OXNARD, Calif. -- A passionate answer to a simple question on Monday provides insight into what kind of dedication the Cowboys will get from their 73-year-old defensive coordinator.
Monte Kiffin’s response when asked how he stays so young:
"If you're in high school, college, pro football coach... if you don't like coaching, you don't have to coach. I'll tell you what, those players, if it's youth football, I don't care if it's high school, junior high, I don't care if it's college or pro football. (People) say, 'Oh it's pro football, they get paid a lot of money.' No. No. No. You make those pro football players, help them get better. If you're a position coach, coordinator, I don't care, help those players get better.
"You got to care about them. OK? I call it hard coaching, hard love. 'Hey, you're doing great, you ain't doing great.' Look them in the eye (and say), 'we got to get better.' I'm not saying get in their face. I don't coach like that. I just think you got to love coaching. You either love it or you like it. God dag it you better love it. If you like it, give it to somebody else."
Anyone questioning whether a 73-year-old can handle the task of improving the Cowboys defensive unit to the point of elite status should dismiss that notion immediately.
Kiffin is as energized and prepared as any 30-year-old in the game.