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Wade Phillips Press Conference: 10/22/08

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This is Wade's presser today. I guess the news is that Wade is calling plays for the defense now but Phillips refused to affirm or deny that report. The news media and him settled on "he'll be more active." He also said we seemed to play better man-to-man as opposed to zone. He said Brooks Bollinger would've played if Brad had've been hurt last week and he'll be the backup this week.

We signed Daren Stone.

Players who didn't participate in practice: Kyle Kosier, Felix Jones, Terence Newman, Tony Romo and Anthony Spencer.

Inaudible question about Romo.

He was out there warming up but he did not participate.

Players that did participate: Kevin Burnett. He looks a lot better. He didn't play much last game. Greg Ellis has a right calf strain. Bradie James has an elbow (injury) but participated. Tank Johnson. Pat Watkins. Pat looks a little better. But looked like this last week. He did participate.

I'm proud of the way we came back to practice. They're looking forward to the game. It's a big game for us.

Does Brad have a different feel now that he's played game?

Yes he's got a better feel. He's going be playing and practicing for two weeks in row. The second QB doesn't get a lot of snaps. He hadn't played or praticed in six weeks. I thought at the end of game his timing and passes were a lot better. The timing and practice is gonna help him.

Reports are your going to call the defensive plays. Why?

I don't wanna get into that. We have a game plan on offense, defense and special teams. We're going to try to execute it.

How difficult is this for Brian Stewart?

I think one game was the key for us. We had a bad game. We're doing some things well. We went over every play. We tried to analyze things and pick out what we need to do.

Were there obvious things?

Yes. There were things we need to do differently. Some are technical some are basic things. We try to alleviate mistakes.

Will you be taking a more active role?

Yes. I've been with defense. But I'm going to concentrate more on that side of the ball, I guess you could say.

You said you made a mistake last time you were a head coach in giving up control of defense. You said you wouldn't do that again. Did you get away from that philosophy?

No. I don't think so. In Buffalo it was a similar situation with Ted Cottrell as it is here (with Brian Stewart). In Denver I just let them run the defense and I was not involved.

You said you where getting more involved. What does that mean?

I'm just trying to do more. I just think can help more. We're losing some of my expertise by not doing it. I'm in lot of the meetings. I'm just trying to be more proactive.

Why now?

I thought we were doing things well. I thought things were running smooth. I thought that's the way it was but it's just one of those things where you think your in there but maybe you weren't.

Is this a delicate situation because you're close to Brian?

No. That's no problem. Brian will do anything want we want. Always has.

Did he do something you didn't want?

No.

Is it inaccurate to say you'll be calling defense?

I'm not going into that. Hopefully we have the right calls. We'll go from there.

Edit by Grizz: Big thanks to TH for recapping the press conference. I moved part of it to a second-page because it was pretty long. So, click the link below to read the whole thing. There's a lot more on the second page. Thanks TH!

Will you change the offense with Brad in there?

Yes. There were changes. We'll get into more this week certainly.

Brooks Bollinger will be the No. 2.

Would you have put Brooks Bollinger in if something happened to Brad?

Yes.

Should you bring Tashard Choice in a little earlier?

Probably not. He has certain role and I think its coming in later on.

Romo said if he hit his hand it would've knocked him out for the season. Why consider putting him in?

I don't know that's what he said. Maybe he heard different from the doctors. I didn't think it was that big of a risk. The biggest risk was a direct hit on the helmet. That doesn't happen too often. The problem was he couldn't handle the ball. He'd have to be in shotgun all the time. But I don't wanna go into all that. He wouldn't have been able to play. Brooks would've came in.

Different structure today in practice?

Yeah we changed some things. In practices not so much meetings. We had meetings, walkthough, practice than meetings again. Some changes we think will be beneficial.

What changes?

I don't wanna get into it. Because they would help people be able to coach. (Laughter). There were different things we did. Different periods, different emphasis. I think the overall attitude was good.

Was there some urgency today from the guys?

Hopefully they had it all along. They know it's a big, big game.

Did you simplify the defense?

I don't know. It's fairly simple now. I don't know if that's accurate to say simplify. Maybe we won't have as many calls. But I feel like we have a player-friendly defense. Polk came in and remembers everything we did. So it's not hard to learn.

Is there a benefit to team knowing Romo is out?

Maybe in the back of somebdoy's mind they might've thought Romo could come in and save the day. We can't wait on him. That's the only benefit.

Important game?

Every game is important. We're playng a 5-2 team and we're 4-3. That's pretty important.

What about Mike Jenkins?

He's getting better and better. He didn't have an outstanding game. But only a few players played well. Ware was one of them. He played winning football guess you could say. Jenkins played ok. I think he's getting better and more confident. I think it'll help us in long run and in the short term. He played man to man pretty well. That's what he did in college. We played more man this game and it was more successful than zone.

What about the experience of going against former players. Does the experience help the other team? (Brad Johnson versus former team Tampa Bay).

He knows what they do. So it's a trade off. He knows what kinda offense they run. I don't think either way it's a big help.

Can we talk about Romo s'more please?

He didn't participate in practice.

What about Montrae Holland?

Holland played more last game. We don't know a lot about him. He just needs to practice more. Playing will help too.

What about Proctor? How did he play?

Nobody had a great game. He was ok. We didn't have bad day at guard.

(Question about Proctor that made no sense).

Well everybody can play better hopefully. He's a fighter and competitor and that's what we like.

Are you struggling right now?

I don't think struggling would be the key word. Everybody struggled in that last game. It does put us in a bad light. It should. I don't think it's our overall season though. I think we can play better in this game. I think we'll see that.

Would you like to see more corners make plays on the ball?

I'd like to see more interceptions and turnovers. Those kinda things. Like I say if you look at the whole season your not gonna say we have no pass defense or can't rush the passer or play run defense. But we didn't play the run very well last game.  So gotta get back to doing those things.

Why not a lot of picks for secondary?

You look at yourself for answers. But there are a whole lot of teams that don't have a lot. The league overall is down on interceptions and QBs aren't throwing many picks. If you're ahead you'll get the opportunity. We need to get ahead.

Need to be more aggressive?

We played more man and got five sacks. But we were behind but we were still able to get to him. We want to be more aggressive certainly.

Talk about Jerry addressing the team after the game and how involved is he this week?

He's involved in all decisions. I think it was appropriate what he said to the team.

Why are you getting more involved again?

I looked at everything. Other things that we're doing. Not just me. I felt like i can help more than I have.

Going to keep assisting with special teams? 

Yeah. We'll carry that on. We'll look at things that help us and do better. I think it showed up in the game. It wasn't special teams that really hurt us.

It was a step in right direction. We have a new punter. We changed some personnel. I thoght they did a good job. We did get a player inside the 20 on a kickoff. It was a real positive.

Is Anthony Spencer's injury like Felix Jones?

Both have an hamstring injury. Spencer's not as serious as Felix. Whether it gets him to bye week or he'll come back next game I don't know.

Does that hurt your flexibility pressure wise?

Yes as far as putting extra rusher in. We'd like to put him and Ellis in. If you don't have him can't do it.

Did Newman increase workload?

I think he'll be back by the bye week. I think so but not positive. He was doing some running today.

Waiting for calvary after bye week with Romo, Newman and Felix?

I think the players know what this week is. I think it's clear. Today they seem to know what the purpose is. I think their going to go out and try to win every game.