Thursday, September 5, 2013
Bill Callahan skipped vacation to learn
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- Bill Callahan first started coaching in the NFL in 1995, when he was the offensive-line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then he has coached in all sorts of offenses, and is noted for the West Coast offense.
So when he took over the play-calling duties for the Dallas Cowboys this summer, he had to get well-versed in the timing-based offense used by coach Jason Garrett.
Callahan skipped vacation to go over some concepts and plays that Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo like and to make sure he just has an overall comfort level with the offense.
"Every summer it's interesting as a coach," Callahan said. "I've always taken the summer to go back and rehash of what we learned from all of our breakdowns and try to apply it and see how we're going to apply it when we go to training camp. So, most of the summer preparing for training camp, I've been making sure that all of the things that we've discussed during the offseason gets addressed and gets implemented during training camp. It affords me a little bit more time to do more. My wife [Valerie] doesn't like it, but it does give me a chance to study and get away from the facility and get a little quiet time and look at things from a different perspective."
Callahan is an important man in this switch of the Cowboys' playcaller. He's expected to call more run plays and help improve a running game that finished 31st in the NFL last season. He's going to call plays from above in the press box, which gives him a better view of the field, and he'll rely on quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson to deal with Romo and assistant offensive-line coach Frank Pollack to take care of the linemen.
But Callahan will still speak with Romo, and quite possibly Garrett, during the game for input on how to make things better during games.
"To try to speed-line the communication, it’s helped in that regard," Callahan said. "I like the calm of the booth, that I can sit and I can watch and I can see where the play ended. I can already get my mind set on the next down and distance increment and forward the call on. I can think, I can put the next series together in my mind."