OXNARD, Calif. – Day 2 at Cowboys training camp in Oxnard started off nice enough until we couldn't find our equipment that had been shipped last week and had been clearly marked for Saturday delivery had not arrived. We won't mention the service, but we were not only down lights but our interview chairs and extra video discs. Still in the true Boy Scout motto of "be prepared," photographer Billy Caldera came prepared with travel discs. From there we would make do.
Due to the new collective bargaining agreement, two-a-days in full pads is a thing of the past. Mornings are reserved for walkthroughs and afternoon workouts early in camp are just helmets and shorts. But they are still open for interviews after walkthroughs and that's good for us. Sean Lee was the first out of the gate after that injury to his toe last season that knocked him out in week 7. Now he makes no bones about it - he's healthy and wants a shot at someone. I tried to get out of his eyesight as quickly as possible. Next up DeMarco Murray who was also coming off another injury plague season. Leave it to me to anger him with the question how does this training camp compare with your first two healthwise? The sneer and short response said it all. And then there was Bill Callahan (now offensive coordinator and offensive line coach) talking about how he wants the offense to speed up and in doing so installed wrist bands on all of the quarterbacks to expedite the play calling. Still debating whether he should call the plays from the press box or sidelines. Says he will start in the box in preseason and see how it works. Things are going great. A big chance to get ahead in time for our Instant Replay broadcast later that night until the afternoon workout.
Earlier in the day, Colleen Dominquez from ESPN had approached me and had asked if I thought Tony would talk today. I said probably not. Normally he goes at least a few days into camp before interviews but you know what that means: I was about to be proven wrong.
In my weak defense, both ESPN and the NFL network are in camp, so I am convinced, just for my on personal pride, is the main reason to throw Tony to the wolves on day one. That and the fact he hasn't been able to workout with his teammates since off season back surgery. Tony did talk and in doing so revealed that he had been in California a month and a half before his teammates had arrived and had even participated in a week long mountain running boot camp to get in shape. He recommended it for all of us. I swear he was looking straight at me. What does that mean? He talked about how his back still suffered from some soreness but said it didn't effect the way he threw the ball. So you know what that means. Scrap everything we had planned for the top of Instant Replay. We have a new lead. If we had presses I would have stopped them.
Thanks to the talented editing of Mike Klein and the direction of Daniel Villanueva in capturing all of the new stories it got on the air without a hitch. Now you know why I have grey hair and not much of that left. Still no equipment. Come on! This is the night we are interviewing the Cowboys owner live. We need chairs. We need lights. We need help. Thanks to our friends at KTVT in Dallas, the help arrives and we survive another deadline. Sunday is over what would Monday bring? What do you mean it's frozen? Well talk about that as soon as I get through our Nightbeat broadcast.