FRISCO, Texas – There's energy, and then there's college-recruiting and Saturday nights in the SEC kind of energy. And that's what former Texas A&M cornerbacks coach Maurice Linguist brings back to his hometown to the Dallas Cowboys.
And although he enjoyed making relationships during college recruiting, he's excited about the ones he's making right here at The Star as one of two new defensive backs coaches. But those relationships didn't happen without a small hiccup in the plans.
"Before I got on the plane [to Dallas], it was the night we had all the storms. So I'm in College Station, supposed to fly up here, I've done that flight probably 40 times for recruiting purposes. I'm on the airplane on the tarmac for three hours. I'm like, 'This is the Dallas Cowboys, I'm about to walk up here,'" Linguist said.
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and head coach Mike McCarthy instantly liked Linguist's personality. Because they meshed so well, Linguist was offered the job that same day.
Now comes the time for hours upon hours of meetings to mesh with the rest of the defensive staff. And soon after that, his players. First and foremost, Linguist is concerned with nourishing relationships.
"When you look at player-coach relationship, everything begins with ultimate trust. Trust is built over consistency and time. You can be a great player; I can be a great coach. If we don't trust each other, nothing else matters," Linguist said.
And as far as his mantra or mentality he plans to instill in the safeties and nickel players (defensive backs coach Al Harris will work more with the corners), Linguist says, "You have to have your mental approach and build your fundamentals. You have to have your scheme intact. You have to be great technicians. You want to make sure our football IQ is where it needs to be, a smarter player is always a better player. And then you want to be disruptive at the point of attack."
Linguist seems to still be in awe that his coaching – and playing road – has led him back home. He attended elementary school in Dallas, and was a state champion with the Mesquite Skeeters in 2001. He suited up for Baylor University from 2003-2007 and was the team's most valuable defensive player his senior season.
"Growing up and watching the Cowboys, and when I was younger you had the guys like Emmitt and Irvin and those guys, and it was a part of my childhood," Linguist said. "To actually be working here now a Dallas Cowboy myself, you see how life goes in circles a little bit. Just a really exciting opportunity."