Frisco, Texas – KaVontae Turpin is different. Consider this for a moment: The turbocharged wide receiver delivered a Pro Bowl season for the Dallas Cowboys in his first year with the club, which was also his first year in the NFL, which also came immediately after not only playing an entire USFL season in the spring; but also the one in which he was named league MVP.
Are you following not only the ascension, but also the timeline of events there?
Turpin rose from the end of his USFL MVP season on July 3 and then signed a three-year contract with the Cowboys, joining them in training camp on July 27, giving his body virtually no rest between seasons. professional soccer. For context, most NFL players are allowed 4-5 months of rest and recovery before returning for OTAs and about seven months before heading full speed back into training camp.
Turpin turned 24 days…and still became a Pro Bowler.
This bodes well for what might be in store for him in Year 2, given that he is now returning from the aforementioned five-month break that others usually enjoy.
“I feel rested for Year 2,” Turpin said after the first round of the 2023 OTAs. “I feel like my body is back to normal. I have no pain and I’m not not tired. I feel good right now.”
This was evident watching him practice, as Turpin bounced like a hare throughout the session, and it also included a good burn on the attacking side of the ball.
He was given reps in training camp last year and made some big plays when given the chance, but it’s likely his workload was managed given, as mentioned, that he didn’t have a break before joining the Cowboys and was also their ace on kick and kick return.
Speaking directly with Turpin about the possibility that this played into the Cowboys’ decision to rarely field him on offense last season, he hinted that it played into the coaches’ decision.
That means there’s at least a solid chance that will change in Year 2, now that he’s rested and sixth-round rookie pick Deuce Vaughn is available as insurance on the kick return. and punting – although there is no competition there for this role, with Turpin starting OTAs having taken 100% of the reps as the team’s returner (Vaughn was working on being a personal protector).
“Me and [Mike McCarthy] talked about it during our release forum [following the 2022 season]and he told me to rest because [this] year they’re going to try to find plays and ways to get me touched on offense,” Turpin said. “So that’s what I did. … I just have to be patient. …I’m just trying to do my job and make sure [the coaches] see me as a playmaker.”
Getting back to the special teams side of the coin, the NFL recently launched a new rule that awards the 25-yard line to those who decide to catch fairly, another step toward what many see as a mission to reduce the number of actual kick-offs. reset attempts.
It’s something that could complicate Turpin’s life, if he thinks it affects him.
“To be true, I don’t really care about the kick-off return rule because I’m not just to catch [anything on kickoff return — just being real with you,” said Turpin, smiling. “Punt return? Yeah OK sure, but kickoff return? I’m not fair catching [anything] so this new rule?
“I don’t care. They had it in college and I didn’t get it [then].”
In other words, expect the same hungry version of Turpin in 2023 that you saw in 2022, except this time he’s actually rested, meaning you’ll be able to see him more on the pitch. .
His pedal is still on the ground, but this time he starts with a full tank of gas.