IRVING, Texas – Not much has changed for Cole Beasley as he enters his second season in the NFL, apart from his appearance.
The former SMU receiver shaved off the long locks and added 10 pounds to his frame, but on the football field it’s a lot of the same, as he attempts to once again make the team and make a difference out of the slot.
“After a year, you start to know what to expect,” Beasley said. “It kind of helps your thought process on how you’ve got to get your mind ready and focused to go into practice every day and getting better each day. That’s what you have to do to make it in this league.”
Terrance Williams is now added to the fold, while Kevin Ogletree is subtracted. Alterations happen within an offense and the personnel every season, and Beasley knows everyone who comes in to compete at receiver possesses talent every year.
He’s not worried about the competition around him, because it’s not changing any time soon. Instead of concentrating on his potential for playing time, he focused on a personal goal for the offseason.
“Mine was mostly to put weight on,” he said. “I had a little setback with my shoulder injury the last game last year. That threw me off a little bit. But I came back pretty quick, and I probably gained 10 more pounds than what I was last year.”
Beasley injured his AC joint going out for a pass in the final game of the season against the Redskins. He couldn’t lift weights for two months after the season and could barely do a pushup seven weeks in. Once he could start lifting, it didn’t take long for him to recover. But the entire healing process took longer than he would have expected.
“I kind of slowly came back into it,” he said. “I probably started doing stuff a little before I was supposed to, but it was just light bands stuff. I was just trying to get it strong. That’s probably why it was sore for a little bit longer. It was sore enough to where I could feel it but it wasn’t too bad. Then I just started lifting weights, and now it’s just completely gone.”
Now, he enters the season healthy and ready to find a role in the offense with a new receivers coach in Derek Dooley. He can already tell this year’s Organized Team Activities are more focused on the basics and keeping things simple to let the players use their talents and make plays without overthinking.
Other than that, not much is different for Beasley, apart from his knowledge of the offense and, of course, his new appearance. As for the newly shaved head, those who liked his old curls are still in luck.
“It’s really simple, it just got hot,” Beasley said. “I practiced one day with it, it was too long though. I’ll let it grow back.”
While he was able to do that, the focus shifted quickly to the issue of play-calling and the possible change next season involving Bill Callahan’s role on the sidelines.
Whether or not Callahan’s situation will be different, many faces surrounding him certainly will be.
Garrett shared some stories about the new coaches, including his involvement with the former Buccaneers assistants Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli and Rich Bisaccia when Garrett played for Tampa Bay in 2004.
Here’s a short briefing from Garrett on each of his new assistants, including Wes Phillips who has been here for six seasons but is now the new tight ends coach.
Garrett on defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin: Early on, I think he was on to me because every day
after practice I would walk up to him and ask him a football question. He’s a very generous and gracious guy. I learned not only from watching him and how he handled himself and meetings, but just being around him. He’s very gracious and generous. We developed a relationship back then. My respect level for him is really off the charts. We’re fortunate to have him here to coordinate this defense. He’s done it better than anyone else has.
Garrett on defensive line coach Rod Marinelli: He’s one of those guys who talks about the greatness of
the game of football. He talks about preparing the right way. There’s great honor about playing and coaching this game and doing it the right way. The way he conducted himself that year I was around him, was really, really impressive to me. As impressive as a football coach as I’ve ever been around.
Garrett on special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia: He’s been one of the premier teams guys in the league. He just has an infectious personality. It’s particularly important for a special teams coach.
He’s got a great demeanor. The players play as hard for him as I’ve ever seen players play for any coach. He’s a great teacher, loves the game. He’ll be a great resource for us. He’ll make this team better.
Garrett on wide receiver coach Derek Dooley: When I was a player here in the 90’s, he was coaching receivers at SMU. Our relationship goes back that far. We coached together on Nick Saban’s staff with the Dolphins in 2005-06. We’ve known each other well. He played receiver at Virginia and has a great receiver background. He and I know each other well. He knows our system and I think that transition will be really good for us.
Garrett on tight end coach Wes Phillips: He’s really someone who is my right-hand man. We spent some time together putting the offense in a number of years ago. He’s really been a great asset and resource for me. Wes was a quarterback himself and coached receivers earlier in his career.
Garrett on running back coach Gary Brown: He’s really a guy I have a tremendous amount of respect for. I’ve known him for afar and competed against him. This is really a football guy. I’m excited about him. Often times, guys that play in the NFL don’t have a willingness to do what’s necessary to coach at this level. He’s a really bright guy. He’s someone who is a really, really good teacher. I know him the least of the guys we hired but I might be as excited about him as anybody else.
Garrett on asst. offensive line coach Frank Pollack: Frank played for Bill Callahan at Northern Arizona in the late 80’s and they go way back. Some of the contributions he can make, along with his relationship with Bill, can make us a really good football team.
Editors comment: As you know, as Dallas Cowboys fans, we are in the offseason ‘dead zone’ period between the Super Bowl and the NFL Combine (and subsequent NFL Draft). This time of year is always a letdown for those of us with NFL (and particularly Dallas Cowboys) fever. Like you, I’m constantly in search of relevant news and information about America’s Team from leading sports authorities and trusted insiders. Today, Jason Garrett spent nearly an hour discussing a myriad of subjects regarding the evolution of the team going into the 2013-2014 season. I strongly advise you to listen to the video below. Over 50 articles (and speculation) have been published based on this press conference. As you would expect (and appreciate), there are a wide range of topics covered, including:
- Offseason coaching changes and insight
- Offensive delegation and evolution since 2010
- Advantages of returning to the 4-3 defense
- Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli defensive philosophy
- Upcoming play-calling changes and mechanics
- Anticipated turnovers and the game impact
- Fitting Dallas’ top-tier CBs into the new 4-3 scheme
- Jay Ratliff and Josh Brent legal issues
- Bill Callahan and Jimmy Robinson’s influence and role
- Ongoing collaborative relationship with Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones
Take the time to listen to the actual press conference and you’ll learn what changes are in store and what went into the decision-making process. Feed the fever!
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media after a flurry of offseason coaching moves.
Editors note: The new coaches will have a press conference with the Dallas media on Thursday, February 14th at 11:00 am. The Boys Are Back blog will provide a post and link to that event when it becomes available.
If you enjoyed this special feature, please use the ‘like’ and share buttons below. Thanks for spreading the word about The Boys Are Back blog!
Jason Garrett likes where the Cowboys are offensively, but he also thinks they can be even better.
The Dallas Cowboys coach said they have evaluated the offense over the past six seasons since he arrived in Dallas as offensive coordinator. The past six seasons combined, the Cowboys rank fourth in total offense (370.7 yards per game), seventh in scoring (24.1), fourth in passing (262.0) and 22nd in rushing (108.6).
“You look at those things, and you say, ‘Boy, a lot of that stuff is pretty good,'” Garrett said. “You say, ‘OK, we want to build on that stuff. We want to continue down that track with our offensive football team.'”
Garrett, however, will give up play-calling duties for 2013. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan likely will take over that role. The Cowboys made four changes to their offensive coaching staff, with Wes Phillips moving from assistant line coach to tight ends coach, newcomer Frank Pollack taking over as assistant offensive line coach, Derek Dooley being hired as receivers coach and Gary Brown coming in as running backs coach.
The Cowboys will see some changes in personnel, too, though maybe not many with Felix Jones, Kevin Ogletree and John Phillips as the only unrestricted free agents on offense. None of those three is a starter. Center Phil Costa is a restricted free agent. Dallas again might be looking to shore up its offensive line after adding a pair of free agent guards in Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau last off-season.
“This is an opportunity to add some people, add some influence to our offense,” Garrett said, “and hopefully it’s a tweak for us that can help us get a little bit better and help us break through as a football team. So that’s really the approach right now. We want to stay on the same track, but also we want to add coaches to our staff that can really help us break through.”
Despite being one of the league’s best offenses, the Cowboys are 55-41 over the past six years with only two playoff berths. They are 1-2 in postseason games in that stretch.
The Dallas Cowboys announced the hiring of former University of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley as receivers coach, making official a move reported two weeks ago.
Dooley, 44, replaces Jimmy Robinson, who spent the last two years as receiving coach for the Cowboys and will remain in the organization as a “senior coaching consultant.” Robinson got credit last year for the development of third-year receiver Dez Bryant.
Dooley coached the last three years at Tennessee, going 15-21, and the previous three years at Louisiana Tech, going 17-20. He coached with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, when Garrett was the quarterbacks coach and Dooley was the receivers coach.
Dooley’s time at Tennessee was highlighted by quarterback Tyler Bray’s 69 touchdown passes and school record for highest completion percentage in a game.
At Louisiana Tech, Dooley took the Bulldogs to their first bowl victory in 30 years when they won the Independence Bowl in 2008.
Dooley was part of Nick Saban’s staff at LSU, serving as recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach for two years and then running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Dooley started his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at Georgia. He was a receivers coach and co-recruiting coordinator at SMU for two years after that.
Dooley is the youngest son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. He played college football at Virginia, walking on as a receiver and then earning a scholarship. He caught 41 passes for 604 yards and three touchdowns for the Cavaliers.
He has a law degree from Georgia and practiced law for two years in Atlanta before beginning to coach. He is married to Dr. Allison Jeffers Dooley, a Fort Worth native, and they have three children.
Dooley will be the fourth Cowboys assistant coach with head coaching experience. New defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was the head coach of the Detroit Lions (2006-08), new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was the head coach at North Carolina State (1980-82) and offensive line coach Bill Callahan was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders (2002-03) and the University of Nebraska (2004-07).