Since the 2008 season, linebacker and team captain Bradie James has worn a helmet wired to the defensive coordinator, in order to take instruction from the sidelines while on the field. That won’t change this season, but the man on the other end of the headset, rather than Wade Phillips, will be Rob Ryan. And therein lies the big change for James, and indeed anyone on the Cowboys’ sidelines with sensitive ears.
Unlike the reserved Phillips, Ryan talks a lot--and, according to players, he never really stops talking, as evidenced by Sunday’s Blue and White scrimmage.
"He was quiet not one minute," James said afterward, per the Dallas Morning News. “So he's talking, 'Bradie, tell Abe Elam to get over, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.' I'm like, 'Damn, do your thing, Rob.’”
Both Buddy Ryan, Rob’s father and legendary Eagles head coach, and Rex, Rob’s brother and New York Jets head coach, have developed reputations for being highly vocal. As the Cowboys quickly found out, their new defensive coordinator is no exception.
"You know they can talk the entire time during the season," James said. "He told me, though. He warned me. He said he talks a lot, and he does."
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