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Parcells press conference 12/29/06

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Romo said the practices have been good this week? Yes they have, not perfect, but pretty good. I'm just hopeful we play a good, solid game. The Lions have the ability to hurt you. They haven't made a lot of big plays this year; they only have something like 12 plays over 20 yards the whole year. They use an intermediate to short passing game, but they do have deep threats. You worry about that

Are Kitna's fumbles a result of their offensive scheme? Yes, it is. It's the same thing when you get pigeon-holed as a conservative coach, when you don't want to be aggressive and spread the ball out, and yet when you do it, sometimes you invoke a system that takes a while to get used to, and it costs you a lot to implement it. This is a wide-open system, as wide-open as there ever has been in the NFL. The only thing comparable to it was the run and shoot, which is primarily a passing, 4 WR, style offense. It's a high percentage pass offense. But you do expose people, and they don't have a lot of time to call audibles because they have to take time with the substitution packages. But I've seen it effective enough that a team has won the Super Bowl with it, it can work with a proven track record, but it takes a while to establish.

Are you watching film on Seattle yet? This afternoon I will look at Seattle, the probability is that we'll play them. The other teams in contention we've played recently. We'll be ahead on the Giants and Philly, there will be only one game to add to what we have, we also played N.O. recently, and Atlanta, and we've played Carolina over the last couple of years. We've played Seattle quite a bit, some of it in preseason, and it's always up there, by the way.

Will you play this game normal, or will you be thinking about the playoff game next week?  I will play this game straight, but I may dress a few different guys. I thought about playing someone in place of a guy who's started all year, but I'm not going to do that.

Are you surprised your team has played better on the road? There's not much difference in the road/home record. Overall we've played better on the road. It does surprise me. I don't know why it is.

Success in the redzone offense? Because we have the ability to run the ball into the end-zone. Real good teams do that, not without exception, some do choose to pass; when Andy Reid called plays in Philly they had a high percentage of passes in the redzone. But history and current success like with San Diego and Pittsburgh last year, have high percentage of runs, and we do to. It has worked out well for us.

Problems with the blitz? We haven't blitzed and inordinate amount. We haven't done a great job. We were better when Ellis was in there because we had threats on both sides. But we got to figure out how to do it better. If we don't do a better job, not in just blitzing, but in disrupting the passing game, we're not going anywhere. You can do it a couple of ways, by blitzing or holding the receivers on the line and causing the QB to pull the ball down. This Sunday is a five-step timing passing game, and he gets it out. Against this style offense you have to disrupt their timing. If they throw it on time, you'll be in trouble. The ones they get out on time they will have a high percentage of completions.

Has replacing Ellis been more problematic than you thought?  I wish we had him. But Bobby is coming along pretty good; I'm pretty pleased with him. I think he will be playing more and more as we go.