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August 21, 2012

Hatcher gives Garrett credit for making camp days go by fast, 'not hammering us into the ground mentally'

The Cowboys’ training camp days in California are now over for real. The team is going back to Valley Ranch on Wednesday, home for the first time since getting on a plane on July 28 and landing at Point Mugu on the California coast near Oxnard.

That was 25 days ago.

But defensive end Jason Hatcher said it doesn’t seem like that long a time, thanks to the way coach Jason Garrett kept camp fresh.

“It kind of flew by, just the way Coach Garrett did some things, kind of threw some wrinkles in there,” he said. “Us going to the beach, kind of taking our minds off training camp. He did a good job not just hammering us into the ground mentally. Because sometimes, coaches, they can just hammer you into the ground mentally, and that’s when you kind of lose your football team. Coach Garrett did a great job keeping our attention, keeping us going.”

Last Thursday, Garrett ended camp early when he promised the players he would take them to the beach if Dan Bailey made a field goal. It was only about 27 yards, so it was a gimme. But Bailey nailed it, and immediately, the team sprinted off the field and got ready for a trip to the beach.

They spent a little more than an hour there, taking in the sand and the surf.

“Just going to the beach, man, it kind of rejuvenates you,” Hatcher said. “Team camaraderie. Hanging out with the fellas. Watching the beach.”

He paused. Then laughed.

“Wasn’t no babes out there, but ... ”

The reporters around him laughed.

“I’m married, but ... ” Hatcher said.

More laughs.

He was a guy ready to go home.

“Oh, yeah,” he said.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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