Welcome home, Tony
Burlington native Tony Romo touches on Packers, married life and NFL Lockout
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|Romo's new wife, Candice Crawford, helped at the camp. (click for larger version)|
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June 29, 2011 | 07:07 AMBurlington — For the last seven summers, Dallas Cowboys star quarterback and Burlington native Tony Romo has come back to his alma-mater, Burlington High School, for a camp stressing football fundamentals, working hard and having fun.
On June 22 at Burlington High School, the 31-year-old held a press conference preceding his football fundamentals camp, which took place June 22 and 23 and included hundreds of third-graders through high school seniors.
It's been quite the offseason for Romo, including marriage, overcoming a broken collarbone and the ongoing issues regarding the NFL lockout.
Among other things, the three-time Pro Bowler addressed the Green Bay Packers, his golf game and fantasy football.
It's been a busy spring. With the NFL lockout plus everything going on in your personal life, have you had a chance to focus on being a husband?
TR: It's been a good offseason. With the lockout, we had to form our own practices. It's been great. The guys really came together and worked hard. We got a lot of work in. Getting married was fun.
How was the wedding and the honeymoon?
TR: It was good. We took a week there, and we had a good time.
A lot of guys will come back and do a camp once or twice. Why has it been seven years?
TR: For me, it's been a testament to the local coaches and players that continue to come out. It's very easy for me to come back because they do such a great job putting this on, I don't have to do too much leading up to it. I get to talk to the kids and give back some knowledge I've learned. It's a testament to all these coaches and the people that really help behind the scenes. We keep getting great numbers, and kids keep coming back. I get to give back to the community a little bit. It's great.
How does it feel to be back home?
TR: The weather feels good. It's about 100 degrees every day in Dallas. It's pretty nice outside.
How did you feel about your match play (WSGA event at Grand Geneva)?
TR: I play golf about one or two days a week. The match play was fun. I got off to a good start (Romo led the tournament after day one).
Explain what you guys (the Cowboys) got out of the offseason workouts. How weird has it been for you with the lockout?
TR: It's so regimented every offseason. I've had the same routine for eight or nine years now. I remember in March, it was like, "How are we going to maintain this level of work?" We came up with a plan to keep an advantage. It involved a lot of running, and it was a lot like OTAs (organized team activities). We don't have pads on, and we run full speed like a normal practice, scripted, down to the minute. We went out and executed very well. We had great numbers, and guys showed up. We're lucky because about 80 percent of our team lives in Dallas. They all came back for the entire month we were doing this. Guys were committed every day. There were no coaches, but we were accountable to each other. It will be invaluable for our defense, which has a new coordinator. Guys learned the verbiage and correct techniques. I think we definitely improved this offseason.
Take us through the injury (Romo missed 10 games with a broken collarbone in 2010). How did it affect you both mentally and physically?
TR: When it first happens, it's always difficult when you get injured. That was my first extensive playing time I've lost in my career. It's hard, because you work so hard to get in that position. You miss competing each week. From the mental side, you miss the game. It makes you want to get back out there that much faster. That desire burns to get out there and win next time you're out there. It's been awhile for me, so I can't wait to get this thing started. I was ready about a month after the season. I was healthy in February. It sucks I had to go through it, but it provides a great perspective on what you enjoy and miss about the game.
Have you had any indication of how things are moving forward with the lockout?
TR: I think it's getting closer each day. Everyone understands the importance of the time and the situation. When you have this many people involved financially, it's going to take a little bit of time. You need people to feel the sense of urgency, and I think that point has arrived. It will be resolved shortly. I'm a fan of the game in general. When we play on Thursday or Monday, it's great because I get to watch football all day Sunday. The reality is sometimes this happens. I think guys are committed to getting this thing done on both sides.
How excited are you to play for a new head coach in Jason Garrett? How is your chemistry?
TR: Jason has a real good mind for the game. He has an approach he is committed to, and he gets his team to follow. I've been around him for a long time. He started as offensive coordinator for us. I understand what he wants done. Our team responds well to it, and it's going to be a great season for us. We have a lot of pieces in place. It's just a matter of going out and doing the work.
Do you get some razzing about how the Packers won the Super Bowl when you come back home?
TR: It was a great run for Green Bay last year. It was exciting here. You can't help but want that to happen for your team. Green Bay played great football last year, and they deserved everything they got.
Do you play fantasy football? Have you ever drafted yourself, and will you draft yourself this year?
TR: I've never played fantasy football. Sorry.