Have you done anything special to reach out to T.O.?
I reach out to all players in the same way. As a football coach one player is not more special than the others. They are important for the team, it’s a team aspect. I try to treat all players with respect, including guys who might not make it. So T.O. or the 3rd team linebacker, I try to treat the right way.
What about Ellis’ latest comments?
Things like that always comes up in football, I’ve seen it before, but it’s between the GM and the player, as a coach I’m not involved in contracts. Usually these things work out, especially with good people involved. Ellis is a great guy, has a top-notch character, things will work out. As a coach I want him to play.
Is Ellis a starter?
Yeah, I’ve said that all along, we’re banking some on him being there.
Will a division between Ellis and Jerry hurt his play?
This is not my area, Jerry’s been in this for awhile, and he’s worked those things out before. I shouldn’t talk about it, I’m not involved.
Expectations for OTA participation?
As much as they can. In April we went every Tues and Thurs. We’ve had a lot of participation, outstanding participation as a team.
Not making judgments on players?
I’ve been in the league a long time. We didn’t have the offseason like we do now. When I started if the guys in town didn’t show we got mad at them, and the out of town guys we didn’t. But it’s progressed to the point where most players are in town. But they have lives, if they learn what we want, and come to camp in shape, this is part of 16-week offseason process. We want them at their reporting weight for camp.
Everybody has their own judgment about it. This team will work hard and play hard with not many mistakes. That’s a disciplined team. Because I like and relate to players, they say you’re soft with them. But if you talk to players, they’ll give you a different view.
So is there an Angry Wade?
I don’t know about that. I tell them what I expect and I expect them to live up to it. Most guys want to be good on their own, a few you might need to push, you need to know who they are. But most work hard, have a great attitude and work ethic.
Is it more important to participate this year because of the new offense/defense?
We like for them to participate every year. You’ll see it in TC, we won’t have to start like we did back in April. We’ve installed 60% of the things we will do. We don’t have to start over for camp.
Are guys like Julius, Terry Glenn and T.O behind now?
It’s different with different players, but for experienced guys it’s easier for them to learn things. It’s all about individual players. They’ve been through meetings, they aren’t making mistakes, they are making plays. They will be at TC. I don’t worry about those things as much with the vets. But I shouldn’t say that because I want them to be here.
The back was a concern. We assessed situation, and it didn’t look like he could help us this year. He was talking about how much rehab he would have to do to be able to play.
Can you build on the offense from last year?
Each team is different. This is similar to when I went to SD, they were coming off a good year by the numbers, it’s a similar situation. Scoring points is what you look for.
How do you keep that good offense going?
Coaching and the players keep that going. Evaluating what we did before. Keeping Tony Sparano was a key, he was key on the offense last year. The running, game pass protection, he has helped Jason (Garrett).
Observations on Commisioner Goodell?
I like commissioner, he’s great. (laughter) It’s a good choice. The NFL has always been a leader on doing the right things.
Jason Garrett’s progress?
He can do the job, when I was a first time coordinator, I felt like I could do the job. Same thing with Jason.
What do you like about Garrett?
I don’t like he went to Princeton and is that smart. (laughter) He has a real feel; smart people sometimes have no common sense. No offense to those people, they probably wouldn’t even understand what I’m saying. (laughter). But Jason’s got a feel about him that he can relate well to other people. He gets his point over well. A great thing is that he’s played before, guys like that tend to hold the players accountable, he does a good job of that.
Leonard’s a guy who can start at different positions. He gave us versatility. We re-signed Colombo, so that allows us to put Leonard at guard. He’s a strong man. I don’t think he needed a tractor to pull that horse out. He could have done it himself. (laughter). His participation has been outstanding; he hasn’t missed anything at all. Same with Romo, he comes in countless time after practices. I’m proud of a lot of guys, they only have to be here 4 days a week and some are here 5 days a week, it’s impressive.
How does Romo participate so much with his busy social calendar?
He must put us on his calendar. (laughter). Football is important to him. He spends a lot of time here, he likes the competition, he had a great morning of practice this morning. I look at what he does, he’s here all the time, all of them have their own life. But I see him here more than anybody.
Brad has shown he’s a vet and that was what we were looking for. He’s ready to do things, he studies the offense, can relate to what we’ve done before, he could lead this team.
Brad does a good job, he’s our #1 holder.
Flozell ready for TC?
He’ll be ready, Isaiah should be ready and Ellis, too. From what the doctors have said as far as rehabs are going.
He’s athletic, we knew that, showed some things last year. Sparano knew what he needed to work on and has him going in the right direction. When a vet is missing, it gives the young guy an opportunity. He’s been doing well, especially pass-protection. He can play left tackle.
What about the earlier switch to guard?
We didn’t want to throw the rookies out there right away at tackle. We want to give him an opportunity at tackle. I think he can do both guard and tackle.
Is he the primary backup on the line?
I told them all, right now, I’m trying to get them started into the scheme and decide later on at pre-season about positions. It’s how they play in a game. You’re not a football player just because you move around well in shorts. Wait until we get in pads.
Coaching staff getting on the same page?
Part of what I do is getting them on the same page. I picked the right guys, the kind of guys that have worked on other staffs and are the top guys. As the head coach it’s my job to get them together.