IRVING, Texas – While Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli are teaching others their defensive scheme, the two former Bucs coaches are getting coached up as well about how to address one particular player.
Anthony Spencer is coming off his best statistical season in the NFL. Despite the obvious benefits he could add to the new Cowboys defense as a pass rusher, Kiffin and Marinelli won't comment on the free agent's fit until a contract is worked out.
"That's probably not for me to address," Kiffin said. "I think somebody might have told me that before I got here. I got coached up too, now."
Spencer's indicated he'd like to stay in Dallas, if possible, but the Cowboys will have to figure out a way to negotiate a fair contract with a difficult cap situation.
In all likelihood, Spencer would switch from outside linebacker to defensive end in the new 4-3 scheme. Marinelli said he believes the entire Cowboys defense can make the transition from the 3-4 because of its speed and athleticism.
"The transition, you never know, but when you start to look at these guys on tape, boy, they can run," Marinelli said. "Our system's built on speed and quickness and balance and change of direction and attitude, and the fits look good. That's intriguing for me and it's exciting." [embedded_ad]
Marinelli also said he likes watching tape on his players before meeting them, the same way a potential employee would send in a resume.
If that's the case, he'd probably like what he saw in Spencer from 2012, finishing the year with season-highs in combined tackles (95) and sacks (11), despite missing two games. Spencer could find a permanent spot in any scheme, but Marinelli's not in charge of contracts.
"I'm not negotiating," Marinelli said. "I'll just make sure I talk about the men that are here right now. I think that's the fair thing to do."