Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today. Wade was hesitant about naming Brad Johnson the starter for this week although when pressed he said he would start. But it was interesting how he hedged around that question for a while. He also said we may sign a CB if Anthony Henry can't go but praised the secondary and especially Orlando Scandrick's play. Anthony Henry and Jason Witten's status for the game is unkown.
Important win for us, the defense really stood out. I'm proud of the young players, but even some older players like Bradie James and Zach Thomas had outstanding games. Credit goes to players, they played with more enthusiasm, they made up their minds not to be denied. The defensive coaches did a great job, the backup guys had a good feeling where Tampa would go on offense, they ran the routes we practiced against and that we drew up on sidelines. At the end they threw the routes we had identified so they were ready. Offensively we struggled, but no turnovers was a key even if you have to punt. The punter deserves credit, good job punting and did a great job hitting them and firing up the team. Special teams were solid, we had good coverage on kickoffs, Carlos Polk poked ball loose, Bobby Carpenter recovered it and he played really well on special teams. I can't get over the heart and determination of this team, the enthusiasm in the way they practiced, they were excited about playing.
It's unknown on the status of Jason Witten and Anthony Henry this week, there is a possibility they could play. It depends on how well they are, we won't play a guy who is injured or could be injured for longer, Tony Romo for example. If it's just pain they're willing to play.
Orlando Scandrick played well in nickel, he's gotten better and better, he might play there permanently even when Terence Newman gets back. He's got a great understanding of the game, he covers well in man-to-man and that helps in the slot position, even in zone he was telling guys where to be. He and Mike Jenkins have impressed me, Orlando was a later draft pick but is a heck of a player. Scandrick will start on the outside for Henry if he can't go.
The way they (the young secondary) played was important, they were aggressive, both of them (Jenkins, Scandrick) can run, they can catch up to people when they get in trouble. We had one mistake for a 35-yard pass, other than that they played sound. Scandrick played better than a rookie. They anticipated things. Alan Ball came in, was ready to play and he played with enthusiasm. He made a tackle on a screen play, his excitement after the play, they fed on each other.
It was an important win, we will be stronger after the bye. But it was important to win a game before that.
The defensive game plan wasn't any different this week, we always play aggressive, we have all year. We are near the top in sacks and we played good run defense. The players executed the defense with enthusiasm, they have a lot of pride, they felt like they didn't play well before. It was more them getting together, some stepped up in meetings this week, in our defensive meetings, one guy stepped up (Zach Thomas) and talked about executing, that was important. They want to do well.
Never thought about changing QB's in the game. (Will Brad start this week?) We'll talk about changes as they come along. We haven't had all the meetings yet. Winning the game is the most important thing for a QB. We hadn't talked about everything yet, I would expect him to start in NY. The Giants are one of the better rush teams, we know that, that's one of the things we work on this week.
There's an outside possibility we'll sign a cornerback this week, depending on Henry's injury. We were strong going into the season in the secondary and especially at corner, but now our 4, 5 and 6 corners are playing but they played well.
(So will Brad start?) We'll discuss all that, players and personnel and analyze what we need to change, we meet at 2 o'clock today. (Still things to be considered about Brad starting?) No, I don't think it's to be considered. He won the game and he's gotten all the work so I think that's where we are. (Why don't you just say he will start?) OK, he's going to start. (much laughter). Same thing I said the week before, we weren't changing starters on the defense. We didn't play up to standards on offense, they had a tough game, but Tampa is strong on defense. We had to play a controlled game, would have liked to have more first downs to put the game away earlier.
The redzone stuff on defense is key, we worked on that this week. Thought they relied on themselves, whether it was the back against the wall or wahtever, they played it one play at a time, one game at a time.
I gave them the day off today. I thought they could come in on their own to watch fillm. We'll go over everything they need to do for next week. We'll give them the negative things on Weds. Watching that film, I didn't think it was that important to come in today. I thought after winning it will give them a better feeling. I gave them time off from the Saturday walk-thru because I wanted them to be fresh for the game.
Ken Hamlin is a great competitor. He's hollering at them (the young guys), he'll get on them, he was emphatic in the game, getting them in the right place, hollering where to go and what to look for, he's played great for us.
A win this week would put us at 6-3, it's a really big game for us, could be key in the division. We're playing on the road in the division against a 6-1 team.
We'll discuss the production on offense, I have some ideas and Jason does too, and we'll try to implement them .
No on Felix Jones playing this week.
All the defensive coaches are involved, it's the same way on offense. Jason Garret is good at listening to everybody and Stew does that on defense. We got guys that can contribute and that's what we do. I have ideas on offense and make suggestions but my expertise is not on offense, so I can't call the plays. Mine are more about game management, run or pass in certain circumstances.
I try to keep the team together, believe in each other, be accountable. I just think the players played great on one side of the ball this week. I didn't keep the game ball, I appreciate it being given to me, but it wasn't me, it was the players and then the asst. coaches.
We don't know on Witten yet. All I heard is there is a possibility they (Witten, Henry) can play, depends on practice this week. Martellus Bennett did some good things in the game, example of a good young player. He made a good first down and he blocked well, he's utilizing his athletic ability. He and Tony Curtis had to come in and play.