Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today. The big news - Adam "Pacman" Jones is back with the team, is healthy and will play this week.
Guys who didn't practice today, Alan Ball has a sprained ankle, Marion Barber is similar to last week, we'll see how it goes, Bobby Carpenter was out today, don't know about him, Ken Hamlin is similar to last week but he played last week, Montrae Holland was out today but is a little better. Limited guys were Tra Battle, Keith Davis, Tony Romo, he took most of the snaps in practice, he's a little sore but nothing big. Roy Williams practiced more than last week. He's listed as limited but Adam Jones practiced. As far as Pacman, doctors cleared him to practice, whatever medication he took got him better awfully quickly, the docs said he's fine to go, he's got nine lives I think. (laughter) Maybe 18 lives.
There's more after the jump.
I was surprised by Pacman, like we said he may have had the herniated disc already instead of it being caused by the hit in game. No other structural problem, he'll play this week, same roles as in Pittsburgh, he'll probably be on punt and kick returns and play corner. I think we know his ability in the return game and I've seen it, early in the year on punt returns he was close to having big runbacks. He has a knack of running the ball, we need to give him the opportunity. He played well against the Steelers on defense.
Anthony Henry is playing safety in the sub-packages, now that Ball is hurt it leaves us short of corners.
They said they were going to re-evaluate Pacman each week, they looked at him again and it was a lot better. I'm not going to second guess the doctors. I don't think they ever said he was out, they said they would re-evaluate him.
Tony Romo, as he went along in practice, he got more comfortable but he's real sore. It's just overall body soreness, he got hit pretty good, we need to be better at protecting him. We played two physical defense the last few weeks, it's a big challenge.
Marion Barber's status is unknown like last week, I think he's feeling better but still too early. He didn't take a step back, he was sore after the game but said he felt better today. Gametime decision this week. (Could you start Choice anyway if Barber plays?) Depending on how strong we think Barber is, we thought he could go last week, and he did, but we'll monitor it and put Choice in when we need to, same thing this week.
Choice has been effective against two good defenses, that's impressive. The last two team's defenses have held RB's down and he's been successful.
(Bradie James not making the Pro Bowl?) I'm disappointed for Bradie, and for any player who didn't make it but deserved too. I think he deserved it, but it's unfortunate, a lot of deserving guys didn't make it, not put down guys that made it. He has the numbers, not many ILB's get six sacks. Outside backers are the sack guys, I don't know if they considered the sacks. We had guys deserving. I'm glad for Jay Ratliff, I don't know about the fan voting because his name is not the most-popular in the league, but the coaches and players voted him in even though he's a little under the radar.
The Ravens defense is physical up front, similar to the last teams we played. Good pass rush, active, strong against the run and they throw different blitzes at you, safety blitzes. You have to be ready.
(Do corners like to play man-up on the best WR on the other team like Newman has recently?) It depends on the corner, some don't want to. Newman's up to the challenge, what helps is challenging him, he plays better when we do, he's a competitor, it keeps him from being stale. He's got to compete against a good player and try to shut him down. (Is Mason that guy this week?) We're not saying.
I think we've progressed defensively as far as wining a game defensively if we have to, it's an important step, we depended on the offense before, but now the defense has proven they can win games, that's a step forward. Last year we scored more points, it was easier for the defense. But we had games when they played well, taking that big step moved them forward.
(Should Newman have made the Pro Bowl?) We've challenged Newman more, he's playing really well. He was out so he might not have the numbers but the last several games his play has showed on the defense. They can't throw to the guy they want to and have to hold the ball longer.
Brad Johnson is the holder, that is why he's the active backup. It depends on whether Tony could come back in game or not for who goes in (Johnson or Bollinger). Nothing will change this week. As long as Tony can go we like Brad at holder. We think the FG is important if Tony is playing. If that (Tony playing) changed we might change. Brooks and Brad get some reps in practice but not many. They take reps with the show teams throwing the football, their prep is mental, that's why vets can stand back there then go in and play.
I think Tony will be fine, as he warmed up today he got better, just soreness, nothing structural. We wanted him to work through the soreness today.
The Ravens have a good running game, the young QB has played well, good receivers, we're worried about all of it. They've beat good teams and if they get ahead they're tough, they'll come after you. Cam Cameron has done a good job with Flacco on specific things. It helps to have a good defense, they can play more conservative and don't put it all on him .
Todd Heap is a good receiver, he's agile, can run, can catch well inside or outside. He's not as powerful as Witten, but not many are.