DENVER - AUGUST 16: Offensive tackle Ryan Harris #74 of the Denver Broncos blocks linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys during preseason NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on August 16, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 23-13. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's the approach Wade Phillips is taking with linebacker and possible-cyborg DeMarcus Ware in his first full season as Dallas' head coach/defensive coordinator. Phillips is stressing a simplistic approach with his three-time Pro Bowler that relies on Ware's considerable, established strengths.
"We all [have room for improvement]," Phillips said. "I think [great players] only continue to be that way if they keep trying to get better."
But the "improvement" of which Phillips speaks does not entail greater creativity off the snap for Ware, who recorded a league-leading 20 sacks a year ago.
"I tell him not to do anything," Phillips said. "Not to make up stuff. You can do too much. I coached Reggie White and Bruce Smith. They had a great move that nobody could stop or if they could stop it they had a counter off of that and that's basically what they had. I've told DeMarcus and worked with him a lot on that and, he starts trying to do too much and he hurts himself because those aren't the kind of moves that help him."
"Last year I thought we did a really good job," Phillips continued. "[Linebackers coach] Reggie Herring did, of getting down the exact moves he needs to do and how to do them. There are some other moves he can utilize but the ones he has now that we've identified, and we have a name for each one of them, and we tell him these are the ones we want you to use because these are the ones that are best for you."