When Rob Ryan signed with the Cowboys on Jan. 15 to become their defensive coordinator, there was a hope his electric personality, similar to his twin brother/Jets head coach Rex's, would light a fire under a somewhat docile group of aging veterans.
So far, that's exactly what's happened.
After leading a youthful Browns defense to good things in 2010, Ryan now hopes to establish a new defensive identity in Dallas, a hopeful departure from Wade Phillips' brand of bend-don't-break defense that rarely caused any turnovers.
Ryan's aggressive defense is designed to do the exact opposite. They'll give up some big plays here and there, but expect mass chaos if you're an opposing quarterback.
“I know what type of defense [Rob Ryan] has,” DeMarcus Ware told "Blogging the Boys". “He’s a pressure guy and will do a lot with the versatile guys that we have. I know it’s going to be good for us. [We'll use] a lot more crazy looks. Guys will have more responsibilities.”
And not to say anything bad about the Browns, but the Cowboys defense probably has more (cough, cough) talent (cough) than any team Ryan has been a part of.
Ware is still one of the most feared, dangerous pass rushers in the NFL, Bradie James is an above average inside linebacker, Sean Lee is an up-and-comer that showed signs of greatness last year and Keith Brooking is an aging, yet solid, guy in the middle.
That group stumbled to a No. 23 ranking in NFL total defense last year while giving up an astronomical 351.8 yards per game, but that should change in 2011.