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August 16, 2012

Claiborne ready for NFL debut, prepared to play 'the whole game' if coaches allow it

Dallas Cowboys’ rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne said he does not plan to hold anything back in his NFL debut in Saturday’s pre-season game at San Diego. That is why the first-round pick is preparing to play every snap, if the coaches allow it.

Asked how many plays he expects to get against the Chargers, Claiborne said: “I don’t know. But as of now, I’m getting myself ready to play the whole game.”

Cowboys’ coaches and front office personnel have been anxious to see Claiborne take the field since the team selected him with the sixth overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. But Claiborne had off-season wrist surgery, followed by a sprained knee that caused him to miss Monday’s pre-season opener at Oakland.

“I’m just looking forward to going out there and playing,” Claiborne said. “I don’t think you can hold anything back when you’re so competitive. But it’s a learning curve for me. Certain mistakes that I’ve made, the coaches, they expect me to make them (as a rookie). But I don’t expect myself to make them. So I just try to learn from them and try to fix it.”

Has he shown his best to coaches in practice yet?

“Every now and then, I have,” Claiborne said.

But mental lapses surface because he is still learning the defense. He hopes to minimize those Saturday.

“I catch myself thinking a lot,” Claiborne said. “I try not to think at all. I try to just go play. But the coaching staff and Rob (Ryan), they’re doing a great job of eliminating some of the stuff so I can just go out and play.”

_ Jimmy Burch



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