Todd Archer from ESPNDallas reports that Jason Garrett appears to have interviewed Packers wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson to take over the WR Coaching position in Dallas vacated by Ray Sherman. Robinson is yet another coaching candidate that Garrett has a personal connection with: Garrett was the backup QB with the Giants from 2000-2003 and Robinson was the WR coach while Garrett was there.
In other coaching news, Nick Eatman from the mothership writes that it looks like Mike Woicik will be officially hired as the Cowboys' strength coach, although nothing has been announced just yet.
The fact that this hiring is taking longer than expected to complete has led Gerry Fraley from the DMN to speculate that a bidding war may be in progress between the Patriots and the Cowboys for his services - Woicik's, not Fraley's.
[Update: Clarence Hill from the Star Telegram reports Woicik's hiring is a done deal.]
We had profiled Woicik in a post on Wednesday, but have since dug up a little more about him, courtesy of a book titled "Management Secrets of the New England Patriots" by James K. Lavin, who devotes almost a full chapter to Woicik. After the break, an excerpt from that book, plus an introduction to the new defensive assistant coach, Ben Bloom.
James K. Lavin on Mike Woicik (from 2005):
Perhaps the most overlooked element of the Patriots' success is strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, who shows players how to best develop football muscles. If you believe likely Hall of Fame Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, Woicik was the engine powering the Cowboys' dynasty, which won three Super Bowls under two different head coaches during Woicik's years in Dallas (1990-1996).
The Cowboys dynasty finally fizzled after Woicik’s firing (after he chewed out Coach Barry Switzer for allowing kicker Chris Boniol to kick a record-tying seventh field goal in a 21-0 game instead of kneeling on the ball to end the game.)
In 1996, former NFL player Tim Greene dedicated a book chapter to Woicik titled "The Most Valuable Man in the NFL". Green called Woicik "more important to the Cowboys organization than … Deion Sanders."
In it, he quotes Jimmy Johnson saying in 1994, "If I ever do get back into coaching, the first phone call I make after I get the job is to Mike".
Seems like Garrett has been listening to Jimmy Johnson.
Rob Ryan is also busy putting the final touches to his defensive staff and plans on bringing in Ben Bloom from Cleveland as defensive assistant coach. Coach Ryan has been effusive in his praise for Bloom while in Cleveland and it is no surprise he's bringing him along. Two quotes from Ryan's press conferences about Bloom:
I know one thing you can’t work harder than our defensive staff is working. Ben Bloom there’s a rumor he’s been in hibernation, the guy’s upstairs all the time, never goes home. The guy’s a phenomenal worker, what a huge upgrade this guy is for us on defense he does a lot of great things. December 10th, 2010
We are going to play our best, we’ve done a great job of preparing. This Ben Bloom guy we have moved over on defense, he’s got plays that they have only thought about running that haven’t even showed up on tape. He has been a big plus for us over there on defense. We are taking advantage of everybody we got. September 10th, 2010
The defensive assistant's job is to assist the team by helping break down film of opposing offenses, while also helping to compose each week’s defensive playbooks. That job is currently held by Bobby King, who was also assistant linebackers coach under Reggie Herring. No word yet from Valley Ranch on what, if any, role he will have with the Cowboys going forward.
Here's a small vita of Benjamin Bloom:
2011 Defensive Assistant Coach, Dallas Cowboys
2010 Defensive Assistant Coach, Cleveland Browns
2008-2009 Assistant Defensive Line Coach at Harvard, Harvard University
2005-2007 Graduate Assistant and Offensive Line Coach, Tufts University
2003-2004 Starting offensive lineman, Tufts University