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Wade Phillips press conference (8/21/07)

I've updated the press conference, it's now complete. I’ve also added a couple editorial notes, because a few statements by Wade were pretty specific, and are interesting to me.

In practice today we worked on the running game, offense and defense, worked on third downs, short yardage situations on offense and defense, did some goal line. Usually don’t see a whole lot of defensive goal line in the season, but we covered that. We had a blitz period, the offense looked at them and how to pick them up. We decided to put in a blitz this week since we haven’t been doing any yet. (Laughter)

Injury update?
All pretty much the same as they were, Fasano practiced today, Hatcher and Butler practiced, all three looked good for this week’s game.

With so many preseason injuries ending player’s seasons, is it a goal to get out of preseason without them? And are there too many preseason games?
Of course we don’t want injuries, it’s a fine line. It’s the same thing in college or high school; spring trainings, preseason, you worry about injuries. We do what we can to prevent them, to not put them in situations in practice where they get live action. You got four preseason games for live action to hone their skills and get the team ready. You have to play in live action to get ready. Maybe some of it is luck, part of its Joe getting them ready, stretching them, part is the offseason training, guys getting stronger and recognizing their weaknesses and try to help them.

Terry Glenn update?

Probably will practice the day after we play Minnesota. That’s what the trainers think. Not a concern, he knows what to do, as long as he’s physically able. There have been no setbacks, everything is going according to plan.

(ed-note: Wade seems to be saying the rumor that Glenn re-injured his knee is not true.)

With the short week after the Houston game, do you have some players you want to look at more this week, and others next week?
Sure. We’re still evaluating, especially the so-called bubble guys, guys playing special teams. Some of these guys need playing time, not as much in this game, but in the last game. We want to see if they can play in the NFL as more than special teams.

How much will Ellis have to practice to play opening game?

Well, we have a walk-through on the Saturday before, (chuckles) I think he’d be ready. He knows what to do he’s played OLB before, not in this defense but he knows what to do. If we tell him to go get them, he will. It’s a little different from Terry (Glenn) who has played in this offense before, but Greg could play some. He’s working awful hard, told you the story about Bruce Smith not practicing at all then played 86 plays in the first game and got a sack. Guys who work hard like Greg can do it, he’s in surprisingly good shape. (But he probably won’t play the next two games?) I don’t know about the next two games, I’m hopeful he will.

Move Carpenter back outside if Ellis can’t play?
We did move him there today for a few plays, gave Carpenter some reps outside. We’ve worked him a little on the outside and will play him there a little in this game. We still need three OLB’s who can play, with Bobby that could be three.

(ed-note: Sounds like Junior Glymph hasn’t been impressing lately, nor my pet cat Alex Obomese. They might use Carpenter as a stop-gap after all. I was hoping one of the other guys would step up allowing Bobby to settle in the middle.)

Has Canty’s play from camp carried over into the games?

Yeah, I think so. He had the 4th and 1 play the first fame were he knocked people back and made the stop. Coaches liked his play in the first game and made him made honorary captain for the last game, he played well on defense. He missed a sack this week, Fergie got the sack but I told him you can’t miss a layup like that. He had a good rush, hard to run the ball on us on his side.

(ed-note: The Canty I saw in San Antonio is not the Canty I’ve seen in the preseason. I’m just saying. The Canty in TC was constantly in the backfield, in games he’s looked more like the Canty of last year, good on the run but not enough pressure and disruption. I think coach is being generous.)

How did Newman look?
He looked better, he’s practicing. Right now, I’d like to see him field punts before the preseason is over.

Did you move Courtney Brown to safety because you thought you could use him as a corner and a safety?

We moved him because he’s more of a safety than a corner. He has size and range and speed, but it’s different speed than Newman. It’s long speed, strider’s speed, he looks like a safety. He’s a rookie and I don’t think he can play corner for us right now, I want him to be a safety and a special teamer.

(ed-note: I guess that ends the speculation of Brown getting some credit for being a CB/S combo in terms of making the roster, he better do something on special teams quick.)

Ever thought about having Johnson hold for Folk, and McBriar for Gramatica, change it up?
Good idea, might do that tomorrow (laughter). Thanks. We have changed them up some.

Stanback as a punt returner?
I don’t know if he’s a punt returner, he’s awfully big. We’re working on getting him catching the ball to see what he can do. Punt returners are normally under 6 foot, smaller guys. But if he has the confidence to catch the ball, that’s the big thing. We lost 30 yards on punts hitting the ground and rolling, we need someone to make those catches. We need to work Crayton and Newman on that.

Any problems using a valuable starter to return punts?

Not really, Burris did it at Buffalo, I’ve used a corner before. I’d rather have a specialized guy, but if you don’t have someone or if you got other guys who are good, you use them.

With the age of your starting WR’s, will you rest them, spot them more this year?

Sure, we do that with any older player, we’ll give them more rest than the young pups, they do wear down more than other guys. It’s all on an individual basis. Some guys have more than other guys at an older age, you have to gauge it. Both (Owens, Glenn) are in great shape, physically strong, but I’m always better safe than sorry, make sure they are on a full tank.

See more Moore?

Like to see him play, in the first game he got some time. He won’t get much if any this game, but in the last game, yes.

Has Romo been more under control in the pocket?
As far as what we wanted to accomplish, yes, he’s making the right reads. Even the INT he threw, he threw the ball before the WR made his break, that’s what we want him to do, if the guy doesn’t stumble, no INT. He’s throwing before the break, showing great timing, that’s hard to stop. He’s moving in pocket the right way and made some nice throws, we worked with him on that. He can make any throw; we’re giving more right reads. When he moves around in the pocket, Wade Wilson and Jason Garrett have improved him, got him to move and then make a play. You’ve seen them already. He’s good outside of pocket, he sees and throws well on run, but the big thing for us was in the pocket - don’t drift, force him to step up to a certain spot, we’ve seen progress and big plays.

(ed-note: This is exactly what I've been talking about, improving Romo in the pocket. That's his counter-move to the defenses in the chess match. I like the talk about him throwing before the breaks, if you can get the timing offense down, it can be deadly. We know, we've seen it before.)

Have you ever had an undefeated preseason?

I don’t look at final scores, I look at the strengths and evaluations. You can tell the strength of a team in preseason, you can see the execution, you can see things in preseason, but final score doesn’t matter.

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