Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin cares more about Morris Claiborne's speed than his muscle.
By JON MACHOTAFS Southwest
IRVING, Texas — Morris Claiborne has noticeably gained muscle in his upper-body during the offseason. It's something that the former sixth overall draft pick said he wanted to do entering his second-year with the
So far, an increased weight-lifting regimen and improved diet have led to Claiborne gaining six pounds.
Playing in Monte Kiffin's new Tampa-2 defense will likely call for the 193-pounder to be more physical than he has been, but that doesn't mean Kiffin wants the starting cornerback focused solely on bulking up.
"You want guys to work out year-round and lift weights but I'm not looking for Mo Claiborne to be some 225-pounder or something like that," Kiffin said after organized team activities on Tuesday. "Just use his speed, that's all I care about. They'll tackle. But it's about your strength and conditioning."
While chatting about the Cowboys switching to a new 4-3 base defense, Kiffin downplayed the difficulty of learning a new system. He noted that the adjustments for Claiborne and the rest of the corners, "really isn't a whole lot."
But he also suggested that the group won't be getting the full dose of his scheme before the season gets underway in three months.
"It takes some time, there's no doubt about it," Kiffin said. "I don't care what the defense, when you install a new defense, it takes time, there's no doubt about it. But our players have really done a good job. You can't do everything. You just have to decide where to draw the line, go with this and make it work."