Albuquerque Journal

Dallas rookie: Brady is ‘not too mobile’

Cowboys face defending Super Bowl champs first

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FRISCO, Texas — Any chance that Tom Brady might overlook a Dallas Cowboys defense that gave up more points than any in franchise history last year and the second-most yards ever just went out the window.

But Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive tackle Osa Odghizuwa didn’t blink, nor did he backtrack when offered a life raft.

After speaking glowingly of Tampa Bay’s quarterbac­k, saying how crazy it was to be playing in next Thursday’s season opener against “the GOAT,” defensive tackle Osa Odghizuwa, who has been named an opening-day starter, was asked about the weakness of the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

It was the type of question that a veteran would punt and rookie typically run away from. However, “he’s not very mobile,” Odighizuwa said matter-of-factly. “I mean, you know, he’s been playing for 21 years. The dude is a little older, not too mobile. I’d say that’s probably what it is.”

Odighizuwa said Brady’s lack of mobility makes it super important for the Cowboys to get after him with an interior pass rush and get him off his spot because that causes his passer rating to drop.

“I think they say it goes down by 50,” he said of the Cowboys’ detailed scouting report.

Odighizuwa, a not-so precocious 22-year-old, was simply answering a football question and not trying to create bulletin-board material for the highly competitiv­e, 44-year-old in Brady.

He said he is not concerned if he gave him added motivation.

“I feel like he’s not a guy who’s too worried about what I’m saying,” Odighizuwa said. “He’s obviously going to be aware of it, but he’s been doing this for a while. People have been saying this, that and a third. He’s been doing his thing.” Now, back to the awe of facing Brady. “Yeah, I mean, it’s crazy. He was playing football before I even knew what it was,” Odighizuwa said. “Just to be in this game to be playing against the goat, is crazy. Obviously, you can’t think about it too much because at the end of the day he’s an opponent. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. It is what it is.”

Odighizuwa is one of 16 newcomers, including eight draft picks and eight free agents, who were added to the Cowboys in the offseason to improve a defense that ranked among the worst in franchise history in 2020.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle made a second practice squad addition Thursday, signing Mark Vital, who was a member of Baylor’s NCAA champion men’s basketball team last spring. The 6-5, 250-pounder, who has not played football since middle school, will be tried as a tight end.

Vital played in the NBA Summer League with Portland, averaging 1.3 points and four rebounds in three games.

Vital is the second basketball player the Seahawks have signed this year. The other was former Iowa State standout Michael Jacobson, who was signed on Aug. 6 and released on Aug. 10.

Vital’s signing leaves one opening on Seattle’s practice squad.

DOLPHINS: Asked multiples times Wednesday about the Dolphins’ support of Tua Tagovailoa in the wake of the team’s reported continued interest in Houston Texans quarterbac­k Deshaun Watson, coach Brian Flores once again publicly backed his second-year quarterbac­k.

Before the Dolphins practiced, Flores spoke to reporters and was asked about an ESPN report that Flores addressed players and staff in a team meeting Tuesday, telling them that Tagovailoa is “our quarterbac­k.”

Flores declined to specifical­ly address the report but added, “I will say that Tua is our quarterbac­k.” Asked later if Tagovailoa would be the team’s Week 1 starter when the Dolphins face the New England Patriots on Sept. 12, Flores answered, “Yes. I don’t know if I can be more clear. I don’t know how many times — I don’t know how much more clear I can be here. Tua is the starter. Do I need to say it again? I will.”

The renewed questions about the Dolphins’ support for Tagovailoa come as the Miami Herald, along with other publicatio­ns, have reported of the team’s continued interest in Watson, who has requested a trade from Houston but has not practiced much with the team as the Houston Police Department and FBI investigat­e allegation­s against Watson of sexual misconduct.

Watson’s availabili­ty for the 2021 season is still up in the air — 22 massage therapists have accused him of sexual misconduct and there are 10 criminal complaints against Watson. No charges have been filed and the NFL has yet to suspend Watson or place him on the commission­er’s exempt list.

Pro Football Talk also reported Tuesday that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross “really wants” Watson, a three-time Pro Bowler. A league source said the report was inaccurate.

MORE BUCS: Coach Bruce Arians says the team is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, making the reigning Super Bowl champions the second NFL team to announce they’ve reached that status.

“We’re 100% vaccinated. Everybody in our organizati­on — all the players, all the coaches, everybody,” Arians said after practice Thursday.

Atlanta is the other team that’s announced its roster is fully vaccinated.

Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette, a New Orleans native, has donated $100,000 to several charities supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

TITANS: Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey says his body helped him make the hard decision to retire from the NFL after 10 seasons, the first nine with the Tennessee Titans and the last with Denver.

“The body itself told me what it’s going to be,” Casey said Thursday.

JAGUARS: Receiver Tavon Austin went on injured reserve Thursday, two days after coach Urban Meyer said he was good to go for the season opener.

OBITUARY: Former NFL player Keith McCants was found dead Thursday at his home in Florida after a suspected drug overdose, investigat­ors said. He was 53.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in an email that deputies were called to a St. Petersburg home about 5:10 a.m. Thursday. McCants was dead inside the house, where others also apparently lived who made the 911 call.

“It appears it was a drug overdose, but we are awaiting confirmati­on from the medical examiner’s office,” sheriff’s spokespers­on Amanda Sinni said. “This is still an open investigat­ion.”

McCants, a linebacker, was the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Mobile, Alabama, native earned AllAmerica honors as a college player at the University of Alabama.

McCants played for three seasons in Tampa, followed by stints with the thenHousto­n Oilers and Arizona Cardinals before his football career ended in 1995. McCants was arrested several times for possession of drugs and drug parapherna­lia over the years.

 ?? MICHAEL OWEN BAKER/ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Dallas rookie defensive tackle Osa Odghizuwa was not hesitant to say in public how Tampa Bay quarterbac­k Tom Brady, generally regarded as the greatest in the history of the sport, needs to be moved off his spot in next Thursday’s game.
MICHAEL OWEN BAKER/ASSOCIATED PRESS Dallas rookie defensive tackle Osa Odghizuwa was not hesitant to say in public how Tampa Bay quarterbac­k Tom Brady, generally regarded as the greatest in the history of the sport, needs to be moved off his spot in next Thursday’s game.

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