I missed the opening of the press conference.
Arizona has quality receivers, they're a good run after the catch group. Boldin is a special player.
On penalties: Wasn't just a penalty chart I showed the players last week, it was an index with 4 subjects, comparing us to the rest of the league. When you look at scoring, rushing, redzone stats, stuff like that, we're good, so it's obvious what's holding us back. They make the judgments on the field, they have to be more cognizant of things, if not, it will hold us back. I can't make them listen to the snap count on false starts, I can't think of anything else to do, I've done concentration drills. I don't want the team to think I'm punishing them, and concentration lapses come from duress or fatigue, that's where mental toughness comes in, thinking thru processes under duress. It's hard to simulate that. I got to make them concentrate in the heat of the battle; on assignments, formations, technique, I talk to them about it.
Pass interference is a big penalty in this league, that's a big chunk of yards, it can hurt you very badly by changing the field position. I look at the chart on the officials, on each crew, the biggest penalty in the league is false starts and holding comes in 2nd for every crew. False starts are called way above the rest, holding a close second each week. Defensive pass infractions, like illegal contact, interference, I lump them into one category. Two weeks ago, the crew we had, had called an unusual number of illegal blocks, out-numbered every other crew by 10, so I called it out to the special teams, these guys call illegal blocks tight. Having been around, I know the refs tendencies, I remind my team about that. I cross-check it with their current stats.
Spears and Canty are alright in the running game, but we need more in the passing game. They're not on the nickel, but they have to make a better conversion from run to pass on 1st down. I don't think we over-rotate out line, we only have 6 guys, I'm not rotating Ellis and Ware enough.
Teams are spreading us out to get Ellis out of the rush, and if you play zone defense, you can't let the receivers run into the zone clean. Coach Green runs 3 WR, and some 2 TE, 2 WR formations, some 4 WR, but the staple is the 3 WR set. That plays to their talent. If you play 100% nickel against it, it's mentally easier for the other team, they know you're in a 4-2 alignment, then they can run the ball. They spread you out and then let James go, so we can't do that. You have to watch James on check downs, Leinart has been trained to take the check down, he does it well. If we're not cognizant of that, then James catches the ball and makes it 2nd and 2. We can't play all zone, have to play some man-to-man, then receivers are back in play. They've got good weapons, but some aren't finished products. Leinart, and TE Pope are still developing, but their WR's are legitimate.
We have to use both defenses, coverage defenses and traditional defenses, because of James. We've played them before, our players are aware of what they have.
On free safety: We practiced the same combination, Keith and Marcus, today. I'm hoping with a little more game time they could improve. But if it doesn't, then I'll put that younger player back in there and take my chances.
We've given up 7 TD's at the safety position this year, so that's problematic.
On dropped passes: You hope drops don't become problematic. You mention the fundamentals of catching the ball to them. But under duress, sometimes it doesn't get fixed. Receivers, sometimes, if they can't run on their toes, like an outfielder in baseball, if you run flat-footed the ball bounces up and down. Receivers have to stay on their toes, if you run flat-footed it will jar the body and the ball jumps around. I told Terry Glenn that a couple of years, he was complaining about the ball moving around.
Terrell drops them from time to time, that's pretty much his history. I knew that coming here. He's made a good contribution, I'm hoping for a better second half.
Romo improved the most from his first start in game management, less logistical problems, better defense identification. He was calling out things pertinent to play. He's studying hard. I'm trying to get him to think along the same lines I am. Like during that last series in Wash. All the coaches wanted to call a timeout, but I said no, I wanted to save it. Romo made the play to Witten and we had the timeout. If we didn't, I don't think we could set up for another play.
More on Romo: I want him to do what he's doing. You have to caution him to have patience; he thinks he can make every play. He's elusive enough to buy time, and when he does make plays off that, it reinforces that he can. But I want him, when something is open, to just take it. Don't wait around for a bigger piece of the cake.
This team hasn't met expectations, this is a results-oriented business. We can play better and win more, we are capable.
The more I see us play, the more I know we can do it. I have evidence that we could play better, and get better results. Now, if we win a couple of games here, it's a whole new light on this cloudy horizon.
On the team having an `identity': I don't know about identity, I love how we get all these vague terms this time of year. I just want execution under pressure.
Leinart is a developing player, he looks good out of the pocket, they are doing some bootlegs and waggles, more balls will be going to out the right-side because he's left-handed. They've had some protection problems, but he'll take the check downs. It's a learning experience for him. He has some efficient days, then some with tough sledding. He's just a first year player. He has some weapons, like he did at USC.
We didn't have the ammunition to trade up in the draft to get him.
I think everybody is aware of the celebration rule now, I don't think we'll see that anymore. I didn't think we'd see two already this year.
On Romo handling pass pressure: He handled pressure pretty well in Washington. This team uses 5 DL, so that's a little different. We'll see. I can't ask for anymore from Romo than what I got in the past couple of games. He won one and put us in position to win the other.
On running on your toes for DB's: It's not as much for the DB's, the majority of the time they are going forward, just maybe on a long ball or something. They don't always focus on the ball. Sometimes they focus on hand placement from the receiver, you get your hand in between his hands when he turns for the ball. There's not as much focus on the ball.