By Adam Collins
There’s no question that the former Baylor basketball standout turned Dallas Cowboys TE has a long road ahead of him. Rico Gathers has turned many heads at the Dallas Cowboys OTA’s (or Organized Team Activities) in the past week. His size of 6’8” and 280 lbs paired with his freakish athletic ability could cause trouble for opposing defenses in the future. Many people still believe Rico will take a couple more years until he actually gets substantial playing time, but I believe he will be Jason Witten’s backup this year. Now that’s a good one-two punch.
With his huge size, I want Rico Gathers on the field as soon as possible because that gives Dak another lethal weapon. There’s no question that Rico has the potential to be a Rob Gronkowski type tight end in the future, he just needs to keep progressing like he is now.
Cowboys tight end coach Steve Loney (via Dallas Morning News) said, “As for his God given ability, he certainly has a lot to offer. He’s 272 pounds. He’s strong. He’s got some quickness to him. I just don’t want him or anybody else to get ahead of himself projecting too far down the road. He needs to worry about getting his first regular-season snap and then progressing from there. Don’t project beyond right now.”
Clearly coach Loney doesn’t want anyone looking too far in the future and putting too much stress on Gathers to become a great player. All I’m saying is that I’m stoked to see how well someone with very little football experience (hasn’t played since Junior year of High School) is progressing.
Loney went on to say, “I try to damper the enthusiasm a bit and coach ‘em up. But he’s come a long way from where he started. I have to remind myself that he has zero background. Last year, just getting in the huddle and hearing the snap count, that’s now behind him. He’s getting off on the snap count. He was slow before because he was thinking too much. Now he’s reacting. So I feel good about his progress and I want to make sure I keep him humble and don’t have him look too far because there’s a huge challenge ahead of him.”
It seems like we have the right guy coaching up Rico Gathers. I’m not trying to look that far in the future with this guy but it’s hard not to with how much potential he has and how far he has come so far. Let’s hope that Rico Gathers can see the field some this year. He certainly has big shoes to fill behind the G.O.A.T. Jason Witten.
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