Dallas Cowboys rookie center Tyler Biadasz didn’t expect his first training camp to operate this way.
Instead of becoming acclimated to life as a Cowboy by physically meeting his new teammates, he’s dealing with socially-distanced meetings, daily COVID-19 tests and life during the pandemic-era of the NFL.
Despite this, Biadasz is working hard to make things as normal as possible.
“I think we did a good job of picking up on the playbook in general and no doubt I asked some questions to the veterans,” Biadasz said in a press conference. “But we had rookie meetings right after so we could talk to our offensive line coach, coach (Joseph) Philbin and coach (Jeff) Blasko. So I would say those rookie meetings were very helpful too because you got a good gist of personalities around the o-line room, but then again you only could see a face and sometimes the video wasn’t on so we could have our power points on.
“But definitely I think we have a good group of guys here and I’m really excited to meet all of them once they come.”
While there’s always a concern with the highly-contagious nature of the coronavirus, Biadasz says new coach Mike McCarthy is making things as safe as possible.
“It’s very structured to our own benefit to have really safe protocols with the COVID-19 and everything,” Biadasz said. “But it’s very well constructed as in player’s safety. But we’re really getting after it in our meetings and everything. We’re going through our workouts and our daily schedules and they’re very concrete to what they’re gonna be for the next two and a half weeks here before we start football activities.
“I feel very, very well protected with COVID-19.”
With many players opting out across the NFL and cases across the United States climbing, McCarthy’s extra emphasis on safety during this time is refreshing for players– especially Biadasz, who says he stays in his room most nights to help limit his contact with other people.
“(McCarthy’s) message was clear that we’re definitely facing more than just football, we’re facing COVID-19.” Biadasz said. “He told us to be accountable and be respectful to everyone on the team. So, we’re doing our part on the field and off the field.”