No pads. No hitting. Just jerseys and helmets.
So it was going to be hard for the Cowboys to see the aggression and leadership they like in their first-round draft pick, center Travis Frederick.
But they saw hints Friday in the first practice of a rookie minicamp.
"I thought it was evident in the last team drill," offensive line coach Bill Callahan said. "There was more tempo, and he was in and out of the huddle a lot faster. He was more aggressive getting to the line, making the calls, and then hustling back and getting everybody re-huddled – just those simple mechanics that you take for granted sometimes. We’re trying to get them established on a Day 1 practice."
That was all the Cowboys really wanted to see as they opened a three-day camp for rookies, selected veterans and tryout players.
And that was all Frederick asked of himself.
"For me, it’s just about going out and playing the way I played in college and playing the way that I know that I can play, and taking advantage of the tremendous coaching,” he said. "Coach Callahan’s a tremendous coach. I think he can make me a lot better player than I have been. If I can work as hard as I can and take advantage of his coaching, I can prove some people wrong."
Frederick worked almost entirely at center in the first practice Friday, taking only a few snaps in individual drills at guard.
“Really, I studied as hard as I could to play center,” he said. “I knew I was going to take a lot of center reps. A ton of calls that go into that.”
Callahan was also impressed by Frederick's football IQ.
"That was a real positive note as I watched him in all the team drills today — how he ID’s the ‘Mike’ linebacker, he makes the point, he makes all the calls, he puts everybody on the same page," he said. "So I’m impressed from that standpoint. Day 1, just to get out and start talking in front of all these new people and players in front of you, with all the coaches and pressure on you, I thought he did pretty good."
-- Carlos Mendez