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Wade Phillips on Tank Johnson

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Posted Oct. 04, 2007 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

I spoke to Wade Phillips this week for a feature I am working on for next week, and I found him to be fairly engaging and also quite proud of the group of guys on this team. He routinely deflected any praise directed his way and put it on his players, whom he said have worked hard and responded to the staff's coaching.

One player that was added since the start of the season -- and out of Phillips' control -- was Bears castoff, DT Tank Johnson. That's not to suggest that Phillips didn't want Johnson (we don't know that at all), but it was clear that signing Johnson was a Jerry Jones move through and through.

That said, I was interested in hearing Phillips' take on what adding Johnson to what appears to be a very good locker room meant exactly. Here's the coach's response:

"(It shouldn't mean) a whole lot with this team, I don’t think. I saw where they were comparing this to Randy Moss going to New England. But I mean, players can fit in if they are good people. They can have things that happen in the past, certainly. If they are good people, they will fit in with a good group with the right people. If they are not the right people, it’s not going to work out. We have always got that. We hope everything works out. We think it will from (the word we’ve gotten from) our counselors and people that have talked to him and his attitude. But if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out." 

It's interesting that Phillips didn't show a ton of enthusiasm. Just speculating here, but I think he likes his roster and believes he can win with the group he has. That said, we all know that Johnson is on not-so-double-secret probation and would be gone if anything happened -- even something that a player with a clean record wouldn't get cut for normally. But Phillips wasn't going out of his way to defend Johnson, his new player, which I found interesting. For what it's worth ...

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