IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett was imploring players early in Thursday’s practice to get through Day 2 of the pre-training camp workout at Valley Ranch with the same bounce in their steps as they had on Day 1.
Even with the early starting time, the heat was taking its toll on some players, with several cramping up and needing rest. With only four healthy players, the wide receivers are getting a ton of work and feeling it.
At different times, Cole Beasley, Tim Benford, Saalim Hakim, and Donavon Kemp needed to take a few minutes.
On to the observations:
** For the second straight day, Kyle Orton went deep with his first throw on seven-on-seven, this time connecting with undrafted rookie WR Cole Beasley, who ran past CB Teddy Williams, a former NCAA sprint champion. Beasley made a nice adjustment on the throw to his outside shoulder, holding on to the football as he fell to the ground.
** The secondary and linebackers are aggressive in coverage, coming up with a number of deflections. LB Ashton Whiteside, undrafted out of Abilene Christian, had two, batting down Stephen McGee passs to tight ends James Hanna and Andrew Szczerba.
** CB Lionel Smith, undrafted out of Texas A&M, was able to break on a Rudy Carpenter pass to the flat for a deflection, coming off his receiver for a nice play. CB Mario Butler had the only interception of the session when a Carpenter pass across the middle sailed into his arms.
** FB Jamize Olawale might have a chance to make this team after earning a roster spot following a rookie camp tryout. He was able to grab a low pass almost off the ground without losing a step and turning upfield. It was an athletic play that speaks to his receiver skills at North Texas. His true test will come when the pads come on and he has to lead block.
** TE James Hanna had a nice afternoon, snatching two passes with linebackers closing on him fast. His first came on an Orton pass near the sideline, beating Butler to the ball. The second came from Orton as well with LB Orie Lemon on his hip.
** CB Mike Jenkins did some conditioning work and if his ability to throw a football means anything, then his right shoulder needs some work. Jenkins could hardly throw an overhand pass 10 yards, not that that is in his job description. But it was a little unsettling to see after months of rehab.
** RB Lance Dunbar has some quick feet. During team run drills, the North Texas back was able to adjust to the back side of the running play after a hole closed quickly. With Ed Wesley on hand for Thursday’s practice, Dunbar was able to stay a little fresher.