Dungy's Monday Press Conference Highlights

Colts head coach Tony Dungy said the Colts came through September and October the way they had hoped, and they know that the challenges get even tougher in the coming months. Take a look at what he had to say about the state of the team at his Monday press conference.

(opening comments)
"For us, a big win yesterday, playing against a very, very good football team, a team that was hot, on a five-game winning streak and playing at their place. It was a tremendous atmosphere. Again, we didn't play perfect but got a lot of things done. Our offense really rescued us, and of course, Adam Vinatieri kicking the ball well. But there are a lot of positive things from it, and I liked the way our team is responding to challenges. I like the way we're winning in different ways. Our offense pretty much took the challenge, knowing what type of game it was going to be and how Denver was going to try to play us, that it was really going to be a game for patience and poise and I thought we did that well. We had a couple of penalties and a couple of things we had to overcome. They weren't going to allow us to throw deep balls and get quick scores, so we were going to have to drive the football and we had the confidence that we could do that. They executed really well, especially in the second half. We were able to finish off some drives, and of course Reggie Wayne had a big day. So that part was really good. Defensively, we played pretty well in the first half, gave up a couple of passes on some bootlegs, one dash-throwback that Coach (Mike) Shanahan brought out from the old days. We hadn't really worked on that one. That was a big play for them to get their first touchdown drive going. The second half, they came at us offensively, ran some plays that they have in their arsenal that they don't run a lot and they changed some blocking things, and we didn't really respond quick enough. We made a couple of plays, had a couple of stops early in the half to get our offense the ball and we got the stop at the end of the game. We'll continue to improve, and I think as we do that—we're going to have to—and guys play a little bit more, we'll get better. All in all, we came through September and October the way we wanted to. We went to a couple of tough places to play, played some first-place teams and came through it okay. So, we feel pretty good where we are right now."

(on the offense playing better in the second half, but if he sees it as glass-half-empty and they should be playing better in the first half)
"Not necessarily. The thing for us is people don't always play us the way they play other teams. So you prepare all week and you go in feeling like you have an idea of what you're going to get. Sometimes we get that and sometimes we don't. The thing I like about our team is that they don't really panic. When we get in there at halftime and we sit down and talk about what we've gotten, what we think we're going to get in the second half, the plays we're going to emphasize, we do a pretty good job of adjusting and doing that. So, even yesterday, when it's 14-6, we said, ‘Hey, we've been here before against Tennessee, we've been here against Washington. We can just make these adjustments, here's what we're going to run.' And they felt pretty good about our ability to go out there and score in the second half."

(on if RB-Joseph Addai should create a buzz yet)
"He should create a buzz, he's a good player. He's everything we thought he was. When he was drafted, (there was) no question about it, and he's going to be a very good player. But I think we have the best of all worlds. We have two guys (Addai and Dominic Rhodes) that can do a lot of things. They both are running well and catching the ball well, they're both pass protecting well, and we're able to keep them fresh. I think we'll continue to do that."

(on RB-Joseph Addai finishing runs well)
"He's doing some outstanding things. He's averaging over five yards a carry, which is not easy to do in this league, and he's running behind his pads, making people miss, catching the ball. He just has a great feel for the game. He's a very good football player, and I think what has everybody thinking that way (that he should get more carries) is because Edgerrin (James), for seven years, carried the ball almost all the time and did everything. And most places, that's not the case. Most places, a lot of backs play, sometimes more than two. So, I don't think it's unusual and I think we'll continue to do that."

(on if it is a good thing having close games as opposed to last year when lots of games were decided early in the game)
"I think when you get in situations like this, this is more like the NFL. You're going to have games where you have to come through with plays in the fourth quarter. We have a lot of guys who have been there, and especially our veteran guys. They're going to be fine because they are used to that. The reason why we're probably playing more close games, we haven't been as good defensively in the red zone. I think we've given up 15 touchdowns in 20 opportunities, and we haven't taken the ball away as much. Last year, we played a little more consistently on defense, but the thing we did, we got a lot of takeaways and when people got down there, we forced them to kick field goals. Had we forced a couple of field goals in different games, we certainly would have been breathing a lot easier. But that's something we have to work on and get better at."

(on playing the Patriots in Foxboro again)
"It's going to be a big challenge for us. I think we showed last year that when we go in there and play better, we'll win. It's not where you play or who you're playing or any of that, or what happened in the past. Denver had won 13 games in a row at home…it really doesn't matter. You have to go that particular day and outplay the other team. And New England is tough to outplay, so we'll have our hands full. It will be a big game. They will be first place in their division, we'll be in first in our division, just like last week. But again, I never think it's a ‘Game-of-the-Century' type thing before the halfway point."

(on the team's consistency since 2004)
"I've been around some good teams, a Super Bowl team in Pittsburgh and some playoff teams in Kansas City and Minnesota. I've never been involved in a run like this. We've had a couple of games where we've decided to rest our regulars and when the playoffs weren't in stake, but to win this many times in a row and to win on the road and to go into tough places to play and somehow find a way to win, it's really gratifying. I have to tip my hat to our guys. It starts with our coaching staff, I think, and the way they prepare our players. But a lot of our veteran guys, the guys who have been through it—our offensive linemen and receivers and defensive linemen—they're pretty much the veteran core, and they just seem to be ready to play week in and week out and find a way to win. We've won a lot."

(on if QB-Peyton Manning amazes him anymore)
"He impresses me every day, but the amazing things are getting less and less. I'm just not amazed by anything that he and Marvin (Harrison) and our group does, but I'm impressed because they work at it and they do it so consistently. It's always impressive, but I guess I'm done with the, ‘Wow, that was really something special,' because you see it every day in practice."

(on K-Adam Vinatieri)
"It's a very, very nice security blanket for a team and certainly for a coach when you feel like you're going to make everything. And we had that feeling with Mike (Vanderjagt). So, it's not really a lot different, but when you go in and you know points are going to be at a premium, you know it's going to be a close game, to know that, ‘Hey, we don't have to get the ball in point-blank range,' that helps the quarterback, that helps the offense. You don't have to press for big plays, and we were very patient on that last drive feeling like if we got to the 35-yard line, we were in good shape and we had plenty of time to do that. So, it really helps your planning and it just helps all of the way around."


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