clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Parcells press conference 12/29/06

No injuries to report, everyone practiced. We're short a spot on the practice squad, we'll fill it tomorrow.

Are teams finding QB's outside of drafting them high more now?  I don't think it's changed. The margin of error is the same, some work out and some don't. You see QB's from different venues now, free agency, high draft pick, Canadian league, Arena league, it just comes down to the right spot at the right time. If you get into the right developmental system, like any other position, if you fit in, and you get to develop, it will work for you.

Doesn't it cost you more with high draft picks that fail at QB? That's the case with every position; you have cap implications with every position. It's probably why teams don't want to pick in the top 5 anymore.

Kurt Warner was way down the road maturity-wise, he'd been in camps, the Arena league, the European league; he had more exposure in playing games. You can't just look at numbers, there are too many variables. It's a natural thing to do, but not a lot of credence in it.

Why is the defense playing better? We've had the ball a lot on offense, so you have less snaps on defense. We are holding onto the ball better in the 2nd half, and that's a key thing. The combination of having played together a little longer, understanding each other better has helped. We still have some technical areas to improve on. I'm watching the practice film today where one of our defensive linemen doesn't have a clue. But they are more cohesive now. We haven't added a lot to what we were playing since camp.

More defense: We've gone 15 games since preseason, and or margin of error is not as great as the statistics say. The turnovers are going down on offense and opponent's field position is worse. Every Sunday you worry about the big play. Against Tampa Bay they hit a guy down the middle of the field, and we emphasized that exact same thing all week. Obviously we didn't do it enough. We made a highlight reel of Galloway running through the middle, probably 10-12 plays. And before the national anthem had finished playing Galloway was running down the middle of the field. (laughter)

Getting more turnovers? Playing with a lead makes teams force the ball, they take chances, you get more opportunities. It's a natural thing.

Keeping Romo grounded? I'm just reminding him of things I think are important. I give the QB's a list every year of around 10 things I emphasize. I hope Romo still has it; I gave it to him 4 years ago. I always reinforce those things. Sometimes I do it, I say I'm being serous for a second and they know to pay attention. If I'm just messing them with a little bit, like I told him to Google up a name of a guy who burnt brightly in this league for a short time but faded out, and he has to come back to me and report on it. I give them a little homework.

The Giants pass rush? They have good players at the position, I expect Umenyiora to play, don't know about Strahan, whatever it is we have to block them. Kiwanuka has played well. If we don't block them they'll give us trouble.

Kiwanuka letting Young go? What's happened to defensive players, they've become so cognizant of not roughing the QB, you can't hit them anywhere: no below the waist, no crown of the helmet, no helmet to helmet, you can't hit them anywhere. I think that's what happened to the guy. It was a smart play, he thought the ball was already out, but it was an unfortunate play. He was thinking the right way.

Kiwanuka knows how to tackle; it was just an unfortunate play. He was erring on the side of caution. It's not a dumb play. The idea is too get the guy with the ball, but you have to use good judgment, you can't do certain things. You can train to behave any way you want to with good judgment.

Do you agree with the rules protecting QB's? When I'm retired I'll say some more on that subject. Right now, I'm erring on side of caution. (laughter)

Romo is a pretty good practice player. He only gets a certain number of reps in practice. We range between 34-42 offensive plays and 7-12 7-on-7 sets in practice. Romo gets around 42 of the snaps. Every opportunity we put in the game plan is important. Watching Vinny and Drew he gets the sense of that importance. Coming into the league, young players don't know much. No discredit to his college environment, but what it takes to survive at that position in the NFL they don't know, the training, the preparation, getting to know the coverages and the personnel. Who has what abilities on defense. It's hard.

Watkins will play quite a bit this week. He's doing better.

Will the Giants attack him like last time? They do those things against everybody, not just Watkins.

Have you been criticized by players like Tom Coughlin? I'm sure players have criticized me, I remember some things. There wasn't any pattern in what I would do. The player might be right, a couple of times where I did bonehead things. Basically I tell them at the season's start - I'm not going to talk about their performance in negative way, but if they fumble 4 times, I have to acknowledge something like that, and say we need to hold on to the ball. You have to maintain a respect and I do it. I don't know for a fact what's going on in New York. I've made the front and back pages myself of the NY papers, but I don't pay attention to that. It's yesterday's news.

Rmo is pretty astute, he does observe things well. I think having Drew and Vinny is a great resource for a young player. A lot of information you can gain quickly from them. It's more true with a QB because they sit together in small confines. Dialogue between one or two guys provides more give and take within the QB sanctum, instead of 8-10 linemen, all at different positions discussing things with coaches and each other. It can be advantageous to have the experience.

Romo has become a pop-culture phenomenon in a short time?  I'm a Neanderthal. I don't know what a pop-culture phenomenon means. That's a territory where I have no degree of expertise.

Did you give Romo the Johnny Unitas book in his locker? I didn't give him the Unitas book, but he wants to know about his predecessors. Some players are like that. Ask Pepper Johnson, ask about players from the 50's or 60's. He'll line them up one after another. Some guys are interested in their predecessors. I, as a coach, wanted to know about other coaches, guys like George Halas and Bud Wilkinson. So I read about them. Tony will come to me after reading the book then ask me about these guys because I know them. He asked about Lombardi at West Point. About Red Blaik, he didn't even know who that was. That's a pretty interesting coaching tree, with Lombardi and Sid Gilman.

Do you worry he will try to emulate his idols too much? I don't think Romo does that. He's looking for what made them successful. He'll ask what this guy was like. I tell him' but it's a different era, QB's were calling the plays way back then, but I like to help with that stuff.

I approach my players with things and say "this is just a thought, take it and evaluate it". I do that with Terry Glenn. I don't even have to get through the sentence with Terry. He knows the answer right away.

I'm not surprised about rookie QB's starting. If you show the inclination to play, you'll get in, there are not enough QB's to go around. I might not think it's a great thing. Sometimes it can be a deterrent for the player. Everyone publicly says it's great, he's getting a chance to play, but when it destroys them you never hear about it again. It's just put the next guy in.

Eli Manning is young, developing player, going through some growing pains. But he has good abilities, he's demonstrated that. It's no always a smooth spiral; someday Romo will have the same deal.

Is it worse because of the New York media? In New York, they've got like 13 pro sports teams. Baseball is in the news year around with the Yankees and the Mets. Sometimes is not the same as in cities with not a lot going on. That can make it harder in other cities.

Do you wonder if you should've started Romo sooner? I don't wonder about it, because I did it when I thought the time was right. No second guesses, people want to talk about it because they have the retrospective view. I knew he wasn't close before last season. Last year in preseason, I though we might have something. I was determined to go forward in getting him ready in this preseason. Fortunately, things are better at the position.

I can't say I didn't think about starting him from Day 1. But you got a lot of people to think about when you do that. I thought Drew deserved the benefit of the doubt, but I was ready to use the guy. I don't know what would've happened if I started him the 1st game. I don't have that advantage of 2nd guessing. If I make a mistake, more than once, maybe 4 times, I start to get mad at myself. If you coach long enough, you'll do some things you wish you hadn't done. Part of my experience says the quickest way to destroy someone is to put them in when they can't have success. You want to give him a chance to succeed,

In his 3rd year he was 22 for 28, 2 TD's and no INT's in the preseason. The percentage of completions was good, in the preseason this year he was pretty good. This preseason allowed him to get the feeling of responsibility. I told him you're playing and not coming out. He learned it was on him, nobody was bailing him out.

Is putting Bledsoe in as a mop-up QB a sensitive situation? I talked to Drew about going in, I told him I was not going to embarrass him. I asked him if he wanted to go in and he said no, it's fine. But I need him ready this year. I would tell him to go in if I thought Romo was in jeopardy. He understood that.

Historically, I've gone for it on 4th down more than most, particularly when I was young and foolish. Hey, it's a gut check. We went for a QB sneak against the Colts the other day.

Again about playing Romo sooner? I just ask you to relate it to a decision you've made. You try to be analytical. Some say it's going up, some say it's going down. You have to decide in your own gut if it's a time to do it. I'm not bragging about the process [of getting Romo ready], but in Tony's case he needed time to develop. If we didn't have the good fortune of having guys to play in front of him, he wouldn't have been successful. His father was watching practice earlier this year before Romo played. His dad is a straight-shooter; I liked the guy right away. His dad said to me - you'll know when it s time.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys