Dallas Cowboys: Brett Maxie

At the Senior Bowl, head coach Jason Garrett said the Dallas Cowboys had interviewed several candidates to become an assistant secondary coach.

The team is on the verge of finalizing a deal to make Joe Baker the assistant secondary coach, according to a source. Baker, who was let go by Tampa Bay after the 2011 season along with the rest of the coaching staff, played college ball with Garrett at Princeton from 1987 to 1988.

Baker was a wide receiver and while he didn't play professionally, he has coached with six NFL teams. In Tampa Bay, he was the linebackers coach.

If hired, Baker will assist Jerome Henderson, who is the Cowboys secondary coach. A void in the coaching staff developed after Brett Maxie left the Cowboys to become the secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans.

There are no plans to make any more hires to the Cowboys coaching staff after the team hires an assistant secondary coach.
The Oakland Raiders were denied permission to interview Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis for an assistant head coaching position, according to a source.

Cowboys assistant coaches are unavailable to speak with the media during the offseason.

Recently hired Raiders coach Dennis Allen worked with DeCamillis in Atlanta from 2002-to-2005 where a good relationship formed. Dan Reeves, DeCamillis' father-in-law, was the head coach with the Falcons at that time.

"Dan Reeves is another guy that, he brought me into this league and gave me my first opportunity to coach in the National Football League," Allen said at his introductory news conference with the Raiders regarding mentors of his. "So I’ve got some great resources that I can rely on and lean on in times when I hit a situation where I need some help."

DeCamillis has a goal of becoming a head coach and is inspired after seeing special teams coaches move into the head coaches role over the years in the NFL.

"I'd like to see it," Reeves said recently when asked about DeCamillis. "He did a great job for me in the years he coached for me. I think he's a great teacher. He understands talent and he understands players and hopefully he will get an opportunity."

The Cowboys have lost three assistant coaches since the end of the season. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck retired, secondary coach Dave Campo didn't receive a new contract, though he took a job as the defensive coordinator at Kansas and safeties coach Brett Maxie left to become the secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans.

The Cowboys gave Maxie a new contract, but the lure of running the entire secondary was a better opportunity.

Coaching staff might get another hire

January, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will bring back running backs coach Skip Peete, offensive quality control/wide receivers coach Keith O'Quinn and assistant offensive line coach Wes Phillips. Their contracts were up following the 2011 season.

Peete, who has worked with newly hired offensive line/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, signed a two-year contract with the Cowboys.

The Cowboys also hired secondary coach Jerome Henderson to replace Dave Campo, whose contract wasn't renewed. Campo took the defensive coordinator job at Kansas.

Brett Maxie was asked to return but decided to become the secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans this week.

Coach Jason Garrett said he does plan to hire an assistant secondary coach to replace Maxie and help Henderson.

Brett Maxie joins Titans staff

January, 16, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- When the Cowboys hired Jerome Henderson as secondary coach last week, Brett Maxie knew his future was somewhere else and that took him to Tennessee on Monday.

Maxie, whose contract with the Cowboys had expired, was named the Titans’ secondary coach, replacing Marcus Robertson.

He had been with the Cowboys since 2008, splitting secondary duties with Dave Campo.

“I am really excited about this opportunity and the chance to work with Mike Munchak and Jerry Gray,” Maxie said in a release from the Titans. “I have played and coached against each of these men and I have great respect for what they are all about and what they have accomplished. Mike has an impeccable reputation as a coach and I like what I heard about how he runs his team. Jerry and I came into the league as players at the same time and our teams battled each other in the old NFC West and I have admired his work as a coach through the years.”

The Cowboys could add an assistant secondary coach to help Henderson. In training camp former Cowboys cornerback Kevin Mathis worked with the defensive backs in the same way Leon Lett worked with the defensive line. Lett remained with the team for the entire season.

Brett Maxie interviews with Tennessee Titans

January, 12, 2012
Cowboys safeties coach Brett Maxie interviewed with the Tennessee Titans on Thursday for their vacant secondary position.

Maxie, whose contract expired with the Cowboys after the 2011 season, was asked to return, but the Titans were granted permission to interview him for a job.

The Cowboys hired Jerome Henderson as their secondary coach on Thursday and it isn't known if Maxie leaves if he will be replaced.

Maxie has been with the Cowboys since 2008.

Brett Maxie gets interest from Tennessee

January, 10, 2012
According to a source, Cowboys safeties coach Brett Maxie will interview with the Tennessee Titans to become the new secondary coach.

Tennessee asked the Cowboys for permission to speak with Maxie. The Washington Redskins also could make a move toward Maxie.

Marcus Robertson, who spent the last five seasons with the Titans, was released last week.

Maxie did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Maxie has spent the past four seasons on the Cowboys staff as a safeties coach.

The Cowboys are expected to finalize the hiring of former Cleveland Browns secondary coach Jerome Henderson, maybe as soon as Monday, according to a source.

Also, Hudson Houck, has retired as the offensive line coach and will be replaced by former Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan. Callahan spent the last four seasons with the New York Jets.

Jason Garrett meets with coaches

January, 7, 2012
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett met with some coaches in the last few days to talk about their status with the organization. Several coaches, Dave Campo, Brett Maxie, Skip Peete, Hudson Houck, Wes Phillips and Keith O'Quinn, entered the last year of their contracts.

It isn't known if these coaches were retained by Garrett, but Campo, the secondary coach offered a "no comment" when asked about his status with the team.

The Cowboys tried to replace Campo last season with Ray Horton, who was the secondary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Horton became the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.

Houck is the highest paid offensive line coach in the NFL, at $1 million a season, and it appears he along with Maxie, the safeties coach will return.

Phillips has a close relationship with Garrett, but he might leave to join his father, Wade Phillips in Houston. The Cowboys seemed to be pleased with Peete, the running backs coach, who worked with rookie DeMarco Murray, who rushed for a team-high 897 yards.

O'Quinn, the offensive quality control/wide receivers coach, who is well-respected, could also return.

Jerry Jones hints at coaching staff changes

January, 6, 2012
Changes are likely to come soon on the Cowboys’ coaching staff.

“We’ll give you better answers on that as we go over the next three weeks,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said during a Friday appearance on KRLD-FM, indicating that hires would be made the week of the Jan. 28 Senior Bowl. “That’s pretty much the way I’ll leave it.”

Those changes will not include defensive coordinator Rob Ryan unless he gets an offer to become a head coach. Jones said he is excited about Ryan returning as defensive coordinator, adding that head coach Jason Garrett is in agreement on the issue.

Several assistant coaches have contracts that are expiring: Dave Campo (secondary), Hudson Houck (running game/offensive line), Brett Maxie (secondary/safeties), Wes Phillips (assistant offensive line), Keith O’Quinn (offensive quality control/wide receivers) and Skip Peete (running backs).

Poor performances by their position groups could result in Campo and Houck being replaced despite the franchise’s respect for the assistants in their second tour of duty at Valley Ranch.

The Cowboys tried to replace Campo last offseason by hiring Ray Horton away from the Steelers. However, Horton opted to become the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator instead. Had Horton been hired, Campo likely would have been reassigned to an off-field position.

Former Cowboys offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who was fired as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach this season, could be a candidate to replace Houck. Garrett’s most successful season as a play-caller was in 2007, when he worked with Sparano, who has excellent relationships with key Cowboys such as Tony Romo and Jason Witten.

However, Sparano would likely opt for an offensive coordinator job with play-calling responsibilities if given the choice. Garrett has no intention of relinquishing play-calling duties.

Garrett is also extremely loyal to Houck, who was on the Cowboys’ staff for two Super Bowl championship seasons during Garrett’s playing career and worked with him on the Dolphins’ staff before they returned to Dallas.

Brett Maxie, Dave Campo switch gameday spots

August, 12, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Thursday’s preseason opener against Denver was not only a chance for the Cowboys to look at different player combinations. The Cowboys also changed up their look on the sideline with the coaches.

Secondary coach Brett Maxie was on the field for the 24-23 win against the Broncos, while Dave Campo watched from the coaches’ booth upstairs. Campo had been on the sidelines since returning to the Cowboys in 2008 and Maxie had been in the booth.

The other coaches upstairs with Campo were John Garrett (tight ends), Wes Phillips (assistant offensive line), Keith O’Quinn (offensive quality control/wide receivers) and Ben Bloom (defensive quality control/linebackers).

As it was when Jason Garrett became the interim head coach during last season, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson was on the sidelines and dealt with the quarterbacks in between each series.

Scout's Eye: Oxnard Day 9

August, 25, 2010
My thoughts from Tuesday’s practice:

*The scout in me wants cornerback Bryan McCann to make this team.
ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth answers the five big NFL questions on Doug Gottlieb's mind. Schlereth also says Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett needs to do a better job protecting QB Tony Romo with his playcalling.

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McCann has come in and done everything that Dave Campo and Brett Maxie have asked him to do. He has played with quickness, smarts and competitiveness. McCann has shined against the club’s top receivers on a daily basis and has done well in the Cowboys three preseason games.

McCann is one of my bubble players and has been for the last couple of weeks. The problem McCann faces is that he is in a secondary where fellow rookies Barry Church and Danny McCray have also proved that they belong on this final 53 as well.

McCann is a talented player, but he also plays a position where the Cowboys have three outstanding corners in Newman, Jenkins and Scandrick. Cletis Gordon, who makes an interception a day, has locked down the fourth corner spot. Alan Ball and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah are safeties that can also play outside as well.

In this secondary, the numbers don’t favor McCann.

If he is released and he clears waivers, he will find a spot on the practice squad with Jamar Wall. On the practice squad, both McCann and Wall will benefit from working on a daily basis against receivers like Austin, Bryant and Crayton, so that will be a positive experience.

As much as I want this team to carry five corners and five safeties, I now believe that it’s going the route of four corners and six safeties with the position flexibility coming from Ball and Owusu-Ansah.

Maybe there are other Bryan McCann’s out there that you can find next year if he doesn’t make it to the practice squad. There were several years where the evaluation of defensive backs on this squad was poor, but it now appears that the Cowboys scouting staff is going the right way.

The days of drafting corners like Kareem Larrimore, Derek Ross and Dwayne Goodrich appear over and for this team that is a good thing.

*Tuesday was the first day that the Cowboys had practiced in pads since last Wednesday. After two straight practices of hats and jerseys, it was nice to see them working in helmets and shoulder pads.

I always feel like this team gets more out of this dress than when they go without the pads. The half speed correction practices are necessary, but this team does a good job of working and protecting each other when they have the pads on.

When this team practices in hats and jerseys, it tends to look sloppy and unfocused. When you see this team practice in pads, your see the development of the scheme and the execution of the plays. To me, corrections are easier to make because you see the play being run how it was meant to be.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Tony Romo on our nightly “Training Camp Report” on 103.3 FM ESPN and ask him if the practices that Wade Phillips and the staff put together difficult enough to get this team ready.

Romo, being the old-school player that he is, said that practicing is never difficult for him and he enjoys it but you also have to take into account that he has teammates that play positions in the offensive and defensive line that endure constant banging and contact. Those big bodies get worn down so you have to be smart.

Romo makes a good point, Phillips does have to try and protect his guys for the long season but the work is better when this team is in its shoulder pads and helmets

*Noticed something new at practice today, with all the knee injuries to the offensive linemen (Colombo and Kosier) in practice, all the linemen were wearing their knee braces in shorts.

Usually when the team has a helmet and shoulder pads practice, the line will take the field without their braces. This practice of going onto the field without their braces appears will no longer be the case.

How important are these knee braces? I remember a game when I was working for the club when offensive tackle Flozell Adams came into the locker room at halftime with what appeared to be a knee injury. The play looked bad from the press box and I feared the worst. As Adams was sitting on the training table and the doctors were working on him, there was no structural damage and Adams was able to gather himself and return for the second half.

I remember trainer Britt Brown showing me the brace that was on Adams’ knee that day and it was bent and twisted. It truly was a miracle that we didn’t lose Adams to a serious knee injury. Without that brace, the scouting staff would be searching for the impossible task of finding a starting left tackle for the remainder of the season.

This training staff is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to injuries. This is just another example of their form of preventive medicine.

Campo comes up with solution for CB depth

August, 9, 2010
IRVING, Texas – Secondary coach Dave Campo had a contingency plan in case another Cowboys cornerback was hurt during the Hall of Fame Game.

“I was going to have to suit up next,” Campo kidded.

The Cowboys lost Cletis Gordon (strained neck) and Bryan McCann (chest contusion) on punt returns. That forced them to play track star Teddy Williams, who has one whole week of cornerback experience, for most of the second half. Orlando Scandrick had to play in the nickel package the entire game.

Head coach Wade Phillips wasn’t sure whether Gordon or McCann would be available for Thursday’s preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. He said the Cowboys would consider signing a cornerback for depth.

Phillips ruled out using the 63-year-old Campo in the nickel package. The Cowboys have a much better option with Brett Maxie, the 48-year-old assistant secondary coach who played 13 seasons in the NFL.

Cowboys lose Dat Nguyen

January, 27, 2010
MOBILE, Ala. - Dat Nguyen, the Cowboys assistant linebackers/defensive quality control coach, is not with the rest of the coaches at the Pro Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Nguyen has told Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones he will not return to the coaching staff. Nguyen was in the last year of his deal, but decided to move on, according to a source.

Jones said last week he wanted to retain the three assistant coaches, Brett Maxie, Wes Phillips and Nguyen, who's contracts were expiring. Maxie and Phillips were signed through 2011.

Nguyen has been with the Cowboys as a coach since 2007. He also played for the team from 1999-2005 before retiring due to injuries.

He was a popular player in college at Texas A&M where he led the Aggies in tackles for four straight seasons.

Three other coaches have expiring deals

January, 15, 2010
IRVING, Texas -- One major reason defensive line coach Todd Grantham was able to leave the Cowboys was because his contract was coming to a close at the end of January.

But he's not the only coach with an expiring contract.

Secondary/safeties coach Brett Maxie, quality control coaches Wes Phillips and Dat Nguyen are other coaches whose contracts are up after this playoff run.

"With the success, those guys will and have more opportunities but all of them really have grown, we think, into significant contributors," Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said. "You know Wes Phillips and Dat, they’re young coaches, but they’ve really progressed under Wade [Phillips]. Of course, Maxie is someone we think a lot of."