IRVING, Texas – Jay Ratliff, a Pro Bowl nose tackle the last three seasons, isn’t changing positions.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan made it clear during his first meeting with the Valley Ranch media that he didn’t anticipate Ratliff having any problem playing nose tackle in his system.
There had been speculation that Ratliff, considered undersized for a 3-4 nose tackle at about 300 pounds, might move to defensive end. Ryan quickly shot down that idea.
“He’s a great player,” Ryan said of Ratliff. “Our system can find a spot for any great player. He’s going to do just fine over the football.”
Ratliff’s quickness and tenacity have allowed him to be a disruptive force as a nose tackle. However, his statistics dropped off significantly last season, when he had 3.5 sacks and no tackles for losses. He was credited with 13.5 tackles and 14 tackles for losses the previous two seasons.
Ryan, however, seems to have little doubt that Ratliff will wreak havoc in opposing backfields again.
“He’s an excellent player,” Ryan said. “I can’t wait to get to work with him. I already met him and what an encouraging thing that is, because if they’re all like him, we’re going to be in great shape.”