I don't know why, but this passage (see below) from Jason Garrett about interviewing Rob Ryan really interested me. Maybe because it gave us outsiders a brief glimpse into the interviewing process for coaches in the NFL, and more specifically at Valley Ranch. But more likely, it shows the kind of guy Rob Ryan is, and the excitement and energy he will bring to the Dallas Cowboys defense.
Sure, Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge about defenses, all the way back from growing up with his father, Buddy. And he's spent plenty of time coaching 3-4 defenses, including his stint as linebacker coach for the New England Patriots, which Garrett references in his story below.
But more than anything, Ryan brings energy, he brings enthusiasm, and you get the feeling the Cowboys defense will not become complacent when he's on the job. Things felt stagnant during the first part of last season, and Wade Phillips, as knowledgeable as he is about defenses, just didn't have the right kind of personality to shake the players out of their doldrums.
Somehow, I don't think that will be a problem with Rob Ryan.
Make the jump...
"I’ll tell you a quick story about Rob," Garrett said. "We had an interview. I believe he came in on a Friday. He came into my office and he had on a coat and tie and his hair was nicely combed. He looked good. He looked good. But we started talking football and about three minutes into our conversation I’d never seen a guy who wanted to get out of a coat and tie more than this guy and so I said, ‘Rob just take the thing off,’ so literally he went boom and got rid of the tie, grabbed a pen and started going on the board. And it didn’t take long. I was impressed by the effort. I was impressed by the coat and tie and I was equally as impressed of him getting rid of it and getting going and really being who he is."
Ryan was a coordinator in Oakland and Cleveland, but Garrett referenced his time as New England’s linebackers coach.
"He has this time he spent in New England playing this 3-4 defense they play, coaching the [Tedy] Bruschis and the Ted Johnsons and the Willie McGinests and those guys and winning those Super Bowls. It was a great foundation and then he has the ability to do some different things. Be more creative. Different pressure packages. Different looks up front on third downs, those kinds of things."
Another thing that has me excited about Ryan is the way everybody talks about his creativity as a coordinator. The different looks he'll show a quarterback, and the way he disguises his coverages and blitzes. The Cowboys haven't really had a lot of that lately. I don't know if it's true or not, but I got the feeling that opposing offenses lined-up against Dallas and they basically knew what was coming on any given down. It seemed like a very rare occurrence when we had a blitzer come free for a clean shot on the quarterback because the offense was confused.
I'm as excited to see what our defense can do, and what it will do, as I have been in a long time. Now, if we could just get these fools to agree to have a season, we'll get to see what Ryan can do with what should be his most talented collection of defenders to date.