Coach Parcells has an interesting press conference today. It didn't center on strategy or the Redskins as much as it did around Cowboys players, especially players who Parcells has coached before. At one point Parcells asked if "they were doing a nostalgia piece", but he continued to answer the questions.
A few highlights:
Chris Canty missed some of practice today, but they hope he can practice tomorrow.
Coach thinks Patrick Crayton is rusty and is the kind of player who needs practice to get back in the groove.
Coach has been challenging his players this week, calling out Patick Crayton and Anthony Henry, asking them "Where is that guy?", referring to how they played before they got hurt. He also told Keyshawn he "neded the guy who wore #3 at the Rose Bowl".
When pressed on what the players say when he asks them that, Parcells said it's not really a question, so they usually don't say anything. Parcells quipped, "What are they supposed to say, he's not here?"
There's lots of other good stuff about Drew Bledsoe and Terry Glenn's on field relationship, Canty and Spears getting increased playing time, thoughts on Greg Ellis and other nuggets like this one.
When asked if Glenn was the fastest player he ever had, he replied "No, Shawn Jefferson, when he was young, was so fast you couldn't even see him run."
Click below to read the whole transcript.
Canty is making improvement, but he missed some practice today. Hopefully he will practice tommorrow. I would play him even if me missed practice as long as he showed me in some way that he was up to the challenge.
How was practice today? Better than yesterday?
We improved today.
Mentally less taxing for the defense compared to last week?
They do shift and motion. Not the extent that KC does it. KC and the Rams are the teams that really do so much of it. And the fact that we've played them and know their players should help a little bit.
You said you want your veterans helping out the young guys. Do you consider Bradie a young guy or a veteran guy?
He's been around a while, but he's still in a position where he needs to be primarily concerned with himself. He is calling signals so he has be aware of other things, but he does have to pay attention to his own job more than a veteran who's knows his job down pat.
Bledsoe said he came here to play for something in December?
I think its only natural for veteran players, this is the fun part of the game. The older you get and the more you've done it, the more you appreciate it. He's been in a couple of Superbowl chaces and in the playoffs several times, so that's probably what drives him. This game is a test all the time for all of us, and just because you fail a test once in a while doesn't mean you don't enjoy the process. You don't enjoy not succeeding, but you enjoy competing.
Crayton his first two weeks back?
I think he's rusty. I think this is a guy, I'm pretty sure I'm not misjudging this, this is a guy who has to practice. Some guys can get back and just be right back on it, and I don't think he did that very well. Its not a physica thing, its just getting in tune with the game. He's the type that has to get into the groove of things. He doesn't look quite like he did before he got hurt. I told him that today "Where's that guy?" I told Anthony Henry the same thing. "I need that guy. The guy who played against Arizona".
Do you think Henry lost some burst from the injury?
I didn't see that.
Are you happy that you didn't put Crayton on IR?
Yes, I'm glad we did that.
Did you imagine Canty would play so much this summer?
I thought he had a chance. If we didn't we wouldn't have drafted him. We thought we had some information. Not secret information, but you had to go after it in depth. What it looked like on the surface didn't look too good. And there are always rumors floating around the draft "Oh, you didn't know this about him?". Well sometimes teams start those because they don't want you to draft him. We talked to his doctor, and things turned out exactly as he said it would. But he could have easily been a PUP guy, but he wasn't. We were very fortunate.
Has he pushed Ellis any?
No, its just a question of using all the players at their strength. I like Ellis. I like the player very much. I foresee him continueing to be a part of this team in the future. But this DL, there is no place to hide in this defense. The OL doesn't block down and leave you unblocked when they aren't running on your side. All 3 players are involved in every running play no matter where they run it. You aren't just responsible for your one little gap. You don't get a down off. People don't understand how taxing that is for a player.
Glover and Ellis in this defense?
I say both of these players can play in this defense just fine. Both of them.
How has the defense gone along as the season has progressed?
Well, we got Spears and Canty coming along. I think those kid are coming along and they can play, and the other guys we got can play too. It's a good situation.
With so many rookie DL contributing, is experience on the DL less important than other positions?
Well, Canty played the defense in college with the exact same terms and and exact same techniques, so its like he just stepped up to graduate school but still doing what he's done in the past. Spears played for Coach Saban, so he had been coached him like he's coached here. He was also very fortunate, because Saban had told him and prepared him mentally for what it was going to be like on this level. Ratliff, that kid, we just took a chance on size and speed and he's got such a good motor and such aggression that you noticed him. Thomas Johnson was the same way. That guy, I didn't even know who he was when he got here, but our caught my attention right away. He was just luck. That's all it was.
Run defense worry you?
Look, we can play good run defense. We've played good run defense against the best running team in the league, Denver. The Redskins are not a young offense team here. Look at who's playing for them. Cooley is young, but look at their tackles. Randy Thomas. Raubach the center. Their other TE's. There might be a couple of second year guys, but these guys know how to play.
What do you look for in run defense. YPC? Tackles for loss?
The style that we play right now, as we go further on a year or two, the versatility will be expanded. We've been hesitant to change it too much, especially for someone like me who's coached this defense for 25 year, with all these kids because it's a process. Plus we don't have much experience at the safety spot with Keith Davis back there. I don't want to say we've been conservative, but we haven't been as versatile as we will be. As a result we haven't has as many negative plays against the run, but our 3rd down rate is very good.
Good, quick, productive everywhere he has been. Miami, Denver, Washington. That's what its all about. I see a lot of people talking about how talented some guys are, but I never see any yards. And other guys never get talked about at all, but do nothing but rack up yards.
Terry and Drew chemistry?
I knew that they thought they were good players. You catch 90 passes in your rookie year for a QB, you have to have confidence in them. That doesn't just happen by accident. Drew was in the league 3 or 4 years before Terry came along. QB's are selfish people. They only throw to the guys that get open. Peyton always throws to Harrison. Why? Because he's always open. Terry just had unique quickness and speed when he came in the league. I remember Bobby Greer telling me he was the quickest player he had ever seen. At the time I was more focused on the defense, but when a player is brought in you have to find a way to make it work. The second I saw him I knew it was going to work.
Is he the fastest player you ever had?
The fastest? Noooooooo. . Shawn Jefferson when he was young? You couldn't even see him run he was so fast. He was very, very fast. Very fast.
Coaching your former players.
Are we doing one of these nostalgia pieces? They know that I count on them to do things. I told Keyshawn, "I need that #3 from the Rose Bowl. Where is he?" These guys become like your kids. You get mad at them. You yell at them. But you appreciate it when they accomplish things.
What do they say when you ask them you ask them "Where's that guy?"
Well, its really not a question. They usually don't say anything. When I say "Where is that guy?", what are they supposed to say? He's not here?
You said that Terry is a great WR?
I said he's a very good player. Better than good. I've only seen maybe 5-6 players in my lifetime that were great. The word "great" is over used in this game. Great players have to have longevity. I've had two that I think are great players. And two or three guys that had something that ended their careers, but they were headed that way. They were the absolute best at what they did in the league.
Other than LT who was the other great player?
You should know that.
Yeah. Wouldn't you say that based on what he's done?
So you think about where the defense is going to be 3 to 4 years from now?
I'm just talking package wise. I'm not projecting where certain players are going to be. Let's not get into that. You might be working for the Peoria Times for all I know.
So that's not a statement about how long you're going to coach?