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Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ex-Cowboys coach shuts down hecklers

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

I don't recall Chan Gailey chasing off any hecklers when he was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but I sort of admire what he did following the Bills' final practice of training camp Tuesday. AFC East blogger Tim Graham has an excellent take on the story.

"Yes, NFL players should be expected to endure harsh -- even juvenile -- criticism. But that doesn't mean the players have to genuflect in appreciation," writes Graham. "The Bills are starting over almost from scratch as an organization. A feisty attitude they won't smile through the insults is an encouraging departure from the nonchalant tone their shrugmeister former coach, Dick Jauron, fostered."

By the way, the ol' shrugmeister himself now advises Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on a daily basis. Asked to respond to this story Tuesday afternoon, Jauron simply shrugged and continued eating dried fruit snacks. (This did not actually happen).

But speaking of heckling, I noticed that the fans in Oxnard, Calif., were a bit more aggressive than usual last week. Training camp offers fans a rare opportunity to mix with players in a more intimate setting, and some of them can get a little carried away. But the worst heckler in Cowboys training camp was special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, so Wade Phillips didn't really seem to notice the fans.

Do you guys feel like fans should be allowed to say whatever they want in training camp as long as they pay the $10 parking fee? Should bloggers be protected from hecklers as long as they don't post too many Cowboys entries in a 24-hour period?