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Wade Phillips press conference 10/20/08

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[Ed. Note - It sounds like Wade is going to simplify our defenses, especially on first and second down. We'll be getting rid of things we don't use regularly so the players won't have to prepare for those each week and that we'll streamline calls to the things that have worked and force the other team to beat those defenses. His main gripe was the run defense. He also signaled that he will be changing the amount of playing time some guys get but wouldn't specify who and he also sounded like he might take a more direct involvement in the defense although he wouldn't come right out and say it.]

Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today.

As far yesterday's game, that's not acceptable. I take responsibility and players will, too. We're determined to get this thing better, starting this week. We didn't play well enough. We'll begin to make some changes, we're looking at personnel, in terms of what we do with personnel and utilizing their abilities. I'm very disappointed but I think we can turn it around, we need to do it quickly. Our execution is more of a problem than anything, in all areas, on offense, defense and special teams. We can identify those things. It's come to a point to identify what works on this team and do more of that, and leave out the things that don't work well.

There are quite a few changes we'll discuss, not much personnel-wise, but it could be in practice, the plays, the defenses we run, those kinds of things. Identify those things.

We're trying to identify what we need to do, and usually to simplify is better in these situations. Find out what you do well and continue do it. Challenge the other team to stop you.

We had poor execution in our run defense, it wasn't good. We'll go over what the players were thinking in situations and find out why it happened. It surprised me this game, they have a good RB, but we didn't stop him. The go-to guys on other teams we need to shutdown and we didn't do it.

We haven't played well lately, we started out well, overall as a team. That's why were addressing it as strong as we can this week. Certainly that game was disheartening, it's still lingering with us, you have a clunker every once in awhile but I'll address it with changes and we'll do that.

Our situation right now is serious, we're where we are, we can accomplish our goals but we have to play better. I try to analyze everything and look at overall picture, then discuss it with the coaches and players, maybe little things, details are important. But big things are too, we can't turn the ball over and we need to get turnovers.

I think that's common (coaches on hot seat) when a team doesn't play well but that's not going to affect how we'll prepare. I don't think it will affect the team.

I think we have a lot of defensive calls that we haven't used in a game, we could go into a game and our players are preparing to do all those calls and some we don't use, we could streamline that part. We did have five sacks and got pressure and hit the QB. The run defense is what we need to address.

I don't think there will be changes in the lineup but how much we use certain guys might change. We're a little short on numbers with injuries.

I see guys hustling, trying to finish blocks, but the effort wasn't good enough to win. I don't see it as non-effort, they have pride.

That's part of what we're evaluating (Wade being more involved on defense). Everybody gives a lot to the game plan on defense, what we want to call in certain situations, we have it honed-down. Our first and second-down defense we may need to streamline more.

Brad Johnson was in a tough situation, to not play for six weeks then have to play. We had a QB center exchange that hurt us in a crucial situation again. Brad had a good first drive. He's not a good comeback guy, not many QB's are. It was tough on him in that situation. You want to be close enough for him to manage the game. Part of it is turnovers.

Getting the ball more to T.O. is certainly a concern, we need to get the ball to our best players and he's one of them. It's not that easy, but I'm concerned and we'll continue the process.

Romo's status is TBD. Similar to last week. He probably could have played but we didn't feel like he would have been effective. We didn't determine it until he threw the ball in warmups, he was having trouble handling the ball, getting the right grip and that was the concern. When he went out earlier in the day we thought he would be fine. But later it became a concern.

Pacman's not with us, the guys who are with us is my concern.

I look at everything objectively including my coaching, but it is hard to look at yourself sometimes, The team's performance is reflecting what I'm doing. What changes I might make are TBD by me. Part of it is changing things, streamlining things, analyzing everything we do.

I'm upset with me first, it's my responsibility. The mistakes are mine and I got to get them to fix the execution, not the assignments which are fine. They have responsibility to themselves. Effort, technique, assignments is something they have to live up to. But it's always first with me, if I can get it to them. It's always the head coach and it will always be that. I'm not changing; I think they will respond and they'll play hard.

Part of the problem on offense was we had a new QB, and defensively we didn't play well. Each game is different. We had some outstanding plays defensively early, in the run game I didn't think they would be able to run on us. I study the tapes, guys were running to ball, it looked like effort to me, but we missed tackles and the execution of things was off. Some guys don't realize they aren't going full-speed. I think if you ask those guys they didn't quit. I think they got down, some of it was execution. On the long TD run they had an unbalanced line, but we didn't get out of the stunt we were in, and it gave them a seam to the outside and then we didn't tackle him.

There is enough talent on this team to win four games so far, and we should have won more. But we have the talent.

We had penalties in the game, the ones that concern me are the third and 1 and the fourth and 1. Things that repeat bother me, the snap the last few weeks, we need to work harder on. I don't think were undisciplined, there's not a more disciplined guy than Jason Witten and he had a penalty that called back a pass to the 5-yard line. He tries to do everything right. There were some key penalties that hurt us. But just to say more penalties, doesn't correlate to winning or losing. (Long discussion about how much penalties actually hurt a team)

No regret about me not being tougher on the team after the previous games.

I feel bad about the game, it's not the kind of game we're used to. Games we lose are usually close, that's why this one was disheartening. Things we did well we need to keep doing. We try to determine what guys can do or not do. Like DeMarcus Ware rushing the passer, we need to let him do that. We try to determine that and how to utilize each player. That's a part of coaching.

I've turned it around before on other teams. I believe in this team and the players. They're going to fight and they're hard workers. In Buffalo we lost first three games I coached. I made some changes, tried to analyze and adjust, and the players were determined and that helped.

I don't know about the injured guys yet. Kevin Burnett was active but didn't play much, he may get better this week. I don't know about Anthony Spencer. There's a lot of factors involved in Romo coming back this week.

I don't know that we'll make any personnel changes this week. We had people that didn't play well enough. But when you get beat like that, it's more than one person. Looking at the game from the sideline I was disappointed. I didn't think we could turn it around in that game. With the players we have and their determination, they'll fight. All our goals are still available.