Originally Posted by Soth
I have been reading a few articles at blogging the boys. They are a lot more upbeat about the Ryan/Kiffin situation than I am, but they make some valid points. I would have posted the articles but it seems I am not allowed to post links (some post count rule I guess).
This is what they are discussing over there:
1. If you look at all the offensive/defensive rankings this season, the defense is in the bottom 15 range in a lot of categories. On the other hand, the offense is actually highly ranked in many categories. Our main issues offensively are turnovers (Romo?) and running game. Just by looking at the stats it makes a lot of sense to fire Ryan and retain Garrett. Obviously, this overlooks the injury problem.
[View Full Quote]2. We did not have a lot of other options at DC. Horton/Zimmer are under contract. Lovie wanted an HC job, etc. Kiffin was available and the team decided to pull the trigger. They could have waited, but it seems like the saw that as a more risky approach.
3. Kiffin was not successful at USC, but this may have been due to their lack of talent. The sanctions really hurt USC's ability to recruit talented defenders and this hurt Kiffin. Some posters are saying that the system was sound, but players simply lacked the talent to make plays.
4. Our corners will be a good fit for Kiffin’s system, specially Mo. You need corners that can redirect defenders and make plays on the ball, and they think Carr and Mo can do this (even if they are known as more of press/man coverage defenders).
5. Kiffin told Jerry/Jason that he thinks we have the players to run the system. He may be old, but he is qualified to make such a statement. He might also be trying to “sell” himself, so take this with a grain of salt.
This makes me feel a little better about the changes. I would have still preferred to see what Ryan could do in his third year with a healthy defense. But it is what it is.
1. Rankings don't matter if they are based off yards. Yards don't matter. The only thing that matters is scoring.
Kiffin's defense is a bend don't break, risk reward defense that is predicated on stripping the running back of the ball and intercepting the pass. They risk the run after the catch or run after contact and give up yards to play a more aggressive ball hawk defense. So yards do not matter between the twenties if the defense is working.
If the defense is working.
But they also require pressure on the quarterback from the defensive line to accomplish this. Something this Dallas team has had problems delivering.
However, mobile quarterbacks have success against this style of defense. And looking at the success of Russell Wilson, RG III, and Colin Kaepernick looks like the league is heading toward the mobile quarterback. Surely if this is a copy cat league that type of QB will become fashionable.
Doesn't mean this defense will not be successful, but the real question is how long will it take to become comfortable with the defense. One of the things people are not talking about is the transition from one style to another. This defense has looked lost at times in a defense they have played for two years.
Now Kiffin will come in and teach a new defense and these guys will become instinctive in this scheme?
2. There is a full compliment of college DC's and position coaches in the NFL that might have wanted to be the DC. Picking Kiffin was not a take it or leave it aspect.
But further, keeping Ryan wasn't out of the question either. So many look at the results from this year - including your post that mentions where they ranked - and seems to ignore injuries. The stiff upper lip comments about injuries don't matter might mean something if Dallas wasn't taking people off the street. It is one thing to bring in a back up and expect him to step up. It is something entirely different to bring in someone who is working out on his own because he is not in the league.
This is the complaint and falls at the feet of Jerry. He decided to make things uncomfortable, and firing Ryan was his big play.
But even the most jaded Dallas fan on this board saw a defense that had improved, even with playing walk ons.
Kiffin may be an improvement, but we'll never know what Ryan's defense was like with a completely healthy team, with a full couple of seasons to adjust, because Jerry just did to Rob Ryan what he did to Chan Gailey. Something he said he regretted, but then just did it again.
And the character assassination of Ryan now that he is fired appears to me to be justification for over reacting and not taking everything into consideration.
3. I would be more concerned that Kiffin wasn't successful because of one of two reasons.
A. He didn't have the players to execute the scheme, which causes concern here.
B. The game has passed him by, and it did Landry, so Kiffin is not immune.
4. But that redirection is to create a beat of a second to get the defensive line to the quarterback. Kiffin's teams at Tampa averaged around 39 sacks a season.
However this defense is taking a 3-4 built for that purpose and then transitioning to a 4-3. One size does not fit all. I suspect there will be some retooling that needs to happen for his defense to optimize his scheme.
How old is Romo again? Ware? Witten?
We can talk about windows and what is and what isn't, but it seems awfully late in the day to decide to just start over on defense.
Again, a take charge guy made a decision that might have been ill-advised.
5. Did he tell the college team he coached for the same thing? Probably so since his son was the head coach.
I would suspect since he was vacating the USC program, there is some selling his product to the Cowboys, and telling them they have players that can execute this scheme would be the first step.
I don't know how this will turn out, but there are some legitimate questions that arise with changing a scheme built for the three down linemen front to a four down linemen front, and two of those have been not playing with their hand on the ground.
This defense could thrive. But I suspect there will be growing pains, and with the situation of our offense, the shape it is in, and the fact we are also going to have a new OC, this seems like a great deal of things to change to expect better results for 2013.
Just one question - coming from the hand on the ground stance, and rising to standing during the first step, how does this affect Ware's timing? He is a great athlete, yet has he ever worked from that position through an entire game?
Not since he came to Dallas.
I think once again Jerry knee-jerked when finding the right players could have represented three additional wins and a play-off run.
Throw the baby out with the bath water comes to mind here.