Dungy Postgame Press Conference

Tony Dungy spoke to the media and answered questions following the game on Sunday.

(general comments)

"Well from a fan's standpoint we didn't play quite as well as we wanted to.  I think you have to give Pittsburgh a lot of credit.  They picked up their tempo.  They played very hard and they made the plays to win it.  I was proud of our guys for hanging in there and fighting all the way through.  We just didn't play well enough today.  They played better than we did.  They deserved to win the game.  We played hard and gave ourselves a chance but didn't make quite enough plays at the end.  You know it's disappointing to have a regular season like we had and put yourself in position and not finish it off.  But we've got to use that disappointment and get into our off season program when that starts up and then get ready for next year.  I think we'll look back and see we did some good things and made some progress.  But when you don't finish it the way you'd like, that makes it tough.  It's very disappointing right now.  We'll get a chance to look back and reflect a little bit as we have some time off.  But again, I'm proud of this team.  They handled every trial that came upon them.  I really thought the Lord's hand was on this team.  We have some special guys and I'm very proud of them.  We're disappointed the way this season's turned out, disappointed not to play better in front of our home crowd today.  But, we'll survive.  Personally, a couple of big disappointments.  Obviously, this one doesn't rank anywhere close to the last ones.  From my standpoint, it's disappointing and my job is to get this team to play well.  And we didn't quite do that today.  But I know we'll bounce back."


(on having first week bye)

"I said before that we practiced well.  I attribute Pittsburgh really coming in and playing smart football.  They got after it early.  Once we got the one drive to the one yard line, I think we got a little bit of confidence there.  Got the crowd back into it.  We had a false start down there on the one yard line on the play that might get in.   That cost us points and they ended up being big points at the end."


(on going for field goal instead of touchdown in 1st half)

"Once we got to the seven, no, we really wanted to get the points there and we did.  It got us back in the game. We knew we were going to get the ball at the start of the second half.  The first thing you have to do is try to get back in the game.  They played well, got the jump on us early, were able to play their style of ball, made a couple of key fourth downs in the fourth quarter, but our guys fought to get the ball back from Jerome Bettis on the one yard line with a minute to go.  And that just shows that we were still playing in the end."


(on Pittsburgh's defense)

"They blitzed and that's their style.  They passed and we didn't get them all picked up.  We made some throws against the blitz in the fourth quarter.  But not enough.  They made the plays."


(on Mike Vanderjagt's missed field goal attempt)

"He hasn't missed very many big kicks since I've been here.  I know he's very disappointed but I told the team we've got to rally around him.  That wasn't the play that lost the game for us.  We had many opportunities to get points and score.  And we're thinking of winning the game there at the end.  We didn't get it tied up.  But that's just kind of the way the game went.  We were just a little bit off all day."


(on going for touchdown, not first down at the end of the game)

"We took one shot at the end zone and had the play we thought we could score.  A lot of times Reggie Wayne comes up with that catch.  On third and two, you'd like to make a first down and keep it going.  We just weren't able to.  We thought we could make the kick.  We thought we were in field goal range.  That was our thinking."


(on if Nick Harper situation's affected on the team)

"That's a tough deal.  And we're going to support Nick through this and try to come to some conclusion on this.  But I don't think so.  This team has been through a lot.  We know how to focus.  And I thought we were focused today."


(on Pittsburgh's play)

"They came up with some different things.  We didn't pick them up quite as well as we needed to.  And I give a lot of credit for coming in here, playing well enough to win.  They did a couple of things a little bit different.  But they played hard and made things happen." 


(on having same outcome as last year)

"Well, you've got to fight that feeling off.  Every year is a new year.  And you've got to come in and you start from scratch.  And the disappointing thing is you know hard it is to get to this point.  How hard you had to work.  But you've go to come in with that mindset that we've got to work a little bit harder next year."


(on Troy Polamalu's interception call and Jerome Bettis' fumble)

"You really have a good feeling when they overturn it.  I saw the ball come loose late and that's the rule we've been looking at all year, when you go to the ground you've got to possess it all the way through the catch.  So I thought we had a chance to get it.  We take it down and score.  We get the penalty and still get the two point play.  So when it's three, you think this just maybe something that's going to work out for us.  We get a stop and just can't get it moving.  They've got the ball at the one yard line.  We told our guys, let's go out there and fight all the way through.  The ball comes loose and I've seen that ball go all the way before.  So you're kind of thinking maybe we can win it right here.  But I felt good right there.  We had the ball at midfield and felt like we were going to get down in position to score."


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