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DMN Albert Breer (New 'Boys/Former Pats beat writer) 10/9 Chat Transcript

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  1. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    http://cowboyszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98874


    Sports Chat Moderator: Albert Breer just landed in Boston, where he'll be writing stories about the Patriots this week. Has soon as he gets situated, he'll answer questions on last night's miraculous win ... and Sunday's showdown with New England.


    Borg: How much of a puppet is Wade Phillips?

    Albert Breer: I'm finally here. Sorry about that, and thanks to USAir, Budget Rent-A-Car and baggage claim at Logan International for making things smooth this afternoon. So I'm back in my old digs, and ready to go.

    Jason: Do you think Buffalo confused Romo with some of their coverages and that's why he threw so many picks? If so, what do you think the mastermind, Bill Belicheck, is going to do to Romo on Sunday?

    Albert Breer: Good question, Jason. What I think is that the Buffalo defense consistently won third down, by loading up the box, and put Romo in long yardage situations. TA strong pass rush keyed by Schobel and Kelsay could pin its ear back on those second- and third-and-longs, and Romo simply didn't react well. Dallas needs to be less predictable on first down. When they went downfield, they hit the Bills, who put a safety in the box and ran run blitzes on those first downs. Look for the Patriots to use some variation of this look on run downs (employing Rodney Harrison close to the line) Sunday.

    Albert Breer: Make that -- consistently won "first down"

    From e-mail: Everybody is talking about how bad Tony Romo was last night, but no one has mentioned how the defense gave up up only three points. How do you think the defense performed?Avery

    Albert Breer: The defense was outstanding, from start to finish. Check this stat out: Three times, the Buffalo offense started in Dallas territory. On those three possessions, the Bills didn't score. Marcus Spears said last night that the defense found out a lot about itself, being put in those tough spots last night. I'd agree with him. The group's character shone with its back to the wall.

    markw: Does a game like this change Jerry Jones philosophy about when to get a deal done with Tony Romo?

    Albert Breer: Not at all, Mark. Hate to lean on my Patriot days, but even Tom Brady has his moments -- he's had a four-interception game each year dating back to 2002. If this starts a slide like last year's, then you might wonder if Jerry's going to pull back a little. But I don't see that happening. Romo rebounded well, and brought the team back in the final four minutes, and I think that locker room and the organization as a whole have strong faith in his ability to get it done. Is he Brady or Manning? No. But I do believe, with the right pieces around him, he can be a championship quarterback.

    claypigeon84: What's you opinion of the trench battles between the Pats and Dallas? It appeared to me that Buffalo was able to put more consistent pressure on Romo than Brady.

    Albert Breer: Pigeon, you're on to something. The strength of that Patriots team is its defensive line and -- trust this -- it will be a big-time upset if the Cowboys offensive front can siphon the edge from them. This is where things are a little worrisome for Dallas. That New England front is good enough to seize first down, and create long yardage all day for the Cowboys. So, in my opinion, you're going to have to hit the Patriots with short passes on first down to replace some production that won't come on the ground. On the other side of the ball, I actually think Dallas matches up well with the New England's offensive line, and may even be a bit too fast for them.

    Borg: Who better to ask a comparison question than someone who has covered both teams. Can you describe the organizational differences of the Cowboys and Pats ... in particular, the role of Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick?

    Albert Breer: Well, Borg, the major thing I see is that the owner in New England is detached from football ops. Kraft runs the business side, while Pioli's the personnel chief, and Belichick has the final say in all football matters. Wade, on the other hand, is more just a coach. I think there's something to be said for both ways of doing things, but remember: Belichick's a Parcells disciple, so the way he sees it, "if they want you to cook the dinner ..."

    From e-mail: Was it just me or did the Cowboys get a bad deal by the non-call on Jabari Greer's pass interference on the 2-point conversion pass to T.O.?Norm

    Albert Breer: Norm, a couple years ago, you'd have been right on. But since, face-guarding (putting your hands in a receiver's face without turning for the ball) has become legal in the NFL. I didn't see contact between the corner and receiver, so I'd tend to think it was a clean play by Greer.

    Borg: The Bills validated my gut feeling that Romo is still a very green QB. Recent history has shown that Patriots' defenses have had near perfect success against scrambling QBs. Do you agree that the Pats' game plan will be to contain Romo in the pocket and let him sidearm his throws over the massive front seven?

    Albert Breer: Borg, my guess is that exactly what the Patriots will do. I think they will forsake a bit of pass rush, and drill their outside linebackers on keeping outside contain and probably keep Bruschi or Seau in to spy on Romo on passing downs. It's really actually simple, New England succeeds against scrambling quarterbacks because they play sound, disciplined defense.

    Jason L: As good as the Cowboys have been offensively this year, do you think their running game is as reliable as it needs to be? It seems like they are still heavily dependent on the passing game to move the ball.

    Albert Breer: From what I've seen Jason, the running game has gotten better as games have worn on. Early on, it really hasn't been all that effective. But that big offensive front has been able -- and this is a testament to their conditioning -- to beat the the spirit out of defenses over the course of games. The first half per-carry number is in the 3s, where the second half per-carry figure is close to 6. You'd like to see better production early, though, because it was clear last night the Cowboys had just too many second-and-9-type situations.

    the stork: Can the rules committee do something about calling last-second timeouts before kicks? Even if calling the timeout was the difference in my team winning, I would still despise the call.

    Albert Breer: This is something the Competition Committee would have to address in the offseason, Stork. The trouble is, it would be hard to enforce. How would you word such a rule -- once the offensive line is set, you can't call timeout? Well, then that would affect other clock-driven situations. I just think it would be a tough rule to write.

    jvsmith: A lot of attention seems to have been placed on the fact that the Cowboys have yet to face a real, quality opponent in their 5-0 start. The Patriots haven't seemed to endure the same criticism, even though their competition hasn't been much better. Are the Patriots really as unbeatable as they've looked, or are they due to come back down to earth against a quality opponent?

    Albert Breer: Well, Smitty, the reason the Patriots and Colts get exhaulted status now is because of the rings on their fingers. The Cowboys haven't won a playoff game in 10 years. That said, I think the Patriots have gotten a couple teams (Bengals, Chargers) at just the right time. I'll tell you this: They aren't 20 points better than the Colts. But the truth is, they might be that much better than the Cowboys.

    JoeOK: How much effect does Wade Wilson's return have on next week's game?

    Albert Breer: It just gives Romo another set of eyes and ears. I think Jason Garrett's done a masterful job with Tony, and adding Wade will probably have more of an impact on the rest of the offense than the quarterback. It will allow Garrett to float more from position to position in practice, which should benefit everyone.

    Sports Chat Moderator: Albert has knocked out of the room momentarily ... he's logging back in now. Some of the questions I've sent him will be gone. I'll start sending him some more questions. Thanks for your understanding.
    Albert Breer: Alright, this time ... I hope it works.

    CONTINUED.....................
     
  2. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Albert Breer: We'll try this again ...

    cwhitti: When will Marion Barber get two-thirds of the carries? Julius Jones cannot make anyone miss.

    Albert Breer: Alright, I know this has been a hot topic. So here's what I think: By splitting carries, you're keeping both guys fresh for December and January, when they become more important.

    Albert Breer: And I also think that the Barber has benefitted from carrying the ball later in games, with defenses more worn down and ripe to fall victim to his slashing, physical style.

    NoMoreTuna: How much do the Cowboys miss Keith Davis on special teams? Two returns for TDs in two weeks.

    Albert Breer: You're gonna miss a cover guy like Davis, no question. But This has been more an issue of missed tackles. Guys need to be able to square up and make the play. Would Davis have prevented either of those touchdowns? Chances are, no.

    markw: Is T.O.'s frustration justifiable? He doesn't seem to be as disappointed in his own hands as he is on underthrown and errant passes.

    Albert Breer: I thought it was important last week when T.O. said that he was fine with being a decoy, in effect opening things for Crayton and Witten and Co. But it's when times are tough that a player's character is revealed. If the quarterback's having a tough day -- and like I said earlier, those are inevitable -- it's then, not so much in the good times, that the leader needs his teammates most. The defense really stepped up for Romo last night. T.O., truth be told, didn't as much.

    greg: Do you agree with my assessment that the Pats will destroy the Cowboys?

    Albert Breer: I think the Patriots will win the game, and win it fairly convincingly. Now before you start sending the hate email and "Patriot Lover/Cowboy Hater" garbage, that's no indictment on Dallas. It's just that in my opinion, the Pats and Colts are the cream of the crop, and this is a game New England will be up for. If I know one thing from covering the Patriots, it's this: Even with their whole every-game-is-the-same thing, that team loves measuring-stick games. This one measures the Pats against the best in the NFC. And that means something to New England.

    BB4Prez: What matchup problems does Dallas bring that the Patriots have not seen this year?

    Albert Breer: I think Dallas' pass rush is very, very good, but the Patriots dealt with a similar one against the Chargers. The Cowboys bring a great group of skill guys to the table, but the Bengals did too. I think it might be the combination of those things, plus Dallas' diversity offensively, that the Patriots haven't seen as much of.

    markw: A healthy Terrence Newman should never have been run down on the interception return. Is he still fighting an injury?

    Albert Breer: Mark, I actually thought Newman was great last night. He looked aggressive coming up and defending on runs and screens and that, to me, shows a player who's confident in his bum right wheel. Remember this, too: There's few faster guys in the NFL than Lee Evans. All that said, Newman has admitted the injury is forecast to linger on for some time, so that's to be expected. But to me, last night, he looked again like an elite NFL corner. When the Cowboys get Henry back, that secondary is going to have a whole new face to it.

    Albert Breer: So, if not for all my "issues", this would've gone real well. I had a blast anyway. Thanks for everything, fellas and ladies, and feel free to get at me at abreer@dallasnews.com.
     
  3. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

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    awesome as always..dallas is lucky to have this guy covering football.i hope some tv network hires him to analyze and break down teams
     
  4. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    Thanks for that.

    No one can touch Breer's analysis. He is missed.
     
  5. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

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    This Borg guy really knows his stuff:)
     

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