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WOOOP!!!! Just got confirmation. I have a ticket to the cowboys-raiders preseason game. I will be paying special attention to the OLB, which is what I am most intersted in. Tell me who else I should be paying particular attention to. Give me some long shot names!!!! I will post info from the game afterwards. I usually try and watch individual players. If you have someone in mind, let me know.
safeties... alan ball, mike hamlin, aoa if he plays... really wanna see how that shapes up.
I'm pretty sure we'll get a good look at the two backup OLBs. Spencer isn't playing, and I'm pretty sure Ware isn't going to play long at all. Brandon Williams and Victor Butler will probably get to play pretty much all of the first half.
"If you have one finger pointing at somebody, you have three pointing towards yourself."
SAN ANTONIO — Take a look at David Buehler and you see a 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound athlete who could probably make a living in mixed martial arts, wrestling or some other physical activity that requires burliness and a nasty streak.
"I don't mind mixing it up,'' he said.
So what's the big deal about a football player exuding some Stallone swagger while talking about his craft? Nothing.
What about taking his girlfriend to the Playboy Mansion to party with Miles Austin and Kim Kardashian? No biggie, even if Buehler says taking his girl to Hef's was like "taking sand to a beach."
Buehler's profile belies his job description. He's the place-kicker for the Dallas Cowboys.
Yep, da kicker.
This isn't Deion Sanders dancing in the end zone after a pick six, or Terrell Owens defending his quarterback with tears streaming down his face. On the contrary, it's a player at a position not normally associated with toughness or machismo.
Hopefully this isn't the second coming of Mike Vanderjagt, who criticized Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning and then-head coach Tony Dungy in a 2003 interview, prompting Manning to call him "our idiot kicker."
Translation: You're a kicker, Mike. Shut your pie hole.
Buehler represents the new breed of kicker that goes against the Garo Yepremianization of the NFL, a tradition that mandates kickers have to be wimpy, little pencil necks who are seen and not heard. Sure there are exceptions, such as Oakland's 6-2, 250-pound Sebastian Janikowski, but for every Sea Bass in Oakland, there are plenty of Garos still floating around.
Buehler is not one of them.
He became a great story line of the 2009 scouting combine when he bench-pressed 225 pounds 25 times, more than linebacker Rey Maualuga (his teammate at USC) and offensive tackle Michael Oher, high-profile prospects who were projected by many scouts to be first-round draft picks.
After the Cowboys selected him in the fifth round of the draft, Buehler beat cornerback DeAngelo Smith in a foot race and said, "He was talking a bunch of trash, so I just shut him up."
There will be more on the line this season than pride when he is asked to make field goals. He has never attempted a kick on the pro level, though he did lead the league with 29 touchbacks in 2009. Nick Folk flamed out after 14 games last season, and Buehler entered camp as the favorite to win the starting job, either a testament to Jerry Jones' confidence in him or a sure sign of Jerry's reluctance to carry two kickers on the roster.
Buehler has fit in nicely in the locker room, mostly because teammates get a big kick out of him, for lack of a better term. You can see him before practice kicking a soccer ball around with roommate Kevin Ogletree, arguably the fastest receiver on the team. He's even been known to play volleyball with that same soccer ball. Ever the competitor, he believes he can outrun wideout Patrick Crayton, as well as veteran linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking.
"He's smart enough to know that it's best for him not to race me,'' Ogletree said. "I love his confidence, though. He's unique because he's a big strong dude and that's not what we're used to seeing in a kicker."
Entering Friday's practice, Buehler had made 33 of 38 field-goal attempts during the team portion of training camp, with two of his five misses coming from 50-plus yards. It's difficult to determine how he'll perform once the bright lights come on, and it might take just one case of the yips for Jones to put in a call to free agents like Matt Stover or John Carney.
For his part, kicking coach Chris Boniol likes Buehler's upside.
"His personality is very energetic,'' Boniol said, "but more than any kicker I've seen, he knows how to flip it on and off. When it comes time to kick, he goes into another gear mentally, and you can ask (holder Mat McBriar), David cranks up the mental focus and intensity and does a good job of that."
OK, it's been established that Buehler is a good athlete. And that Buehler is popular. And we know the kid has a ton of confidence.
Now he has to back up the bravado with kicks.
"Since day one, I've competed against myself,'' he said. "That's what I need to do to be successful. I know my capabilities and I know my talent."
Not a great game...but we do have to be encouraged by Doug Free's play and the defense has look great, regardless of unit. Bowen was unstoppable...and Hatcher looked beastly fighting his way through a couple of men on that last hurry. Octavien has looked real good as well.
edit...and of course, John Phillips. Hopefully his knee isnt hurt too bad. He looked fine to me.