Greg Ellis has an Achilles tear, they'll probably do surgery tomorrow and it will be a long rehab, hopefully it will be successful. I've had several players who have returned from this injury. No other major injuries that I know of.
The contenders for his job are the three remaining players plus Junior Glymph. Burnett Singleton and Carpenter. Glymph in the pass rush. It's not as simple as this guy is the starter. Depends on how we approach the Colts. They're similar personnel-wise, and the formations are reasonably similar to Arizona. Aaron Glenn played 35 plays yesterday, not all in the nickel, we subbed him for a LBer. The problem we have is that Greg was one of our better run defenders and pressure players. Getting that combination of skills may take more than one person. No decisions have been made yet. Maybe Al on early downs, Bobby on the nickel. We'll see how we approach the Colts.
I'm reluctant to move Burnett over there, he has niche going now in the nickel and on special teams that's providing value. It's hard to replace him in that. So I'm reluctant to disturb another thing that is serviceable right now. What I need now is the most efficient operation, there are multiple things involved. I put a premium on the number of plays a guy can play, I need to distribute it the right way.
Carpenter has good mental capabilities. Basically a left outside LB in college, he also did nickel stuff, they used him in three different places. He's improving on special teams and that is helping his confidence. He's a consideration in this move.
On drafting Carpenter: I thought we would get a player capable of several things. When Greg made the successful transition to OLB, we thought to give Carpenter a better opportunity we moved him inside, and that might have slowed him down a little. I think he's got the capabilities to play the position; I do like the outside guys to be a little taller than he is.
On personnel on 4 man line: It depends on how we approach the Colts, right now we haven't decided.
On Ellis timetable for returning: I would be surprised if he wasn't ready by next training camp.
I didn't address it directly with the team (Ellis' injury), all the players know, but I mentioned something at the end in the locker room after the game. He was in there hobbling on crutches; I got him in the center of the team, made him say a few things. We know it's a big hole. It's the tough part about the game, inopportune things happen at the wrong time. Someone needs to step up; I only have 51 players on the team right now. I'm thinking about several things.
With the score 27-10, I thought if you kick the FG, and they block it and return it for a TD, then onside kick and score, they're in the game. It's far-fecthed, but that's what I thought. I thought if they're going to score, make them go the length of the field. I wasn't interesting in scoring more points at that time; I don't like to do that. It had nothing to do with our blocking on the FG unit.
On Glenn not making the trip: Glenn didn't practice, so I knew he wasn't going to play. I don't know about this week, we'll see.
Does this injury to Ellis put more pressure on Ware: It puts the pressure on somebody, he's one of them. I subbed more in that game to keep them rested. When you get down to the point like we are, you just have to play it out. Ware's doing alright. I think he's a young player and is improving, he knows more about coverage now.
I think this weekend was a good thing, last week's loss was disappointing, I tried to do what I could to make them physically ready for this game. We practiced well, but I didn't practice them physically hard, I wanted them to have more energy in the game, and we did, so it was a good decision. This past weekend appreciably changed our view; we know we have an opportunity now. We're fortunate to have 5 at home, but almost everyone we play are contenders. If we get in, we'll earn it. I think we're capable of doing it, I see more and more of that, but sometimes we mess things up.
On Romo: I said last night, this guy, I'm generally happy, but you folks look at him differently. I'm looking at a veteran, with not a lot of experience, but my expectations, for his deviations from the norm is the best way to say it, I'm less tolerant than I would be with a 1st or 2nd year player. He pulls some beauties. I fear it will catch-up with him, he got away with some things yesterday. He forgot he was the holder on the first FG. Psychologically, he throws an incompletion with no first down, and he's thinking about something he could've done differently. You got to get ready for the next play
That thing he pulled at the half, no, that was an unsound play. That could've gone 99-yards the other way for a TD. But I am happy with his performance, but I'm cognizant of the fact that some things he does will come back to bite him.
On his high throws early in the game: One of his throws you couldn't have caught with a butterfly net.
On Marcus Coleman: I'm sad about it. It's too bad.
We did some good things in secondary, those WR's are good players, they made some acrobatic catches. I thought Reeves needed to make that play on Fitzgerald. They're QB was out of sorts on his reads on the day, but those WRs are dangerous.
I started looking at film on the Colts last week, I watched 3 games before the Ariz. game, I watched some more this morning. I've got an idea of what we're going to face. It's an efficient veteran offense, it centers on the QB, the linemen are vets, the TE's are vets except for one new guy, #86, and the WR's are vets. 11 guys, other than the runner, have been going out there together for a long time. They can adapt, they're a confident team, and anybody would have their hands full. I haven't formulated any plans yet; we'll study more today and tomorrow.
I don't know about the safeties yet. Davis played 29 plays, Watkins played 18 or 16 plays, we'll see how that goes. It's possible we try to get another safety. All of these safeties can contribute, Elam and Watkins are good on special teams, Roy played 10 plays on special teams. Jacques is the major contributor at the corner position on special teams. I was happy with Austin on special teams, he got 17 plays, he was a factor on kickoff coverage. He didn't get much help on kickoff returns, we didn't block well there.
I already looked at SD game (against the Colts) and the Pitt game twice. You like to look at games that are similar to you.
On the fake spike play at the end of the half: There was no misunderstanding, I know the words being said on the phone, I heard what Todd Haley said. Romo's just got a little renegade in him. I told him after the play, "Dumb players do dumb things."
Carpenter is playing more aggressive on special teams, that gives him more confidence. At some point in time you just hope you have a good player. I look at some draft choices in the first round around the league that haven't even dressed yet. Not a lot, but some. You just want a good player. He's improving and giving me more confidence.
On the supposed Owens/Haley feud: I'm not cognizant of that, except what you guys write. I don't know of anything recently. I don't think that's the case (of them not getting along).
Now's the time of year to do something. Teams that are in our position and do something are going to have a more rewarding season. You don't like going backwards and forwards. It was a disappointing loss last week, but I don't think we were out-played, but that's the way it is.
I think the intent of the chop block rule is good, when the offensive line is engaged and another guy comes in and is chopping the knees. That's the letter of the law. We might need to reconsider the rule with the maze of blitzing going on in the league. Players are passing off defenders to other players with no intent of the player to engage the defender, by the letter of the law, it's a violation, but it's not what's happening. He passes him off with his hands, and the backs are cutting the LB's because they are outweighed. They're not engaging them, but passing them off, and the backs are trying to do their job. By the letter of the law maybe, with the offense touching him, maybe we need to look at it. Officials got a hard job, the ref we had yesterday, I like a lot. I talked to him before the game, he can give you insight into what the officials are being told. He said to me, "Bill, we are charged to be more cognizant of defenseless receivers, if we don't see the helmet-to-helmet or forearm to the helmet, but it looks like it happened, we are calling it, we are going to err on the side of caution." So now I know what the officials are looking at and I can tell my team. All three of them (chop blocks) were lightning quick plays, its just the way its falling for us, we need to do a better job. But with the maze of crossing and blitzing, we need to look at the rule more closely.
We've done a little more shotgun with Romo, I'm not in love with it. It helps him see the defense better.
Why aren't you "in love with it"? It makes you more of one dimensional team when your in that.
At this point, someone asked about Romo and this being a homecoming game, how the fans will respond to his first start at home. I think it was JFE and it was one of the most idiotic questions I ever heard asked at a Bill Parcells press conference. Of course, Bill blew it off and said he had more important things to pay attention to.
On MB3 being more involved in the game: We split up the carries pretty good, first time he had more than Julius. I think Barber, once he's in the flow of the game, he's good to go. He has a good nose for the goal line; he gets aggressive at the goal line. But he thinks he's Gayle Sayers sometimes, and he's not.
By Friday, after all our prep is complete for the Colts, we'll focus on the Thanksgiving Day game. Monte Kiffin's defense is the same as Tony Dungy's, so we have some similarities and carry-over.