PDA

View Full Version : "Rookie of the Year", "Defensive Player of the Year", "the next Lawrence Taylor"


jAZ
08-08-2005, 10:16 AM
Derrick Johnson?

Guess again.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/football/nfl/cowboys/stories/MYSA080705.1C.FBNcowboys.ware.3052cd4.html

'Be-Ware' hype for top pick: Rookie standout brings Taylor comparisons, desire to Cowboys
Web Posted: 08/06/2005 10:30 PM CDT

Tom Orsborn

OXNARD, Calif. This time, the hype isn't hollow. Just ask Dat Nguyen.

As a rookie in 1999, the Dallas Cowboys' linebacker witnessed the anointing of first-round pick Ebenezer Ekuban as the team's next great defensive lineman. Starved for a pass rusher, the Cowboys touted the end from North Carolina as a potential force on the right side.

How wrong they were. Instead of becoming a perennial Pro Bowl choice, Ekuban left the team a year ago as a disappointment, taking his paltry 121/2 career sacks with him to Cleveland.

So when the Cowboys drafted Troy defensive end/linebacker Demarcus Ware in April with the 11th overall pick, it would have been understandable if Nguyen had yawned, rolled his eyes and said, "Here we go again."

But Nguyen knew better after hearing Cowboys coach Bill Parcells immediately compare Ware to Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor. And after playing next to Ware in practice last week at training camp, Nguyen is confident Ware (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) is the real deal.

"Man, that Ware kid," Nguyen said. "I say 'Be-Ware.' He's unbelievable off the edge. I've never seen anything like it. He's like a freak. The plays he makes sometimes are unbelievable. The ball is snapped, and he's already five yards into the backfield. He's going to be a great player in this league for a long time."

Many people in the Cowboys' organization and around the league agree with Nguyen's prediction. And even Ware figures he won't have much of a problem making an immediate impact as a rookie.

"I'm setting my goals high," said Ware, 23. "I am trying to get Rookie of the Year, trying to get Defensive Player of the Year."

Parcells and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will be happy if Ware just puts together a solid season at his hybrid position in the Cowboys' new 3-4 defense.

Instead of lining up strictly at defensive end, as he did in college, Ware will play outside linebacker, although he will have plenty of opportunities to do what he does best.

"I know I've got a lot to learn," Ware said. "But the main thing they want me to do is get to the quarterback, and that's what I'm going to do."

Parcells said Taylor had a similar attitude when he started playing linebacker for the New York Giants in 1981.

"I went through this before with Lawrence," said Parcells, who coached Taylor either as defensive coordinator or head coach with the Giants from 1981-90. "You've got to get (Ware) doing what he can do, and then teach him the other stuff as you go and hope it doesn't cost you."

To illustrate his point, Parcells recounted how Taylor once ignored his instructions to drop back in coverage and instead rushed and sacked the quarterback.

"I was the defensive coordinator (of the Giants) at the time, and I was yelling at him, saying, 'That play is going to come up again. Do you know what to do?' He said, 'Yeah, I got it.' Well, it comes up again, and he does the same thing, but this time he sacks Neil Lomax, and he fumbles, and we pick it up and run it back for a touchdown.

"So Lawrence has two mental errors, and we get a sack and a touchdown out of it. That's when I told him that we didn't even have what he was doing in (the defensive scheme). He said, 'Well, you better put it in Monday.'"

Ware may have such moments this season, but at least one camp observer believes pass defense won't be much of a problem for the 11th overall pick of the draft.

"For the amount of experience he's had in pass defense, he does things very naturally," said Chuck Fairbanks, the former Oklahoma coach who is helping Parcells at training camp with personnel evaluations. "He moves easy and has good coordination. Mentally, his wheels are turning right now, but I haven't seen him make a lot of mistakes. And he's asked good questions. I think everyone is really impressed with what they've seen so far."

That's certainly the case with Zimmer.

"The first time he rushed the quarterback, he used a speed rush," Zimmer said. "The second time, he bull-rushed. The third time, he used a spin move. And on the fourth, he faked a spin move and then speed-rushed.

"After seeing all of that, I was like, holy mackerel, and that's a rookie."

To prepare for camp, Ware asked the Cowboys to provide him with video of the players who have also been pass-rushing outside linebackers in the 3-4. It's a list that includes Taylor, Charles Haley, Derrick Thomas and Willie McGinest.

"They were really good players, and I'm trying to model myself after those guys," Ware said.

As a person, Ware doesn't need any role models, Nguyen said.

"He's down to earth," Nguyen said. "He's a great kid who always has a smile on his face. You want to be around people like that."

Ari Chi3fs
08-08-2005, 10:27 AM
sounds like a playa.

Braincase
08-08-2005, 10:28 AM
As a rookie in 1999, the Dallas Cowboys' linebacker witnessed the anointing of first-round pick Ebenezer Ekuban as the team's next great defensive lineman. Starved for a pass rusher, the Cowboys touted the end from North Carolina as a potential force on the right side.

How wrong they were. Instead of becoming a perennial Pro Bowl choice, Ekuban left the team a year ago as a disappointment, taking his paltry 121/2 career sacks with him to Cleveland.

You mean THAT Ebenezer Ekuban, the new savior for the Broncos? Or is the new saviour for Denver that other guy from the Browns, y'know the one out 6 weeks with a dislocated elbow?

Nightfyre
08-08-2005, 10:29 AM
Youre such a buzzkill Jaz.

Rain Man
08-08-2005, 10:34 AM
Man, Parcells has been around forever. He was coaching Lawrence Taylor as a rookie?

ENDelt260
08-08-2005, 10:38 AM
The ball is snapped, and he's already five yards into the backfield.

Isn't that called offsides?

Boardin Bronco
08-08-2005, 10:39 AM
You mean THAT Ebenezer Ekuban, the new savior for the Broncos? Or is the new saviour for Denver that other guy from the Browns, y'know the one out 6 weeks with a dislocated elbow?

Nobody ever said those two guys were "saviors". They are just contributors on Denver's defensive line rotation. Having depth in the front four is not necessarily a bad thing in the NFL. By the way, Ekuban is coming off an 8 sack season. Yet, this board seems to be very satisfied with the Carlos Hall signing and his pedestrian 12 career sack total. By the way, three of those 12 sacks were recorded in his 1st NFL game.

beer bacon
08-08-2005, 10:41 AM
Nobody ever said those two guys were "saviors". They are just contributors on Denver's defensive line rotation. Having depth in the front four is not necessarily a bad thing in the NFL. By the way, Ekuban is coming off an 8 sack season. Yet, this board seems to be very satisfied with the Carlos Hall signing and his pedestrian 12 career sack total.

Don't be so hard on us. Only one team could be the winner in the Brown's D-line sweepstakes.

Tribal Warfare
08-08-2005, 02:27 PM
Comparing Ware to Taylor is a mouthful, considering he's one of the greatest LBs in the history of the game. I have to see it to believe it. Hell, they were saying the same thing about Jevon Kearse, Willie McGinest, and Lavar Arrington. All of the are pretty good, but not up there with the greatest of all-time.