Not that there will be much fodder for blogging, but the Cowboys’ off-season program officially begins tomorrow. The Dallas Morning News has a couple of pieces on this.
First, Todd Archer notes that Wade Phillips will expect participation just as Bill Parcells did.
When Wade Phillips was named the Cowboys’ head coach Feb. 8, he did not have a team meeting the next day.
“That’s the strange thing about being a head coach in pro football: You don’t get to walk in and say hello to the team,” Phillips said. “You’re the head coach and there’s nobody here, for a few weeks, anyway.”
However, the pace has picked up at Valley Ranch as players have begun their off-season workouts. The official off-season program begins Monday, and Phillips wants to see the same participation level achieved by his predecessor, Bill Parcells.
“It’s voluntary, but it’s keeping up with everybody else, too,” Phillips said. “Now is when you get to be with your teammates, see them work, and you realize they’re working as hard as you are. That makes for a better team. You trust guys and you’re loyal to a guy you work with.”
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones became a big fan of the off-season program under Parcells, and Phillips has sent a letter to every player detailing the off-season workouts.
Jean-Jacques Taylor wrote that it will be interesting to see what sort of shape we will see from the players returning.
Whether you believe Bill Parcells’ tenure with the Cowboys was a success or not, there’s no doubt that he ran one of the best off-season programs in the NFL.
With Parcells, you never worried about guys showing up in training camp fat and out of shape – by professional athlete standards – because they were afraid to do so. The Cowboys begin their off-season program Monday, so it will be interesting to see whether the players attack it with the same vigor as they have in years past.
The initial thought is that little will change because Parcells believed in signing a certain type of player who was diligent in the weight room, and it’s unlikely that player’s approach will change. That said, Parcells spent so much time hanging around the weight room that players knew it was important to him, and that strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek had his full support.
There will be some players who test Juraszek during the off-season, whether it’s missing a workout or performing with less than full intensity. At that moment, Juraszek will need coach Wade Phillips’ full support to drop the hammer on the player.
If he gets it, nothing will have changed. If he doesn’t, it won’t be long before the fat boys are back.