Reports: Texas A&M assistant Maurice Linguist to coach Cowboys’ secondary, Doug Nussmeier to coach QBs - SportsDay
Mike McCarthy made some more staff changes on Sunday, moving Doug Nussmeier to the QB room and adding Maurice Linguist to coach the secondary.
Linguist’s previous Division I coaching stops include Minnesota, Mississippi State and Iowa State.
Linguist would join a handful of other coaches already pledged to McCarthy’s staff, including Mike Nolan (defensive coordinator), Jim Tomsula (defensive line), Joe Philbin (offensive line) and John Fassel (special teams). Kellen Moore is expected to remain as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.
Roles on the Cowboys’ coaching staff also appear to be shifting internally. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Doug Nussmeier will takeover as quarterbacks coach, replacing Jon Kitna.
Linguist was known as a strong recruiter on the collegiate level, but he was also successful in coaching up secondaries all over the country.
In his lone season with the Golden Gophers, Lindquist built a formidable defensive secondary despite being ravaged by injuries, which forced him to use 11 defensive backs. The Gophers ranked 11th nationally in passing defense (174.5 yards per game) and allowed only 16 passing touchdowns, which tied for No. 22 in the FBS.
Linguist arrived at Minnesota after spending one season at Mississippi State, where he coached the safeties. In 2016, he coached a quartet of talented players (Brandon Bryant, Kivon Coman, Mark McLaurin and Jamal Peters), who combined for seven of the Bulldogs’ 14 interceptions.
From 2014-15, Linguist was the defensive passing game coordinator at Iowa State. In 2015, he mentored freshman cornerback Brian Peavy, who earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and was a finalist for Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. In 2014, Linguist’s young unit picked off 10 passes as he tutored a pair of underclassmen to All-Big 12 recognition. Free safety Kamari Cotton-Moya was named the Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year and sophomore cornerback Nigel Tribune was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press. Cotton-Moya, a first-team freshman All-America pick by the FWAA, led the team in tackles.
Mike McCarthy claims that he has studied analytics during his year away from coaching, but can he turn that into action in 2020?
McCarthy wasn’t known as an analytics ambassador during 13 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Publicly, he chided “statistics are for losers” on multiple occasions, and some of his in-game decision-making contradicted principles championed in the numbers community. His first season in Dallas will demonstrate to what level he has evolved.
“I wanted the job,” McCarthy said. “You do what you gotta do, right?”
Analytics is about information.
McCarthy has his.
By all accounts, he was engaged during his September visit to PFF, asking questions and not pretending to possess all the answers. He was in no rush to leave. For hours, he met with Hornsby, Chahrouri and data scientist Dr. Eric Eager who together painted the analytics landscape and the path they believe leads to smart, efficient, modern football.
If he chooses, McCarthy can walk it.
What will the Cowboys offense look like during the upcoming season?
According to Pro Football Focus, no other team dropped back to pass more often than the Green Bay Packers between 2014 and 2018. They did so in 66.2% of their plays. He’s talked about his offense being designed to make the quarterback successful. This differs from what we’ve seen from the Cowboys lately, who’ve had a run-first philosophy for a long time.
If the Cowboys are able to keep Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott and acquire a better starting tight end, this would remain a team talented enough to find success passing the ball. I’m sure McCarthy won’t let that go to waste considering his history.
Now, this doesn’t mean the Cowboys won’t be efficient running the football. In fact, as Kevin Brady pointed out on his recent article, Dallas should do a great job running the ball under their new HC.
Survey says … NFL executives, scouts, players rank Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, Panthers head coaching hires - Ben Standig and Grant Paulsen, The Athletic
Where do NFL executives, scouts, and players rank the Cowboys’ coaching hire?
Counting a first-place as four points, second equals three and so on …
1. McCarthy 86 total points (3.18 per ballot average)
2. Rivera 83.5 (3.09)
3. Rhule 59 (2.18)
4. Judge 41.5. (1.54)
It’s probably not surprising the two brand-name coaches came out on top. McCarthy and Rivera each received 11 first-place votes, but the Super Bowl-winner now in Dallas edged out the SB runner-up overall. Rhule (four first-place votes) certainly has admirers while Judge (1) faces a low-bar based on his largely blank perception canvas.
“Of the three recently announced hires, one (Rhule) is from college, one (McCarthy) had previous NFL head coaching experience, and one (Judge) is an NFL assistant,” Trask said. “I think it will be fascinating and a lot of fun to watch the trajectory of each and all of them, again recognizing that organizational structure and resources, etc. are significant.”
While many are talking about the Cowboys offense, the team has some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle is one of those spots. Will Dallas pursue an interior defensive lineman through free agency?
PFF Rank: 8
Javon Hargrave headlines a fairly rich DT free agent class this offseason. The soon-to-be 27-year-old interior defender (birthday in February) from Pittsburgh stands just 6-foot-2 305lbs but holds down the NT spot with precision.
Hargrave plays with fire, short area quickness, and technique that make him a solid option on 3-4 and 4-3 defenses alike. The No. 8 ranked DT in Pro Football Focus’ 2019 rankings led his position group with a 15.1% pressure rate. Just a tick ahead of Chris Jones and some guy named Aaron Donald.
The well rounded 3-down tackle is even stronger against the run as he is rushing the passer. He can handle 2-gap responsibility, keeping his play-making linebackers clean behind him, or he can explode through a single gap and disrupt the backfield.
Perhaps his most overlooked value is his ability to stay on the field. Hargrave has only missed one game in his four professional seasons. He’s a dependable player with extraordinary drive that can anchor a line. On the Dallas Cowboys he’s clearly suited for a 1-tech role (even without Marinelli here) and will instantly boost the run defense and allow the Jaylon Smith – Leighton Vander Esch combo to thrive – running free.
Cowboys free agency focus: Would Mike Daniels be a fit for McCarthy’s Cowboys? - Michael Sisemore, BTB
What about Mike Daniels?
Hopefully, the Cowboys are looking to finally prioritize the defensive tackle position under Mike Nolan. Dallas just hasn’t valued the position enough under the previous regime with Rod Marinelli. Sure, they have found guys like David Irving in the past but he couldn’t be trusted to stay off the naughty list. Trysten Hill, the Cowboys top draft selection this season, was only active for seven games. Though the Cowboys finished a respectable 11th in rushing defense, it’s not indicative of how inconsistent they were. Several games this season, the Cowboys just had no answer for the opponent’s running backs. Most notably, Aaron Jones and Dalvin Cook both had their way with the Cowboys defense. Having interior defensive linemen that don’t get pushed or turned off the ball is important. Line one of defense in the NFL is stopping the run.
The Cowboys will surely look to the draft again this year for some talent but it would be beneficial to pick up a veteran like Mike Daniels for insurance, if he can be had at a low cost. The Cowboys have guys like DeMarcus Lawrence to set the edge but they need a much stronger presence inside. Though Mike Daniels has had a couple of down years, he still could offer a team quality production and won’t come with an inflated price tag. Given his history with McCarthy, it would make sense for the Cowboys to give Daniels a call.
LSU and Clemson play for the national title tonight, and there is a ton of talent on both rosters. Reid’s latest big board is filled with players from both squads, such as Chaisson.
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
After suffering a torn ACL during the first game of the 2018 season, Chaisson returned with a vengeance. His play speed and up-field burst look to be even better than his pre-injury form. The biggest surprise about the LSU edge rusher came as a run defender. He has the physicality and awareness to attack and bring down rushers. While his pass rushing prowess is what will be glorified, he’s a versatile player that suits well as a standup 3-4 outside linebacker.
Jimmy Johnson is a Hall of Famer! Let’s talk about it.
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