Despite not having talked to Monte Kiffin, Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee sounded on board with the team’s new defensive coordinator hire during an interview on Tuesday night.
Before discussing the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme, Lee praised former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan for all he taught Lee during the previous two seasons, adding that Ryan made him a better football player in a lot of ways.
“But the Cowboys have wanted to transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense and we brought in a guy who has had a ton of success, who I think the whole team is excited to learn from,” Lee told the Turf Talk show on 103.3 [KESN-FM] in Dallas. “I think we have a lot of guys on the defense that will suit this defense and play this defense well. The key is to now really take this offseason and be able to transition. It’s another offseason where we have to learn but we need to attack it and find a way to attack it early and have a great OTA and have a great training camp if we want to be able to do this. But I think we have the guys who are ready.”
Lee added: “I think that the Cowboys feel that this is going to give us the best shot to go forward and win, and not only to win to get in the playoffs but to win to get in the Super Bowl.”
In regards to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett leading the team in the correct direction going forward, speaking for his teammates, Lee said, “all of us believe he’s the guy that can take us there.”
While the offense will need to find ways to improve, the defense’s success will depend greatly on how linebackers like Lee and Bruce Carter and defensive linemen DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff adapt to Kiffin’s defensive philosophies. Lee said he doesn’t envision that being a problem.
“Everybody’s going to have to find a way to change how they play, if they have to play drastically different, which I don’t think we will,” Lee said. “We’ve played (the 4-3 scheme) 40 percent of the time sometimes, where we would adjust to certain formations where we would be in an under-front or we played sub and an over-front, so I think guys will be able to transition well. I think we have versatile guys who can play a lot of different positions. I think this defense will take advantage of a lot of the athletes we have, especially on the d-line.”