Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wants his players to know that, as far as he is concerned, the sky is the limit for each of them.
Marinelli believes this stance is key to bouncing back from (A) the worst defensive season in franchise history, and (B) an offseason that has already been less than kind to the Cowboys’ defensive personnel. Since Week 17 of last season, the team has lost their all-time sacks leader DeMarcus Ware and their best defensive lineman in 2013, Jason Hatcher, and--perhaps the most devastating of all--defensive captain Sean Lee went down for the year with a torn ACL on Tuesday.
“We just got to get guys to have career years,” Marinelli said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I think you set standards for men. If you don’t set standards, you certainly won’t reach them. If I put a ceiling on them and say, ‘This is all I expect of you,’ that’s all you’ll get. I take the ceiling off. I want every guy to have a career year. That’s how I do it.”
Perhaps the most reassuring piece still in place is Marinelli himself. The former defensive line coach is widely considered one of the best defensive minds in football, and he’s been particularly adept at coaching players up--like George Selvie, who came in and posted seven sacks for Dallas a year ago.
“Every guy, I’m going to coach as hard as I can to be the best pass rusher he can be,” Marinelli said, “and if you do that, the numbers will start falling for you.”
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