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Wade Phillips press conference 12/6/07

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Wade: Colombo practiced today and went through most of the practice, I’m more encouraged that he’ll be able to play. He went through it well; we’ll have to see him tomorrow and see how he feels. He wasn’t limping or having a big problem.

What do you like about McQuistan?
Very athletic, one of the more athletic linemen, he runs well, probably our fastest offensive linemen. He’s a good athlete and big, that’s what we’ve liked about him. He’s still developing but we liked him in preseason.

How has the pass rush improved?
Individual techniques are getting better. Kacy and Paul do a good job of working with those guys. Greg Ellis also gives pointers. The individual techniques are getting better, you only need a couple of moves and a counter off those moves. We try to hone in on each guy’s abilities, speed, power, different combinations. We’re learning what our guys do the best. We get to the QB more in practice, out of 19 passes the other day 10 would have been sacks, we wouldn’t have had that earlier in the year. Most guys want to do too much, they’ll look at guys and think they see a lot of combination of moves but it’s not the best for them. Reggie White didn’t have a whole lot of different combinations of moves but the ones he did he did very well.

Does the 3-man line cause confusion for an offense?
Some, with the 3-man front, when those guys are in you can’t identify who is coming, that’s why we like it. That’s why we used it in San Diego and Atlanta, it’s harder to identify who is coming and where to protect. Some of it we just want guys in one-on-one matchups. Good matchups like a linebacker on a back. In the third down sets (4-down linemen), the nickel and dime defenses, it’s pretty well defined who’s coming, they know who’s coming and the stunts because they see it every week.

The Terence Newman letter?
I didn’t know until after practice. I said something to them, Bradie and Newman, during practice, like no penalties, we’ll play a clean game. They were fine. They’ll play like they always play. They got a little riled up because of what was said last year but its just motivation and that’s OK. I talked to them just in passing today, that’s when Newman told me about the letter.

Problems with the sub-packages and too many men on the field?
I have to do a better job before the game talking to the refs, when the offense subs we have to have time to sub and they didn’t give us enough time on that play. I told them in the game, and they responded and said they’d watch it. The same with Ware, he’s quicker than everybody else, we got a sack and a fumble in the game and he wasn’t offsides. We’ll talk to the officials about that.

Did you talk to the team about motivation this week like winning the division?
That is our next goal, win the division and play a home game in the playoffs. If we win we get the division and I think a home game. Players play for different reasons, but our goals are set and we are starting to accomplish them.

(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.)