September 12, 2002
I think you look at the Cowboys defense and they are a very attacking defense, they give you some different looks and you always need to be accountable for their safeties because they will blitz a lot. They will bring safeties and corners and show you some exotic looks. You have to be able to pick up their blitzes and adjust accordingly.
Q - People are saying that Dallas is such a young team but they know what they are doing -
A - Yes, no question. Darren Woodson is a guy that I have a lot of respect for. He is a tremendous player, even after being in the league as long as he has. And Roy Williams, he is a guy that is all over the field, he has shown the potential to be one of the greatest in the league. We have to have an eye for them all the time, they are around the ball a lot, they like to use them to disrupt us so we have to make sure that we know where they are.
Q - What do you want to see improve on offense from this week to last?
A - I think one of the big things about last week was getting into the red zone, having a first zone and not scoring. That is something that we need to continually improve on. Other than that, I think we had good protection, some assignment match-ups. Not so much one on one things, just assignments and that is everybody. That is just part of being this early in the season but against a team like Dallas you really can’t afford too many of those things because they can really hurt you.
Q - Did it look like passing game was getting a little bit closer to coming together when you looked at the film.
A - Yeah, I mean it was weird game because the defense got so many turnovers and that point I was really being careful with the ball, we weren’t taking a lot of shots, guys went down upfront and that sort of thing but we hit a couple key plays, a couple big plays on third down, the long one to Amani which was a big play. So we’re working it, we’re working it out, working some things out, getting it going and I think we’ll just keep getting better.
Q - Did you feel good about the way that you played on Sunday?
A - I did. There is a lot of different kinds of football games that a quarterback can play in, in this league. My job on Sunday was to take care of the ball, not to make a big mistake because we were up and the defense was doing a good job. A big play, an interception or something like that, that could have changed the game. I felt good about decisions I made and that I was kind of lessen the big mistakes.
Q - Having a big running game last week, are you going to rely on that more?
A - Yeah, I mean no question. The key to a good offense is to be able to run the ball, we’ve got to be able to do it. We’ve been talking a lot about throwing the ball and that sort of thing but if we’re going to be a good offense we are going to have to run the ball and I’m really happy to see the way we ran it last week. And not only running it throughout the game but when we needed to at the end, that was a big first down that we picked up. Tiki is running great, the guys up front are coming off of the ball and hopefully that can continue.
Q - Is there something different about Monday Night Football in relation to the record being poor or is it just coincidence?
A - I think it is just coincidence.
Q - There was some sloppiness in the first period last week, is that something of concern?
A - Turnovers are always a concern but we’re going to have to watch and see. If we go out on Monday Night and there is more of it, you really can’t contribute that to just being the first time out there or that sort of thing. Some of that is just used to getting back in a regular season game, preseason there is no consequences but now everything counts and we’ve collectively got to do better taking care of the ball, we had way too many turnovers, I had two fumbles, there is a lot we can do improve in that area.
Q - Generally speaking to inventory the sideline into the game when you are in the huddle?
A - Yeah, I do. I mean it is different, if you have a rookie coming into the game, it doesn’t hurt to crack a joke or give him a little smile and a wink because I’ve seen guys come in with their eyes as big as saucers. The guys who came in for us were pretty good, they really were kind of calm, I didn’t see any signs of ‘I’m going to completely lose it.’ So you watch and you see and adjust to who comes in at the time. I am not worried about those guys, I thought they did pretty good the other day.
No game is perfect and obviously we have a lot that we can improve on but we won and we’ll try to get another one this week
Q - It seemed that you were trying to get rid of the ball quicker in the second half because you were concerned about practice, will you sacrifice explosiveness to do that?
A - Sometimes sure, I mean there are times when if we’re getting beat on and things are getting home, we’ve got to be able to operate with some quicker, shorter throws. I think you calm off of that because there are holes in the defense and with Roehl in there and Aenius wearing on him a little bit, we had to cut him back a little bit but if we are in a game where we are behind, that is a lot of win by. It just so happened that in the game we were up and we could afford to do that a little bit. But most of the time you don’t have that luxury.
Q - Does it get any bigger than MNF, Dallas-Giants, Parcells returning to the Meadowlands?
A - Oh yeah, there is nothing like walking out into the stadium and having it be night, there is just a different feel to it. Last year we had the Thursday night game to start the season, Monday night games are very similar in that respect. It will be electric, there is no doubt about it. Anytime you play the Cowboys it is electric but Monday night, with Parcells coming back, it is going to add something to it for the fans. None of the guys here played for him but we all know the history and we all know his place in history here in New York so for him to come back in here as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, I think it will make it real interesting.
Q - Do you think Parcells could have a real impact on the team?
A - I think strategy is a huge part of it, but you have to have good players too and combine the two. That is when you put together seasons like they had. I don’t know Bill that well, I have heard that he is a great motivator, very smart in a football sense. I think he has a tremendous amount of football sense to be able to do what he does.