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Wade Phillips press conference 10/8/08

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Summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today.

Terence Newman has a slight abdominal strain, he's had pain with it, he hurt it when he came back. His groin is well now but he'll probably be out this week. Tank Johnson is back working again. Pat Watkins wasn't in pads today because of the neck stinger, doubtful he will play. Deon Anderson played last week and is OK, Stephen Bowen could play this week. Andre Gurode is fine as is Jason Witten.

A big challenge this week, Arizona is in first place in their division, they're 8-2 at home under Ken Whisenhunt, they won 72-27 in their two home games. It's a big, tough game.

(Marion Barber's apartment was broken into and memorabilia stolen). Unfortunately that's part of what happens, these are high-profile people, it's a concern with all players, we've had other incidents in past. You have to look out for those things. (Suspect is the son of Port Arthur columnist Bob West, do you know him?)  I know Bob West. (Are you surprised his son is a suspect?) I don't anything about what's going there. I don't know who did what.

Tank Johnson practiced today, he looks better than last week, he's been getting better the last few weeks. We're holding Pat Watkins out to clear up the injury with no reoccurrences, they want him to rest for a few weeks and receive treatment.

Terence Newman's injury is troubling because he's Pro Bowl player and he's unable to play. We think he'll get better.

Newman being out affected us, we had three really young players, I'm counting Pac as young and new to us, and two rookies in packages. It takes time to be ready to be play all things even though they have ability. Some of it is just changing up coverages and audibles in coverage, it's not just playing man-to-man or zone. The more they play the better they'll get. Pac is getting better, Scandrick played pretty well last week, Jenkins did some good things. Right now we're more comfortable with zone. We've been playing some awfully good WR's last week and this week, good WR's can beat you in man-to-man. It's tough to play them that way all the time. There's pressure on pass defenses with a QB like Warner playing great even without Boldin playing. Last week and both home games they really annihilated the other teams. They're good at what they do and their QB can use those weapons.

(Warner mentioned he might retire) He should retire right now. (laughter) He's playing great, he threw it 42 times last week with no sacks and scored 41 points. He hit almost every pass in the Jets game and they came back strong in that one. And they did it to Miami at home, too.

Our pass rush is pretty good. We're going to see the same things - more people in blocking, doubling the outside guys. Our inside rush is getting stronger. Ratliff is doing well. I think Canty will come along and we have good outside rushers. We've gotten sacks and pressure and it has affected the passing game of the other teams.

Moving T.O. around depends on the other team and what they're doing. We moved him around, run reverses to him, pitched to him out of the backfield, played him at X and Z. I don't have the stats on last year compared to this year but we moved him around. We do it more with teams playing man-to-man. We see them double him wherever he goes. It helps us when they line up two on him, we use the running game or the TE in the passing game. There's lots of ways they cover him, some will run a guy underneath, others use in-and-out (bracket), or they do up-and-back, they're playing that more now. The up-guy, they're jamming him, pulling him, grabbing him. Those guys haven't been real successful overall though.

Teams haven't covered Jason Witten that well. It helps our running game when they double T.O. Want to get the ball to our WR's more, not just Terrell but to Crayton or Austin or Hurd. We didn't get the ball enough to them last week. We still scored 31 points. We work for perfection each week. We want to do what we do, not get dictated to.

Pac is coming along well. He's had a lot of tackles, he's been aggressive in coverage and made a lot of pass breakups. He's on pace to have his hands on the ball more than any of our players did last year.

Scandrick isn't ahead of Jenkins. Jenkins has played on all our dime stuff. Scandrick only played in Newman's place on the slot. Scandrick is doing well but both of them are rookies, both of them are really talented, but they make good plays and bad plays. I like Scandrick's feel for the game, he tries to do the right footwork and pays attention to detail well, he seems to get it quicker than some rookies.

The commissioner came and talked to the players, he had some things to say to the players about the league. And he took questions. He talked about the bargaining agreement, the owners passing on that and the direction they'll go without Gene Upshaw. He's committed to player safety and they agree with that. Tank gave him a standing ovation, he and Roger are buddies. (laughter) He calls him Roger, I call him Commissioner Goodell.

For these two QB's (Warner, Romo) to be unnoticed coming into the league and be successful are great stories. Proves you don't have to be a #1 pick to be successful. Warner has a quick release, good savvy, a good feel for the game, and good decision making. Both have quick releases, they can hold the ball a little longer and wait on receivers and still get the ball away.