IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys introduced nearly all of their 20 coaches to the media for the first time on Thursday at Valley Ranch.
Without a doubt, the oldest of the group was the most enthusiastic of the bunch.
Not only that, but Monte Kiffin quipped several times about his 72 years of age, even joking about seeing it on the scroll bar at the bottom of the TV screen.
“I thought it was a jersey number,” Kiffin said. “But don’t worry about me. Some people are 72 going on 80. I’m 72 going on 52. I feel great.”
And he was lively, too. He treated his first real media session as more of an instruction period. Unlike most coaches or players who wait for questions, Kiffin started it off with some background information, revealing some of his many coaching stops throughout his career.
But while Kiffin has been around football-crazed places such as Nebraska, Tennessee and Southern Cal, along with the Green Bay Packers and, of course, Tampa Bay, he couldn’t stop talking about the love he’s already seen from the fans and media covering the Cowboys.
“They love their football here,” Kiffin said. “It’s all the time. And I’ll say this, we’ve got some depth in the media. Gosh, we need more depth on defense. But I’m so excited about being here. I can’t wait to get started.”
Kiffin calls himself “no big deal” but he doesn’t say the same about this opportunity.
“This is the Dallas Cowboys,” he said with emphasis. “It reaps tradition here, with all the history and pictures. It’s great to be here. Let’s get it going.”
With his enthusiasm, Kiffin also brings a new style of defense in the 4-3 scheme. Just like his age, he downplayed the changes, too.
“Last time I checked you need 11 players on the field,” Kiffin said. “So 3-4 … 4-3, it doesn’t matter. I know this, we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to get after ’em.
“It’s really pretty simple. You want to sum up the philosophy of coach Kiffin? Play hard, doesn’t take talent to play hard. Play fast, play a little faster on Sunday. Play together. It’s a team game. If you don’t want to be on a great team and play together, then you may not fit. But, I can’t wait to get started.”