Tight end John Phillips is expected to see a much bigger role in the offense in 2012, with Martellus Bennett gone, but those plans are on hold for now as Phillips recovers from a sprained ankle. Phillips suffered the injury on Saturday, and though he’s not expected to miss much more time, rookie tight end James Hanna is making the most of the extra reps he’s seeing in Phillips’ absence.
“It’s speeding up my learning curve,” Hanna said, per ESPN Dallas. “I’m going against better guys in the earlier groups. I think the defense is a little more complex with the ones and some of the twos, so you’re seeing a lot of different stuff and it’s really helpful.”
Going against the “ones and twos,” the sixth round pick out of the University of Oklahoma has left his position coach John Garrett impressed, particularly where learning on the fly--an important trait for any rookie to possess--is concerned.
“He’s doing well,” Garrett said. “Smart guy. We’re playing him a couple of different positions and he’s picking things up. Understands it. Can see it and do it. I’m pleased with how he’s picking the volume of the offense up. For a guy who hasn’t blocked a lot from the backfield, we’re using him from the backfield and doing a lot of the fullback-type jobs and he’s putting his face in there. He’s listening to technique and performing it right.”
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.