Pass-Protection, Blitz Pick-Up Big for Colts

Colts head coach Tony Dungy answered some questions for the media about the general mood of the team, his running backs, the team's approach to this season and the talent at various positions that will line up in the season opener on Sunday.

(general post-practice comments)
"I think all of our guys are excited about it being Wednesday and getting ready for the Giants and getting ready to kickoff. We had that type of practice today. I thought our intensity was good and we know what we're in for, going into New York. I know it's going to be very similar to going into Baltimore last year. It was the same type of atmosphere on Sunday night and it should be a lot of fun."

(on despite winning at least 12 games each of the past three years, it's still about improving and getting better, right?)
"It is, and we've talked about that, how difficult it is to stay at that high of a level, what it takes to win 12 games in a year and why we did it in the past. And that was because we prepared hard and we worked one game at a time, and we have to do that again this year. But that's our goal. It may take 12, 13, 14 wins again to win the division, and our goal is still to win the division. We're going to hopefully take the first step on Sunday night."

(on if the approach is any different from years past)

"I don't think so, except emphasizing doing things like we've always done it. Again, I think we're going to have to fight off the tendency, we're going to hear it from a lot of people outside our building, that, ‘Well, we'll see what happens in the playoffs.' And that's the sure way not to get to the playoffs. The way we have gotten to the playoffs every year has been to work hard and take care of business and play a week at a time. If anything, just emphasizing that even more."

(on how he sees RB-Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai splitting carries this week)
"I think every week's going to be different. One guy may be hot, it just depends. I envision them both playing and both contributing, but I don't have any preconceived idea of how it will go."

(on how important it is having an all-around back)
"The more important thing to do is to be able to pass block and to be able to catch the ball, because you can put a lot of guys in there that can run, and most guys that are running backs in the NFL will run pretty good. But for us, we do so much with pass protection, and there will be games, and this game is a good example, these guys do a lot with blitzes, they do a lot with different looks. Pass protection and blitz pick-up is probably the biggest thing in this game."

(on all of the talented players on the field this Sunday)
"There will be a lot of good players on the field, and it's not very often you go to a game and get to see three Pro Bowl (defensive) ends, and then another guy who had more sacks than two of the Pro Bowl ends on the same field. You have some really talented receivers. Tiki Barber, I mean, watching the tape, I can't tell you what kind of year he had last year, 1,800 yards and then catch 50 balls and go over 200 yards three times. He had a year, you can talk about LaDainian Tomlinson and Barry Sanders and anybody you want to talk about, what he did last year was amazing. There are some great players that are going to be on that field, and if people focus too much on the quarterbacks, they're really going to miss three-quarters of the game."

In-Story photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.

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