Dungy's Monday Press Conference Highlights

After the team returned to Indianapolis and settled back in, head coach Tony Dungy met with the media for his weekly press conference. Find out what he had to say about his star quarterback, the team's effort and results, and the Tennesse Titans.

(opening comments)
"Looking at our game, we were very, very fortunate to win the ballgame. We're happy about that, going into New York twice and getting two wins. I think we'll take that anytime we can. We made it exciting, made it close. Those guys, the Jets played 60 minutes and had some wrinkles and did some things that were good to do against us and could have won the ballgame. But our offense is the veteran unit that we have right now. They played really poised and had two big drives at the end of the game to win it. Again, that's probably the good to come out of it. What we needed to do to win this particular ballgame we were able to do. We have to sharpen up a little bit. We weren't pleased by all of the penalties that we had. We had some situations to move the ball. We were running it very well and getting in short third downs. We didn't convert a couple of times there. We were second-and-goal, I think, at the one and didn't convert that one. Defensively, we let them off the hook several times with third-down penalties, third-down conversions. We didn't really tackle very well. We were a little bit banged up in practice, so we went no pads on Thursday. I think we got our energy back, but we might have to do something to get our tackling back where it needs to be. That's a couple of games now it hasn't been the way we'd like it. So, just some fundamental things we have to sharpen up on. It's always easier to make those corrections and get sharper when you're doing it off a victory, so hopefully we can learn from that. All in all, it's good to get a win and we're looking forward to playing a little bit better in our division game this week against Tennessee."

(on the final play of the game, how he felt)
"At first, you feel like it's under control. They have a long way to go and they have to get it in the end zone. Then, they throw it across the field and it looks like (Laveranues) Coles maybe has a chance to go and then we have him hemmed in, and then once the ball hit the ground a few times, my thought was that at that point, it was pretty much over. So, it's probably an exciting play and probably the thing to do, though, in that situation. It's probably your best shot."

(on his thoughts coming out of the game)
"I didn't feel good about the way we played. I think we went in talking about playing good, fundamental football, and we did some things that would never show up to a casual observer. Some things, missing coverages, not communicating, playing the wrong defense, 10 guys on the field, not executing things the way we had talked about them, really, it's hard to figure out, but we just have to be a little better in practice and a little more fundamentally sound."

(on if he looks at the win or the performance and improving)
"I guess I've always been that way where I look at the game and how we play, more so than the score. And I think we're at the point where when we play well, we have a good chance to win. I'm always one that maybe is not as happy in victory as some other people are. And there are some times when we don't win games where I think we played as well as we can play and it just wasn't our day. But yesterday certainly wasn't one of those."

(on winning the turnover battle and holding onto the ball)
"That's always the secret. It's the first thing we talk about at the beginning of the week, is what we have to do protect the ball and what we have to do to take it away. And if you do that, you're going to win more often than not. I think our offense has really bought into that, our special teams guys have and our ball-handlers, so we haven't had a lot of fumbles. Peyton (Manning) has done a great job with the interceptions over the last three years, and when you don't give it away very often, we have explosive enough guys we're going to score points. Defensively, if we can get it a couple of times in good field position, that just helps you. We got a fumble that was huge early in the game to get it started, got an interception at the one-yard line that got us back out to the 20. So, that becomes the key more often than not. In close games, you have to win that battle and we have most often."

(on what he and QB-Peyton Manning discussed in regards to ball control and interceptions)
"That's the one thing we talked about when I first got here. There was a worry that we were going to be ultra-conservative or rein the offense then, and I assured all of our offensive guys that I really liked what they did. We were going to stay aggressive, we were going to continue to score points, but we were going to get the defense and the special teams to the point to where they didn't have to take chances. We would be aggressive and we would play sound and we would score a lot of points, but we wouldn't take unnecessary chances. That's all we talked about. I think Peyton has played long enough to know what unnecessary chances are and to know that the more we have the ball, the more opportunities we have to score. I think it's just more of him really developing and understanding the league and understanding who we're playing against. But he's bought into it, and that helps. When your quarterback buys into it, he handles the ball more than anyone else."

(on WR-Reggie Wayne and if he is proud of him for playing at New York or if he expected it)
"I think we're all proud of Reggie and just happy for him that he could come back and play and have that type of game. I know his family wanted him to play. I think everybody was, not only happy for him, but really that's the ultimate professional, to be able to do that under those circumstances, to come out and play well."

(on how he keeps the team focused heading into the Tennessee game)
"I think we have to look at ourselves more than anything. If we played a great game this past week, it might be a little tougher. If we said, ‘Hey, we're really rolling and doing everything we need to do,' but I think just one look at (the New York Jets) tape this afternoon, and I think we'll prepare and be in pretty good shape next week, no matter who we're playing. Playing Tennessee, it's a division game, they understand how to play us. They've played us very well up here. Even the games we've beaten them, we've gotten the onside kicks and the fake punts and different things that you have to be sharp on. Vince Young presents a real different challenge to our defense. So, we have a lot of things that we're going to have to work on. I don't think attention will be a problem this week."

(on the high third-down conversion percentage)
"We've done a good job not getting in a lot of third-and-longs. We had a couple yesterday (at NY Jets), but for the most part, we've been a lot of 3rd-and-5, 3rd-and-6, 3rd-and-7, and we feel pretty confident picking that up. We have a lot of places we can go, and Peyton's doing a good job of just following his reads and throwing to the open guys. Our backs have made some big 3rd-and-5 catches. Joseph (Addai) made one right before half where he breaks a tackle and makes a first down. So, it's been a combination of some really good players on offense and staying in those 3rd-and-mediums."

(on if the 3rd-down success rate has to do with confidence, also)
"I think our guys just feel good about making things happen in those situations, just like they did with 2:15 left. We practice that a lot. We practice with no timeouts all the time, so it wasn't anything that, ‘Oh, all of a sudden we don't have any timeouts, what are we going to do?' We know how to handle that situation. We practice third down a lot, and we just feel good about our ability to make it if it's not an overly long-yardage situation. So I think confidence does come into play."

(on opposing teams and trick plays and being aggressive)
"I think Eric Mangini said it well yesterday after the game, and I commended him. I thought he had great strategy and coached a really good game. He said, ‘You go in against the Colts and you know you have to score a lot of points, because they're going to score touchdowns.' So, he was going to be aggressive, he was going to go for it on fourth down. If he had a chance to get the ball back with an onside kick or a fake he was going to do that. I think a lot of people take that mindset when they play us. And so it's something that we always talk about, we're always ready for. The onside kick was not a surprise to us. The fact that they went for it on fourth down three or four times, Brad Smith in the backfield, was not a surprise. Some of them we handled well, some of them we didn't."

(on Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher and not being shy about pulling out trick plays)
"Jeff is going to come up here to win the ballgame. He is going to have his guys ready to go, and he's going to have them believing that they not only can win, but they're going to win. That's the way they always play us, and if we think it's going to be anything less because they have a rookie quarterback or because they're on a losing streak, we'll be in bad shape. I just think Jeff does a great job, and they will be ready to play us."

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