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Wade Phillips press conference (8/15/07)

Welcomed Denver into the nice cool weather, we had a good morning practice, worked on our defense, offense and special teams the whole practice. Lots of good practice, no fighting, it was too hot to fight. I’m proud of both teams, went into it in a professional manner; sometimes practices like this can turn into a melee. Mike Shanahan did a good job with his team.

You talked to your team about fighting?
I told them they’re (Denver) here to help us if we utilize them, and vice versa. Practices like these are good for us to go over on tape, it’s like a game, get to work on a lot of things like in a game.

After practicing two straight days with a team, how do you view Saturday night?
You don’t know what will happen in a ball game. I was with Saints and we went to Denver, who was coached by Dan Reeves and I thought we whipped them in drills both practices, but they whipped us in the game. It’s good to get work against different people, test out your techniques, formation recognition, and its good work.

Do you have more questions about the roster than you usually do?
Now that we can keep 53 guys and 8 practice squad guys, 61 players make the team, so it’s not as hard, but it still comes down to the last 5 or 6 guys as to whether they are players in the league.

Shorts this afternoon?
They were in shorts this morning. But it didn’t matter because there was no cutting, (no contact below the waist) but were trying to practice together, not get people hurt.

Have the players come together as a team, yet?
We’re on track after preseason game, we’re not a team yet, we aren’t just playing our top 53, that will happen for first game. But we’ve progressed well. This practice helps us evaluate against a well-coached team.

Flo and Colombo this afternoon?
Flozell and Colombo will practice this afternoon. Same tomorrow.

Shanahan’s offense?
Well, I got him twice last year (chuckles). He’s a great coach, he has a system he can plug in people, change techniques, can do well with all different players. He’s had a lot of good players go through, but that’s because he picks good players. His scheme has worked well, people who copy it, some have done well like Atlanta. Some 4-3’s will be the best and some the worst, same with a 3-4 or zone blocking, people try to copy it, but some can and some can’t.

Zone blocking?
That’s their success. He knows how to utilize it. People copy, some do well, some don’t.

What do you think about Shanahan picking the Cowboys as one of his top 5 Super Bowl teams this year?
I think Denver is. (laughter). It’s still preseason.

They’re coming along. The mold is been different for each guy. I had Kragen in Denver, he wasn’t big but we utilized his quickness. Doesn’t have to be a huge guy, trying to find the right techniques for each player. We still have Ratliff, he’s a quicker, stunting nose guard.

Relationship with Brian Stewart?
I hired him as a great coach. Our families are close, he calls me dad, or granddad I don’t know which. (chuckles). We have that relationship, we have heart-to-heart talks. Once you’re in the foxhole together - we came into SD, the team was 4-12. In the first meeting of coaches, Marty (Schottenheimer) said: I don’t care what your contracts say, if we don’t win this year, you’re fired. We stuck together from there.

Learn anything knew about DeMarcus Ware?
I know he’s a really good player, has developed well. I guess how quick his feet are impresses me. I knew he was fast, I had seen him on tape, but I didn’t realize his feet were that quick, it makes it hard to block him. He showed it today, he’s hard to block.

Excited about figuring out ways to use Ware?
Line him up and let him go, especially on the open side. Teams try to put TE’s on him, but he’s strong against TE’s. (Compare to Merriman?) I don’t like to compare players, they’re both Pro Bowl, hard workers, good guys.

Is Roy like John Lynch?
Lynch has had a longer career so far and has adapted. Both are big hitters, there are some in the league, but not a great many big hitters like them.

All players get through practice OK?
We were fine, it will be shorter this afternoon, more team stuff. We’re going to watch it though, it’s tough on Denver, they had to play, then travel, but they did good today, also.

He had a good year last year. Looks better this year. He put up some numbers last year - completions, YPA, if he can stay on that level, he led league in that. Want him to play the whole season, consistent.

Will you use JJ and MB3 differently this year?
We don’t know yet, we’re going to utilize both. We can run different kinds of run offenses with each guy. That helps, you make the defense adjust.

Won’t play this game, he might think he is, we’ll see. I’m not the doctor. I’m hoping he plays in the last two, he’s developing well, a good-looking player, but he needs playing time. He’s come along, his technique is good, he’s not raw, his technique and pass rush so far, it seems the light has come on. He knows what he’s doing.

Stanback as punt returner in the game?
Don’t know about the game, we’ll keep him in there in practice, check the level of confidence. He’s not necessarily a punt returner anyway. He is ready for some plays on offense.

Do you know where T. Glenn is?
I saw him back in the training room. (Laughter)

I mean in relation to returning?
Touch and go for the last preseason game. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hold him out of that.

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