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Wade Phillips press conference (8/16/07)

Good warm practice again today, got a lot out of it, the running game and the run defense are being challenged, but we’re showing some good signs in those areas. We worked the redzone today, we need a lot of work on that, we need some goal line, too, which we’ll work next week.

Try to set up work in areas of need in Sat. game?

Goal line you can’t set up in a game, goal line defense is important, but you only use it a limited number of plays in a season, but we do need work on it. The redzone you’ll be in on offense and defense a lot more, and it’s the difference between 3 and 7 points, most games are close, so it’s a real emphasis.

Update on Hoyte and Ferguson?
Ferguson had twins...I mean his wife did (laughter). He isn’t that heavy, he made weight this year. Hoyte had a stinger so we kept him out, he should play in the game.

Keep him to one-a-day practice right now, he came back today and showed no problems, he looks real good.

Get more work for Stanback and Alonzo Coleman?

We’d like to get them in the game, get some game experience. It depends on how we feel about it, where they are in knowing their assignments; Stanback is strong in that area, it depends on how the starters are doing too.

Punts returns for Sat.?
Haven’t determined that yet.

How do you feel about T.O. and his effort?

He’s an effort player, he practices hard, but I expect that from everybody.

What’s the toughest about the transition from DE to OLB?
The two-point stance, once you stand up you see more, see some things we don’t want them to see. At DE your hand is on the ground, you play off the guy in front if you. OLB has to see the backs, the TE’s etc. That’s the first thing, vision, where to look, how to focus and then reacting to it.

Spencer said he’s had trouble reading the TE for run or pass?
Just jam the TE every play, he’ll tell you if he’s going out or not. When they’re not running just revert to his college days at end.

Joey Thomas?
He has really improved, in college he was only a press man guy, had trouble playing off. But I’m impressed with his competitiveness; he can get better because a CB that is competitive can get better in other things. I started out earlier talking about him that he grabbed too much back there and that would draw penalties, but he’s correcting that. Ability-wise he was worth looking at, Jeff (Ireland) thought so, I’m glad they signed him.

What do you think about the D-line being vocal, chanting before they start practice?

I like enthusiasm, they need to play with emotion, you can see in practice when they pick it up emotionally, they end up playing better. I told them that last ball game, I want emotion, mistakes can be overcome by effort. We had the fans in San Antonio help us at practice, we help ourselves here. Practice isn’t easy, it’s hot, and it’s good they get mentally ready to play. (Do you know what they’re chanting?) No.

Spears has been vocal about things this offseason and at practice?

He does have that personality, part of it’s - not leadership – but a form of leadership, when you say something encouraging other people.

Do you have a philosophy about a player (T-new) from defense helping on offense?
It’s all individual; if he can help then you take a look, just like special teams. Newman can return punts, if he can be a WR and we need help, we’d look. They looked at Hoyte last year at FB. I don’t have a philosophy on it. We’re pretty strong at WR and have young guys so it’s not a need area. We could always look at him, he’s fast. I’ve never actually done it before (Denver, Buffalo), only in practice.

Carpenter and Burnett progress in the middle?
Both are active and can run. Both played there some in college. The vision inside is different; there is a whole different set of things to look for. They’re getting better at it and they can run.

How can Deon Anderson help the team?
FB and special teams, if they can help on special teams, that’s big. He has a good attitude, good blocker, I saw him hit big Sam Adams in practice, he doesn’t back off. We had him in here early, he’s a personable guy.

Game on Sat different from practices?

It’s still a game against another team. Usually, if the defense sees enough they can adjust, it depends on how you execute. They got a lot of plays they run, so it’s hard to predict what they will run in the game.

Concerned about players losing weight in the heat?
By regular season we should be OK. If they started going down a lot, we’d do something, we took them inside one day.

Plan for starters on Sat?

Most teams play a quarter, a half, then 3 quarters (in the first 3 preseason games). It will depend on where we are and what we work on. We need more game experience for certain players, so we can train them for the season.

How does a young Romo (in experience) fit in that equation?
Practice helps him, he plays every play in practice like it’s a game. Some QB’s, they treat it as practice, no throwaways and dump downs, they just go through the motions or just try to go deep. He’s not that way, he treats every play as big play. We’d like to play him some on Sat.

Any players you’re especially looking at Sat?
Not really, in the coaches meetings we go over every player, every day. We say who’s the best, the worst, who moved up and down, then we change it the next day, its constant evaluation. Sometimes coaches get mad at players and put them at bottom, only to bring them up the next day (chuckles). Joe Bugel used to do that.

Do you have any coaches like Bugel?
Our coaches are pretty consistent. We use to call him Moderation Joe, because he did nothing in moderation. One story - in a meeting we evaluated players and he said one player was the was the worst on the team. Next day we had a meeting and said we needed to cut an o-line guy, so we’d cut the guy Bugel had called out. He jumped up and said, you can’t do that, he’s the heart of team, one of the best guys we have. We used to kid him after that, but he’s a great coach.

Flo, Colombo play Sat? Will you spot them in practice as the season goes along?
They both will play. We’ll possibly spot them in regular season practice. More Flo because of age, help him get through the season clean.

Leonard Davis?

Good camp, real good camp, he’s got all the ability and is using it, he’s impressive. I think Denver would say that. I always liked him; I saw it differently from those who criticized him in the past.

Remi Ayodele benefit from NFL Europe?

Yeah it helped, it’s hard to come back and play an abbreviated season then play again right away. But he’s bouncing back well, I think it helped him to play.

Do those players like Ayodele and Curtis get lost in the shuffle being over there?
We talked about them in the offseason, we got a report every week, an evaluation from the coach that was helpful. Both did well. (How did Remi look today in place of Ferguson?) I thought Remi did a good job, after watching the tape, the center had a hard time with him, but he needs some technique work.

Players ask about their chances on roster?
If they ask I’m always honest, if you want to know where you are, just ask me. Most players don’t ask. I’ll tell them if things aren’t looking good or whatever. They usually don’t ask.

Ellis’ return? And when do you start thinking about the ‘if not Ellis" scenarios?
Not ready to discuss "if not" yet, still getting reports he could practice soon, I just go with that. We’d go with Spencer obviously. If Ellis is ready by last preseason game like T. Glenn, he could go in and play. He’s a good football player, I’ve seen him beat some good tackles in this league. I know he’s a great guy, he’s in meetings and knows what to do, helps others, works hard, he’s got it all going for him except for the injury.

Coverage teams?
We’ll still look at different guys, if they showed well they’ll play more, but we need to see different combinations, important for bottom of the roster.

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