Dungy: Monday Press Conference Highlights

Colts head coach Tony Dungy met with the media on Monday and fielded their questions about the Texans, the upcoming game against the Jaguars, defensive linemen Robert Mathis and Darrell Reid, and much more!


(opening comments)

"It's always good to come in and talk about a win. And it feels good to be 2-0. We did a lot of things really well, but some of the negatives weigh on you a little bit and put a damper on some of the good things you did. We'll have to get those squared away. I thought we were pretty sharp for the first three quarters other than the penalties and losing a fumble at the 1-yard line. In a tight game, those things can hurt you, so that was a little disappointing. In the fourth quarter, when it was 30-3, we substitute on defense and really lost everything. We gave them three scores and 11 first downs in about 10 minutes. That doesn't let you come away with a good feeling, but all in all, we did win the ball game. We played pretty well to start it and we'll go from there. Obviously a big game this week and we have to play a little sharper. We want to play better than we played last week."

(on if it helps having your next opponent—Jacksonville—play on Monday Night Football)
"In a way, it helps you, but in a way it sets you back. You really can't do all your planning. We'll look at their first game against Dallas and get a lot of things on the board and kind of look at some things we want to do. Then, we'll have to watch the game tonight to see if they hold up and what happens. But it's fun. I'll be watching the game and watching as a fan and as a coach."

(on if it is tougher playing after a short week, playing Monday then Sunday)
"It's tougher. It tests your mental toughness and your conditioning. It's not as tough as if you play on the road. If you play Monday night on the road, it's really tough to come back and play the next week, especially if you have to come back and travel again. But when you're a good team, it's going to happen to you, because you're going to be on Monday night. It's probably going to happen to Jacksonville a lot in the future."

(on if it is tougher after playing a physical opponent like Pittsburgh on Monday Night)
"They're all physical. You end up banging around for 60 minutes. There's no easy game. Obviously, Pittsburgh is tough to play against whenever you play them. But just the fact it's Monday night and you have a day less to prepare. That hurts you some."

(on if he thinks Jacksonville has a grudge against the Colts)
"I never got that feeling from their guys. I don't know why, other than the fact that we were probably in the same position with Tennessee a couple of years ago. It's not that you don't like the guys. You just understand they've won the division the last couple of years. They've beaten you and you have to beat them to go where you want to go. I'm sure they look at us that way. We've had good games. They've beaten us more than anybody in the division, so we know what they're all about. We know how good they are, so we generally get ready to play pretty well against them."

(on if he was surprised at how RB-Joseph Addai played vs. Houston)
"Not really. It's not anything we haven't seen in practice. Joseph is very, very mature for a rookie. He's one of the most mature guys I've been around as a first-year guy in the league. He understands what's going on in the game. He's able to make good adjustments. He's run the ball pretty well all summer. He does a good job. What we saw (Sunday) is kind of what we expect from him."

(on substituting the defense but not the offense vs. Houston)
"The problem we had was it was 30-3 and we're up basically four scores. We substituted on defense. You'd like to go out there and hold them. We didn't. They went right down the field and scored in about two and a half minutes. Now, we're three scores up. Now, that's not the time to substitute on offense. We told our guys one more drive. They took it down and scored and we're back up. The defense does the same thing, so we sent the offense back out there. We'd like to have stopped them a couple of times, then gotten our substitutes out there on offense."

(on maintaining your composure in big, physical games)
"Composure's always a message in big games. When you play games that are highly competitive that mean a lot, it's usually the team that doesn't beat themselves that wins. More games are lost in those situations than are won. We've done a pretty good job for the most part in big games keeping our composure, not beating ourselves. That's something I talk about whenever we play a game that means a lot."

(on such a meaningful game again vs. Jacksonville and setting themselves up in the division)
"It's a big game. No question about it. We were first in the division last year. They were second. They won 12 games and only lost two other games other than losing to us. We know they're a good team. The fact that we swept them last year really is what won the division for us. It's all sitting right there in front of us the same way. I think our players will understand that."

(on the decision to move DE-Robert Mathis to a full-time defensive player and starter)
"We looked at everything last year – statistics and productivity. Robert, per play, was maybe the most productive player on the team, offensively or defensively. For the amount of plays he played, the amount of plays he played on special teams, the tackles and the knockdown blocks and that kind of thing – for the amount he played on defense, he made a lot of things happen, forced fumbles and that type of thing. All of a sudden, he's in on the first play of the game and he gets a sack. About the fourth play of the game, he gets another sack/fumble on a first-down play. We just felt that was too much to leave on the sideline. So, we decided we'd play him and watch him and monitor it and cut down on some of his special teams plays. I think he's going to be a really productive player for us. We just have to be smart about the way we do it."

(on QB-Peyton Manning and his movement in the pocket)
"I think anytime you don't get sacked a lot you're a guy who has good movement. (Dan) Marino was the same way. Marino was a guy who was characterized as a guy who was not athletic, but he didn't get sacked a lot. He was able to move around. Seeing people, knowing where people are, having a feel for the rush – that's as big as being a good athlete. Some very good athletes get sacked a lot because they don't know who's around them. Peyton understands the protection. He knows where guys are coming from. He can feel the rush without looking at it. He does a lot of drills. He and (Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Jim) Caldwell do a lot of things in terms of moving around, stepping just here, there in the pocket and throwing. He's very good at it."

(on QB-Peyton Manning and if he has improved throwing on the run)
"That's one of the things he's worked on since I've been here. He always works on different parts of his game. He and Jim have done a lot of drill work that way and a lot of it shows up – whether it's one-step shuffling and resetting or moving or throwing on the run, he's made a lot of good throws on the move since I've been here."

(on besides speed, what makes DE-Robert Mathis so successful)
"He understands the game, No. 1. We had some things on Houston as far as when that bootleg is likely to come. A lot of different things go into it, as far as down and distance, where the backs are – he's able to process a lot of that information. But he's a natural athlete. He's instinctive. He's got a lot of power. He's a strong guy for his size, because he plays with leverage. He's played against bigger guys his whole life. It's not new to him when a guy is bigger than he is."

(on DE-Darrell Reid's versatility and his production)
"Darrell's been good. He's done a good job as the fullback for us. He's done a great job in the coverage units on our kickoff coverage. He made a big play Sunday (vs. Houston) on a running play when they had a little drive going. He made a tackle for a loss and put them back in a long-yardage situation. My one concern is we don't overload him and have him do a little too much. So far, he's handled it well. You don't want to get things clouded where he can't focus on his main job, which is defensive tackle. But he's done well so far, and really taken a lot of pride in it."

(on the first three division games being at home)
"It doesn't matter. You take it for what it is. Our guys understood that. It's a point we made in training camp, that we've got these games at home and you have to win them, because we're going to go down there in December. You certainly don't want to be fighting uphill and saying, ‘Hey, we've got to go down there and we have to win and we have to hope someone else beats someone, where you can have them chasing you and you can have those tiebreakers in your favor early in the year.' So, it was going to be important for us to come out fast in September. I think our guys understood that."

(on being thankful for all of the talent the Colts have)
"Believe me, I'm thankful all the time for what we have. Every place I've been, I don't take for granted the guys I've been around. This group, especially, the way they work and the way they practice – their unselfishness and the fact that you don't have a lot of headaches. No. 1, I'm really thankful for that, but for how good they are and how proficient they are and how much pride they take in their job. And the weaponry we have – I see it every day, so you do kind of get numb and ho-hum to it, what these guys do in practice, the catches. Reggie caught two balls Sunday that are back shoulder and he made them look easy. Not every place you go are you going to have guys make those types of catches."

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