Rookie center Travis Frederick always practices and plays with confidence. It's one of the things the Cowboys liked about him when they made him the 31st-overall draft pick in April.
“He comes to work every day,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a very smart guy. I think he does have a presence in there physically but also just with the approach that he takes. He’s a confident player. For a young guy, he really seems to grasp what we’re trying to get accomplished in a short period of time. The challenge for him is blocking across from him. It’s [Jason] Hatcher. It’s [Jay] Ratliff. It’s some of those guys. That’s a tough [assignment]. I think he’s understanding that. It’s not always going to be perfect. He has to keep battling and keep fighting.”
But his comfort level has grown a lot since he walked through the Valley Ranch door April 27, two days after the Cowboys drafted him. He has been through nine OTAs and six minicamp practices, including the rookie camp, and although he has yet to snap a ball to Tony Romo, Frederick is making himself at home as the team's starting center.
"I’m certainly a lot more comfortable, still really improving on a lot of things on a daily basis," Frederick said. "Now my focus has really changed to the little things, the technique things here and there instead of trying to pick up a playbook and pick that stuff up. I feel like I’ve picked that up pretty well as far as assignments and stuff like that, but obviously there will be little things here and there and once we start seeing some different defenses it’s going to be a little bit more as well. Right now I’m just focused on working on a lot of the little technique stuff in pass protection and running and taking advantage of a lot of the things that coach [Bill] Callahan has taught me."That Frederick is learning the offense quickly is no surprise. He scored a 34 on the 50-question Wonderlic test at the Scouting Combine.
“He’s a quick learner,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan said. “You tell him one time, and he gets it. He may err on occasion, but he’s not a repetitive-error guy. He’s not going to make the same mistake twice. He listens; he learns. He understands the situations that he’s in, and he can fix it on the move. He can rectify them pretty quick. So it’s been a real positive from that sense.”
-- Charean Williams