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January 25, 2011

Garrett to assistants: Shhhhh!

Under the Jason Garrett administration, openness will be regulated.

Garrett said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl workouts here that Dallas Cowboys assistant coaches will not be allowed to be interviewed about players.

Or anything else.

That includes new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, a member of the loquacious Ryan family, whose members approach talking almost as passionately as they approach breathing.

Under former coach Wade Phillips, assistants were allowed to talk about players, but Garrett apparently wants full control.

Garrett did agree, however, to talk about Ryan, who was hired on Jan. 19. Although the two appear to be the odd couple -- Garrett, the button-downed Ivy Leaguer from Princeton and Ryan, the unkempt cowboy from Southeastern Oklahoma State University -- Garrett said the two found common ground.

“I think we have a lot of things in common,” Garrett said. “One of  the things I’m attracted to him about was he’s a football guy He loves football. You get him in a room and start talking about it, it’s easy to see the passion that he has for it.

“His ability to convey that to the other coaches on the staff, convey that to his players, engage with those people and really kind of share it -- it’s the atmosphere you want to create throughout your team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. He has a track record of doing that.”

Garrett said that during the job interview, Ryan’s passion was evident.

“He came in for the interview and had his coat and tie on,” Garrett said. “I could tell early on that he couldn’t wait to get that coat off and loosen that tie and get up to that board and get going.

“We had a great visit. We spent a lot of time talking about football, all aspects of it. The interview process was really good. It was fun, fun for me to be in there. Fun for the other coaches to be in there and listen to him talk about . . . the scheme part of it and how he coaches players and different experiences that he’s had. He’s an engaging guy.”

Garrett still has four assistant coach positions to fill, but like Cowboys owner Jerry on Tuesday, Garrett said he is in no hurry.

“We’re going through the process of interviewing different coaches and trying to get a feel for them and hopefully they get a feel for us,” he said. “And when that all comes together, we’ll let you guys now.”

Garrett said there would be no hiring at the Senior Bowl, but said when the staff is complete, there would be a press conference introducing Ryan. Garrett said that it could be as early as next week, but teams rarely have press conferences during Super Bowl week in the host city.

For Garrett, this week has been educational. He has attended Senior Bowl week before, but it was as an offensive coach.

“When you’re the head coach you’re looking at the entire team,” Garrett said. “You’re looking at the defensive guys as well. And certainly the guys that are going to be involved in the kicking game. It’s the same kind of thing but the responsibility is that much greater just throughout a football team.”

Garrett made his first public comments about the departure of receivers coach Ray Sherman, who was interviewed for the head coaching position but when Garrett got the job, Sherman’s contract as an assistant was not renewed. Garrett was asked why.

“The only thing I’ll comment on that is I appreciate everything that Ray did for us over the last four years,” Garrett said. “He certainly did a very nice job for us. Sometimes, you just go in different directions, and that’s what happened. We’re excited about what he did for us and what his future is going to be.”

-- Jan Hubbard


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