Earlier today, I posted Part 1 of my interview with Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, who was down at the 2011 Super Bowl with Pepsi MAX. Here's Part 2 of our Q&A.
Blogging The Boys: Was there a big difference between Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett in terms of meetings and practices?
Sean Lee: I think there was somewhat of a difference, I think what Coach Garrett really did was instill confidence back into everybody. I think that at that point of the season we had lost our confidence in a lot of areas, there had been some injuries, and things seemed to be spiralling downhill. He kind of restored our confidence and you could see that in the last part of the season. We were practicing better, playing better. And really, you take a few plays in a few games and we could have had two more wins I think, or three more wins. We were in every game. And you look at the beginning of the season, we were playing well but finding ways to lose games, then all of a sudden in the middle, we played three or four games really poorly, that's when I think we lost our confidence. That's what Coach Garrett brought back to us.
BTB: And how did he go about restoring that confidence. Was it just his mannerisms, specific things he said? How did he do that?
SL: It was a combination of his mannerisms and things, you know. The first meeting we had he came in and showed us a clip of a play from the year before. A play where Miles had a big catch along the sideline, and Keith is running up and down along the sideline, and he said 'this is the Cowboys I know'. He showed us, and I really believe, that we were a good football team. We didn't play like it all the time, but I think we're a good football team, so it was 'let's go play like we know we can play'.
BTB: What do you know about Rob Ryan and his defensive philosophy? Have you met with him?
SL: I have met with him and I've met with our new linebacker coach, we call him Coach Flus, Coach Eberflus is how you pronounce it, and I like him a lot. We started trying to learn some of the defense, I think really that this defense, if we can master it and everybody commits in, we can be a very good defense. You know Coach Ryan, he's not going to apologize, he's got that confidence that he's not going to apologize, and I think that's what we need, I think he's the guy to instill it back into us.
BTB: He obviously has learned his father's defense, the 46, and he's coached the 3-4 defense. What do you think his philosophy will be in Dallas? More of the 46 stuff, or more of the base 3-4?
SL: I think there's a lot to this defense, there's a lot of looks, and I think he's going to make sure to give a lot of looks and it will be a pain for the offense. He's going to make sure we're in the best situation on defense that we can be in, and he's going to make sure that we are going to get after them. And we're going to be on the attack, and I like that, I think that's how a defense needs to play.
BTB: Are you concentrating on anything special in your preparations for 2011 ? Adding bulk, or any kind of special training?
SL: I think in general I want to improve everywhere. I want to add strength and bulk for when I'm taking on the linemen, I want to add quickness and speed, and add knowledge. You got improve, if you want to be a complete linebacker you have to improve in all areas. Speed, quickness, agility, everything that's going to make you a better linebacker. Iif you improve in those areas it will transfer over to blitzing, the run game, the pass game. So I'm really just going to look at myself, try to improve my technique, but athletically, get bigger, stronger, faster.