Tuesday Spring Practice Notebook

Tuesday Spring Practice Notebook

This past Saturday's scrimmage did not take too much of a toll on the available roster for practice today. RB Ashton Shumpert (ankle) was held out after going gimpy late in the scrimmage. TE B.J. Hammond (unspecified) was doing rehab work early Tuesday too. DT Kaleb Eulls and S Jay Hughes did not participate, same as all previous practices. Nor did WR Jeremy Chappelle report to the field today.

Better news came from DT Chris Jones, who did not scrimmage after a thumb injury last Friday. He was back with the first team today, the thumb heavily padded. The return certainly helped as numbers were down today at both tackle spots, shown by the depth chart provided.

RB Josh Robinson is being limited with a tender hamstring to give younger backs the snaps. But DT P.J. Jones is increasingly active alongside his defensive crew; not yet practicing but staying with them much more than in the rehab pit. OG Justin Malone arrived late as usual for spring practicing, which is his semester scheduling. Encouragingly, he did not just watch his line-mates drill, but participated again. Malone worked with the #2 line at right guard in 11-on-0 passing situations.

*During practice, WR De'Runnya Wilson appeared to aggravate the groin condition that he acquired during his months with the basketball team. He has not really been full-speed so far but even at less than 100% has made his share of plays. And then some.

*The best catch of the day came from WR Fred Ross. CB Tolando Cleveland had the inside position on a post pattern and both were battling in-air, with Ross going over the defender for an outstanding grab.

With QB Damian Williams throwing, TE Gus Walley—often limited this spring—broke a down-the-hash dash for an in-stride catch from Prescott that would have gone the distance. WR Joe Morrow turned a catch around his 20-yard line into an 80-yard dash down the left sideline for touchdown. And Prescott threaded a needle between two defenders to hit slot WR Gabe Myles for a 15-yarder. Myles later made a tough catch with S Kivon Coman draped all over him.

The one interception was a good one though, as CB Will Redmond and WR Robert Johnson went up together for a Prescott pass, came down with all four hands on it, and Redmond managing to win the wrestling match. *Redmond it not just pushing one of the starters for a first-team cornerback job. Today he was the ‘nickel' cornerback in pass defense plays of full-team work. For this situational set, DE Preston Smith moved to ‘tackle' over the ball; while Chris Jones and Ryan Brown played ends in a three-lineman front. One big man was subbed-out so Redmond could become the extra safety. Or corner, if one prefers that label.

*Since this was a no-tackle day the play calling was at least two-thirds passing. But the ground game did get some work and with Shumpert out it was RB Brandon Holloway's day to pull extra duty. He performed well as the single back, particularly when in-motion for sweeps and edge plays.

*Punting absorbed several periods Tuesday, in fact all of the special teams work done after stretching involved kicking, protecting or pressuring, fielding and covering of punts. Also, for the first time this spring the two punters added the roll-out kick to their regimen, with mixed results. What looks simple is a little more tricky than recognized as blocking and rushing factor into the whens-and-hows.

But just kicking it straight away, that went fine another day. P Devon Bell maintained his spring standards for distance and hang-time when doing the normal punting. He also semi-intentionally chipped some kicks though, as part of protect/pressure drills and so the returners had to stay sharp in all sorts of situations. WR Jameon Lewis and RB Brandon Holloway are the primary spring pair there though CBs Will Redmond and Cedric Jiles are taking turns, and WR Gabe Myles trying to crash that party too.

Redmond is also a candidate for a ‘missile' job on punt coverage, and one time he got downfield so fast and upon Lewis so quickly that Lewis let the kick go off his chest pads. S Justin Cox is another good gunner in the making it seems. The one clear deflection of a punt, booted from the goal line, was by RB Van Lee. But when it was five-on-five protect/rush LB Quadry Antoine was very close to stuffing Bell, settling for grabbing the punter instead.

*Mullen spoke loudly enough in the post-practice huddle for all to hear him praise this as one of if not the best day of spring so far. That did not mean there were not winners and losers. The defense was turned loose after the coach's talk; the offense and specialists ran gassers. Always, competition.

Observed, unofficial practice depth chart, with non-participating players not listed:

LEFT TACKLE: Blaine Clausell, Justin Senior, Cole Carter

LEFT GUARD: Jamaal Clayborn, Kent Flowers, Jocquell Johnson

CENTER: Dillon Day, Archie Muniz, #68

RIGHT GUARD: Ben Beckwith, Devon Desper, Rodney Lacy, Justin Malone

RIGHT TACKLE: Damien Robinson, Rufus Warren, Jake Thomas

TIGHT END: Malcolm Johnson, Brandon Hill, Gus Walley; Artimas Samuel, Lawrence Brown

RUNNING BACK: Josh Robinson, Nick Griffin, Brandon Holloway, Trey Braswell, Van Lee.

QUARTERBACK: Dak Prescott, Damian Williams, Nick Fitzgerald, Josiah Phillips

WIDE RECEIVERS: Robert Johnson/De'Runnya Wilson; Fred Brown/Fred Ross; Joe Morrow/Shelby Christy

SLOT RECEIVERS: Jameon Lewis, Gabe Myles

LEFT END: Ryan Brown, Torrey Dale

LEFT TACKLE: Nelson Adams, Nick James, Jordan Washington

RIGHT TACKLE: Chris Jones, Curtis Virges, Trent Simpson

RIGHT END: Preston Smith, A.J. Jefferson, #90

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Matthew Wells, Zach Jackson, Quadry Antoine

MIDDLE LINEBACKER: Benardrick McKinney, Richie Brown, Christian Holmes

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Beniquez Brown, Dezmond Harris, Deandre Ward

SAFETY: Justin Cox, Deontay Evans, Brandon Wells

SAFETY: Kendrick Market, Kivon Coman

LEFT CORNERBACK: Taveze Calhoun, Will Redmond, Tolando Cleveland

RIGHT CORNERBACK: Jamerson Love, Cedric Jiles, Jahmere Irvin-Sills, Brandon Davis

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