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5/14/2007

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Roy Williams at MLB in Nickel Packages

News from mini camp had Roy Williams lining up at MLB next to Kevin Burnett in some nickel packages. Hamlin and Watkins manned the safety spots interestingly enough. Back in March after we signed Hamlin I envisioned a way that Roy could be closer to the line while Watkins and Hamlin played saftety

Quoting my own blog from march 23:
I see the Cowboys using all 3 safeties during the course of a game. The Cowboys want Roy closer to the line, so we could see some sort of hybrid formation where Roy is indeed closer to the line, and Hamlin moves to SS, and Watkins at FS, this is probably more of what we're going to see.
This is now reality as this was practiced live at mini camp, from dc.com:

When the Cowboys went to their nickel defense in Sunday's practice, safety Roy Williams teamed with Burnett as the inside linebackers in the 4-2-5 package.

The idea is to get Williams closer to the line of scrimmage, where he is more effective, and out of coverage. Williams had trouble at times last season covering tight ends and receivers down the middle as a safety.

Ken Hamlin and second-year safety Pat Watkins manned the two safety spots in the package, while the corners remained unchanged from last season, with Glenn and Anthony Henry covering the outside receivers and Terence Newman jumping into the slot.

Up front it was DeMarcus Ware at right end and Anthony Spencer at left end, with Chris Canty and Jay Ratliff inside at the tackle positions. Ellis, though, said new head coach Wade Phillips has talked to him about rushing from an inside spot once he's healthy.

This might be the type of player Phillips wants at one of the nickel linebacker spots since Keith Davis was manning the same spot on the seconnd-team defense.

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