IRVING, Texas -- Rob Ryan drew headlines over the weekend when he told reporters he planned to implement his defense at a slower pace this spring and summer.
That's good news to inside linebacker Sean Lee, the point man who relays Ryan's calls to the huddle.
Not because it's a sharp change in philosophy for Ryan. It's simply an advantage to having an actual offseason. Last year, the lockout prevented Ryan from installing anything until two weeks before the preseason opener.
The defense got off to a fast start last season, which sort of debunks the theory that the lockout hindered progress. But the Cowboys clearly had trouble communicating in two-minute, no-huddle situations all year -- a sign that the group just needs more time together.
"I just think he has the opportunity to teach the defense slower this year considering that we went into camp with four weeks until the first (regular-season) game and he's trying to put in a whole new defense and also assess the defense, what they do well," Lee said.
"That's not an easy deal. Having that opportunity will allow us to learn this defense and master this defense better instead of trying to learn five defenses in a day. There's one thing to learn it on paper; it's another thing to go on the field and practice all the techniques, all the reads and be able to do it fast and efficiently."