Dungy Press Conference Highlights

Tony Dungy talked to the media about Sunday night's game, his running backs, sizing up the AFC race and this week's opponent -- the Tennessee Titans.

Opening comments:
"Well, we obviously feel much better than last week, and as I said last night, it was good to have that type of performance coming back where we were disappointed the week before. Looking at the tape, I thought our team played well in a lot of areas. Offensively, we were sharp and played very physical. Obviously, both of our backs ran the ball well and I thought we did a good job of taking what was available and the way they tried to play us. Defensively, we played with a lot of energy and it was good to see that and see our speed and some of the open-field plays. We still didn't adjust quite well to some of the new things that they did or things that were a little bit different. And our third down, we gave them a chance on a couple of those drives with our third-down defense. But overall, I think it was a step in the right direction. We played better. Special teams wise, our best game in a long time. We had one kickoff coverage that was a little sub par, but we returned well, we kicked the ball well and we covered well for the most part. So, all in all, a good performance finishing up November, and that's what we wanted to do. I thought our perimeter blocking was as good as it's been. Obviously, when your backs have a big day, your line is doing a good job, but I thought Reggie (Wayne) and Marvin (Harrison) and Dallas (Clark) blocked on the outside, Bryan Fletcher when he came in for Dallas, blocked as well on the outside as we have all year. The backs set them up and did a good job running. But all in all, it was a good day and one we needed. It came at the right time."

On Charlie Johnson filling in for injured OT-Ryan Diem:
"I enjoy our team that way. Charlie has practiced a lot of different places and done a good job in practice. He goes in the first quarter and plays the whole game for Ryan Diem and you really don't notice too much and don't miss a beat. Dexter Reid goes in and plays for Antoine (Bethea) and did fine. (Bryan) Fletch(er) has had a lot of time in the lineup, but he goes in and does a good job for Dallas. Those three guys are critical players for us, but we really didn't miss a beat, and that's what you want. Charlie, for a rookie and his first extended playing time did a very good job."

On the possibility of signing WR-Ricky Proehl:
"We're talking to Ricky Proehl right now. I don't think he has been signed yet. He's here in town and that's our intention. We hope to do that. I don't think it really has any impact on how Dallas (Clark) is. It's something that we talked to Ricky for a couple of weeks since Brandon (Stokley) has been out. But we'll see what happens. We hope to."

On what WR-Ricky Proehl would bring should the team sign him:
"I think he brings a veteran guy who's been in these December and January big games, a slot receiver who knows how to get open and make the tough catches. I think he'd fit in to what we're doing. We haven't really had our full three-wide offense in tact, and we hope to get that back this week with Brandon. But just he brings another veteran guy for the stretch run. I think he will help us if we get him signed."

On if WR-Ricky Proehl could step right in since he is a veteran:
"It will take him a little while to learn the offense and the code words. He'll know the routes and how to run and get open. It will just be a matter of timing with Peyton and everything and then learning what we do. But I think he will learn it pretty fast. He's made a lot of clutch catches in big situations."

On if the Colts have used the two-tight end set primarily because of Brandon Stokley's absence, or because that's a formation they like:
"It's been good for us, but I think we've used it more because we haven't had Brandon in the slot. We've used Aaron Moorehead on the outside, which has been fine, but that forces Reggie (Wayne) into a different place than he normally is. And sometimes, our matchups have been better with the tight ends in."

On if the Philadelphia game was as good as Joseph has played:
"No, just more opportunities. They gave us some run looks. I think they were pretty determined to try to not have it be a shootout, to try to not let the wide receivers get going. So they played a lot of zone defense and played a lot where they rolled up a lot on the wide receivers, and I thought Peyton was fantastic in staying with the running game and taking the looks that they gave us to run. But I said from day one, that when our runners got run looks, they would run and make a lot of yards. Dominic (Rhodes) averaged four or five (per carry) and kind of got lost in the shuffle. Dom ran well and Joseph ran very well. But both of those guys will do that when the safeties aren't down in the box hitting them at the line of scrimmage."

On if anything bothers or rattles RB-Joseph Addai:
"There may be something, but he's not going to let it show if he does. He's just a very mature guy, very calm demeanor. He's been good that way. Very little gets him rattled."

On if he will change the running back rotation:
"Should we change? No, I don't think we will. I think we will continue to rotate those guys and alternate them and try to keep them fresh. Again, I'm really pleased that Joseph is coming on and running well and finishing and exploding through tackles in December. That's the way we want it. We'll get him enough work, I think."

On if he is sizing up the AFC at this point in the season
"Absolutely. You come into December and our first goal is to win the division, because that gets you in the playoffs. We have that in our own hands now and we can take care of that on Sunday, and that's what we want to do and get ourselves in. But you're cognizant of where everybody is around you. We have two teams right behind us with two losses. So, we want to stay ahead of them. Those guys are playing well. San Diego and Baltimore are on long winning streaks and they're playing good football. New England, we got a chance to watch that one (against Chicago), and those guys are playing well. So, you know where you are and you want to stay in that No. 1 slot. That's going to be a difficult chore. We have five AFC games left, three of them division games the second time around. So, yes, we are watching everyone else and hoping to continue to play well to stay in front of them."

On the Tennessee Titans and their improved play:
"They're playing very well right now, and they're playing believing they can win. And that's half the battle in the NFL. They put Vince Young in the week before they played us, and he's grown and he's gotten to the point where now, they think they can beat anyone. Whether they're 21 down in the fourth quarter like they were yesterday or whether they're coming in here, in a tough place to play, they feel good about themselves. We watched them against Philadelphia. They took Philadelphia apart, and they took the Giants apart in one quarter. So, we know what's in store for us. We know a little bit more, some of the stuff that they have in for Young. It was kind of new to us the first time around, but it's still not easy to stop. So, we'll have our hands full."

On QB-Vince Young looking comfortable in the pocket and knowing when to and when not to run:

"They have a good plan for him. They have some designed runs. He is sitting in the pocket well throwing, but in the big situation where he has to make something big happen, he's not afraid to run. And he can still run away from a lot of people. Those guys always give you a feeling that you're never comfortable because they can make plays in so many ways."


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