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Wade Phillips Press Conference: 10/15/08

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Seems like the news is that Roy Williams (RW1) is scheduled to play and start Sunday. Pat Watkins should play. KD and Tank are nicked up. And Roy Williams (RW2) is scheduled to play. Romo threw some balls today but did not practice. Crayton will be our punt returner and Miles Austin will take over kickoff duties. We also added an assistant coach in the special team meetings, adding emphasis to try and fix our ailing special teams.

Summary of press conference, Phillips' answers and the questions asked.

Hurd is out. He was operated on. Kyle Kosier is still coming back. Newman is still out.

Kevin Burnett has a left calf injury. It didn’t come up until after the game. We looked at again. Felix Jones is out. Spencer did not practice. Keith Davis and Tank were limited in practice. It looks like both will be able to play. Patrick Watkins did practice and is expected to play. He feels good. Both Roy Williams practiced.

Expectations for Roy Williams the safety?

We expect him to play.

Will he be starting?

If he plays yeah.

So Roy Williams (the safety) will play and start?

He did practice.

Will he start?

Yeah if he plays.

Will Kevin Burnett play?

Well, he got hurt doing game, something happened and it didn’t crop up 'til later. He felt good for a while then it started bothering him. We treated him yesterday but it didn’t get better. They're saying it's his left calf.

So is he a question mark?

He didn’t participate in practice. He's day-to-day.

What about the Pacman Jones suspension?

It's like losing a player to injury. He's gone. We gotta move forward. He actually played better and better as time went on. But obviously we don’t have him anymore.

What about trusting him and getting let down?

Well, obviously we felt like he's be here and that's not the case. 

Going forward do you have confidence in the secondary?

Mike Jenkins has to step forward and play. Orlando Scandrick. Both have been playing. Both are young. Both are good prospects but not there yet. We have confidence they'll come in and do the best they can do.

Jenkins will start at left corner.

What are the expectations with Roy Williams (WR)?

He has familiarity with our system. Mike Martz was over there (as offensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions). It's similar terminology. So that's a positive. We're going into meetings now so I'll get a full report from (Ray) Sherman (WR coach) on his learning curve. He seems to know and be able to identify a lot of things. He ran his routes and caught the ball today and made an impressive catch at end.

Will he take away pressure from T.O.?

Well, they're gonna hafta cover him. He’s a threat. In all the film we watch a lot of people double cover him. That’s why we got him. We think he’s a top caliber receiver.

What if Pacman Jones is reinstated?

I can’t go there. We don’t have him. This is where we’re going. We can’t count on him coming back or us bringing him back. We gotta go forward with our team.

Are you moving ahead? Is he not part of team?

Obviously he isn’t here so that’s what we gotta do and that's what we're gonna do.

He’s gone that’s what it looks like to me. Not saying what’s gonna happen in the future or what is or isn’t being done. I can’t go there. We go with the players we have. You coach what you have and that’s what we’re doing.

Any concerns about a receiver coming in and not having any reps with QBs?

A lot of routes our routes (Detroit and Dallas) are similar. He's been running and catching the ball. The timing is a little different. If you can get open and the QB that can get you the ball, I think you can be productive.

Comfortable with Brad Johnson as the holder?

Nick (Folk) feels comfortable with him. Sam (Paulescu), our new punter, can hold. We'll look at it in practice but I feel comfortable with Brad.

What does Roy Williams bring to the offense?

I think we feel he’s a big time receiver. A top receiver. He’s gonna make plays if you don’t have more than one guy on him. He's not going to make every play. But he's a really good receiver. He's big, strong, fast and he runs good routes and has great hands. He's a step forward for us -- long term and short term.

Talk about Witten and Roy Williams effect on coverage of him?

We got a lotta threats. If put both WRs on one side then you have two big strong fast guys that can threaten you deep. That puts Witten backside in one-on-one. Or if Witten's in middle and your trying to double both receivers it creates other problems so to speak. The problems teams have with doubling two guys is the running game. There's not enough people on the line. Eventually, your gonna hafta go one-on-one on one of the guys. Or you're gonna hafta say a LB can cover Witten or a corner can cover one of the WRs. It's basic football.

How did this come about? 

I always thought it was the best for our team. We talked about it for while. It's a crap shoot in the first round with WRs and that is well documented. Future wise, this team talked about it during the offseason. We wanted to have another WR on the other side. We had the opportunity to do that. I think it’ll helps us.

What about Miles and Crayton?

Miles Austin has done good things. We like our young WRs. But to bring a great quality player in that takes a load off of other players is a good opportunity for the present and future.

Should we expect Miles and Crayton to do more in the return game?

Yeah for Crayton. He'll go back to punt returner. Miles will be the kick returner. He would’ve went all the way if not for the kicker. He's a good return guy.

How is everyone managing all this with Pacman's suspension, Romo's injury and everything else? 

I thought the team was real focused together. This bands you together. That's what we try to preach. Everybody’s gotta come through. It helps some as a team. The determination to do well was good. It's difficult but something you hafta do. We gotta get it done.

Is it difficult to do all this stuff at one time?

There's always something going on with the Cowboys. If not we're gonna make something. Different teams do different things. I've been in it a long time. The players get through it a lot better than coaches sometimes. You gotta do your job that’s what try to get ‘em to do.

Stressful on you?

It's stressful every week. Win or lose you try to get your team to play better and do better. There are areas to work on every week. Then there's areas that you think your doing well and you find out your not so well in them. It’s a stressful job.

Did the team need good news of the Roy Williams trade?

Well, it was good for us. We didn’t do it because of that. It was a good positive thing. You like positive things to happen.

Is there a side benefit to change?

You look at the Rams. They changed coaches. It's something new. A new season. New excitement. Any type of change that a team sees as positive can help you.

How have teams been covering Crayton?

Well, they didn’t cover him really good on 50 yarder (against the Cards). They been doubling Terrell obviously for the last six games, which leaves you more one-on-one but it’s not like that all the time. Sometimes their in a 2 -deep zone and Witten gets open in the middle or we run the ball. He’s getting more one-on-one coverage than certainly Terrell does.

Did you work more on special teams?

Yes I did. We gotta work on things. We added a coach to help Bruce (Read) in meetings and practice. Not that he can’t do it. We're putting more emphasis on it. Now we have a coach with the punt team and all six special teams to help Bruce and encourage players and make 'em accountable. We're trying to address problems, trying to get it right and get it done.

Is the Burnett injury a blow to the team?

He's one of our best special teams players and he plays well on our sub-defense. Of course, Injuries are a big concern.

Is it one guy? Explain the coach thing.

Couple guys help on field. More than one guy coaching. Added guy in meetings to make sure in meetings with em. Coaching guys, special teams, guys are gonna have something to say in meetings.

Reggie Herring's going to be with the punt team. Campo (is going to be involved). Different coaches will be with different teams. (Brett) Maxie’s with the kickoff team and Bruce does it all and it’s a big job. No matter what something always wrong with special teams. You can have great punt coverage but miss a field goal. The things that we had last game we can’t have though. Some returns that go 15 yards are things that we don’t want. We're going to try and improve it.

After Crayton? Anyone else to return punts?

We don’t have that many guys that are capable. Anthony Henry can catch punts. He’s an emergency guy. Barber has worked as emergency guy last year.

With the injuries to Spencer and Burnett mean we'll see more starters on special teams?

We have starters on special teams. Roy Williams (safety) was on there when he broke his (forearm). We hafta have enough people. Some of them, Zach Thomas, Greg Ellis, are not on special teams. We’re limited. D-line is not on special teams. So your basically talking about LBs. The only ones we could add is Ware or James. Only two guys not on special teams. And Hamlin. Those are the only guys.

Romo throwing the ball today? Is he playing?

He did practice.

He did throw the ball.

Yeah he did. I didn’t watch him though.

I have no idea if he'll play in game. He broke his finger. He did not practice. That’s where we are.

Is he going to St. Louis?

He’ll go. He's part of the team. He doesn’t have a rehab injury. Usually that's the only reason to stay behind.

Anyway would you let him play?

If didn’t practice, I wouldn’t let him play.