Tuesday, July 23, 2013
More starters to see time on special teams
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- There will be a sudden change to the Cowboys' special teams units when the 2013 regular season starts.
New special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia wants to use more starters on the units.
In the first three days of training camp practices, starting cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were on kickoff coverage. Starting safeties Barry Church and Will Allen, along with starting linebackers Bruce Carter and Justin Durant, were on other units. Slot corner Orlando Scandrick, who played special teams last year, and backup defensive tackle Sean Lissemore were on punt cover units.
"We expect guys to know what to do," Bisaccia said. "We put a system in and they're going to learn how to play. We dress 46 guys on game day and everybody can play, except the quarterback. We're just trying to figure out who we're using in general."
Carr saw time on special teams last year when the Cowboys dealt with injuries.
"In college, I played special teams," Carr said. "It's all about you want to put the best 11 out there each time. Special teams is another play for us, it's a game-changing play. You see it with those electrifying punt returns and kickoff returners, those guys are always showing nice effort in blocking, so it's not a play off anymore, it's another opportunity for you to score."
The special teams units weren't bad last year for the Cowboys. They gave up the sixth-fewest kickoff return yards with an average of 22 yards. But the Cowboys were tied for 22nd in the NFL with five punt returns of 20 or more yards allowed.