Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells and quarterback Drew Bledsoe spoke to the Houston media during a conference call Wednesday afternoon.
*Head coach Bill Parcells *
(on continuing to start QB Drew Bledsoe) "I just think that right now he gives us the best chance to be successful. To be honest with you, the media doesn't really know enough to talk about many other things specifically. So that the thing that's in vogue here right now so most people will focus on it. I don't really pay too much attention to that, but I am looking and I have (QB Tony) Romo prepared to play. I was hopeful that at some point and time this year that I could play him. So if that opportunity comes up, I'm not afraid to do it."
(on whether QB Drew Bledsoe's past enables him to deal well with off-field distraction) "Well, I'll tell you, when you have been around as long as he has, or you've been around as long as I have as a coach, if you don't have a little bit of a turtle shell by now it would be unusual because you are going to get criticized and that's just part of business. I think probably after a while you kind of get, like I said, a veneer on you, and you really don't pay…you know, after about my third year in coaching I really quit paying attention to what was said about me, positively or negatively."
(on WR Terry Glenn being together physically and mentally) "Well, you know, I think that is true, but in my case and in my relationship with Terry it's always pretty much been the same. He caught, I think (and) I'm not positive about this, but I think he caught 112 balls counting the playoffs his rookie year. It might have been 110, I don't know. He caught 90 in the regular season. So from day one he's always been a top-quality player since I've been involved with him. Now what happened in the interim when I wasn't with him, I don't know, but since he's been here I do see a great deal of maturity in him personally, but that is just natural. When I got him he was 20, and now he's 33, so something happened."
(on whether Bledsoe and Glenn having played together before is a positive) "Well, yes, I think that's the case. Drew knows Terry's body language well. And Terry is a very precise route runner, and he has immense quickness and very good hands and very good speed. And he's a problem for anybody when he's on his game. It's very difficult to come at Terry. I know we don't have anybody that can come at him."
(on the Texans on film) "Well, similarities to the Denver offense. I think they have a real good offensive structure. It's a little different than a lot of people run, but I think it's going to grow to be effective. I think I'm impressed with some of the young players on defense. I'll tell you people in Houston because it's no secret, because I had him in here, I was drooling to draft that (S) C.C. Brown that you have playing safety for you down there. I don't know if he knows that, but we did have him in here to visit. I was very anxious to try to get him on our team. I see where he's been a starter there for the better part of his first two years. He's off to a good start. Some of the guys they added this year, and I've always thought a lot of (DE) Anthony Weaver. He happens to be from Saratoga, NY where I have a house, so I'm a little prejudice, but I think he's a good addition for them. I think (LB) DeMeco) Ryans and (DE Mario) Williams are going to be good players for them also. I think it's a good thing. I think (QB David) Carr is going to flourish here under Coach Kubiak."
(on his stating that he also would have taken DE Mario Williams first in the draft) "I think I would have, yes, myself. I think. quite honestly. You know, I am a defensive coach at heart; you have to understand that. But he has rare size and speed, and I think he's going to windup being a very good player."
(on WR Terrell Owen's value vs. the distractions) "I think we have a little more to do. You know, he missed a lot of work early here and then he broke his hand. We had some things that kid of slowed down a little bit in progress, but hopefully we can get him up to speed here quickly."
(on whether Owen's sideline behavior is an indictor of his intensity) "I didn't notice that, but this guy goes around and they have the camera on him 100% of the time, so I don't think it's wise to evaluate somebody's behavior just by watching them on camera and not being there to hear it. Now I really didn't know what was going on if anything. My coaches didn't even say anything to me about it, so obviously it wasn't too disruptive, whatever it was."
(on whether he feels his team is better than their 2-2 start) "You know I've always, my whole career, it's a stupid expression, but, 'You are what you are.' There's no grey-area in this business, (no) 'oh well, we could have been' or 'we really are' (or) 'our quarterly report is better than it looks like'. So I'm a little disappointed at where we are especially in the case of last week's game where we gave away 17 points and still had a chance to win it. So we're getting ready to get to a very tough stretch of our season, starting this week and I think the next six or seven games are really going to go a long way in determining where we are. I'm sure that's true for everybody, but in our case we have three road games in a row, the first one at Carolina after a short week on a Monday night. So we're going to find out what we've got here real quick."
(on whether Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones has stressed winning vs. Houston) "He hasn't yet, but I'm sure he'll get around to it. Having played the Texans a couple times in preseason since I've been here, I have a little bit of a feel for their team. Now it's a little different team, but I only have four guys on the team that were on the team the first year I got here. There's only four of them, so it's pretty much new for both teams."
(on what Bledsoe will need to do against Houston's defense) "Well the number on thing we have to do it we have to protect the ball better than we have been doing. If we don't do that the rest of that stuff isn't going to make any difference. If you turn the ball over three or four times in the NFL, you're losing."
**QB Drew Bledsoe
(on Texans' defense)** "Well they changed their personality some against the Dolphins. They decided they were going to come out and blitz the Dolphins a bunch on over half the snaps in the game. They brought some sort of pressure, either with the linebacker blitz or safety blitz. That combined with the trouble that we had against the Eagles in handling some of their pressure we're need to believe that they're probably going to come after us this game and make us prove that we can deal with their pressure defense. So that's our big focus going into this week is being able to handle the blitzes and the pressures when they come."
(on changes to prepare for blitzing) "Well the big thing that we have to do is be able to communicate things better than we did against the Eagles. We have rules in all of our protections that allow us to handle and deal with all the different pressures. We just have to be more consistent doing that."
(on focus going into this game after a loss) "We are very focused. That was a very emotional game for us and a huge game for us and unfortunately we didn't come away with a win. But this week we have to bounce back and play better against the Texans team that we know is going to be rested, that's had two weeks to prepare for us coming to this game."
(on QB coach Chris Palmer) "Chris and I have a great relationship, we really do. We worked together in New England. It's great to have him back here. I know this game is important to him and I know things didn't go as well down there as anybody would have hoped for him while he was there. But at the same time my relationship with him has been outstanding. He's a very good quarterback coach, he's extremely knowledgeable. It's really been great to be working with him again."
(on what he has learned from Palmer) "He's very meticulous when it comes to his mechanics as a thrower. I'm fourteen years into it and at times what happens is coaches will hesitate to coach you on your mechanics when you've been in it for that long. But Chris is not on that side of the picture I stay on top of things. He's very good with me, I think we see football the same way in terms of seeing the entire defense and not allowing yourself to just be focused on one particular guy or one particular area. And he wants me, as a quarterback, to see the entire defense and understand what's happening and be able to go with the right places with the ball because of it."
(on experience helping with criticism) "Part of the playing the position of quarterback, if you're going to play for any length of time at tall, is being able to deal with things that come your way that aren't positive. You know, something negative comes your way you've got to be able to, number one, look at what's happening and see what's really happening and understand which part of it you can correct and which part you can control. And the other thing is that it's important that you have thick skin, no matter what happens, how the game went, if you don't win and it's going to come down on the quarterback; if you do win you're going to get credit for it. You just have to be able to deal with that stuff and if you can't you don't last very long."