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Wade Phillips press conference 10/17/07

Wade: Injuries pretty much the same as last week. Good to get a Weds. practice in. Get back into the rhythm. Don’t know anything about Tank, haven’t been informed.

Vikings passing game?
They don’t need to throw it, their explosive plays are all in the running game. That’s just as good as a pass and easier. They have impressive players on offense, the QB, the receivers and the running backs, looks like their future is now, they beat the Bears.

What do you like about Adrian Peterson?

I like that he’s from Texas. A fun guy to watch, he’s going to be a great player. I was with George Rogers and Earl Campbell when they were rookies and he’s having the same type of year.

Surprised he’s this good this early?
We had him rated real high, it was a good pick for them, we thought he was a really good player.

How will this team come back from their first loss?

You never know, some teams carry it longer than others. We seemed to bounce back well, we had a good practice. You have to erase what happened from your mind and come out with the same attitude you had before. It’s focus, usually when a guy isn’t in there, when he’s watching, how intent is he? Besides doing the right things when you are in there. We throw a lot at them on the first day, we’ll see how they come back tomorrow.

Anthony Henry?

I don’t think he’s ready yet, if he was ready we’d play him. He didn’t practice today. He taped up today and went through stretching so he’s a lot better than he was.

How did you approach the penalties this week?
You do it every week, we have officials out there that help us in practice. It’s something we emphasize. I’m just surprised we went from one penalty to five penalties to twelve penalties.

Secondary hurt by having different player combinations all year?

We’re not making excuses. And I’m not making excuses for being 5-1, either. We’ll keep working, try to keep improving. It helps us now that guys have played a while, Jacques Reeves has started every game and he’s gotten better. We didn’t expect him to play much at all this year. Update [2007-10-17 22:47:22 by Dave Halprin (Grizz)]: I phrased this last part poorly and gave some consternation to a few Cowboys fans. What Wade was really saying here was in the historical context; in camp they thought Aaron Glenn would be the 3rd CB, but they cut him in favor of Reeves. Then they thought he would be the nickel guy, but Newman then Henry got hurt and he's had to start. Just a quick disclaimer: I write these very fast and just paraphrase Wade. If something seems out of whack in the press conferences, ask me about it. [END UPDATE]

Do you change your defense to play the #1 rushing team?
Pretty much, you change with the teams you play against. You always try to stop the run, but this team is the top rushing team so it’s more imperative this week. Of course the Bears wanted to do it and they had 311 rushing yards. Our run defense has played very well. First thing is stop the running game, you have to stop the running game to win games. Every where I’ve been I’ve done that. If they can control the game by using the running game, you’ll get beat. Force them into passing situations and try to take advantage.

What about you establishing the run against their defense?
Both game plans are geared to what we do well, and what they think they can do well. You have to still try to run the ball, if you become one-dimensional, if you throw every down you could have 4 INT’s and get beat.

Assess your running game?

Not were we want it to be, but it depends on the game, its still about scoring points and beating the defense. I would have liked to score more last wee. I think we’re all right, we got two good backs and a good offensive line.

Oliver Hoyte?
Practiced with the scout team. We’ll see how he comes along.

Has Marcus Spears been more active recently?
He has been active, seems to be getting better, he works hard and plays hard. The first key was using his ability, we asked him to get to the football and he’s bought into that.

Terrell Owens production has slipped recently?
You got to look at the whole season for perspective. We lost the game but we are 5-1. He didn’t get as many yards but scored a TD. This season he is outstanding. We try to feature him. It’s easy to say that, but there are enough routes with him as the primary. But sometimes a QB must still make decisions, and if there are two guys on him he goes somewhere else. Witten is a primary guy too, and Patrick Crayton.

Did they try to take Witten out of the game?
They tried to, but he still made plays. They tried to take T.O. out but he scored a TD. They did a good job defensively.

Do you talk to Brad Johnson about the Vikes?
We talk to Brad, but it’s this year’s team, a different running back, they’re doing different things, so that changes. It’s the same system, but we’ve played against the West Coast offense before.

Patrick Crayton?

It’s great that we had him. He had one monster game and he helps on punt returns. Having him is a real plus, a bonus, it showed we had depth at the position and we needed it.

Have you seen teams on film forget about the run on the Vikes and go all pass?

They’ve lost three games by 13 points. If teams can’t run the ball on you, they’re going to throw it. If you throw it every down you get more yards, but not necessarily the win. They establish the run defense and force them to throw the ball. They’re going to see a lot of passes. When that happens you got to make plays, like sacks, fumble for TD’s and INT’s. They’ve been good against the run for a while now. They know what their doing.

Pat Williams?
He was a free agent when we signed him in Buffalo so he has come along ways. I scouted him at A&M, he’s been an outstanding player, a great run player, hard to block, great hands. Tough to block.

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