Dungy: Chargers "Playing As Hot As Anybody"

Tony Dungy spoke to the media about the Chargers, his defensive line rotation, concerns over playing starters, and the team's current goals.

(on rotating the defensive line continuously)
"Well, it's really everybody, but our defensive linemen have to play so hard to get done what we ask them to do. They're usually playing against guys that weigh 40 to 100 pounds more than they do, and we ask them to run to the ball, rush the quarterback and run sideline to sideline. It's hard to do that for 15-18 plays in a row. So we just tell them to go as hard as they can go and when they need a substitute we'll get someone else in there and get them back in when they can go again. Guys have bought into that and they would rather do that. They'd rather play when they're fresh than play three quarters speed the whole game."

(on the 4th down conversion and the fake field goal against the Jaguars)
"We felt we could make a half yard. That's really why we threw on third down. We were going for a big play knowing that we would go for it on fourth down. The fake field goal is something we worked on. We thought that was the right spot. If it didn't work they were going to have the ball at the five yard line. The way it turned out, we ended up stopping them and getting the ball back and getting our field goal anyway." 

(on the San Diego Chargers)
"I was surprised they lost yesterday. They're playing as hot as anybody. They have a tremendous offense. They can put points on the board many different ways. They're very well coached, they don't beat themselves and all the games they've lost have been tight games that they've lost in the fourth quarter. They're talented and tough minded. We'll get their best shot obviously, so it should be a great game."

(on if the players pressure him to go for 16-0)

"We really don't talk about it. I think that's one of the reasons why we are able to stay loose. Somebody asked me last night, "Isn't this getting to you?' It really isn't because we have not sat here for the last eight weeks thinking wouldn't it be great to go 16-0. We focused on those short term goals, and now I'm sure they will talk about it and think about it."

(on what he's concerned most about by playing the starters)

"I guess what you're trying to do is balance continuing to practice well, continuing to play well and improving. I think there are some areas that we still have to get better and improve, and that's what you want to do. You always have to count on the threat of guys getting hurt in games that aren't critical to you. In that sense, it's kind of like the preseason where you're trying to get enough work in and do much is enough to be sharp and be ready to go opening day and how much you balance that fatigue and threat of injury. You do want to win the games, you want to play impressive, you want to practice well, but you want to get the guys just enough work."

(on playing backups)
"One thing we have to do is get our backup guys comfortable being in there. We have to get some guys in different situations, including Jim Sorgi. We have to get him some work in case he has to play in the postseason. We have to do that in a lot of spots. I think that can be done by putting a guy in for a series here or a series there and get him that experience of being in the game when it really matters. And you can do that without really planning anything different."

(on what the goals are now)
"Really our only goal now is to improve and to be playing better when we hit January than we're playing now. We've hit all of the goals we set in training camp for the regular season and obviously now our goal is to win three postseason games. Right now, for the next three weeks it's just to practice well, to improve and to get some of our backup players experience in some tough situations."

Colts Blitz Top Stories