Former ODU stars ready to start NFL rookie mini-camp

Zach Pascal and Rashaad Coward both made their mark on an Old Dominion program that celebrated its first ever bowl trip and bowl win a season ago. The two will begin their professional journeys this weekend, when they head to their respective NFL teams’ rookie mini camp.

Pascal, one of the most prolific receivers in school history, was signed as an undrafted free-agent by the Washington Redskins, while Coward was signed by the Chicago Bears.

ODU’s head man Bobby Wilder reiterated, a player’s potential is all about the kind of value a player can bring to an organization. Wilder believes Pascal’s value goes beyond just being a pass-catcher. “He’s a four-team guy, which they (the Redskins) need,” said Wilder.

“If you’re going to be a fourth or a fifth wide out in the NFL, which Zach will be to start and then he’ll work his way up, you have to bring value on special teams.” And Pascal’s value was undeniable as a Monarch, considering he finished with the most all-purpose yards (1,549) ever in a single season at ODU.

Coward, joining a team in serious need of a consistent pass rush, brings size. It’s hard to coach 6-foot-6, 328 pounds. Wilder believes Coward could compete as an edge rusher with the Bears. “He’s (Coward) got versatility,” said Wilder. “He’s played the nose-tackle, he’s played the tackle, he’s played interior on the center and guard, and he’s got the position flexibility that he can play on the edge.

“Again, it’s about, particularly when you’re not drafted, when you’re not in first or second round, there’s got to be ways that you can bring an added value to the roster and that’s what Rashaad will do.”