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Mailbag: Could Spencer Still Stop The Run In A 4-3?
With Anthony Spencer’s size, would he have more trouble stopping the run as an end in the 4-3 defensive scheme, compared to stopping the run as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme?
Nick: I think he’s actually better suited for a 4-3 end, more than any other spot. Now that was before last season when he played so well. I bet there are 3-4 coaches who disagree. But he plays the run well and he’s just so active that he can be very disruptive. He’ll probably add some pounds if he plays in a 4-3.
Rowan: The switch will probably make it more difficult for him to stop the run the same way, but I think he can handle it. Obviously, it’ll be more difficult to set the edge with a tackle or tight end on him immediately at the snap, but he seems to be willing to make the move, and it could help his sack totals as well. Not to mention, he’ll have more help on the outside with whatever linebacker will line up on his side.
Won't relieving Jason Garrett of his play calling duties undermine his authority or influence among the players, coaches, and organization?
Nick: I don’t think so. He’s still in charge of the guy calling the plays. Whoever calls the plays will have a different look/feel for the situation. But if it’s third-and-4 at a key spot in the game and Garrett says to whoever, “let’s get Witten involved here” and then the play-caller dials something up, is that really undermining his authority? I really think that’s what happened when Bill Parcells was here. But I think people around here view this as a way to help Jason Garrett succeed as the head coach. It’s an 8-8 football team that needs to improve. I think we’re giving this a lot more attention than we should. If Jerry just sat back and did nothing, then he’d get blamed for that.
Rowan: While I do wonder about this, there are a handful of successful head coaches around who aren’t coordinators or play-callers. There were times when it seemed clock management could have been better. Relinquishing the role of play-caller could help him plan ahead better on both sides of the ball. He’s still the head coach, and if there’s a play or group of plays he wants to run, then the team will go that route. I don’t think the personnel will look at him differently. When the season ended, it seemed he thought he should remain the teams play-caller, but there’s a reason the front office still wanted him around even if he’s not doing that, and much of that can be attributed to his leadership skills.