Some thoughts from our media opportunity with the new coaches:
- As much as I respect Monte Kiffin and what he has done in his career as a defensive coordinator in this league, the hiring of Rod Marinelli is what is going to make this new scheme work. The key will be how this defense will get pressure with four rushers. Listening to Marinelli talk today, it’s a job that he takes very seriously. I liked what Marinelli said about letting the game tape introducing him to the player. Too many times coaches and scouts think they understand what the player is, but until you really sit down and study him it is the best way to clearly know him. I liked what Marinelli also said about evaluating the player on the field through drills to figure out where the best scheme fits are instead of just saying that this guy is a one or three technique. I know that he and Kiffin have an idea where these players might fit but until they get them on the field it will either confirm or change their opinions.
- Along with the Marinelli hire, the fact that Jason Garrett was able to keep Matt Eberflus, Jerome Henderson, Joe Baker and Ben Bloom on staff was a nice move as well for the defense. In listening to Eberflus speak today, I really believe it was a very wise career move to try and now break away from Rob Ryan and learn this 4-3 defense. I remember Mike Zimmer here in 2005 when Bill Parcells asked him to stay on and coach the 3-4 defense. For Zimmer who had cut his teeth in the 4-3 as a Cowboys assistant it would be a big adjustment, but he was able to hold the defense together and bring it home to a ranking of 10th in the league. For Zimmer it was a valuable experience, but more importantly in league circles front office types looked at him in a different way. I see Eberflus having the same type of opportunity of running his own defense in this league one day from what he was able to learn from Ryan and now Kiffin.
- All of this talk of who is calling the plays is not as a big of deal to Jason Garrett or Bill Callahan as is it to you and I. On Wednesday I wrote about how the entire staff has a hand in how the game plan is formulated and taught to the players during the week. Callahan offered on Thursday that there were points in the game where he had the opportunity to call some plays last season. Am I surprised by this? Not at all because I had seen play callers like Mike Holmgren hand off the play calling duties to other coaches on the staff when he felt like he was struggling in the game. I still feel like that with all the adjustments to the staff that Garrett will name Callahan the primary play caller when the 2013 season rolls around, but Garrett will still be able to chime in when he feels necessary.
- I am going to be interested to see the dynamic of Derek Dooley with this receiving group. Dooley said that he was disappointed by the way things ended for him at Tennessee but that doesn’t make him a bad coach, it just makes him a coach that got relieved of his duties. There are some times where as a coach you have to step back and reevaluate where you are at, but it makes you a better coach. There are plenty examples around football to prove this point. Does Derek Dooley have the NFL experience of Jimmy Robinson? No he doesn’t, but there are circumstances that we might not ever know with Robinson that will not allow him to coach full-time, and this is a move that was necessary. Dooley will be able to connect with these receivers because it will be a new challenge for him, unlike being a head coach where you are responsible for the whole team. But as a position coach, those are your guys and some coaches are just better in that setting. I think Dooley fits into this area. It would not surprise me one bit to see guys like Bryant, Harris, and Beasley continue to grow under his coaching.
- As much as these defensive coaches would love to have
Anthony Spencerback in the mix, it’s clear that company line will be not to talk about him to give agent Jordan Woy any feeling where the club really stands with him. I see this as a smart tactic to not allow Woy to try and use it as leverage against the front office in these talks.