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Chargers to host practice with Cowboys

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, May 9, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Chargers to host Cowboys for joint practices
    Written by

    Nick Hardwick lowered into his stance last summer, beads of sweat rolling down his arm in Irving, Texas.

    The Chargers center was ready to routinely snap the ball to Philip Rivers.

    Then he heard a scream: "Move!"

    For the second straight year, the Chargers and Cowboys are scheduled to break from the dog days of training camp, facing each other during two days of joint practice. This time, instead of the sweltering South, the workout sessions will be held in San Diego from Aug. 20-21.

    It's not yet decided whether they'll be open to the public, a team spokesman said Wednesday.

    Hardwick says he's glad to practice with the Cowboys again.

    Last year, he expected basic looks from the defense but was pleasantly surprised.

    “They lined up, and right in our first play on nine-on-seven, they said, 'Move!'" Hardwick said. "They shifted the front to a completely different front than they had shown pre-snap, and we had to adjust on the fly. It threw a little wrench into the system, which is good because that's how a game works.

    "You sometimes show up to a game and you think you've got the plan dialed in. All the sudden, things change, and there you are, adjusting on the fly."

    Beginning in July, the Cowboys will hold training camp in Oxnard, Calif., about a three-hour commute north from Chargers Park.

    The Cowboys' current plan is to travel to San Diego for the Aug. 18 preseason game, which is a Saturday. After a Sunday rest, the teams will reconvene for the two days of practice.

    That order is reversed from 2011, when they practiced first and played their game second.

    "It's going to be different, but I still think it will help," inside linebacker Donald Butler said. "I'm glad it's here. That heat was killer, even though it was only one day of practice outside in the heat. On the second day, we went to the stadium, and I loved it."

    Training camp is a pivotal point of the year.

    During those several weeks, player progress is made, position battles are won, chemistry is built — all hopefully with the fewest number of casualties to injury.

    But it does get monotonous.

    Mixing it up with Dallas, several players said, can break the cycle. Butler calls it a "change of scenery."

    "You really get used to going against your own guys," Butler said. "You get to know their techniques and the nuances of how they play their position. It gets kind of repetitive, so anytime you get a chance to go against a new guy, it not only helps him but it helps you."

    It helps the coaches, too.

    They see their players match up with different types of personnel, adjusting to the opposite man's style of play over the course of two days.

    For coach Norv Turner, the collaborative practices come with peace of mind.

    He has a strong, almost brotherly, relationship with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. Their families are close, and the two won a Super Bowl together in 1993, when Turner was Dallas' offensive coordinator and Garrett was a reserve quarterback behind Troy Aikman.

    "I think it helps when you have that kind of background and history with people," Turner said. "They know what we're trying to get done, and we know what they want to get done. We're not coming in here to try to use somebody. Both want to walk away having it been beneficial to both teams."
    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    Hope it's open to the public, that would be cool.
  3. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Feb 3, 2012
    Maybe we can steal one of their camp guys this year and have him be a star for us.

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