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Wade Phillips press conference (8/14/07)

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Now that I’m not at training camp anymore, I can cover the Wade Phillips’ press conferences. Here’s Wade today:

It was warm out there yesterday, but we practiced well, good to get back out in the heat. We don’t want sweltering heat, but they pushed through, did some good things at the end of practice. That takes mental discipline when you’re hot and tired. We’ll practice indoors today. We want another good practice, twice in the heat might not be as productive. Looking forward to Weds. and Thurs. practice with Denver, it’s good to work against the 4-3 defense, also practice against one of the top running teams over the last five years. Take out Vick in Atlanta, which was a spin off from Shanahan’s system, and Denver is one of the best. Defensively they have vets that can give you trouble like Lynch and Bailey.

Practice outside with Denver?
Outside with Denver, but we’ll watch the heat. One offense on one field against their defense and the defense on the other field with their offense.

Worried about intensity or fights in Denver practices?
I’ve talked to my players. I know Mike pretty well, we’ll talk to players about intensity, don’t want all the fighting, you don’t get everything out of it. Try to do it first class, the right way.

Players excited about practicing against a different team?
Opportune time for us, we were ready to play a game, rather than hitting each other. Work with another team is helpful, especially offense against a 4-3 defense, that’s what we’ll see. Denver is good offensively too.

More on heat.
Yesterday the heat was one of the hottest practices I’ve been around. But the attitude was good, we didn’t have any heat problems.

Tyson Thompson?
We want to see him push to the limit, to see if he can get even better. He showed some good things, he was a little rusty being out for a while. We want to get him more opportunities in the preseason.

How much will the starter’s play against Denver?
Normally they play a half, that’s what we’re shooting for, we may play one side more than the other. Still haven’t to put together the team, these players need to play together in these schemes. We’ll have a plan but we’ll still check the number of plays, the execution.

Injured players want to play?
I think all of them want to play; they like playing football games, sometimes we have push them through practice. They like to play the game, even the guys who were out were into it, and that was good.

Open up the defense this week?
Probably more stuff on defense, Denver noted for not allowing sacks, but we want to put pressure on them.

Backup NT?
Several guys still rotating, we’ll see who comes out there, still have the possibility of putting Ratliff in there, but he has value at DE especially with Hatcher out. He’s a good player at end, but we might look at him at NT. Hope one of the three will develop. I think Ratliff can play there, he plays differently from Jason Ferguson, we have to stunt Ratliff more, and he’s good at that. Not worried about having a guy. Would like to develop more NT types from the other three, they’ve all done certain things, it’s a learning process. Jason is experienced. Those other guys are different, and we play each one differently, based on what they can do.

Will you play the 3rd game as a dress rehearsal?
We need to play some of these guys, we may play into the 2nd half in this game. Get their feet under them, you worry about injuries, but certain guys need it. Vets like Terry Glenn, it doesn’t matter, he could miss all of preseason and still play well.

Spears?
He’s coming along, certainly working hard at it, his weight is down, quicker than he was, Kacy Rodgers says that, and he’s shown some pass rush ability. He’s certainly trying hard.

FB?
I feel good about our FB position. Don’t have a pro-bowler yet, like at TE which is a strong position for us. But I feel good about all three. Probably won’t carry three, maybe three TE’s and 2 FB’s, it depends. We don’t know yet.

Hoyte?
Amazing to me he cam in at FB last year with no experience, in middle of year, and did pretty well. Did what he could do, decent job. This year he has learned to run routes, he’s developed more technique in blocking, he’s a willing blocker, should be a solid FB.

RB’s?
We got two different style runners. I don’t compare them to anybody. Both of them are solid backs, make yardage, also good receivers, unusual that they both can run and catch. We feel strongly about the two guys.

Kickers?
We drafted Morton Andersen at N.O., had Elam at Denver, been pretty solid at kicking in my past. But it’s always a factor. We haven’t picked the team yet, so I don’t know, we know certain guys will be on the team. (Basically avoided discussion of Gramatica or Folk)