PACKERS VS. COWBOYS PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16 | Friday Practice
Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Friday Practice (7:43)
- Jason Witten’s role and respect garnered in the Cowboys locker room
- Sean Lee’s progress this week in Dallas Cowboys practices
- Who plays weak side linebacker (WLB) vs. Green Bay Packers
- With Dwayne Harris likely out, who will be returner in Sunday’s game
- Which Dallas lineman will face Green Bay’s Clay Matthews
- Challenges facing CB Morris Claiborne with fathers death and his injury recovery
- Impression of Matt Flynn in games he’s played for the Packers; pre-draft
- Deflating concerns if Aaron Rodgers ends up playing instead of Matt Flynn
- Surprised/Impressed by Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy this season
- How do you test a player to see if they are, in fact, ready to play with an injury
- This season’s perception of a Home Field Advantage in AT&T Stadium
- If Sean Lee’s injury similar to Jason Hatchers injury in any way
- Recovering from a muscle strain vs. nerve issue in a players neck (Sean Lee)
- Tiger Balm
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin – Defensive Struggles; Changes
James Hanna began to deliver on the Dallas Cowboys’ investment in him late last season, and one person they can thank is backup quarterback Kyle Orton.
He stayed on the rookie tight end’s case, and it paid off, said new tight ends coach Wes Phillips.
“People saw the end result where he started making plays, but we also saw when he was running scout team at the beginning of the year and Kyle Orton is on him every single day about how to practice, how to be a pro, how to work,” Phillips said Thursday in meeting reporters for the first time in his new job. “He really made some strides.”
Hanna, drafted in the sixth round out of Oklahoma last year, caught a pass in the season opener – his only catch for the first 12 games – but had seven catches in the last four games.
“He really impressed us as far as his work ethic and how he went about his job,” Phillips said. “Learning how to finish, learning how to go about meetings and study and prepare, all those sort of things. He’s a very intelligent guy, and we’re looking forward to continuing his development.”
NO LOVIE IN CHICAGO: Rod Marinelli gave up a chance to be Bears defensive coordinator to reunite with Monte Kiffin
Monte Kiffin’s first hire when he arrived in Dallas was Rob Marinelli as his defensive line coach. The two are reunited after a seven-year separation to try to return glory to the Cowboys.
Kiffin and Marinelli were together 10 seasons in Tampa. During their time there, the Bucs defense was in the top 10 in points allowed every year and in the top 10 in yards allowed in all but their first season of 2006 when Tampa ranked 11th. The Bucs went 89-71 from 1996-2005, allowing an average of 281.4 yards and 16.7 points per game. They generated an average of 32 turnovers a season.
“I think what we did there, and a lot of other guys were there with us, [gave us] a bond and… a belief [in the system],” Marinelli said. “There are things maybe you do differently here and there over the course of the year. But that foundation, the fundamentals of what we do, is the core belief for us. That kind of unites us. That’s why I wanted to be a part of this and be back with him.”
Marinelli left the Bucs in 2006 to become head coach of the Detroit Lions. He lasted only three seasons, going 10-38. He spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator in Chicago, working for Lovie Smith, who was the Bucs linebackers coach from 1996-2000.
The Bears wanted to retain Marinelli as defensive coordinator, but he chose to leave.
“There’s no doubt [it was hard to leave],” Marinelli said. “But my No. 1 relationship is with Lovie Smith. Yeah, he’s probably one of my best friends in life, and I believe in him and I went there because of him and it’s not the right place for me without him.”
Marinelli: Coaching With A Sense Of Urgency (Click HERE to watch)
Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli speaks about his principles on defense and what he hopes to bring to the Cowboys.
RELATED: When One Friend Was Ousted, Marinelli Joined Another
IRVING, Texas – Most people would consider a move from defensive coordinator to defensive line coach a demotion. Rod Marinelli isn’t one of those people.
The Cowboys’ defensive line coach gladly accepted his new position in Dallas. The title wasn’t as important as being around coaches that shared a similar knowledge and passion for the game. He has that in Dallas with Monte Kiffin.
CARRYING THE TORCH: Monte Kiffin says Cowboys organization ‘reeks with tradition’, he and Marinelli soaked it in
Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli made sure they walked into Valley Ranch the right way -– by soaking it all in.
“You walk through this, I mean, it just reeks with tradition here,” Kiffin said Thursday as he met with reporters at Valley Ranch for the first time since being named the team’s new defensive coordinator, and since bringing along former colleague Rod Marinelli to be defensive line coach.
“And you see all these pictures. And Rod Marinelli came in and we were so – we just went out to the front and walked … we just pretended we were coming in for the first time,” Kiffin said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to see this, Rod.’ We went outside and walked back in. I said, ‘Look at this.’ ”
Marinelli said he saw plenty of history up close in Chicago, too, as defensive coordinator with the Bears.
“I just love the history of the game of football,” he said. “I was in Chicago. The history is there. Then, you come here and wow, the history is fabulous. It’s something as a coach you’ve got to relate back to the players, how fortunate we are to be where we are, and there is a history here. We’ve got to understand that and there are standards we’ve got to match up to.”
Kiffin also appreciates NFL history, so he had an idea what it meant to join the Cowboys, one of the most followed teams in the NFL. But he said it was confirmed to him without a doubt when he went to pick up his wife at the airport just a few days after he got into town.
“I’m flipping around the radio stations, and it isn’t just like sports talk, or this or that, it’s the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “Believe it or not, I hit a button, hit another, and they are still talking Dallas Cowboys. But anyway, you are all fired up down here. It is what it is. That’s why it’s the Dallas Cowboys. That’s why it’s the dream team. I’m just a young pup, or whatever, but you heard about the Dallas Cowboys back in those days.”
Kiffin: I’m Seventy-Two Going On Fifty-Two (Click HERE to play)
Monte Kiffin talks about his excitement in joining the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, and what his plans for the defense are going forward.
ROB RYAN PRESS CONFERENCE: Defense doesn’t want to be ‘second-class citizen’ to Cowboys offense, needs to be ‘a part of this’
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the defense doesn’t want to be a second-class citizen compared to the offense.
“Our offense, in my opinion, is second to none,” Ryan told reporters Friday at Valley Ranch. “We have a tremendous quarterback, and obviously a great system with Jason. So what we need to do is play better football on defense. We’ve been competitive. Maybe we’re not going to be great, but we need to be better than we’ve been. Need to keep the points down, and that’s how you win as a team.
“Our strength is definitely offense right now, but we don’t want to be a second-class citizen. We played that way last week, and it showed against a great offense and a talented quarterback in Drew Brees. We need to bounce back, have a great game here and be a part of this.”
Ryan said the short week for the Thanksgiving Day game “certainly didn’t help” but that the Cowboys had a good plan for the first game and got good pressure on Robert Griffin, with three sacks and seven quarterback hits.
“We forced him to throw the ball quick sometimes,” Ryan said. “We sacked him … so I was happy with the pass rush we got on him last time. Did he beat some blown coverages? Yeah, he did. What we need to do is be better in our coverage, be more sound in what we do and execute. To me, I liked our plan last time. I just don’t think we executed all that well, especially in short yardage, especially in double coverage when a guy ran by us for about a hundred-yard touchdown.”
Rob Ryan talks about what went wrong the last time the Cowboys faced the Redskins, and what they will need to do differently this time around.
FOLLOWUP – REX RYAN: Sean Lee injury caused brother, Rob Ryan, to cry during phone conversation (UPDATED)
IRVING — Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he didn’t cry over linebacker Sean Lee’s season-ending toe injury, “but I probably should have.”
On Wednesday, while discussing Jets linebacker Bart Scott’s toe injury, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said that his brother was “crying, literally, on the phone because they just lost their great linebacker to a toe injury.”
“That guy’s so full of crap,” Rob Ryan said Friday. “Was I [griping] to him? Sure. We have so many damn injuries, of course I was. He did talk me off the plank. But I wasn’t crying tears, actual tears. I save that for the movies I watch with my wife. You know, Lifetime. My god, you guys ever watch Lifetime? Don’t. Trust me, don’t.”
Rob Ryan said moving on without Lee won’t be easy, especially against the high-scoring Giants. Lee had 14 tackles in the Cowboys’ season-opening 24-17 win at the Giants.
“I understand we played the Giants before and the only reason we stopped them was their lack of execution,” Rob Ryan said. “It had nothing to do with our players or our scheme. We got the message. And like [the Giants] said before, it was all them. That’s the only reason they self-destructed, apparently, against us last time,” Rob Ryan said. “So hopefully they have another bad game. It would take another miracle and it’d be great, though.”
SOURCE: Rob Ryan Press Conference – How Do You Replace Lee?
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan answers questions about the look of the Cowboys defense without middle linebacker Sean Lee. Duration: 9:28
Click on photo above to watch video. Enjoy!
There’s no doubting that the Cowboys lost one of their most valuable players this week when it was announced Wednesday that Sean Lee was being placed on the injured reserve with a toe injury.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was so upset over losing the team’s leading tackler that he was driven to tears, according to his brother, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
While discussing Jets linebacker Bart Scott’s toe injury on Wednesday, Rex Ryan said, “My brother was crying, literally, on the phone because they just lost their great linebacker to a toe injury.”
Rex Ryan, who is known for delivering witty remarks, could have been exaggerating. But knowing how valuable Lee is to the Cowboys’ defensive game plan, he might have been telling the truth.
Rob Ryan will likely give his side of the phone conversation on Friday, when he usually speaks with media members at Valley Ranch.
A pair of third-year pros — Danny McCray and Sean Lissemore — are expected to get their first NFL starts in place of Gerald Sensabaugh and Kenyon Coleman, respectively.
Ryan Cook will get his second start in place of Phil Costa, who was injured in the opener. Josh Brent will replace Jay Ratliff, who has yet to play this season.
McCray, a member of Houston Westfield High’s 2004 Class 5A state title team, hasn’t started a game since his senior year at LSU.
“I’m excited,” he told reporters in Irving. “I’m trying to save it for Sunday.”
Lissemore played well against Seattle.
“I know he should have been starting forever — the kid made 10 tackles last week,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said.
Ryan discusses scheme in Seattle: Many observers were puzzled why the Cowboys didn’t blitz Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson more Sunday.
On Friday, Ryan offered an explanation that centered on the Seahawks often using multiple tight end formations.
“I know everybody was wanting to kill their quarterback,” Ryan said. “Believe me, I was wanting to hit the kid, too. They had a plan that wouldn’t allow us to do it: max protect.”
Wilson was 15 of 20 for 151 yards and a touchdown, but he took a backseat to a running game that generated 182 yards, including 122 from Marshawn Lynch.
“Any time people are running the ball downhill on you, it’s hard to do anything else until you get that run stopped,” Ryan said.
Ryan said it would be a mistake to believe he’s become conservative.
“We will pressure the quarterback,” he said. “We do play more three-man front football to go along with it, so the quarterback doesn’t know we’re just a blitz-a-thon like every junior varsity high school football team. We’re not doing that. We’re going to play the efficient way. We prefer efficiency over stupidity.”
EDITOR COMMENT: As mentioned earlier today, the Dallas Cowboys have elevated Orie Lemon from the practice squad to help in the special teams effort. Link below. What do you think of the new faces in familiar places?
RELATED POSTS ON THE BOYS ARE BACK BLOG:
Starting left tackle Russell Okung sat out with an injury, yet Ware didn’t register a sack against the Seahawks in a 27-7 loss last weekend. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan indicated Friday that Ware might not be 100 percent.
“We all know DeMarcus isn’t full speed,” Ryan said. “When he is, look out.”
Ware missed the rest of the preseason after tweaking his hamstring in the week leading into the second exhibition game against the Chargers. He finished with two sacks in the regular-season opener against the Giants, but was a limited participant in practice prior to the Seahawks game.
Ryan said the Cowboys will find out this week just how hampered Ware is by his hamstring.
“I know he’s improving,” Ryan said. “He’s working on it. When he’s full strength, I agree with you, he’s the best in the league, and he’s the best there ever was. But he’s still never gotten a sack when they run the football.”
In addition to his health, Ryan attributed Ware’s lack of sacks to the Seahawks’ propensity to use running back Marshawn Lynch. Seattle rushed 41 times and only threw 20 passes.
Whether or not he was limited, Ware still played and was credited with two solo tackles and six assists against the Seahawks. The Cowboys gave him eight solo tackles and five assists based on coaches’ film, his 13 total tying a career high.
Ryan said the Cowboys got away from their anticipated game plan after falling behind early. He said he plans to pressure the quarterback more, but wants to be more efficient than a junior varsity high school defense that sends a “blitzathon” at the opposing quarterback.
“I think we’re the fifth leading team at sacking the quarterback per pass attempt,” Ryan said. “We’re always up there because we do have great pressures, we do know when to pressure, we know how to pressure, we know how to attack protections.”
SOURCE: Rob Ryan press conference – Efficiency Over Stupidity
Rob Ryan talks about last weekends game against the Seahawks and what they need to do to improve this week.
To watch video, click on picture or HERE. Enjoy!
VIDEO: Rob Ryan – I Don’t Want To Be A Distraction (Click on picture or HERE to watch)
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talks about the improvement the defense from last year to this year, and what changes he has made personally that he thinks will help the team. (Duration: 3:57)
Jerry Jones has said Rob Ryan had a “come to Jesus” year in 2011, which forced him to make changes. The Cowboys defensive coordinator agreed some things have changed.
“I’m lighter. Feel good,” Ryan said. “I’m only talking to the media once a week now. I guess hopefully I change for the better.”
Ryan, who is in his second year with the Cowboys, is 55 pounds lighter after surgery with Dr. Adam Smith at Fort Worth Lap-Band in February. He is less talkative, too, vowing to submit only to the once-weekly sessions required under the NFL’s media access policy. The outspoken Ryan said it was his idea to talk less.
“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” Ryan said. “I don’t think I need to be distraction for this football team. There is a way the Dallas Cowboys do things, and I think that’s a professional way to do it. I don’t need to be outspoken out there. I’m going to let our players do our talking. It’s time to quit talking and start doing something. That’s what we all buy into as a defense. That’s what I buy into, and that’s what we’re all believing in.”
The Cowboys blew five fourth-quarter leads last season. They allowed 3,906 passing yards, the second-most in team history. Worse, the Cowboys finished only 8-8 and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
“I still stand behind the job I did last season,” Ryan said. “I wasn’t horrendous. I know everybody says I was, but I wasn’t. Believe me.”
He does, however, expect he and his defense to be better this season. The Cowboys are ranked seventh overall, including fifth against the pass, after one week.
"We plan on being an excellent defense, and if everything goes right, then we will be,” Ryan said. “But we’ve got a lot to prove.”
For Rob Ryan, the night of Dec. 11 unfolded like a nightmare. The New York Giants moved up and down the field, shredding his defense in a 37-34 victory over Dallas. By the time the final whistle sounded, the Cowboys had failed to collect a sack and surrendered 400 passing yards to quarterback Eli Manning as their secondary was left in tatters.
"Hate to revisit a poor game by us," said Ryan, the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. "We didn’t execute well. I don’t think we did much well at all. I don’t think I called necessarily good enough things."
The plan, Ryan asserted, was also ill-conceived. In fact, he acknowledged it may have been too complex — an implication cornerback Mike Jenkins made only two days after the loss.
"We need to go back to the basics," Jenkins said then.
Ryan agreed, and he has since simplified his scheme.
"Your players are making mental mistakes, and that’s on the coaches," Ryan said. "It’s not on them. And that’s on me. So, we’ve done a good job of trying to figure out our guys first of all, identifying what we do best and playing that. When we play it well, we’re damn good."
As usual, Ryan projected confidence Friday. When asked if the Cowboys’ defense was capable of redeeming itself against the Giants on Sunday in a game that will determine the NFC East champion, Ryan didn’t waver.
"We’re going to be great this week," Ryan said. "We’re not going to make excuses, because we’re not going to have to. … If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be pissed off because everything we’ve got is in this one. …
"Hell, my family’s already traveled there a couple days early. I know they’re going to see the Empire State Building, probably see their Uncle Rex and cousin Matthew, but they’re there to watch their dad become a champion again, and that’s what we’re going to do."
FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCES: Jason Garrett | Rob Ryan | Miles Austin | Film Session | Bonus Randy White video
Jason Garrett spoke to the media for the final time before heading to New York to face the Giants.
Rob Ryan talks about what his defense needs to do to improve after their last outing against the Giants.
Austin: Ready To Get Out There <—click here
Miles Austin talks about the long wait for Sunday nights game.
Film Session: Jason Pierre-Paul <—click here
Judd Garrett takes a look a key part of the Giants defense.
Randy White Remembers ’93 Against Giants <—click here
Randy White talks about the Cowboys trip to New York in 1993 that saw them clinch a playoff spot.
Now, from within The Boys Are Back (A blog for TRUE BLUE fans of the Dallas Cowboys) … you can Listen Live to Dallas area sports broadcasts while you read, browse, or work around the house. You can also catch Dallas Cowboys talkshows, pregame/postgame interviews, commentary, analysis, and daily/weekly shows with some of the key players and coaches of America’s Team.
CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW AND LISTEN TO THE POSTGAME SHOW LIVE!
Show ends at 8:30 to 9:-00 pm CDT
CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW AND WATCH THE POSTGAME SHOW LIVE!
Watch the Cowboys Postgame Show LIVE, and hear directly from coach Jason Garrett, quarterback Tony Romo, Jerry Jones, and other players/coaches.
Star-Telegram/Ron T. Ennis
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan
Like everybody has this week, Rob Ryan was asked Thursday what he thought about Jerry Jones saying he was “scared” of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys defensive coordinator smiled.
“Well, I think I made him scared,” he said. “He saw that matchup and went, ‘Oh my god! I’m scared to death.”
Ryan said he takes the blame for a game plan that was too complicated against the Eagles in the 34-7 loss on Oct. 30.
“But I know me better, and I also know their offense a hell of a lot better this time around,” Ryan said. “We’re going to have a great plan, and we’re excited about it.”
Ryan said the loss of linebacker Sean Lee to an injury in the first quarter hurt the Cowboys’ communication on defense. This time, if Lee is on the field for more than two series, it’ll make a difference, he said.
“I think as a whole, we’re growing as a defense,” Ryan said. “I know we had a bad game here with the Giants recently, but I think we made strides even last week. Communication’s better. We know what it looks like when it’s not, and that was the beginning in the Philadelphia game, when it was a travesty out there. But again, we didn’t have a very good plan out there. We do have the ultimate mulligan here. This is for all the marbles. We’re excited about the opportunity. We’ve put ourselves in a great situation. Our defensive players are jacked up and ready to go.”
Rob Ryan: No Excuses (Click play to watch video)
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talks about what his defense will need to do differently this time around to slow down the Eagles offense.
Ryan says LeSean McCoy best back he’s faced ‘by far,’ on par with Barry Sanders
The Dallas Cowboys have faced Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Fred Jackson and Reggie Bush this year.
But defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy is “by far” the best running back he’s been up against.
“Absolutely. By far. No question,” he said. “And my guys give me heck because you can’t throw enough bouquets to the guy. He’s tough, he’s quick, he’s everything. I saw Barry Sanders kill us one game, and then I saw this kid, and I never noticed the difference except the decal. The guy’s fantastic.”
McCoy leads the NFL in rushing with 1,274 yards and touchdowns with 17.
The first time the Cowboys faced him this year, McCoy ran 30 times for 185 yards. It’s the most yards the Cowboys have allowed to one back this season. Steven Jackson ran for 70, Fred Jackson had 114, Gore had 47, Bush had 61, and Marshawn Lynch had 135.
Rob Ryan: Ware, Ratliff are feeling better this week
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan rested two of his best defensive players for most of last week’s game. The Cowboys didn’t need Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware against the Bucs. They will be needed the next two weeks.
Ratliff, who strained a muscle in his rib cage two weeks ago against the Giants, played nine plays against the Bucs, according to Pro Football Focus.
Ware, who has had a stinger since the second half of the Arizona game, played only 63 of 84 plays against the Giants. He was in for only seven plays against the Bucs, sitting out the second half, though he did have three tackles and a sack.
"I knew going [into the Bucs game], they weren’t going to play much," Ryan said. "I think Ware played seven plays, had three tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. I said, ‘Ok, time to get out; you’re not feeling well.’ I mean, the guy’s phenomenal. And Jay, you know, is so banged up, but he’s such a warrior. You’ve got to pull him off. We’re excited.
"Are we at full strength? Hey, nobody is this time of year. We’re as close to full strength as you could possibly be at this time of year. Again, we don’t have to make excuses. All we got to do is play great. That’s all."
Ware has 57 tackles and 16 sacks. Ratliff has 34 tackles and two sacks.
In explaining why backup cornerback Alan Ball replaced starter Terence Newman early in the first quarter in 37-34 loss to the Giants last Sunday, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan intimated that Newman is nursing an injury
"We have guys, corners who have been delicate cause of injuries," Ryan said. "They are not delicate. They are playing their ass off. We’ve got guys with hamstrings. We’ve got guys with shoulders. Most guys won’t come out there. That is why there is so much substitution. It looks like hockey. Got guys coming in and out over the bench."
Cornerback Mike Jenkins is on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
So Ryan was asked specifically if Newman had an injured hamstring?
"I don’t know," Ryan said. "He is playing as best he can. Most people with the injuries he is having to nurse through and work through…. You have to commend a guy that is giving that kind of effort."
So what is Newman nursing, Ryan was asked again: "I don’t know. I don’t know. Hell, I have no idea."
ROB RYAN: Sunday’s game against the New York Giants a must-win affair for the Dallas Cowboys (Video)
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan yells at Line Judge Mike Spanier after a call.
Add defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to the list of Cowboys, not named head coach Jason Garrett, who are not trying to classify Sunday’s showdown against the Giants as just another game.
In fact, Ryan calls it a must win game for the Cowboys and has told his players as much.
“I always tell them the truth,” Ryan said. “Down the stretch here, is this a must win? In my opinion, yes it is. We need to win this game. It’s a hard game. If you watch the tape the last two weeks, you don’t want to watch it. Eli Manning threw 22 straight completions against the Saints, hung up 35 points against the World Champion defense supposedly. We’re up for a big challenge here, but our guys are ready to go. We’re anxious about this game, we’ve done our preparation and we can’t wait until it gets here.”
Rob Ryan talks about what they do to opposing offensive, and lets you know just how good his defense has been this season.
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan
ARLINGTON – The secondary’s struggles continued and the Dallas Cowboys proved vulnerable during stretches of the their 20-19 victory over Miami. But Dallas’ brash defensive coordinator was satisfied as he sauntered out of the locker room.
Asked about the defense’s performance, Rob Ryan replied, "I wouldn’t it call it real strong, but we’re happy with the win."
While the Cowboys did surrender 352 total yards, they conceded only one touchdown. Dallas proved particularly strong inside its own red zone — holding the Dolphins to four field goals in a game the Cowboys would win by a one point.
"I think we executed better than we have been," Ryan said. "It was a point of emphasis. Our guys worked their ass off. They try so hard. We had to be exact out there and we were in the red zone. It really helped us."
Cowboys linebacker Bradie James doesn’t have to worry about getting into the game this week. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the Redskins are going to “play football” – line up with running backs and run the ball – which means James is going to play football.
“When the other team is going to play football, Bradie is going to be out there,” Ryan said.
James got into only one play last week against Buffalo. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the Bills’ four- and five-receiver sets kept the Cowboys out of their base offense, which is where James contributes most.
That’s not what Ryan expects from the Redskins and coach Mike Shanahan, who built his reputation in the NFL with strong running teams in Denver.
“We know Shanahan is going to run his stretch plays, he’s going to run his boots,” Ryan said. “We don’t know what formation or personnel groups they’re coming from, but they’re coming. When it’s all lined up and they’re playing the game of football as we know it, Bradie James is going to be right there.”
James has been the Cowboys’ leading tackler the past six years. But this year, his role has been far reduced by the emergence of second-year linebacker Sean Lee, who leads the team in tackles. James is eighth on the team with 30 tackles.
“He’d be one of the first picks you’d take from the whole roster,” Ryan said of James, a nine-year veteran. “You’d go, ‘Hey, I want him, I want him.’ He’d be out there. This should be one of his types of games. Last week was definitely not.”
Yes, Rob Ryan watched the Broncos play the Jets.
No, the Cowboys defensive coordinator didn’t like what he saw. For one, it was a loss for the Jets, who are coached by his brother Rex. For another, the Broncos won it with an offense he doesn’t like.
“I don’t like it because it’s college football,” Ryan said Friday at Valley Ranch, entertaining reporters during his weekly media session. “We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets. Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”
Well, Denver did win. Tim Tebow ran 20 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
“Thanks for pointing that out,” Ryan said. “The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?
“Just a second. I’ll take a knee myself.”
IRVING, Texas – Rob Ryan took a break from raving about Buffalo running back Fred Jackson to rip a Texas high school coaching legend.
Actually, Ryan doesn’t even know the name of the coach whom he ripped. He just knows that Jackson was a backup at Arlington Lamar.
“They ought to fire that coach, by the way,” Ryan said.
Informed that the coach in question is retired, Ryan replied: “He’s retired? That’s good. Because this guy’s special.”
We never got around to telling Ryan that Eddy Peach, the longtime Arlington Lamar coach, retired with 309 wins, the most in Class 5A history. Frankly, Ryan wouldn’t have cared. He’s too busy getting ready for a running back that he respects immensely.
Jackson made his way to the NFL via Division III Coe College and an indoor league. He’s become one of the league’s most productive backs, ranking third in rushing yards (803) and second in total yards (1,194) this season.
The kid who wasn’t big enough to start for a loaded Lamar team has grown into a 6-foot-1, 215-pound bruiser.
“He’s really tough. God, this guy is tough, now,” Ryan said. “He takes on all comers. We purposely never showed some of the chip blocks he does on defensive ends because he leaves them on the carpet. He just blasts them, literally leaves them out there and getting carted off. So we have to watch out for that besides his great talent of running the football. …
“He runs the ball like Walter Payton used to where he just looks people up and runs them over. But he’s also got the fleet feet where he can make people miss. He’s a special guy and he’s a special kid, too. I really like this guy, respect him and hopefully we can knock the crap out of him.”
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is hoping Sean Lee can be as effective Sunday as he was in the first seven weeks of the season. Lee still leads the team in tackles with 73 despite missing last week’s game with a dislocated left wrist.
Lee will try to play with a cast that covers his entire left hand.
“I’ve seen [Cardinals’ Hall of Fame safety] Larry Wilson play a game 100 years ago with a big cast, and he did good,” Ryan said. “I’m hoping he can be the next Larry Wilson. Honestly, we hope he can play. He brings so much to the defense. He’s smart, tough; he finds the football like no other. He is excellent. He does have a special quality to find the football. He studies a ton of tape. He really is a special player.”
Lee got hurt in the first quarter of the Eagles game while tackling Michael Vick. In his absence, the Cowboys have given up back-to-back 100-yard rushers and now face the league’s third-leading rusher in Buffalo’s Fred Jackson. They did not allow a 100-yard rusher in the first six games.
“We’ve had extra walk-throughs on our run fits,” Ryan said. “We’re doing some extra things here to shore up the run. Obviously, you can’t have a whole lot of success if you’re giving up that many yards rushing each week. We definitely made it a point of emphasis. We’re playing another great back and a great coach. Chan Gailey does about as good a job in this league as an offensive coordinator. We know he has a commitment to run the football like he’s always done. We definitely made it priority and expect great results.”
IRVING, Texas – Defensive coordinator/quote machine Rob Ryan’s 20-minute press conference featured one Shakespeare reference and no trash talk.
Well, at least no trash talk that will end up on a bulletin board outside an NFL locker room. He did throw a few playful jabs at reporters.
Rob Ryan readily admitted his gum-flapping did the Cowboys no good last week, taking the brunt of the blame again for the butt-kicking the Eagles gave their NFC East rivals. But Ryan found a question about whether the 34-7 whipping affected his swagger quite funny.
“You jest at scars and never felt the wound,” Ryan replied. “That’s Romeo and Juliet, for you guys that don’t know.”
Then he answered the question in more fitting Ryan fashion.
“Uh, hell no,” Ryan said. “I mean, c’mon, we’ve all had bad moments. I’ve seen your telecasts and every once in a while, I’m not going to say you, but I’ve seen Babe [Laufenberg] screw up a time or two. Look, we’ve all had our moments. That was my moment. I just had a few more people watching. It wasn’t my best, but hell, let’s get it on. We’ll be fine.”
A week ago, the “all-hype team” comment Rob Ryan made during training camp in reference to the Eagles was all the rage. He fanned the flames a bit last Friday by declaring that the Dallas Cowboys would “really kick their ass” if the Eagles needed his motivation.
Ryan felt like he had a foot in his mouth by the end of the first quarter in Philly. By that time, the Eagles had already marched down the field for two touchdowns and were well on their way to a blowout win, for which Rob Ryan took all the blame afterward.
“I think I motivated their entire team a little bit extra and probably put a little too much pressure on our guys, which is really not what we want to do,” Ryan said. “So that’s why I felt the whole thing was my fault, and it really was. There’s no one else to blame but, hell, the guy in front of you, but that doesn’t happen very often.
“It’s not going to be a weekly press conference where I screw something up. It’s not gonna happen. It usually happens the other way around, probably the other guys’ locker room where they’re crying the next week.”
So does this mean Ryan is going to deny his good buddies in the media golden nuggets of trash talk from now on?
“Hell, I hope so,” Ryan said with a laugh. “I can’t make any guarantees about that. Sometimes I say things that apparently other coaches don’t, but hell, that’s the way it is. I try to say the right thing, but that’s usually when I screw up.”
Ryan is much more confident that the Dallas defense will bounce back from a bad game than he is in his ability to mind his manners while talking to the media.