Warick High School graduate gives back with football camp
Jordan Crawford | 7/1/2014, 12:37 p.m.
Mirroring the philanthropic works of an earlier Warwick High graduate, B.W. Webb, Dallas Cowboys cornerback, paid it forward by conducting his first football camp Saturday at Hampton Roads Academy.
“It’s something I always wanted to do, was give back,” says Webb. “Coming up, I always saw Michael Vick have his camp and I helped out with his camps. Seeing how big it is for little kids to spend some of your time with them and show them some things is great. In our area, not enough people come back to give, so I thought that was a big thing.”
Webb enlisted a handful of NFL cohorts as guest counselors, among them: Dallas teammate and running back Joseph Randle, Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes, Jets cornerback and former Virginia standout Ras-I Dowling, Bengals linebacker Sean Porter and Jacksonville defensive back Johnathan Cyprien. Registration for the camp began at 8 a.m., and the camp ran from 9 until approximately 2 p.m. Saturday.
Webb said he originally gravitated toward basketball camps as a youngster, but eventually transitioned to the football field. Though lightly recruited at Warwick, he became a Football Championship Subdivision All-American at William and Mary and a fourth-round draft pick by the Cowboys last spring.
He played in 15 of 16 games, often logging time as the “nickel” back in five-man alignments for a secondary beset by injuries and inconsistent play. The local media chronicled his and their struggles. Webb concurred.
“I don’t think it was the best,” he said of his season. “There were times when I don’t think I was playing to the best of my ability. I wasn’t using my God-given gifts. The first year was hard. I just have to bounce back this year.”
Webb said his difficulties were the result of inexperience, a new playbook and what he called a new position. Though he was technically still a cornerback, the nickel back in the Cowboys’ scheme has elements of safety and linebacker, he said. The position requires check-offs and calls and different types of coverages.
“I just wasn’t used to it,” he said. “I had to stay in my playbook. It’s a lot more thinking there than at corner. At corner, you can just go play. I think that’s something I’ve gotten better at and something that I’ve settled into this year.
“If you’re thinking too much on the field, you can’t really go out there and play. It was a new playbook and a new position. But I think I have that grasped this year. Now I’m trying to get back to my college ways and just play.”
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last December that Webb at times “played young” last season.
“I think it’s hard for any rookie to come in and play, particularly at that position,” Garrett told the Fort Worth paper. “We feel good about some of the things he’s done, but he certainly has to continue to get better.”
Webb, who recently completed a session of Cowboys organized team activities (OTAs), is convinced that he’s improved greatly in multiple areas. He is more knowledgeable about the defense and more aware of the rigors of an NFL season.