49ers impress Romo with snap-to-whistle defense

49ers impress Romo with snap-to-whistle defense
September 14, 2011, 2:20 pm
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Sept. 14, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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The Dallas Cowboys were cruising with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter before incurring a total meltdown in their season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday night.--Quarterback Tony Romo lost a fumble inside the Jets' 5-yard line with nine minutes remaining.--Mat McBriar's punt four minutes later was blocked and returned for a game-tying touchdown.
--With less than a minute to play with the ball on their own 41, Romo threw an ill-advised pass on first down that Darrelle Revis intercepted and returned 20 yards.--Former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk booted a 50-yarder with 27 seconds remaining to provide the Jets with a 27-24 victory.In a departure from the norm, Romo insisted on holding his weekly conference call with 49ers reporters on Monday. Typically, the conference call is held on Wednesdays. He was clearly eager to put the Jets game behind him and begin the process of looking ahead to the next opponent.The 49ers and Cowboys meet at Candlestick Park on Sunday.
Here is what he had to say on Monday:Q: What are your impressions of the 49ers?
Romo: "Good. They play hard. It jumps off the tape that they're an aggressive team that goes to the whistle. When you watch them, you can tell they're going to play a little two-man against us, probably have some sort of secondary blitzes, some corners and stuff. It's an aggressive team. They want to attack people and you gotta be prepared for that."Q: What's a two-man?
Romo: "I said two-man -- that's just a coverage term that I think they like to play. It's just they play a man-under scheme where they have two safeties open."Q: Did you see any secondary blitzes in the Seattle game?
Romo: "I think when you watch them, it depends on who you're calling a secondary, but yeah, you see different forms of it. Without giving away too much of it to you guys, I just think that they're an aggressive, attacking style defense."Q: Did you watch any Stanford film to get a better idea of what this team's all about?
Romo: "Yeah, I think a little bit. We're just started the process here, but I want to say just instantly watching they have a little of the Dom Capers feel to them. I don't know all of the background there, but they look a little bit like when we play the Redskins or the Packers in some ways, and you know, little mix-ups so they'll go from a three-down front to a four-down, things like that."Q: Tony, has this been kind of cathartic for you just to get over Sunday night's game by looking ahead to the 49ers so fast?
Romo: "I mean, you gotta get ready and go. The games come up fast, you have to be in a position to come back fast. You gotta be ready to go. For us, that's why we get in here and play this game. Last night was disappointing and frustrating and you gotta make sure that doesn't happen again, and I'm going to make sure of that."Q: The 49ers seemed to get a lot of pressure against the Seahawks, not blitzing a whole lot. How difficult is it to prepare for an opponent's blitz package when they haven't really shown much the previous game?
Romo: "Well, that's why I said we were going to see some pressure because if you're able to get it like they did with the Seahawks game with just the front guys, you know, there's no reason to continually send it. So if they're able to continually do that, they'll do the same thing to us. I would think that they're going to have to, and they're going to end up bringing some secondary pressures against us. So, I just think you prepare for it within their system and we have to be ready for it."Q: Tony, was that a pretty subdued, quiet flight home? I can imagine you guys were pretty shocked at how it turned.
Romo: "Yeah, obviously like I said, it was disappointing and frustrating just to lose that football game yesterday. That's why we're up early to move onto the 49ers now. You have to get ready for the next one. We have to put that one behind us, and I have to come out and play my best game this week, and make sure that what happened last week doesn't happen again, and I'll do that."Q: You've only had one regular season game, but does it feel like defensive coordinators are going to be more aggressive against you guys, just because of all of the new guys on the offensive line?
Romo: "Yeah, I'd think that's a good assessment, I also think when you look at the tape, I think the sense is that people usually have a way of bringing different people against us because they feel it's in their best interest to attack us. When we see this week, we saw a lot of three and four man rush as they played last week, which usually means you won't see the same for the next week."Note: The Cowboys went through a nearly complete overhaul on their offensive line. They start two rookies -- right tackle Tyron Smith (USC) and left guard Bill Nagy (Wisconsin). But the Cowboys still have a potent offense. Romo completed 23 of 36 passes for 342 yards in the opener.Q: What time did you get home, and what time were you back to work Monday morning for the quick turn-around?
Romo: "We got the airport at 4:30, got home at 5, 5:15. Back in here at 10, just getting ready for the 49ers."Q: When you look at the 49ers defense on film, is Patrick Willis the guy who catches your eye or Ray MacDonald, what you see from 91? What do you see personnel from that team?
Romo: "What jumps off the tape is that they play hard. I mean, you don't see anyone not giving 100 percent. Obviously, Patrick Willis is a great player. We're going to have to account for him. MacDonald showed up obviously last week, and I should think, these guys go to the whistle. They're going to be tough to handle and it's going to be a great challenge for our guys up front this week."Q: You've played against Carlos Rogers a lot. What distinguishes him as a cornerback?
Romo: "He's got a good sense for the ball. He's got good timing, and good instincts. You just have to be prepared for him.Q: Tony, you've never played in San Francisco. You've played the 49ers a couple years ago, but you personally have never played in San Francisco. What familiarity do you have with the rivalry between these two teams?
Romo: "I obviously came about after it was, you know stuff in the old days, but I love reading about the game and hearing about the history. I know all about the great games of the 80s and 90s and hopefully we'll be able to resurrect that one day."

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