Dungy Press Conference Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of what Colts head coach Tony Dungy told the media as the Colts were wrapping up their preparation for today's game with Steelers.

(on if they had a good week of practice and if he feels good going into the game)
"I think we're going to play very well.  We're going to have to play well.  We expect Pittsburgh to play better than they did on Monday night.  They're playing better, so we have to play better.  I think we're going to do that.  I think we'll play with a lot of energy and emotion.  If we can control that and play with poise, I think we're going to be in good shape."

(on what he thinks of home field)
"I've never been a big believer that you can rely on home field.  We really felt the bye was critical, and it has served us well to be able to rest some guys.  You have to go out and play and you can't rely on the fact that you're at home to win.  Home has some advantages.  The crowd noise not hindering your offense and helping your defense is probably the biggest advantage.  Other than that, it's still a football field and you have to go out and play.  We're excited to have the bye.  We're happy to be playing in front of our home fans, but not really counting on that home-field to win it for us."

(on if they will be rusty)
"No, I think we'll be fine.  We're probably not as sharp as we would have been had we practiced all of last week and played a game, but I think by Sunday we'll be fine.  I think the energy and the quickness and the legs we have will more than offset the maybe not as good of timing."

(on trying to exploit what opposing teams let you do and whether that is a weakness)
"Well, we like to think that we can win games any way that is presented to us.  We don't try to run uphill, we don't try to run at people, we don't try to throw when they are in coverages that don't dictate us throwing it, we don't try to throw into double coverage.  We try to go the path of least resistance and think that we have enough good players that whatever that path is, we can do it very well."

(on being two-dimensional at such a high level and other teams not having that capability)
"Well, I think a lot teams do, but not everybody wants to get into the idea of changing plays at the line of scrimmage and doing things that way, so they will call a play in the huddle and run them, and feel like we will execute better than the other team.  We do that at times, but that is not our basic MO.  We try to go to the line of scrimmage with options."

(on how offensively things can change series to series, quarter to quarter)
"It really can.  We go in with an idea of how we think a team is going to play us, but sometimes that changes.  We go saying, ‘Hey, this is what we think we are going to get, these are the plays we feel we are going to run in these situations,' and all of a sudden it is different in the game, but our veteran guys have the ability to adapt to that."

(on what the biggest difference is for the defense this year as opposed to last year)
"The biggest difference on the defense is just our experience within the system.  We have a couple of guys who we added, DT-Corey Simon and DB-Bob Sanders being healthy all year and playing, and DB-Marlin Jackson.  But more than that, it's everybody is one year better and playing our assignments just a little better and it's allowing us to play faster and a little bit more physical."

(on if having Bob Sanders and his speed makes him want to blitz more often)
"Not really for us, because blitzing is not our style, although, when Bob and Marlin (Jackson) got here, we did feel that they would be great blitzers, and they have done it in practice.  We just have not blitzed a whole, whole lot.  They are capable of it and are pretty good blitzers when they do come.  Every now and then you may see one of those guys come."

(on how one player can change the tempo of the game)
"I think one player can help if he is a standard bearer and that is what Bob [Sanders] is.  Kirk Ferentz told us that when we talked to him before the draft when he was coming out, said that he really energized their practices at Iowa, he was a guy that made big plays and got the crowd into things, and he has been that for us.  We have a number of other guys that are the same way.  I think Marlin Jackson has a lot of that, Gary Brackett's been that way, but Bob is a tempo setter."

(on if the last game will have any bearing on this game)
"Not really, every game is different.  There is no guarantee.  We have played some great games and come out and lost the next week.  So, there is no guarantee what you did last week carries over to this week.  Every week is different, every opponent is different.  We have to go out and outplay Pittsburgh this week, that is our task and hopefully we will do it."

(on if the no huddle offense works against a defense that shows you as much as Pittsburgh's)
"No, it is easier to play against poor defenses.   So if you got a defense that is not very good, that is what you would like.  These guys are good, so it is going to be tough, but we have played against tough people before, so I believe we will be okay."

(on how the Colts will handle Ben Roethlisberger)
"You can't game plan it.  He is a big guy and gets away from sacks.  He scrambled and made a big play out of the pocket in the last game we played him.  We have seen people that have had him down and he has gotten the ball off.  So, it is something you can't really do anything about.  It is something we go through when we play a Daunte Culpepper, (Michael) Vick and those guys, who have great mobility and you have to keep scrambling and stay alive.  That is part of what makes them good."

(on what the Pittsburgh receivers do well)
"Well, they have excellent receivers and you can't overlook their passing game.  They make big plays in the passing game.  They can all run after the catch.  They are explosive.  Hines Ward has been in a bunch of Pro Bowls.  He played in it when we coached out there.  They have big-play ability.  Not to downgrade that, it is just the fact that when they win, they run the ball well.  They very seldom win games where they have 20 rushes for 75 yards.  That is not their style.  Normally, they are winning by pounding you, and that sets up their guys to get opportunities in the passing game.  They block well.  I would be hard-pressed to find a better blocking group in professional football.  They block really well."

(on what makes a good head coach)
"There is probably a lot that goes into being a good head coach.  A lot of it is finding the right players, and keeping things on the right track is the hardest thing.  X's and O's, there are a lot of ways to do that.  There are a lot of smart guys who know X's and O's.  There are a lot of coaches like me that hire good people who know the X's and O's.  There are different ways you can do it.   It depends on how you set it up.  I have done less coaching.  That is just the way we do it here.  It doesn't have to be that way.  I know a lot of coaches that are their own coordinators and run everything on one side of the ball and do what they did as assistant coaches.  For me, that was too hard to do and it was important to get good coordinators, and fortunately we have them."

(on what he gained most from Chuck Knoll)

"I can't overstate that.  Most everything I learned about professional football, how to play it and how to coach it, I learned from Coach Knoll.  I've worked for some great guys and I wouldn't discount that, Denny [Green] and Marty Schottenheimer,  but my time with Chuck, I was 21 years old when I went there.  Everything I learned about how to do things was basically the Steeler way.  We kept a lot of the defensive fundamentals, but Coach Knoll was a guy who had you believe if you do things the right way and you practice well and you play well, you're going to win.  There are no shortcuts or secret formulas, there's no magic schemes, it's just outplaying the other team.  That's what I believe in and that's been my philosophy every place I've been since then.  It certainly helped me out because I realized that you can be a coach and still be a family man and do things the right way.  When I played for Coach Knoll and worked for him, the coaches got home to see their families.  I knew that you could win games without spending countless hours at the office.  I knew that you could be a person of integrity and do things the right way and still be successful.  I definitely owe a lot to him.  He called me and hired me and had he not given me that first job, I might not be a coach."

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