Coach Mike Pope’s Oddball Tight End Practice Drills

The majority of us don’t really pay very close attention to who the Dallas Cowboys assistant coaches are, but one name you might want to familiarize yourself with is Mike Pope.

Mike Pope is currently serving as the Cowboys tight ends coach, but also held down the same title for the New York Giants from 1983 to 1991 and once again from 2000 to 2013.

While with the Giants, he has earned for Super Bowl rings and his coaching skills have been attributed to the success of tight ends Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss, and Jake Ballard.

Pope was let go by the Giants after the 2013 season, but he wasn’t out of work long because the Dallas Cowboys added him to the coaching staff on January 22, 2014.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t at all familiar with Mike Pope before he joined the Cowboys coaching staff, but he is definitely somebody that I have come to respect.

He has somewhat of an unorthodox way of coaching and some of his oddball practice drills can sometimes raise eyebrows, but they are all designed for a purpose.

For example, already in training camp he has had the tight ends leaping over one another  only to be spun around the opposite direction while trying to catch a pass.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Mike Pope drills

If you paid attention to the video, you probably noticed that veteran tight end Jason Witten is the one everyone is jumping over. It was his day off, but he couldn’t help himself from getting involved. Also, that’s none other than #5 Dan Bailey taking a break from his kicking duties and throwing the passes.

Do you think Dan Bailey can play back up QB?

That particular drill isn’t quite as zany as some of the others Mike Pope has come up with. In fact, he also had his players wearing a rather strange piece of equipment that has nothing to do with the sport of football.

KristiCowboySideline on Twitter

Witten & TEs in swim goggles. USA Swim team members? No, another interesting drill from TE coach Mike Pope.

Who knew that swimming goggles could be used to help with focus and concentration?

The good thing is there seems to be a method to his madness. All of these drills have a purpose and to me, it looks as if he is trying to get everyone to concentrate and focus on the task at hand, despite any type of distraction.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Watch the video below and let Mike Pope explain his oddball practice drills himself.

TE Coach Mike Pope Explains Zany Drills

Tight ends coach Mike Cope explains another one of his unusual drills.

The Dallas Cowboys are fortunate to have such an insightful and creative coach, who knows how to bring out the best in his players.

I honestly can’t say one way or the other if these drills are effective or not, but if nothing else they break up the monotony of doing the same types of practice drills over and over again. That in itself might be welcomed by the Cowboys tight ends during the grind of training camp practices.

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing what Mike Pope can come up with next and whether or not it can help improve the performance of his players in the 2016 season.

What do you think of Mike Pope’s oddball practice drills?

Please use the comment section below to express her thoughts and opinions on this topic. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

What do you think?


Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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