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Wade Phillips press conference (8/27/07)

Go over the overall injuries now that we are closer to the first game. Burnett has a bone chip that needs to taken out of his foot, it should be a pretty quick healing, good possibility he’ll play in the first game. Greg Ellis is seeing Dr. Andrews today, we’re supposed to know more after he sees the doctor. I still think he’ll play in the first game. Doug Free will practice Saturday, also Terry Glenn will practice Saturday. Terence Newman with rest should be fine, don’t know about practice for the rest of week. Martin Gramatica, has a slight pull, he’s day-to-day. For the ball game, preseason isn’t important unless you lose, then you find out what you can’t do. Once we couldn’t run the ball, we could have thrown more but we needed to work on things. It’s limited to a few correctable mistakes to work on.

I lost the audio intermittently at this point for a few minutes. When it came back he was talking about Spencer. If you know what he said before this, please add it in.

We’d like to have Greg Ellis, but Spencer learned from his mistakes. He started out the game by going to far inside, and missed the tackle, but later he stopped the same play. Todd (Archer) had it all down in the newspaper, who blocked who and what happened. I don’t know if it was right, but it looked good in the paper. (laughter)

Gramatica out for next game?

Not out yet, we’ll see.

Team choice or Ellis’s choice to see the outside doctor?

Choice by both of us, we told him where he is and how close he is, we think he is close. Wanted to get a second opinion. (Are you concerned?) There’s concern if your first team guys don’t play, Newman didn’t play and we’re concerned, big concern in this past game. We can put him in man-to-man, help other people, so it’s a concern. We just have to work other people. See what they can do, see if they can fit in if someone can’t play. None of these look like long-term injuries, out for the season or even for half the season. Ellis is the only question mark, the rest will play the next game or the next if they don’t play against the Giants.

Concerned about Newman playing through the injury?
There’s pain and injury, I think he’s going to be all right. He should be fine here by the end of week. (Big impact if he doesn’t?) It’s an impact, if he’s not there we have to be ready. I’m told he will be there.

Backup corners?
None of them stepped up as far as somebody to play if Newman was out. We’ll play them some more this game, give them another opportunity to get ready to play, we challenged them. (Are you concerned about them?) I’m concerned about this football team, how they played, but I have to get ready no matter what. We’ll adjust if a guy needs help. During the regular season, we might double him (Andre Johnson or similar WR), we’ll have a game plan to get help.

Did they take a step back this week?
By not stepping up is a step back, not showing they’re ready to play, and play well in the NFL, that’s what we are looking for.

Is Aaron Glenn an every-down corner still?

I don’t know if he’s an every-down corner, what he brings is probably as a nickel, be smart, make plays on field in our specialty defenses. That’s what he brings. He had a tough game this game. Along with 3 or 4 other guys, we’ll see if somebody can come in. We didn’t get that in this game.

Aaron in slot instead of outside on nickel?
He along with most guys need help, we didn’t give him that. But that’s what we wanted to see in this game, we know how they can play with help.

Looking for corners on other teams from cuts or trades? Would it be tough for them to learn the system?
The learning part isn’t the problem, everybody needs corners, you can never have enough. It’s a hard position to play, confidence is important, when he doesn’t do well, they take a step back. It’s hard running backwards covering a guy running forwards, especially when they are faster. Always looking for those guys who can play. I think some of these guys will come through with more work and opportunity.

Ellis still day-to-day?
Maybe not today, maybe tomorrow, he’s at the doctor today. (laughter) I still think he’s close, our guys thinks so. (Will this be the definitive word from the doctor?) He’ll be day-to-day after tomorrow. (chuckles) All he had done was the warmup stuff, he’s never been on field with actual practice. It was part of a drill. He was cleared to rehab until ready to go, and he felt pain, Britt (trainer) can tell you, he said it was the best rehab of any guy with this injury that he’s had, only guy with no pain until then.

Roster moves?
Announce them later in the day. This day.

Will the starters play on Thursday?
Haven’t decided yet on starters. Part of it is we got guys who need to make the team and contribute to the team this year. Some of them maybe a starter at some time this year, they need to prove that this game. Certain guys we know where they are, we’ll hold off on them. Other starters need to play.

You said T. Glenn would be out two weeks and now it’s a month?
He’ll be ready Saturday. That what they told me, I tell you what they told me. I’m the honest guy. He’ll be ready for the regular season, maybe I misspoke when I said it to you.

Flozell, Colombo play Thursday?
We’re considering it, evaluating it and we’ll see. They are behind, they didn’t participate in any run drills in the morning practices before the first game, and we ran them in the morning. They’ve only participated in a few run drills in practice so far.

Offensive line play on Saturday?
We didn’t run the ball well, if we threw every play we would have been better off. With three wide receivers they (Houston) had trouble, we protected Romo well enough, he had time to throw. Game-plan wise we could have taken advantage. We got mad at half-time and came out and went 86-yards for a TD.

Did McBriar out-kick the coverage on the TD return?
He kicked it on the sideline, rather have more hang-time, the net is the main thing. If you kick it 60-yards and they return 91-yards, that’s negative 31-yards. He pinned them on the sidelines. Four guys were unblocked, these are real correctable things, guys got too wide on the sideline. Some of the people may not be in there in the regular season. If you can place it on the sideline and pin them, if you kick it 60 yards your guys have to cover and tackle a guy. You like hang time and distance. Or we could just make a first down on our first possession and not worry about it because he would have kicked it in the endzone.

Colombo where he should be after the surgery?

Colombo’s where he should be, but still needs work. There’s lots of practice time left, Both were rusty in the running game (Colombo and Flo). Both are just winging it, so to speak, in the running game, their pass protections are better right now.

Work on crowd noise issues?
Minnesota is loud also, we did have false starts, the first two we’ve had, we’ll work on it. In the regular season we might use different counts, or silent counts. We didn’t do that in the game.

Run defense?
We missed tackles and over pursued, which is better than not pursuing. But they only had 66 yards rushing at the half, 44 of it was on one play. Ron Dayne only ran for 16 yards on 6 carries in the third quarter. Basically our front was good, no big problems, correctable mistakes. (Ratliff at NT?) Ratliff played well at nose, it was a big plus, I feel he certainly can play there in regular games. There’s no doubt he can. He can be the backup nose tackle, he’ll more rush from there, although Fergie did get some good rush, but Ratliff gives us more while Fergie gives us the experience. I feel good about it.

Carpenter at OLB?

He did all right, we didn’t play him there a lot, he didn’t get many opportunities.

Burnett an injury-prone player?
He’s been banged up with a concussion, now the bone chip, be he’ll be back in a couple of days ... or maybe a week. (Laughter) He’ll have surgery tomorrow. (Injury-problem label?) I had a guy before, he had two knee operations in one year, then another the nest year, but he came back to have a good career. Guys get banged-up, I don’t know the reason. (Was he pushing Akin Ayodele?) He’s played well, had some big hits, he covers in our dime package. He’s done a good job moving from the outside to the inside.

Vick?
Nothing to do with that, the commissioner runs that. I don’t know the details

What do you lose with Burnett out?
Man-to-man skills, we can put him on a TE or a back. We utilize what he can do, he got a sack in game rushing from the outside because so fast. Helps us do a lot of things, we didn’t do quite as well on 3rd down after he went out, we didn’t rush as well.

Coverage combinations?
We were trying to see different combinations. Wanted to see guys playing the left corner in place of Newman, had three different ones play there in the first part of the game. (Quincy Butler?) Quincy Butler will play this week, he’s healthy now, he has ability so we’ll give him an opportunity.