The Dallas Cowboys have been in the training camp mix for a while. Rookies and players on the bubble are trying to make names for themselves and earn a spot on the final 53 man roster. This has led to one rookie, safety J.J. Wilcox, developing Bill Bate syndrome according to head coach Jason Garrett.
“Yeah, he told me that after he cussed me out,” Wilcox said.
What exactly is Bill Bates syndrome? Hitting too hard in practice, my coaches growing up called it being a “practice hero.” Wilcox has been delivering big blows to teammates including lighting up teammate and running back Phillip Tanner which resulted with him on his back.
“Bill Bates is the nicest person on the planet until he gets between those stripes and then he just tackles everybody,” Garrett said, via ESPN Dallas. “And he did that forever, and he’d tackle them to the ground and then he’d say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ He’d pick them up and do it the next play.
“Some guys just have that, and you love that and you have to constantly teach them how to practice, but you love that nature that they have. Wilcox has a little bit of that. Wilcox tackles way too much in practice, and you kind of coach both sides of it: ‘Hey, keep doing that, but don’t do that.’ You know what I’m saying?”
It’s definitely a mixed message, but Wilcox understands what his coach is telling him.
“It’s understandable,” said Wilcox. “You just come in here trying to make plays as a rookie, just flying around and having a good time. Sometimes you have to slow off and (hit) the brakes a little bit. I’m learning that and learning how to take care of my teammates.
“On the defensive side, I got a pat on my back. But on the offensive side, I got a smack on my ass. Excuse my language, but that’s definitely what it was. It’s tough love, and I love it.”
But all in all, a hard hitting safety is a good thing.