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July 25, 2012

Cowboys free agent guard Bernadeau, opening on PUP, says he needs to regain strength and technique

Mackenzy Bernadeau got on the field Wednesday, working on the side with the trainers as the Cowboys opened three days of pre-camp practices for rookies, injured players, free agents and selected veterans.

The veteran guard signed in free agency to play right guard is trying to come back from hip surgery that kept him out of the OTAs and minicamps in the spring. He’ll start training camp next week on the physically unable to perform list.

“I’m just trying to get back as soon as possible, and get my leg strength back,” he said. “But range of motion is feeling good. Flexibility is doing good. ... It’s going to take a little while to get my leg strength back, but when I’m ready, I’m ready.

“The biggest thing I’m looking to right now is just strengthening. Strengthening my body to get back from what I missed. Strengthening so there’s no problems during the season. Just maintain that strength throughout the season and from recovering from the surgery.”

Bernadeau, a fifth-year veteran who started 20 of 47 games with Carolina, said it won’t take long to catch up once he’s practicing again.

“As far as knowing the system, knowing the game, I’m up to speed,” he said. “I’m a little behind with technique, but that just comes with hard work when I do get back.”

Bernadeau said he also has to make sure his stamina is up.

“That’s always a challenge when you’ve been limited with the amount of stuff you been doing,” he said. “Right now it’s not too bad. The heat also is a factor. I obviously have some catching up to do. Again, that comes with hard work and doing what I got to do.”

Bernadeau said he has been impressed by offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

 “So far, so good. He’s a great coach,” Bernadeau said. “He helps out the young guys, but he’s a student, and he helps players become a student of the game. He challenges us sometimes. He’s huge on technique. He’s all about being technically sound. That obviously makes everybody a better player. … I met him when I came down here for a visit back in March. We talked football a lot. He has a good knowledge of the game. He knows what he’s talking about. Him being technically sound about stuff helped me out a lot because there’s a lot of stuff I’ve got to work on.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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