Rob Ryan says don’t worry. He can handle the option.
Or whatever else the Carolina Panthers throw out this week to try to spring quarterback Cam Newton.
“People get turned loose all the time. You don’t see that happen with us, and you’re not going to see it happen with us,” the Cowboys defensive coordinator said Friday in his weekly media session. “So this guy runs some college offense or a high school offense or a junior high offense, we’re going to be sound, we’re going to get after their (stuff). It doesn’t matter what they run – dive option, zone read, whatever. We’re just going to get after their (stuff) and make them punt.”
Ryan said he and his staff have plenty of experience against the schemes the Panthers use with Newton, a run-pass threat, and running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.
“We always lean on each other, but remember, I was a college assistant coach of the year in college, so for whatever that’s worth – but it really doesn’t count for crap when you’re in the NFL – but you know I can handle the option,” Ryan said. “I’ve done it my whole life. But we’ve got Matt Eberflus, who’s a fantastic coach, as you know, and Brian Baker, and all these guys were college coordinators. It’s no big deal. There’s still only one ball out there, and we’re going to tackle the guy with the ball.”
Ryan said the Cowboys will get pressure on Ryan. They just have to be careful.
“You’ve got to be smart, obviously. When you’re pressuring the quarterback, you want it to be a pass, so that’s one thing,” Ryan said. “But we’re not a big run-blitz team like some people are. We play with great technique. We’re going to prove it this week.”
And Ryan re-emphasized that the Cowboys plan to be sound above all else, especially considering Newton’s ability.
“This league’s about players more so than schemes and things,” Ryan said. “He’s a dynamic player. Does commercials, got posters all over the place, and there’s a reason, because the guy is a tremendous athlete. But we’re sound coaches, we run a sound defense here, so we’re just ready to play. We want to get on track. We want to beat these guys. Glad they had an open date to get ready for us because we’re going to be ready for them.”
-- Carlos Mendez