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Wade Phillips press conference 10/1/07

Wade: We played really well, I like the way we finish, I like the way they don’t get frustrated, we didn’t start off on offense that well but once we’re rolling we’re hard to stop. Defense played solid for the whole game, gave up one slant pass that we wish we could have back. Newman played right corner and Jacques played well, his best game so far, at left corner. The front played well on defense and offense. Defense is getting better and better, putting pressure on the QB but still strong on the run. We have to be realistic. The teams we played only have 3 wins, but we accounted for four of those losses for them. We have no control over that and we have some tough games ahead of us, we know that. Standing well at 4-0, but we can’t get over confident, we have some confidence and it’s helping us. Talked to them about this game, sometimes you get a false sense that because you should beat them, if things don’t go well, you get frustrated. We didn’t start out great on offense but it didn’t bother them and they kept on trying. We have won by big margins in all these games. I thought the Rams played well on defense, they had some things on defense they were doing well, but we were 65% on 3rd down and put up 500 yards. We’re going to play another good kick returner this week, we’ll work on kick coverage.

Dreaded high ankle sprain. Normally, not something you come back quickly from. They said it’s not severe, it’s normally like 4 weeks, but if it’s not severe maybe 2 weeks, maybe one. He’s real iffy this week.

Will Newman continue on the right side?
Right side is correct. He’s not 100%, but on the right side he pushes off with the left foot more so that helps him. (Punt returns?) He can run straight ahead. More his knee than the foot, it’s getting better.

(Blah, blah, overconfidence talk, Wade will focus the team, blah, blah)

How good is the team right now?
Good football team right now, talented players. Any time the WQB is playing like ours is playing it’s a key factor, he distributes the ball well. Defense is solid, team is solid. We have been at least a 10-point winner in every game so far. We got obstacles down the road, maybe even the next game, but I like the way we finish.

Is the team getting better?
Technique-wise we are getting better, on run blocking, pass routes, defensive line work, footwork in the secondary. Looking at the four games we are getting better.

Romo’s miracle  play?
When I saw it I said "oh no," and then when I put the tape in and saw it I said "oh no" even though I knew what happened. A great play.

Has your confidence in him grown?

I see him do things in practice, quick release, great arm, and his competitiveness but some guys can’t carry that to the game. He carries it over. Now Jerry’s got to sign him, I’m for that. Jerry has put together a wealth of talent here to help us. Getting Leonard and Hamlin, and Terrell has made a big difference in this team. They doubled Terrell a lot and gave Patrick a chance. Crayton played a great game he got a game ball. He’s up there in punt return stats. We thought he was just back there to catch the ball but he’s been outstanding. He paid us back for the drop last week. Happy for him. Greg Ellis played 15 plays and had 1.5 sacks and a couple of hurries. He impacted the game, his specialty is to rush. He did it quickly. Utilized him in the right way which is the pass rush, happy for him. We’ll work him in more and more, Greg will rush when he’s in there.

Jason Garrett has been mentioned as a head coach possibility for other teams?
It’s still early. Don’t want to slight our offensive staff, Jason sets it all up, but Ray Sherman and Tony Sparano are outstanding and have a lot of input on what we do. It’s easy to call these plays with a QB playing like he is. I’m not slighting the offensive staff, they’re doing a great job. But it’s the players who are making plays. We’re teaching them the right things. Players have bought into Jason and the whole offensive staff and QB facilitates it on the field.

Were you part of the Ellis contract stuff?
I wasn’t a part of the contract, Jerry wants this team to win and will do whatever it takes to get players. That is what impresses me. As GM and owner he gets things done. He instigated the process. Give Jerry the credit overall, he put together the team, put the money behind it. Some people didn’t like the Cowboys got T.O., they weren’t all for it. He’s turned out to be a big part of things.

Has the fun atmosphere helped?
I have seen it in the past, it’s not s good coach/bad coach thing, I’m not comparing. When my Dad took over for Sid Gillman, a Hall of Fame coach, he was a discipline kind of guy. Then you go to a different type of coach and sometimes they respond, saw that in Houston. It goes the other way also, someone is too soft so they bring in a disciplinarian. Lost of ways to get it done. Sometimes a change in the opposite direction gets the players going. I thought I had credibility going in. If you got something going for you it helps, credibility with the players. Its just change, you get a honeymoon period that everybody is more positive.

Homecoming in Buffalo?

We went back last year at SD, not as the head coach, bit we played them before. I have great memories from Buffalo, did the best I could do there. Great friends still there. I enjoy going back to see the people more than anything else. Not revenge, I’m not that kind of person.

They tried to double him some, we sent him inside for pressure, it helped him. He could have had a bigger game (in stats), he hit the QB a bunch of times for incompletion. Outstanding game, he’s getting better and better.

Did you sub Hatcher in more this game?
Played about 20 plays, but Spears had one of his best games. Both played quite a bit. Canty is strong. Ratliff is doing a good job. Spears had half a sack but hit the QB three times, has a tackle for a loss, those kinds of things. He hustled to the ball, played all out.

With Newman and Ellis back, can you envision the full defense now?
187 yards and no points is not bad against a team that can throw the ball. They have problems on their line but they have great WR’s and QB, I’m  proud of the defense.

I had to leave at this point and do the DCFanatic Radio Show so I missed the rest of the press conference. Sorry. I’m a media whore. If anybody wants to finish the rest in the comments, feel free.

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