Rookie receiver Danny Coale practiced for the first time in pads Tuesday, and he was glad to listen to the play in the huddle, line up and make mistakes.
“You never want to go out there and make mistakes, but I personally think I learn best when I make mistakes and learn from them,” he said. “It was good to get out there mentally and get back into the pace of things.”
Coale was sideline with a broken foot for three months. He suffered the injury in the rookie minicamp in April, one week after the Cowboys took the Virginia Tech receiver in the fifth round of the draft.
So he missed all of the preseason work except two rookie minicamp practices. All that was left for him to do was his rehab and playbook study.
“You can study all you want, but nothing beats getting in the huddle and actually hearing the play call live, getting lined up, learning from your mistakes,” he said.
“I don’t know how open I got. But it’s nice just to be out there running around. You find that things sort of come back to you and you remember seeing coverages and making a route conversion versus a certain coverage – certain things you can’t do just watching film.”
Coale, the second-leading receiver in catches and yards at Virginia Tech, said his foot is healed. He just has to trust it now as practice intensity goes up and preseason games approach.
“Physically, I think everything’s fine,” he said. “It’s just the mechanics of getting back into it. Just trusting your foot. It’s fully healed and fully healthy. I just have to get back into running routes like I did 11, 12 weeks ago. There’s going to be a transition phase. You’re going against NFL-caliber guys. There’s going to be a learning curve here, but hopefully it doesn’t last too long.”
-- Carlos Mendez