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Wade Phillips press conference 10/18/07

(Disclaimer: These press conference recaps are just paraphrases of what Wade Phillips says and aren’t vetted for total accuracy on quotes. I shorten and condense things he says but try to get across the intended meaning. Occasionally, what I post loses the context of something Wade said and may appear counter-intuitive. If you have questions about something from the press conference, feel free to ask in the comments.)

Wade: Thursday practice, going over the things we put in, the guys are concentrating. Injuries the same, same guys this week as last pretty much.

More important to stop the run this week?
It’s important because they can run the ball better than others in the league, even against the Bears who are good against the run. It’s a challenge to keep them from running, they know we’ll stack the line, but you still have to stop the passing game.

Do you need a good start more against a running team?
Anytime you face a strong running team, it helps to get ahead of them and make them pass. But they play good defense, too.

Jacques Reeves?
Done a good job, he was thrown into a position, he wasn’t anticipating, and we weren’t anticipating. He’s had some rocky moments. A lot of it is confidence, not just his own confidence but confident in knowing where your help is. They’ve done a good job the secondary is 5-1. (laughter)

Minnesota creates a lot of turnovers, do you prep more for that this week?

We’re one behind them in turnovers. We stress that all the time, not to have turnovers. Our WR’s and RB’s have been strong on ball security. Minnesota get turnovers because they do good things on defense.

Tarvaris Jackson?
Impressed with their young players, they are talented. QB, WR, RB, young, good players who will have a future, but they are starting to play well now, their future is now. The QB is a part of it. He’s one of the least sacked QB’s in the league.

Do they take chances on defense to get turnovers?
No, they’re just good players. We drafted Winfield in Buffalo, outstanding player. Sharrper, they took from a team in their division because he was so good against them. They jump routes when they see them, but they don’t guess, they anticipate.

Do they still run the West Coast offense?

I don’t know what the West Coast is anymore. You see things that are West Coast and they still play some of them, the terminology is the same. But it’s real diverse now. It’s hard to define. They’re all disciples of the West Coast, but they’ve all gone their own way.

Why does Jackson get sacked so few times?
He gets the ball out and can avoid the rush. He’s not what I’d call a running QB, but he gets away from the rush.

Will you spy him?
Depends on the payer and the situation. (Does your rush have to be more disciplined?) That’s what you worry about when they can move, it helps us in our situation with a QB that can move. A lot of teams will attack a point, but you can’t do that on a mobile QB.

Greg Ellis?
He’s moving faster now, we’ll play him more in the regular defense.

Will Anthony Spencer still start?
I don’t know that, TBD. Greg is ready to go.
(Is he just a better player than Spencer?) He’s been better, the other kid is a young guy who is learning but he’s done some good things. Greg is better and has experience, and he’s getting well. We know what we’ll get with Greg. We’ll still play Spencer some but we didn’t get to bring him along slow like we wanted. (ed. note - Sounds like Ellis might start this week, or almost assuredly after the BYE.)

Rookies hitting the wall?
Sometimes they do, depends on the rookie, After the Bye week and a few more games, that’s the time their college season is normally over. You have to watch it then.

Ellis better with hand on the ground or will you ask him to stand up at OLB, too?

All we’ve asked so far is his hand on the ground, but he can handle it standing up.

Is Jason Hatcher getting more snaps lately?
We are rotating them, similar amount each game. If you make plays, we’ll play you more. (What about Stephen Bowen?) I like if they can help the team and he has some talent in the pass rush. We’re trying to utilize that.

Is Hatcher more than a pass rusher, can he play the run?
Sure, he does it now, we alternate them but he comes in on running situations too, he’s getting better. (Compare him to Marcus Spears?) Different types, we utilize them different. Hatcher is more of an outside-rusher guy, Spears is a quickness rusher. They get there in different ways, but both can play the run.

Has Spencer played well?
He’s played well, the linebackers are 5-1. (laughter)

Have you compared the success of the kick coverage this year to last year’s?
Different people last year, they kicked it shorter last year. We keep trying to get better with them. We gave up one long run that throws the stats off. They played better last week, and we played Hester well. Last year it was deceiving, the returns were short, but where they got the ball, where they started the drive, they we’re 19th or something. (Return game?) I wish Tyson had gone all the way on that one last week. We’re working hard. We’ve had a couple of big ones, but we need to get to the 30-yard line more. But the kick team is 5-1.

Will you give Miles Austin a chance to return more?
Austin is the blocker, although we may look at him some. When Tyson’s had something he’s made plays, and had two big returns in crucial situations this year, including last week when he almost scored.

What about Isaiah Stanback, is he pushing anyone for playing time?
He’s still working, he was active two games ago. He’s got some talent, he has kickoff return ability, but not having him in preseason hurt our chances to evaluate him. He’s hard to cover in practice though, he makes good catches.

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