Today, the local and national media were allowed access to the collection of assistant coaches that will help guide the Cowboys into the 2013 season. On the heels of Jason Garrett's not confirming that he is giving up play-calling duties, the media was given a chance to get to know the new additions to the coaching staff and reunite with the handful of coaches that remained from the previous season.
Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin was the star of the show, as most of the media was "surprised" at how lively he was, at least according to their tweets. We also heard from D-Line coach Rod Marinelli, returning LB coach Matt Eberflus and returning DB coach Jerome Henderson. On the offensive side of the ball, both Wade Wilson and Bill Callahan spoke. Obviously Callahan's biggest question would be to try and lock down what Garrett wouldn't, the play-calling responsibilities.
To that note, Callahan had the following reaction:
RT @espn_macmahon: Bill Callahan on play-calling: "It's really a collaborative effort... Whoever calls the plays, we all do it together."— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Now, of course the other theme of yesterday was the media angle that Garrett has had his power usurped by Jerry Jones this offseason. Mickey Spagnola was a guest on 105.3 The Fan later in the day and had an interesting take. Mickey basically said, if Jerry doesn't come out at the beginning of the offseason with his "things are going to be uncomfortable" comment, do any of the coaching changes merit the prevalent thought process that Garrett isn't behind the moves? It's an interesting theory along the lines of perception becomes reality; especially when memes are more interesting than the actual responses from the subject (Garrett) being talked about.
Kiffin was asked by Mike Fisher about the tone of the Cowboys coaching staff since he's come on board; he had this to say:
Kiffin on Garrett to @fishsports "There's no doubt who's the head coach in there. Regardless of the perception that might be out there"— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Here's a look at the other (what I considered) relevant tweets to come from today's pressers. Some are original tweets from yours truly, others are retweets from those that were actually in attendance at Valley Ranch.
RT @calexmendez: Kiffin asked who his 3 tech is since there's no Sapp here. Says that's ok, didn't know Sapp was there when he got to Tampa.— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Hmm, wish I could have heard the entire line of questioning to know if anything was asked about Jay Ratliff. I mean, Rat is a Pro Bowler... without the context of the full interview, you just don't know if this is a proper logical path to follow.
smart guys RT @calexmendez: Eberflus steps on the box. Says it was clear early on Cowboys wanted him back.— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
RT @calexmendez: Henderson says Claiborne has to get stronger. struggled last year at times to break receiver blocks. Was tied to the wrist.— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
RT @calexmendez: Marinelli said he sees guys who are athletic on this defense. 'You put on the tape, these guys can really run.'— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
@fishsports says JGs biggest problem w/ pressers is he doesn't shut down irritating reporters like Tuna and Jimmy did. Irritating is my word— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
RT @jjt_espndallas: Rod Marinelli: "we're about getting up the field and attacking."— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
For those tuning into 105.3 The Fan while all this was going on, they were treated to an impromptu interview from SS Barry Church, recovering from surgery on his Achilles. Many (including myself) wondered if Church would be fully available at a 100% capacity by the start of the season. It looks like he, and MLB Sean Lee are doing what can be done towards that effect.
Barry Church on @1053thefan "Me and Sean Lee doing sprints now, doing band work, and it's going pretty good."— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Church on change to 43: "My role is probably gonna be basically the same, probably a little more box work"— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Church on Lynch: "Honor to be even mentioned... our roles are gonna be the same, in the box.. bumping receivers.. making a lot of tackles"— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Church on being ready for Oxnard: "100% ready"— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) February 14, 2013
Now there's obviously a lot of information in there. It looks like we have our first preview of the safety depth chart for the offseason. If Church received that word from Kiffin, I'd expect it to be contingent on a healthy return, obviously. However, that he has penciled him in as the strong safety probably gives us some insight into where Dallas might be looking in free agency and the draft, at the FS position. Of course, any news about return from injury is welcome, so hearing that he and Lee are sprinting is definitely good news.
Overall, it was a pretty insightful day at The Ranch. We have the combine starting next week and the Cowboys coaching staff is complete and already working on building their hierarchy of team needs. Thoughts?