Sunday, June 3, 2012
Kevin Ogletree has another chance at No. 3 wideout
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- There must be something the Dallas Cowboys like about wide receiver Kevin Ogletree.
He was poised to become the No. 3 wide receiver last season until some guy named Laurent Robinson stole the show. Robinson finished with 54 catches for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in five consecutive games. That's seven in five weeks.
When plays broke down, quarterback Tony Romo sought Robinson's abilities to scramble away from defenders and get to open spots on the field to make plays.
In the offseason, Robinson signed a five-year $32.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars with $13.8 million guaranteed. The Cowboys didn't make him a significant offer because they wouldn't haven been able to allocate resources to the other needs on the team.
Robinson was thought of highly around Valley Ranch, and coach Jason Garrett called him to wish him luck after he signed with Jacksonville.
Which brings us back to Ogletree.
He was on the free-agent market as well, but with so few takers for his services, he's back with the Cowboys trying to win a gig he lost last year.
"My uncle always tells me don’t dress up for the job you have but for the one you want," Ogletree said. "Playing football is what I do. So I knew I was going to be doing it somewhere. I lucked out and it's here."
Robinson caught more passes in 2011 than Ogletree had in his career (25).
But Ogletree has another chance.
The candidates for the No. 3 spot are Andre Holmes, Danny Coale, Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway and Ogletree. Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said if nobody emerges, then it will be a committee to determine playing time.
Last year, there were no committees.
It was all Robinson as Ogletree watched. Ogletree finished the season with 15 catches for 164 yards and no touchdowns. He still has no touchdowns in his three-year career. It had to be humbling to watch the regular-season finale at the New York Giants as an active player and not play.
"It was good for me and it was good for our team at that time," Ogletree said of Robinson's play. "(It) just opened my eyes to a lot of things. As far as taking advantage of those moments, they're precious. No bad feelings about that. I just know how to work."
Ogletree's world flipped on him days after the season ended when his brother, Calvin Ogletree, was shot in the head in New York. Ogletree, a Queens native, was on a flight home when it happened.
His brother is still recovering and the investigation is ongoing.
"Just one of those deals in life you wish never happened," Ogletree said. "I don’t think it matters (who did it), what’s important now is he’s here still and he's fighting everyday to get better like me. So we're in the same position."
Of course Ogletree understands the importance of finding out who shot his brother, but recovery is almost as important given the trauma Calvin Ogletree experienced.
Kevin Ogletree's career with the Cowboys has given fans few moments to remember. His biggest moment was against New Orleans in 2009, when he caught just two passes for 23 yards, all in the second half. But it was Jerry Jones' pregame chat with Ogletree at midfield in the Superdome that night reminding everyone just how important some people in the organization think Ogletree is.
"It's an opportunity," Ogletree said of the No. 3 receiver spot. "Something that is in front of me and it will be a good thing for me to take advantage of."