A familiar face

Nate Griffin: Former Oiler Dishman to coach in the NFLPA collegiate bowl

Former Oiler Cris Dishman is working on a coaching career. NYdailynews.com

He was a heck of a player and now he wants to prove he can be a heck of a coach with a heart for people. Former two-time Pro-Bowl defensive back Cris Dishman -- “Dish” as he is affectionately called -- will get his chance to work as Defensive Coordinator for the American Team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Dishman played with four teams while in the NFL, including eight seasons with the Houston Oilers. The other three teams he played for were the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, and Minnesota Vikings. Yes, Dishman was part of the 1993 Houston Oilers team that suffered the greatest comeback in the history of the NFL by the Buffalo Bills.

The game is Saturday at 3 p.m. central at the Los Angeles Coliseum. NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green makes his debut as the head coach of the American Team while former St. Louis Rams Head Coach Mike Martz will lead the National Team for a fourth straight year. Dishman understands this is a huge opportunity.

“I was called. They called and asked me did I want to do it,” he said. “I said yes I’d do it because I didn’t have (anything) really going on. I could never turn down (anything) football related. So, I decided to come out here and do it.”   

This game will feature a load of talented draft-eligible and now former collegiate players, including TCU quarterback Kenny Hill, Texas wide receiver Armanti Foreman, East Carolina wide receiver Davon Grayson and Arizona State linebacker D.J. Calhoun.

Dishman worked as a coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2006. That same season, he became the defensive backs coach for Menlo College and eventually was named their defensive coordinator. January, 2009, Dishman was hired by the San Diego Chargers as an assistant defensive backs coach. He joined the staff of the Baylor Bears in 2015 as defensive backs coach. He sees himself in some of these players and says he’s ready to embrace this experience.

“It’s basically getting the scripts together, setting up practice plans, put in the whole defense, talk about the whole defense, knowing where the defensive line, the linebackers, secondary and everybody have to fit...not only in the run game but also in the pass game; and just be able to discuss it with the guys and get them all playing on the same level one play at a time.

“As a position coach, you have to worry about your position and your position only. As a coordinator, I have to worry about everybody’s position. I have to do what’s best for the team. I have to make the tough decisions and do what’s best for the team, not only for the d-line, but the linebackers and the defensive backs. So, I’ve got to take everybody’s point into consideration, decipher through it, and do what’s best for the team and not just for the group.”

The players know little about each other and have only had a week of practice together. It’s up to the coaches to turn these players into a single force by game day.

“Now we’ve got to get those guys who’ve always been arch rivals against each other to be a team,” he said. “We’ve got to remind them that their college days are over. This is your teammate now. No matter what your helmet says, you’re going to be (a member of) the American team.”

Dishman admits that with just a week of practice that started last Sunday, getting these players ready for Saturday has been a chore. So, he’s had to make a few adjustments.

“I have changed some of my terminology all because some of the kids have come up to me and said ‘Coach…we say it this way in college.’ So, I changed to adapt to them because we only have a week,” he said. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel in a week…not trying to reinvent football.

“The only thing I’m trying to be is the most efficient person within this week. I want those guys to play on Saturday and show their natural God-given talent and possibly get on an NFL and have a long illustrious career.”

Dishman says he would like to continue coaching after Saturday’s game. He says he knows that he can get the best out of his players.

“You have to be able to come early and stay late and you have to be a student of the game.”

We will see what the players learned on Saturday.    

 

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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