“When I came from Tampa, everything we did worked, so there was a great belief, a great faith in what you’re doing, and then I was very fortunate to go through adversity,” Marinelli said. “It’s really not a belief unless it’s been attacked, and you kind of weather the storm through it all, which I did, and then you come out of it with a stronger belief.”
Kiffin’s return to the NFL was followed less than a week later by NFC East rival Philadelphia hiring Chip Kelly as coach, leading pundits to point out that Kelly’s Oregon Ducks rolled up 730 yards against Kiffin’s Trojans last season _ and more than 1,150 yards over two games.
“We should have done better at USC,” said Kiffin, who spent 11 seasons in the 1960s and ‘70s under Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne at Nebraska, his alma mater. “We didn’t play as well as we should have. I take responsibility. I got back in and the Pac-12 had gotten better, without a doubt.”
The biggest change will be Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware converting to defensive end, and the biggest question will be whether Dallas has enough interior defensive linemen after eight seasons with only a nose tackle. Another concern is whether cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are physical enough for the Tampa 2 style.
“The transition, you never know, but when you start to look at these guys on tape, they can really run and our system is built on speed, quickness and balance and change of direction and attitude,” Marinelli said. “The fit looks good. It’s intriguing and exciting.”
Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lschuylerd
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