Chargers built a winner, Dallas wants the same

Julius Jones, Drew Bledsoe, returning starters, playing without Antonio Gates, the front seven against the Dallas offensive line, and staying on top after exceeding expectations: All topics covered by Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer in a conversation with Dallas media.

On returning starters:
Our feeling is whenever you can keep your own we like to approach it on that basis. What will happen is we may have a player or two that will step up and replace one of those players in due time but right now the thing that is brought to us is we don't have to go through the process of teaching and instruction.

On the absence of Gates due to suspension:
It has a significant impact on what we do and the way we go about it. Antonio gives you ideal matchup problems not unlike Whitten does for Dallas. Anytime you have a tight end that can create matchup problems it will help every aspect of what you do. It helps your running game and also helps your passing game for your perimeter people.

On Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe:
There are few that have thrown more completions in a career than he has done. I think the fact that he is back under Bill's wing as it were, that will serve them well. He is a quality performer. I see some things that are a little different than they did when they were together before. I think that is an excellent marriage.

On Dallas running back Julius Jones:
I was pointing out to our defense that he has terrific patience and the ability to accelerate through a hole effectively. He has the ability to go the distance with it – what I call climax speed. He appears to be a tough runner inside when they use him in there.

On building a team around a running back like Julius Jones:
The element you talk about when you say count on somebody is critical. In our situation with LaDainian it became obvious that he had special qualities not only as a player but as a person. When you can combine those qualities, that enables you to get a lot more out of him a shorter time frame.

On Cowboys offensive line, particular at center with the matchup inside:
Jamal has played extremely well for us. I look at the offensive line as a unit. I think as a unit they are performing very well. They have talented people. The left tackle and left guard have played at a high level for a long time. As a unit they are very good. I see a much better Dallas football team than I did last season. Bill has them on the right track. There seems to be some crispness to where they are going. More confidence in the way they are going about it. The passing game is effective.

On if it is harder to go from 4-12 to 12-4 or to maintain consistency at top:
Each year is a separate entity in itself. If you backed me in a corner and asked me which is more difficult I think trying to get out of the doldrums of 4-12. There is more of a sense of understanding that this is the process that has to be completed and if you do that these are the results.

On Dallas being Bill's type of team:
I see a very physical football team both on offense and defense. Bill's teams have always had that. He has always had big guys that are strong and powerful. The other thing we share is we know you are not going to fool anyone in this league. What you have to make sure is within the framework of what you are trying to do you have players that can adapt to that if they don't already possess all the necessary skills you are looking for. In that way you can accelerate the process of learning.

On Dallas safety Roy Williams:
He is bigger than some of the linebackers that sit in our meeting room. When you take a guy his size that can move like he does, he is a formidable guy that you have to deal with.

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