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Wednesday, July 23, 1997

More Camp Notes

NOVACEK'S BACK ... AS CONSULTANT: Jay Novacek was back on the field at the Dallas Cowboys training camp Tuesday, only now he is helping train receivers instead of lining up as one.

"The practices are still too long," Novacek joked after taking time to giving advice to receivers Stepfret Williams, Billy Davis and tight ends Eric Bjornson and rookie David LaFleur.

"I was picking his brain all day," Bjornson said. "Every little detail I was doing, I was getting on him, just annoying him, asking for help. You're not going to get a better guy to learn from than Jay."

Novacek and defensive end Charles Haley both retired from the Cowboys earlier this month due to chronic back problems. Novacek said he enjoyed his first day on the job as consultant.

"Unfortunately, I can't play anymore, but I can train them in the mental aspect," he said.

Novacek said he's impressed with LaFleur, the 6-foot-7, 280-pound first-round draft pick fro LSU.

"Mentally, he's into the game and that's what it takes," Novacek said. "You can see it in his eyes, mentally he wants to learn.

"I helped him a little with blocking and one time he did what I told him and he knocked the guy off the ball, so maybe I'm OK at this consulting."

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MISSING COWBOYS: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin and offensive tackle Erik Williams were excused from afternoon practices.

The two players left camp in a black stretch limousine after lunch and attended a meeting in Austin regarding their character-defamation lawsuit against Fort Worth television station KXAS, said Irvin's attorney Royce West.

Also, Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston left Tuesday afternoon's practice early. Coach Barry Switzer said Johnston was suffering from cramps and dehydration and should be back for practice Wednesday.

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PUT UP YOUR DUKES: The best hit of the day Tuesday wasn't even a tackle. It went to 6-7, 308-pound defensive end Darren Benson, who got tied up with 6-3, 319-pound offensive guard Pat Kesi.

During a seven-on-seven tackling drill, Kesi hit Benson at the end of a play, and Benson responded by throwing three punches at Kesi's head. Kesi just grabbed Benson's shoulder pads until defensive ends coach Tommy Hart, a former lineman at Morris Brown College, jumped between the two and broke up the tussle.

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HOT HAND: The hot hand, or hands, on the practice field Tuesday belonged to receiver Stepfret Williams. He caught everything that came his way, including long passes down the sideline in which he burned cornerbacks Wendell Davis and Montrel Williams.


All content copyright 1997, AP, KRT, The Abilene Reporter-News and Reporter OnLine

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