The Dallas Cowboys knew they needed more help at linebacker after the 2017 season. Jaylon Smith still isn’t all the way back to what he once was and Sean Lee just can’t avoid injury season after season. Whenever Lee is not on the field, the dropoff on defense for Dallas is staggering. Change was needed.
So Dallas drafted Leighton Vander Esch in the first round, they drafted Chris Covington in the sixth round, and added Joe Thomas in free agency. They were determined to shake up the position by bringing in new blood. Sometimes overlooked in all of this, is the new blood leading the room, new linebackers coach Ben Bloom.
Bloom was promoted to the position once Matt Eberflus left to be the defensive coordinator in Indianapolis. Bloom has been with the Cowboys for eight years, and worked his way up the chain. He was a defensive quality coach, assistant defensive ends coach and assistant linebackers coach, and now linebackers coach.
“It seems like he’s been doing it for a very long time to me,” said Covington, a sixth-round pick out of Indiana.
”He knows what he’s talking about. He gives great details. He’s on the little things, the small things, and that’s what I like about him.”
The media has been eagerly following him at rookie mini-camp.
It gave those within earshot a taste of Ben Bloom’s coaching style, which included a mix of sarcasm and some colorful language.
Bloom has grabbed a lot from other coaches along the way, but he’s trying to establish his own style.
“I’ve taken something from all those guys, but at the same time, I know I’ve got to be true to my personality. I’ve got to communicate with the players and just teach them their alignment, their assignment, their key, their technique, how to play the game, how to be successful in this league.”
Bloom wasn’t afraid to bark orders at the rookies during the minicamp, and will use the same approach with the veterans.
Sometimes it’s necessary, of course. Marinelli is known for his passion and intensity, especially during training camp when practices are open to the public.
”Sometimes you’ve got to get fiery and motivate, get a little loud,” Bloom said. “Coach Marinelli is the best at that. I have a great example of that, but coach Marinelli is also a teacher. There are times when he’s just teaching the game and talking the game, so there’s a time and place for all of that.”
Bloom was intimately involved in working out Vander Esch prior to the draft and has been in communication with him throughout the process. Now he has to teach the rookies while also helping the vets elevate their game. Change is only good if it improves the situation. Bloom’s ability to teach and motivate will be huge this year since the Cowboys run defense wasn’t as good in 2017 as it needed to be.