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Wade Phillips press conference 10/15/07

Wade: Disappointed but we have to go forward. The ball game didn’t end like we wanted. The difference was 3rd down and penalties. Our inability to make 3rd downs, we were 36% and they were 65%, getting on an off the field was a big problem. We had 12 penalties and they had 5. We fought back, then had an interference penalty were they scored, the next series we had holding on the first play and killed that drive, then we had a 15 yard penalty for roughing the passer, then an illegal shift when we had a first down at their 38, then on fourth and one we got holding. Those penalties and the 3rd downs were the difference for us. Disappointed in the penalties, when New England had one they had to overcome it but couldn’t and punted, if you have those penalties you suffer. We got better pressure than anyone on Brady this year, we got hits and sacks and a TD, but we couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down.

We still have an opportunity to do all the things we wanted at the beginning of the year, but we must get better. We’ll look at the film and improve.

How do you start work on improving?
Start with looking at the film. There are some positives, our running game was better than theirs, they threw 50 something times, we thought they might try that, we thought we would force them into the pass. We need to work on the pass defense. We need to start faster than we did, we’ll address those.

Should you have run more in the first half?
We tried to run early and didn’t do well early, then they started playing nickel and we took advantage of that in the run game. We had them going for while, made them switch from the nickel back to regular and that’s how we scored. But we had a drive start with 1st and 20 and then another drive with a big play called back, I thought we had some things going. We ran it effectively when we ran it. I’d like to start out better.

Could starting Barber make you start faster?
Julius had a good game, averaged 8 yards a run. It’s our team starting slow, Julius got hit before he had a chance on some of those runs. But we’re scoring 30 something points a game, the end is the important score. We scored 20 points on offense in only 40 something plays. We’re going to work on some things to start better.

We’re tying to analyze that. We had more penalties at home than the other team in three games. Not that the officials go one way or another based on the home team. Penalties are mistakes, not all of them are called right but when you have 12 a lot of them were called right and we need to cut down. We emphasized holding, false starts, illegal procedures. We had 3 offsides in the same drive, before that we had one all season. It’s hard to figure out. One of them was because DeMarcus is just too quick and wasn’t offsides.

Measuring stick?
I thought it was an important game, a home game, I don’t measure them. Indy lost here last year and won it all. It’s a season, not just a game. We had our opportunities. Everybody could feel we were in the game.

We have to stop the run and force them to pass, but then you got to get turnovers and pressure. We had a similar deal against Brady last year. They’re better than they were last year. We need work on pass defense, three situations we doubled a guy and he scored, technique-wise we need to get better. You learn from every game. We’d like to learn to do things wells.

Will you consider starting Barber?
They were both productive in this game. I don’t think that will make a difference.

How important is it to win this week?
Real important, Minnesota is coming off a big win in Chicago, they scored a bunch of points. It’s an NFC game and a home game, it’s important to get back on the track.

Did you talk to the team about opportunities going forward?

That’s what I talked to them about today. Have to be realistic, we need to play better and improve, there were areas in this game where we could play better. But right now were 5-1, not many in the NFC are 5-1

Not and elite team?
I was disappointed after the game. Elite means Indy or NE, they were stronger than we were, better than we were in that game, but maybe not at end of season.

Injury-wise we’re OK, Romo is all right.

Played well, they did a good job of not giving up the big play. He had to be patient, he was fairly accurate, threw 2 TD’s. We didn’t make enough 3rd downs and they did and had the ball twice as long. The 2-minute drive before the half is important, he does that well and coming back in second half was good.

Time of possession?
The first three series we went 3 and out, but we came back and got ahead. Two series we had penalties when we needed to move the ball, the penalties hurt us.

Anthony Henry missing a big problem?

We’ve been playing that way the whole time and we had some good games. Newman is a better matchup in the slot, with Henry we could have put him on Welker because he’s faster than Welker. Once we have them all we’ll do better in coverage

But you won’t be facing an offense like New England every week?

Every game is tough, playing one this week with a RB who rushed for over 200 yards last week and they scored 34 points, every team presents a problem.

If you played them again would you emphasize stopping the run as much?

You got to do that, force them into passing situations then get after them. If we made normal 3rd down plays.... you cant give them both, run and pass. We didn’t overload the line oar anything, we had our normal guys back in coverage, we just stopped the run game.

4th down FG call?
You can second guess when it’s over with. If we kicked the FG we’re behind a FG and TD with 10 minutes left, I though we’d make a play. They sent two guys out in a pattern and hit a 69-yard TD. If I had it again to do I would go for it. It’s still percentages. From the three-yard line a play has a 43% of scoring, from the 5-yard line you have a 36% chance or something like that. Looking back at the game and how they moved the ball maybe I should have gone for it.

Can you control the penalties?
Something we got to work on. We put hard work in on it. The guys, I thought we were in good shape on it but we didn’t do it.

Was Kosier penalty a hold?
(Sarcastically) If they call it, it’s a holding penalty.

Watkins pass interference penalty?
(Sarcastically) They called the interference, that’s what they called. I got beat but I don’t want to get fined. (laughter).

Uncomfortable with the play of the defense?

We’ll see down the road, it’s the whole year that counts. Got to play well defensively and offensively. I thought on special teams we played better, the kickoff coverage was good, they ran the same return as last week that they scored on but we played it right this time. FG protection and rush was good. I’m uncomfortable losing a game. We didn’t play well enough to beat NE, that’s the most important thing.

He may be another week, we’ll see.

Henry after the bye?
I think he will be, but I don’t know. He starts rehab this week and we’ll find out more. We’re not going to put him in harms way.

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