The Cowboys defense had many problems last season, including linebacker Bruce Carter’s rough transition to Monte Kiffin’s defensive scheme.
Carter struggled enough that he was benched for a couple of games in October and didn’t make much of a positive impact when he was back in the lineup in the second half. That’s why the Cowboys were considering taking linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round before Pittsburgh made Shazier the 15th overall pick.
Kiffin’s no longer the defensive coordinator, but Rod Marinelli is going to be running the same scheme that Carter said left him feeling less confident as a player last year. Marinelli said he doesn’t “do confidence stuff,” but that Carter, who didn’t force a turnover or recover a fumble last year, has to “take the ball away.”
“Go play,” Marinelli said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “It’s a man’s game, man. Play it the right way. That’s what I want. We’re going to coach it. We’ll coach you hard. Be where you’re supposed to be. This is what we expect. And then go.”
Carter can’t say that Marinelli didn’t make it simple for him. Or for any of the other returning Cowboys who need to be a lot better than they were in 2013 if the team is going to make it farther than Week 17 this time around.