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What the Cowboys are getting in new special teams assistant coach Carlos Polk

It will not garner as significantly awareness as the news about Kellen Moore, Jon Kitna, or Jason Garrett’s lack of a agreement extension, but on Friday Dallas employed Carlos Polk as their new assistant exclusive teams coach. Polk replaces Doug Colman who was let go just after just one year.

Unique teams was a supply of significantly dread for the Cowboys in 2018, as the device took a massive stage back below to start with year exclusive teams coordinator Keith O’Quinn. In 2017 below Loaded Bisaccia, Dallas ranked seventh in exclusive teams DVOA, but this earlier season they regressed to 23rd in the NFL in DVOA. Brett Maher had some ups and downs and went by a little bit of a slump just after a hot commence, but his strong leg at least provides some juicy prospective down the road.

Punter Chris Jones, just one of the league’s more regular punters the final few decades, took a massive stage back however. His punt yards and net punt yards ranked in the bottom quarter of the league. But the worst element for Dallas’ exclusive teams was their protection on kickoffs and punts. Only just one staff authorized more common yards on kick returns than the Cowboys, and their punt protection still left a whole lot to be desired as nicely. That really should modify below Polk.

When it is difficult to know, as the specifics about exclusive teams coaches are seldom at any time publicized, it would seem that Polk is becoming introduced in to concentrate on protection units. Born and elevated in Tennessee, Polk was recruited to participate in linebacker at Nebraska by the famous Tom Osborne. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2001, and instantly filled a part on exclusive teams. He led the staff in exclusive teams tackles in 2002 and was voted the Chargers’ exclusive teams player of the year just after recording a blocked punt and scoring a safety. He led the staff in exclusive teams tackles once more in 2003 and was the moment once more named the team’s prime exclusive teamer.

Prior to the 2004 season, San Diego introduced in Wade Phillips as their new defensive coordinator. Sadly, Polk would have nagging shoulder accidents that year that stored him out of all but just one recreation. In 2005, he tore his Achilles in the offseason and missed the total year. He put in two more decades in San Diego and put in time filling in for wounded starters on defense as nicely as contributing on exclusive teams. During this time, Polk also turned a chief in the locker home, which led to him becoming named the team’s Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2006 and sharing the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award with Philip Rivers in 2007.

It was no shock, then, that Polk was signed to the Cowboys all through the 2008 season to assist on exclusive teams, reuniting him with Phillips. In fact, Polk even blocked a punt in a win above San Francisco that year (pictured previously mentioned). Right after the season finished, Polk retired and turned the assistant exclusive teams coach for the 2010 Chargers. For the to start with year, Polk was operating below Steve Crosby, just one of the most achieved exclusive teams coordinators of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

When Crosby retired just after the 2010 season, the Chargers employed Bisaccia as their new coordinator, and he stored Polk on as his assistant. The up coming year, San Diego’s exclusive teams device ranked eighth in exclusive teams DVOA and were led by kicker Nick Novak and punter Mike Scifres, two of the most effective at their situation that year. But Chargers head coach Norv Turner was fired and Bisaccia and Polk were not retained by the new head coach.

Polk then served as a coaching intern in Dallas for the 2013 season, which reunited him with Bisaccia and also released him to Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli. Prior to the 2014 season, Polk was employed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their assistant exclusive teams coach just after Lovie Smith, a good buddy of Bisaccia, Kiffin, and Marinelli, turned the head coach.

In Tampa Bay, Polk labored below to start with time exclusive teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea, who had been a climbing star in the exclusive teams earth just after serving as an assistant for two of the biggest exclusive teams coaches in the NFL, Mike Westhoff and Dave Toub. Right after two decades, however, O’Dea was fired and Nate Kaczor replaced him when retaining Polk. These two ran the Buccaneers’ exclusive teams by this earlier season, but new head coach Bruce Arians opted to bring in his individual men.

During Polk’s time in Tampa Bay, the exclusive teams device was plagued by lousy kicking and punting that realistically began below the past routine when a MRSA outbreak contaminated their kicker and compelled him into a retirement with no succession program in area. Right after O’Dea was fired, Tampa Bay attempted to resolve this by drafting Roberto Aguayo, but that program promptly went up in flames. Nonetheless, below Polk’s observe the Buccaneers persistently had some of the league’s most effective protection units until eventually this earlier year despite the fact that Soccer Outsiders does take note that Tampa Bay ranked 25th in concealed factors on exclusive teams, indicating that their device was consistently at a massive downside thanks to uncontrollable elements like opposing subject objectives, kickoff length, and punt length.

That really should be good news for the Cowboys. As a player, Polk was a exclusive teams ace and a chief in the locker home. He reduce his teeth as a coach below Bisaccia, who the Cowboys evidently missed in 2018. For what it is worthy of, O’Quinn also acquired his commence as a exclusive teams coach below Bisaccia, so this exclusive teams workers is now featuring two Bisaccia disciples. And if it is true that Polk will be mostly overseeing the kick and punt protection units, that could bode nicely for Dallas given Polk’s experience in Tampa Bay and San Diego.

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