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Wade Phillips press conference 11/19/07

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Wade: Our offense continues to impress, outstanding game offensively against a good team like Washington, that’s impressive. We left a few on the field in the first half, but in the second half we executed well. Defense played well enough to win, the team played well overall. Happy to be where we are, now we’re getting ready for the Jets.

Injuries?
Everybody’s OK, a few nicks, nothing major, everybody should be fine.

Pass defense worrying you?
I told Stew in the 2nd half - the Skins when behind will stick to the gameplan and they will keep running...and they threw 40 passes in the 2nd half. (mild laughter)  I know it’s all stats but in average per attempt in the passing game we are tied with New England at 6.4 yards per attempt, sixth in the league. We gave up 6.4 yards per attempt in this game. But he threw 55 times. We need sacks, fumbles, INT’s to take them out. If you throw 55 times you’ll more than likely lose with big stats. That’s been my experience. I thought their QB did a good job, they did it the week before without Moss. Then 2-minute offense moved well, their QB has improved and did a good job, but we won.

You want more sacks and disruptive plays to help the coverage?
Coverage-wise we didn’t play the way we should, they ran the same routes and we used the same defenses throughout the game, but someone would bust the coverage. It wasn’t complicated and we played a little soft using the same coverages later in the game but we came through at the end. It’s still about winning ball games. They’ve been running successfully in other games, then they throw it 40 times in the second half. (What do you do to prevent that from losing a game?) It didn’t cause us to lose this game. We’ll try to get it under 6.4 yards per attempt. We need to make more plays, the INT by Newman was exciting, he looks like he’s back. Henry’s not completely back yet but we’ll get better. I’m not discouraged, we just made too many mistakes in our base coverage.

Cover guys playing too soft?
Some of it was that, but we didn’t play it right. We’re playing a zone and one guy plays man-to-man. (Are they not contesting the ball on passes?) Several of them we had the QB falling off, throwing off the back foot. If everybody played the right zone coverage it would have been an INT.

Did you sub for Roy more in this game?
No, the same as before. We put in an extra corner some, but we’ve done that all year. Sometimes we put one in and Roy plays the FS or Hamlin will, but they’re not in together in that defense.

Snap problems?
Haven’t had the problem since the other one earlier in the year that everyone saw (St. Louis game). We’ll keep working on it and try to address it today. If I knew why, we wouldn’t have done that. We’ll try to spend extra time on it. We haven’t met with the players yet.

Defense close to being a "Wade Phillips" defense?
A little closer, we’re up there in turnovers. We got an aggressive group but they went max protect a lot, they sent 3 guys out we had 7 covering, that’s what made me mad, especially in zone where you need to match-up. But we won. (Do you judge defenses on wins?) Yes. If you’re ahead like we have been, they will throw it, the worst guy in the league will average 5 yards per attempt. If you throw it 50 times you’ll get 250 yards. I’m bias towards my defense, I think they will get better.

How close are you to being able to turn this defense loose?
You can’t blitz all the time. The only thing we haven’t done is play a lot of man-to-man. You can play good defense no matter what you play, we led the league in New Orleans for two years playing all zone. You can be good with whatever you play, but we’d like to be versatile. Playing the zones you have to match-up better.

Special teams a concern with a good Jets returner coming up?
Jets are real good special team-wise, they won on a punt return yesterday and have done well on kickoffs. (Problems yesterday?) He (Cartwright) had a good runback early but we got better after that. We lost Anderson, he was our wedge-buster. I’m talking to some other people who might come in and do that job and hit it with a little more force. But the Redskins are good on returns. And Randle El made a good run on the punt return. But Courtney Brown made a big play on the last punt return.

Surprised to get so many big plays in this offense without Terry Glenn?
It’s the players we have; the QB throws it well down the field. The offensive line does a good job protecting, some teams can’t throw those routes because of protection problems. And Witten down the middle forces them to stay inside and not help as much outside. Terrell, he’s astonishing and he’s a good pass defender too. We just utilize the personnel.

DeMarcus Ware?
He’s an all-star, all-star kind of person, all out on every play. I said last week I’ve never seen an OLB make that many plays, running plays, pass plays, hitting the QB, forcing an intentional grounding. He should get a sack for that. (What about the strip sack and his good jump?) That’s what the great ones do, they have a sixth sense and get off the ball quicker, he’s one of those guys. The guy he played against is a good tackle and Ware gave him problems all day.

Was your relationship with T.O. a natural thing or was there a plan in place for that?
A natural thing, everybody’s heard the stories about him. I came in and he called me, his friend told him I’d be great for him. He told me his buddy told him that and I said I would get him the football. My philosophy is to get players in position to make plays. (Does your personality just gel with him?) You’d have to ask him. He’s been great, you can’t ask for better. We gave him the gameball and he thanks his teammates and says something about Courtney Brown making a great play. With the so-called "little people," the trainers, the equipment managers, he’s great with them too. He’s a good guy, never bad off the field, does all the right things. (What about last year, you called him by his name and noted they didn’t last year?) I also call Tony Romo, Tony. (laughter) But I don’t high five him anymore.

What’s the most impressive thing about Tony Romo this year?
How he’s handled it all. Its hard being the Cowboys QB, they’ve run through several guys recently. The pressure is on them, and with the contract and all that, I just think the way he handles it is great. He says the right things and means them. (Do you consider him a top passer in the league?) He’s one of the top in the league, the stats show that. The game is different today, but he has 27 TD’s already, right up there with the greats who have played here. We throw more nowadays, but he’s one of the top QB’s in the league, everybody who plays us says that. The Redskins did, they said he’s hard to stop.

How’s your hand?
All right. I didn’t know it would be on TV. It hurt a little bit but no broken blood vessels. (laughter)

How was Anthony Henry’s health for the game?
Same as last week. He felt a little better, but he didn’t get many opportunities either. He’s not at the point where he’s back.

Tank Johnson?
He did all right, but Jay played really well. He might rush the passer better than any nose guard in the league, he’s playing well for us. They wanted to run but to hold their backs to 44 yards was impressive. He’s done it all year. (Will Tank eventually start so you can use Jay in other ways?) Jay’s playing really well right now, we’ll see what happens. I thought Jay might be a starter at camp, I just didn’t know it would be at nose guard. It’s surprising because of his size, we stunt him a lot, but you still take on double-teams and he does that well. Sometimes he gets doubled on the pass rush and he still gets pressure.

(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 counterintuitive. If you have questions about something from the press conference, feel free to ask in the comments.)