Sean Lee looking forward to Marinelli's D

February, 10, 2014
Feb 10
11:45
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- As Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee prepares for his fifth season, he will be getting to know his fifth defensive coordinator.

Rod Marinelli was promoted to the spot two weeks ago after the 2013 coordinator, Monte Kiffin, was named assistant head coach/defense.

When Lee was picked in the second round of the 2010 draft, Wade Phillips was the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. When Phillips was fired after eight games, Paul Pasqualoni handled the job for the remainder of the season.

In 2011-12, Rob Ryan was the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator as Dallas continued to run the 3-4 scheme.

Last year, the 3-4 was out and Kiffin’s 4-3 was in.

Now it’s Marinelli’s job.

“I think it’ll be a similar base,” Lee said. “Both coaches (Marinelli and Kiffin) are fantastic coaches. I think the issue is the players finding a way to play better within the scheme, being more consistent, being perfect with our technique, and playing with consistency. Those are things we didn’t do at all last year.”

Lee got to know Marinelli last season even though he did not provide day-to-day coaching for the linebacker.

“Unbelievable motivator, great person, great coach,” Lee said. “I’m excited to play for him as our coordinator. He’s going to be great. I’m excited coach Kiffin is going to be involved, too. I have a great relationship with (linebackers) coach (Matt) Eberflus, who has made me a better player. Having all those guys will be great.”

Lee said the onus will be on the players to improve if the Cowboys want to make the playoffs.

“I think that the 4-3, 3-4, there are a lot of similarities, really,” Lee said. “Obviously, we didn’t make the transition well, but that was on us working more, becoming better, learning quicker and executing it better. I think that’s on the players.”

If it doesn’t get better in 2014, Lee could see his sixth defensive coordinator in six seasons.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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