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Wade Phillips press conference 11/5/07

Wade: MRI on Deon Anderson showed a torn rotator cuff and he’s out for the season. We used his roster spot on Tank Johnson. Other injuries, Watkins and Stanback got banged up a little and we’ll check on them later this week.

Deon’s injury?
I don’t know when Deon got hurt. He played well, it was maybe his best game. It’s unfortunate. (Will Hoyte start now?) I don’t know about Hoyte yet, we want him to get his strength up in his shoulder, we’re waiting on that.

Find another FB?
We have to discuss that, this just happened today. We weren’t aware of it until a MRI this morning. Trying to determine where we’ll go. His roster spot went to Tank, but we might do more.

Tank Johnson in the mix this week?
We’ll see, I think he’ll be part of the rotation, he helps us on our line rotation.

Why did you play Isaiah Stanback this week?
Impressed with Isaiah in the preseason, we were trying to get a spark there on kick returns, we’ve been OK, but we wanted a change. We’re trying to utilize him, he’s been showing up in practice as a receiver, we wanted to get him to the game. He brought the second half kickoff out pretty good and set us up for a score, he made some good decisions, I was pleased. He gives us another option.

Anthony Henry?
Anthony was limited in some things, technical things, but he came in and got some work. He made an INT at the end and that put him back in the league lead even though he’s been out for a while. He’s got a knack for playing the ball well, played a deep ball to Curtis very well. He wasn’t completely well. Like with Newman, if he gets better, we’ll start him.

Terrell Owens reaction to getting the game ball?
Lot of things are said about the guy, but when I gave him the game ball, he said it was special to him but he appreciated what the team did. It was about team, not about him. He says and does the right things. I was proud of him.

Overall the line played consistently well, they’ve played that way the whole season. They wear you down as the game goes on. The backs run hard, the receivers run good routes and the QB helps the line by moving around, but they are playing well. When I got the job it was a big concern, we hadn’t signed the C, the RG, or the RT and Flo was coming off an injury. We worked early and quickly to get them signed. Jerry should get credit for putting this thing together. Getting Leonard, signing Colombo and Gurode is paying off.

How about the secondary play and the coverage sacks?

Philly went to "don’t send anybody out and protect." Keep the TE’s in, keep 2 backs and chip the ends, they were blocking 7 on 4. Our secondary did a good job. If the offense max protects we’ll just play coverage, the QB has longer to throw but nobody is open. We played the check-downs well. That’s the chess game, some people will send them out and some won’t. You have to help on Ware and Ellis, that’s really helped us, Ellis has made a difference.

Jay Ratliff?
Lot of people didn’t know what we’d do without Fergie, they said we can’t stop the run with an undersized guy. But he plays the run well and he rushes the passer. He gets pressure up the middle and we stunt him, and he plays the inside run. In training camp, I was looking for a place for him to start, I thought he was a starter but we had a lot of people already playing. After Jason got hurt Ratliff was one of our three best "starters." I think because Ratliff plays hard every play, but he’ll be fresher if we can sub on run situations, he’ll be a little fresher because he plays almost every play now. Not many defensive linemen do that. He plays NG in the base and tackle in 4–man fronts. Tank will be able to help us in the run and maybe in the pass. Jay remains the starter. You always want good players in there. I don’t rotate just to rotate, they have to be able to help you. I’ve played with just 4 guys on the line before and that’s all we played, but we got good enough guys here that we can rotate.

The Jason Witten play?
I hadn’t seen one like that before. I thought they knocked his head off but he kept on running. It shows his determination, in the uniform or not, he plays hard. A fantastic play.

Did you like that the o-line came to the aid of Julius when they hit him in the head?
I think most teams are like that. If somebody thinks it’s a cheap shot, they all rally around each other, it’s not unusual for an NFL team. We don’t want penalties, but it’s pretty normal. We have fights in practice, if it’s one of the o-line then the whole o-line gangs up you.

Different Giants team than the one you saw in Week 1?
The Giants have won a lot of games in a row now, using the same players, but that’s good for them, not a lot of injuries. Also it was Strahan’s first game back. They’ve gotten better and better.

Marcus Spears?
Marcus has played well, better and better. He’s after them on every play, that’s what I like, a lot of enthusiasm and intensity. He seems more intense this year. (Why doesn’t he have any stats?) We rotate so that cuts down on his numbers, and he doesn’t play on 3rd down, a lot of sacks occur on 3rd down. He’s still working on his pass rush, but he plays the run well.

How has the coaching staff adapted your defense for this Cowboys team?
We haven’t played the defense the same way anywhere I’ve been. We adjust it to the players. We don’t play Ratliff like Fergie, not the same techniques, and Tank won’t play the same as Ratliff. Brian Stewart is a big help, he knows how I do it, depending on our personnel. It’s what our players can do, we find the strengths and weaknesses of our players and utilize that. They’ve adapted well, and are playing extremely well, great pursuit and effort. We’ll teach the techniques, but you want pursuit and effort. You want your team to get better; a part of it is the new staff and learning the guys.

(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.)

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