It’s not a stretch to say Cowboys’ defensive lineman is looking forward to working with Rod Marinelli, who was brought in in order to help install Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense--and who, in Hatcher’s words, is “a legend in this game.”
The defensive end, who will move to defensive tackle under the tandem of Kiffin and Marinelli, spoke about his new position coach after Tuesday’s OTA session.
“He coached Warren Sapp, one of the best who ever did it, so every day I’m either texting him or asking him, ‘Coach, how was today’s practice? What do I need to work on?’ He’ll text me back and say either ‘more get-off [or] better hands,’” Hatcher said, per the Dallas Morning News. “With a guy like that you soak up all you can for him. I’m looking forward to seeing how I play this year.”
Hatcher has started 26 of the team’s 32 games over the past two seasons and, in Kiffin’s 4-3 system, could see time at both end and tackle. This could make him invaluable to a defense that was plagued by injury for most of last season.
“I want to be able to play across the board if need be,” Hatcher said. “If somebody goes down, it’s the more you can do in this league. If they need me to go out and play the five-technique, the nine, I’m trying to play it all. You definitely have to be versatile in this defense, so I want to learn the one-technique, the three-technique, all across the board.
“I want to know what to do so if somebody goes down maybe they need to say, ‘Hatch go play the five or the nine for a game.’ I’m looking forward to this defense. We all are.”
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