Here are five lessons we learned from Thursday’s 27-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
“They’re two new players in our system that from the first day they got here, Dontrelle especially, you look out there and he and Eddie (Royal) are out there running the hill. They’ve got the jugs machine, the sprinklers coming towards them and they just move it out of their way. So all of his hard work paid off. Branden was a player who caught our eye and the personnel department did a great job targeting him. And from the first day, you could see that this player was going to have the opportunity to do some special things and he’s worked extremely hard. He’s made his fair share of mistakes through camp, but he just kept on lifting and listening to what (Running Backs Coach) Ollie (Wilson) kept preaching. And he made the most of his opportunities.”
“Unfortunately Ryan fumbled the one, and then at the end (of the first half) an offensive lineman got beat up front otherwise we have a good play with Kellen (Clemens)on the third down there. Too many minus plays down there though. That’s unacceptable and something that’s been a major emphasis. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and executing what we’re doing down there.”
“The first series with the ones went well. We had some adversity and we got out of it without any points. We’ve got to sure up some of our tackling on the outside, but guys were focused. You always want to come away with the win. We finished the game and played all four quarters….I mean, we gave up seven points, but nothing really over the top. Just a little tackling here and there, but really no blown coverages.”
“I think they did a nice job of taking what the defense gave them. And that’s one thing that we’ve talked about, is that when you get in games, just don’t get sick of completions. It doesn’t really matter how big the gain is. There are certain situations where you want to stay down and ahead on distance and try to live in third-and-short or third-and-medium if you can…They did a nice job. They worked hard also. (Quarterbacks Coach) Nick (Sirianni) has done a nice job with them and they did a nice job with the progressions today. It all starts up front with the offensive line. When you have protection, you have a chance.”
5. A Lot of Good to Build On – There was plenty to be excited about based on the team’s performance,
“Not a bad start. It was a solid effort by the entire football team. A lot of good effort. We talked about finishing certain plays and that’s something that you can’t really practice all the time without full pads on. So one thing we emphasized is finishing. But there are a lot of things we need to correct also. As we look at the film in the first preseason game, obviously we’ll be looking at a lot of missed tackles. We’ve got to finish with the ball in the end zone offensively. But there are a lot of good things.”