Marc Colombo brought Big Bertha to practice.
The extra large blocking dummy signaled one of the changes Colombo is bringing to the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line after he replaced fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander on Monday.
Mostly, though, it’s old school excitement that Colombo says he’ll bring as a first-time OL coach.
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“I just think we need to get back to who we are and what we do,” said Colombo, who has been an assistant line coach the past few seasons after a nine-year NFL career, including more than five seasons with the Cowboys from 2005-2010. “I’m more of an old school guy in a sense. We’re going to work, we’re going to grind every day. Working every single technique, every drill. We’re going to bring some violence, some nasty to the game. We have to get back to our roots the past few years here which has been a nasty attitude and we’re going to bring that.”
Colombo will move from the coaching booth to the field for games, including Monday night against the Tennessee Titans. That will make for a quieter booth, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said.
“He knows the way we do things. The transition is easy for a lot of reasons,” Linehan said. “He has tons of credibility with those guys. He’s hard on them in a positive way.”
The linemen won’t be ditching all that Alexander had implemented, which included a different style of blocking technique that some of the players struggled to either grasp or buy into, but Colombo said there will be a return to some of the previous-used techniques.
“He was a great coach. His style is a little bit different than mine,” he said. “We’re going to kind of pick up where we left off the past few years. We’re not completely erasing what we’ve done. I’m going to introduce some of the stuff we’ve done in the past and they’re really excited about it. There’s a new air of energy with the group and that was kind of my goal, to reinvigorate this group and get us ready to play.”
Colombo said that although the team is fourth in the league in rushing he doesn’t think they’ve blocked particularly well.
“They love the juice and the energy [I’m bringing],” he said. “We know it wasn’t right so we need to get it right together as a unit. That’s the way I teach it. These guys are more used to doing more of my style so that’s kind of what going back to. I think I relate to these guys well. Sky’s the limit for us.”