Tony Dungy on Adam Vinatieri

Tony Dungy had plenty to say about his new kicker, Adam Vinatieri, at the Colts press conference on Thursday.

(on filling the kicker position with Adam Vinatieri and if he believes it is an upgrade)


"Well, the thing for us is that it's just a great situation.  Mike (Vanderjagt) kicked tremendously for us for four years, the time I was here, made a ton of big kicks and was very consistent.  So, you're looking for the same type of thing.  If you go to a younger guy, an unproven guy, you really don't know what you have.  But getting Adam Vinatieri, you really feel like you've replaced Mike with the same type of person, someone who makes big kicks, who has been in big games, who has kicked championships kicks and has made them, so we're really excited and think we've done as well as we could do."


(on how he thinks Vinatieri will fit into the Colts team)


"I think he'll fit in well.  He's been in a championship locker room, which is a big plus.  He's a guy that plays hard, does whatever it takes, and has been a great team player from everything you hear and just meeting him.  So I think he's going to fit in right away and fit in well."


(on making the organization feel good that Vinatieri chose the Colts)


"It is.  I think it speaks a lot about the organization that we have and the team that we have.  I know he has met a bunch of our guys at the Pro Bowl and felt very comfortable with the guys that he met and felt good about our organization from that standpoint, and that says a lot.  So we are excited.  When you can get quality guys, it's always a big, big plus."

 

(on Vinatieri being ‘more than just a kicker')


"I think he will be.  He's been a special guy in New England , and just judging from the reaction there, you can tell how special he was, not only as a player, but in the community, and we expect him to be the same way here.  But I think he is more than just a kicker, and obviously a guy who has played a big part in two Super Bowl wins, three really.  Even the first one, I remember the kick in the snow (vs. Oakland) that got them to the first one, which is maybe the most impressive kick in that situation when you're behind and you have to have it and it's in bad conditions.  That really got them going, and I'm sure people haven't forgotten that.  He's going to do a great job for us and as I said, we're thrilled to have him."


(on Vinatieri replacing Mike Vanderjagt)


"Mike was tremendous for us, in the time that I was here.  He made some kicks that won divisions for us, that won big games, overtime games, and I never thought that he was going to miss when we sent him out.  That's what you want, and I think that we're going to have the same thing with Adam."


(on being perfect in the dome – Vinatieri is 10-10 in his career in the RCA Dome—not hurting)


"No, it doesn't.  And I was joking with him before.  I've coached for 10 years and coached against New England several times, and I've never seen him miss.  So, we want to keep that going."

(on if he believes Vinatieri will handle kickoff duties as well)


"I think he will.  I looked at all of their kickoffs from last year and at the end of the year I watched the Miami game, which was late in the season, cold weather, and he was kicking the ball a yard deep into the end zone on probably his 85th kickoff of the season.  There's no question he can do it.  He wants to do it, and I think that's the way we're going to go."


(on what is next after filling this hole)


"Probably the next thing for us is just preparation for the draft.  This (signing) is very much like Corey Simon.  It's one that we didn't anticipate happening.  I think we're the beneficiaries of a guy who wanted to win and wanted to come to us, and that's a plus.  It does help, but I think most of our help from here on out will come through the draft, and that's what we've been busy preparing for for the last couple of weeks."


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