Shaun King: My agent called me. I think coach Marinelli has done an incredible job in Detroit. He's changed the mindset and I thank him and Mr. Millen and Mr. Mayhew. They have done a good job. When they signed Jon Kitna and Josh McCown it made it kind of difficult to allow everybody to compete for an opportunity to make the ball club, so I saw an opportunity in Indy. When Jean called me and said I had an opportunity to come up there I was ecstatic. I think the world of Coach Dungy. I've been around what many people view as some of the better coaches in the NFL; I've had Coach Gruden and Coach Green in Arizona, but to me, in my personal opinion, by far Coach Dungy is head and shoulders above any coach I've had since I've been in the NFL.
ET: Tell us a little more about why you feel that way about him, what makes him stand out?
SK: There's just a consistency about him. I've been around a lot of coaching styles and understand that different things work in different places, but it says a lot about a guy when not only does he win, but he also has the respect and admiration of almost 100 percent of the guys that have played under him. You don't get that a lot of places. A lot of the guys I've been with, you respect their work ethic, but there is a lot left to be spoken for as far as their interaction and the admiration level that you give them. There's nothing shady about Coach Dungy, everything is upfront and he's morally intact. That's a big relief to have your leader trying to be that kind of person.
ET: When you were with him in Tampa Bay, I think the general impression was that they really put a lot of emphasis on defense and tried to have a ball-control type of offense. Obviously in Indianapolis that's a whole different arena. While they are still careful with the ball, they are a lot more aggressive offense. Has that been a surprise to you, to now be reunited with Coach Dungy into an offense that is much more aggressive?
SK: I think what some people overlook, and this is such a blessing, is that one of the things that Indianapolis has been able to do on the offensive side of the ball is maintain so much continuity. If you look at when Peyton got there in '98, Coach (Tom) Moore was there, Marvin was there, and some of their interior linemen were there. They've kind of just grown as a group in their ninth year now. When you've been together that long it's a lot easier to have an attack because you can get into so many things. If you go back and you think about the time I was in Tampa, we changed coordinators my first four years there. So it's a lot different when you're implementing a new system every year to go out and be really aggressive. It's a different dynamic and I think that's more a reflection of the change that we went through in Tampa as opposed to a philosophy they had. I mean, we had continuity on defense because all the defensive coaches had been there with Dungy from the beginning.ET: A lot of people who have watched your career know that you have a lot of talent as far as your mobility goes, yet you've moved to an offense that is currently being run by a guy who is very much a pocket-passer and certainly doesn't have even a small percentage of the speed that you have. Is that offense still a good fit for Shaun King?
SK: I think so; I think if you look at my career I've always been able to throw the ball. If you go back to college I was known as more of a thrower and I wasn't really known as a scrambler. My big thing with being in Indy is I get to learn from the best quarterback in the NFL. It's debatable, some people say Brady, but I think you look at what he has to do on a week in, week out basis there's not many guys, if any, that take that responsibility that Peyton takes every week. I'm just trying to soak up so much of his approach to the game and say, "what does he do to give him that edge?" He has that command and is on top of everything and I'm just trying to learn it and emulate it.
ET: What are some of your early observations on that, what are you seeing it is about him that gives him that command out there?
SK: First of all I think he's very comfortable in that system, you can tell he's been in it a long time. The difference with him is I think that he is on top of every detail and that's something that maybe I haven't seen. A lot of guys have a great command of the passing game. They understand what all their outlets are, but not many guys can tell you what a weak side guard's first step is on a strong outside tight end front, three-hold goal-line play. Not many guys can tell you what the tight end's first steps are. He has that extra that you just really don't see a lot of.
ColtPower Insiders can enjoy more of our exclusive interview with Shaun next week. Be sure to check back for part two!