the NFL.
DeMarcus Lawrence was absent Friday as he flew back to Idaho to be present for the birth of his newborn son. He returned first thing Saturday morning content, grateful, humbled, and blessed. Lawrence was also ready to go out and play.
While Jason Garrett was busy discussing his concerns about Tony Romo on May 18th here was what Coach Garrett had on his mind in between morning and afternoon practices at Valley Ranch Saturday May 17th.
As the regular OTAs become nearer and mandatory rest assured this guy will be there to observe, take note, take videos, get audio, and be sure to write down all that crosses my mind.
A Cowboy state of mind is a 24/7 thing. No breaks, and no time off to ponder the alternatives. June is almost here which means after 30 days we’re off to Oxnard and the buildup to a new season shall commence for better and for worse.
September 7th the 49ers will invade Arlington and we can worry about what Colin Kaepernick will and won’t do. Until then let’s get our bearings in balance when the OTAs continue in one weeks time or so.