Much has been made about new Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin taking over a defense comprised of 3-4 personnel. Many have argued that the talents on the Cowboys' roster aren't good fits for Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense.
One of the key positions in the Tampa-2 is the three-technique defensive tackle who is charged with causing disruption at the point of attack. Keith Millard, John Randle and Warren Sapp have been some of the best in NFL history at the position. Kiffin will have to find a three technique for Dallas, but a reclamation project already on the roster may fill the void.
Dallas signed free agent defensive tackle Brian Price after the season. Price as a second-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2010. After a superb career at UCLA, he flashed at times with the Bucs before being traded to the Bears and eventually getting released. The personal trauma of the death of three siblings derailed Price's career. WalterFootball.com caught up with Kiffin at the Senior Bowl and he was very excited about working with Price.
"Yes I know Brian. We played against him when we were at Tennessee, and I tell you what, he kicked our butt in Knoxville when he was with UCLA a couple of years back," said Kiffin. "I'm just glad to see he was here. Whether he makes it or not I don't know, but a fresh start will maybe work out. Going back to Bucs days there were guys like Simeon Rice, Greg Spires and Shelton Quarles like that, that turned out to be pretty good."
Helping Kiffin to get Price turned around will be defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. As the Bears defensive coordinator, Marinelli was with Price in Chicago last training camp. Kiffin was elated to be coaching with Marinelli again.
"Yeah that is pretty exciting. We started in 1996 with Tony Dungy," said Kiffin. "They had him out in Southern Cal. Rich McKay and Jerry Angelo said Tony you need to go out and see this defensive line coach in Southern Cal. He said he liked him so we flew him into the combine in Indianapolis. I said Rod bring some tennis shoes and we went up into ball room and started doing some drills. He's just a great coach. Besides that he is a tremendous person and leader. You talk to any Buc player, Lions player or Bears player and they all love Rod Marninelli."
Kiffin was asked if he was excited to be back in the NFL after his years in college football and eager to work with the Cowboys defense.
"Oh yeah, it is fun to get back here in Mobile and start scouting some of these players," Kiffin said. "I have to go watch them now."
The high energy 72-year old is showing no signs of slowing down.