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Wade Phillips Press Conference: 12/8/08

The summary of Wade Phillips' press conference today is below with updates on Montrae Holland, discussion of the Marion Barber ‘controversy', comments about Anthony Henry playing safety and other stuff. Follow the jump to read it all.

The game, after looking at it on tape, we saw the same things we saw after the game. We have a lot of guys banged up and I don't know the extent of the injuries. Montrae Holland seems to be the worst with a sprained ankle. Some guys went out and came back in, we have to see on the injuries. We had to had to change a lot of people in and out of the game. Tashard Choice was outstanding, he got the most yards against the Steelers this year in rushing and over 70 yards receiving, he accounted for over half the offense. He stepped up and did a good job. Every time he's in he produces, he blocked well, did a lot of things for us, a real plus.

Marion Barber, I don't think the headlines represent the story, there is no questioning his toughness. We did think he might play, but it turned out he couldn't and we hope to have him this week, he's a good possibility for this week. I don't know what Jerry's comments were, and won't speak for him. Sometimes the headline writer writes something different than the quote. (But that's not the case here, Jerry questioned him?)  Anyway, I don't think we question his toughness, he's carried the load for us this year. You've got your slant and I got mine. Originally we thought he could play then found out he couldn't. (Did the team or Barber determine that?) We determined he couldn't play. I knew before we left he couldn't play, the trainers said he couldn't and it was better for him to stay home and get treatment instead of flying out there. (Did Jerry know?) I'm sure they had communication with Jerry. He will try to practice this week, he's feeling better. (Was the calf more of the issue?) The calf was a big issue. Yes, this was an injury situation. The calf became more of an issue than the toe, it popped up after he ran on it. He was favoring the toe, not putting weight on it and it gave him a problem running with his calf. He can play without practicing, it might be this week.

(It looked like there were receivers open that didn't get the ball on a lot of plays?) There's always plays where guys are open, or sometimes looks their open after the ball is thrown because the DB changes his run, but I'm not saying they weren't open. Witten did slip on the play with an INT. (Even so, the pass looked too high?) I couldn't determine if it was too high, but Witten might get a piece of it if he doesn't slip.

I think the weather was a factor for Romo, it looked like he threw too high, he was not as accurate as usual, he'll tell you it was not his best game. (More questions about the receivers and specific plays.) It comes back to the coach, the loss is mine, things I got to get straightened out. There is no use discussing every play and individual players. It was a team loss and we go forward. The only good thing was it was an AFC team. We got three games and an opportunity to be where we want to be.

Anthony Henry played in the sub-packages at safety, we wanted to get all our players on the field, and that was an opportunity to do that. (Will you move him there on a more permanent basis, starter?) We play a lot of sub-packages, it's dictated by the other team and how many WR's, etc. In our base stuff Keith Davis did a good job, he helps in run defense, he's getting better and better, he along with the front guys have played well on the run. That's what you want on first down and second downs.

Keith Davis got banged up, twisted knee, but he went back in to play the second half. We'll check it out today, see if he's OK. Tra Battle went in and played some for Keith, he's only been here two weeks. You have to change things around to put Henry as a safety on first and second down. He's a FS, we already have a FS, Hamlin can play both, but it would be a change for two players to do that. We wouldn't do that in terms of changing the FS unless the need comes.

I think finishing is a key thing. Finish the season to get where you want to be it's right there for you, you preach that, here's the opportunity. It was a tightly fought game but we turned the ball over too much.

We replay challenged twice in the game, we got one and the other was close but they didn't think so. I would have challenged the fourth and inches if I had another challenge, I thought he lost yards. Maybe they wouldn't overturn the spot but he didn't get any yards. I never did see that one on the punt during the game where we touched it and turned it over, I couldn't tell from the tape whether it hit a Steeler first, maybe on the TV replay you could see it.

Roy Williams is another guy injured, he started out feeling good, he's got the plantar fascia or sprained foot and it got worse during the game and it was noticeable in the second half. He felt good the first half but the second half it bothered him. He's not having problems with routes, knowing what to do or any of those things.

Miles Austin probably won't go this week but Mike Jenkins is a lot closer to being ready this week.

Now we see what Choice can do against a really good defense, we are comfortable using him more (even when Barber returns). He made good plays. Good blocking, he picked up the right guy and even knocked Harrison down one time.

Adam Jones played pretty well, the pass defense he played real well. He broke up a couple of passes and didn't let his guys open. We ran some zone and some man with him, but he fumbled a punt and kickoff that threw off the timing, but he just needs to play more. I think we'll stick with him on returns, he makes people miss and that's what you want.

(Has anything you've done since more involvement with the defense helped the front six play better?) We've had the same rotation throughout with the front six on defense, they've played well recently, they are a strong group. Jay Ratliff is a monster, he makes plays everywhere. They've done better recently yes. Ware came out of game OK, he said he was fine. He played well, but I didn't see the extreme burst he has, he got a sack and pressures, but he looked a little limited. But he'll get better, it might have been the brace but he played really well. He says it didn't bother him.

On special teams, we did some good things again, but we had a punt that was supposed to go left and we punted it down the middle and it bounced right and the gunner slows down, and it bounced to their guy. They had a 20-yard punt that hits our guy, then we had one we kicked bad but it hopped right up to the guy. They made two more yards on the drive after the return and kicked a FG. I think the special teams have played better and better. We played pretty well the last several games, but there can be something every week.

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