Tony Dungy's Monday Press Conference

At his weekly press conference on Monday, head coach Tony Dungy shared his comments on his team's dropped passes, if practicing in pads would help the tackling, the lack of quarterback pressure and sacks, and more!

General comments:
"Obviously not one of our better days yesterday and that makes the next day a little bit tough. But what we have to do from here is look at things, examine breakdowns and improve. That's going to be our task. Fortunately, we still have time to do that. The game yesterday wasn't the last game of the year. Then, it would have been really disappointing. But it was tough, to go in there in a big game, in an environment that we knew was going to be very hostile and that they were going to be ready to go. They came out and really outplayed us, even from the start. With a lot of things going wrong for us and a lot of things that we didn't do well, we still had the lead and had a chance to make it a game, but weren't able to do that. So that was disappointing, but I think the thing we have to do is look forward and see how we pull out of this. There are some teams that have had similar type things and they have pulled out of it, and we've done that in the past as well. So that's our task right now and that's what we're going to look forward to doing. But I have to give Jacksonville a lot of credit. They had a good, solid plan for us. Their two runners ran hard and ran well. We didn't tackle them as well as we would like, but I think they had a lot to do with that. They outplayed us. They've won one, we've won one and hopefully we can get ourselves going and see them again."

On dropped passes:
"It's always an emphasis, and we have guys with good hands. We don't think we should drop balls. Part of it is you're trying to do a little bit extra, you're trying to make things happen, you're trying to press. And that's what happens with everyone, when you get in a situation where you're not playing as well as you can. So, we have to get everybody doing what they do, but not anything so spectacular that you're not fundamentally sound. That's what we have to do. We just have to get back to playing Colts football and doing things the way we can. We don't have to hit a five-run homer on every swing. If we do that, I think we're going to be okay."

On teams in a similar situation to the Colts that have had troubles and bounced back:
"I'll give you the team that we're getting ready to play—Cincinnati. They had a stretch maybe five weeks ago now where they had two games, and in two games they gave up 1,000 yards and didn't play that well. Now, they've shut out a couple of teams in a row and they haven't given up more than 13 points, I don't think, in the last four weeks coming off two games when they didn't play that well. It wasn't a lot of personnel changes. They are playing hard and playing very well right now. So, that's one to look at. And Jacksonville, the team we just played, they lost to Houston, then I think won a game, and then maybe lost to Buffalo, and they're playing as well as anybody right now. So, it happens. You go through those times. You wish you didn't, and ours is happening at the wrong time, but we still have three games left in December to get it going. We have a very hot team that we're playing and we have to play a lot better than we played yesterday."

On every team having weak points:
"Sure they do. You try to minimize your little problem areas and maximize your strengths. That's what we're going to have to try to do. I haven't really seen San Diego on tape. They look like maybe the one team that's playing really well and not showing a lot of weaknesses. But again, we know from experience from last year that we were rolling along pretty good at this point at 13-0 and it didn't turn out for us the way we wanted. We have to take a page from a lot of other people and that's how you do it in the NFL. You just get back to work and get going. I remember when Pittsburgh left here last year (following the November Monday Night Game), I think they had lost three in a row and people pretty much counted them out. They had some resolve and came back and got some things straightened around and ended up winning it. So that's how we have to look at it. It's going to take work. It's not going to be easy, but I think we have the people here that can do it."

On if practicing in pads more would help the tackling:
"We're in pads on Wednesdays and we try to get our contact work then. Some of it is tackling. Some of tackling though is being in the right place, knowing where your help is, getting ball carriers funneled the right way. Again, you've heard me say it pretty much all year, that a lot of it is really fundamental stuff like that. We still have to get that done."

On the difference between this year's defense and last year's:
"I think that's what you would have to look at, and that would be a fair question. We somehow have to get ourselves playing up to last year's standards, and I think we have the people that can do that. But we have to get it done and the proof is out on the field."

On the problems defensively being beyond personnel:
"That's the easy way to look at it, but no matter who is here, you have to get the job done. You can't look at injuries, you can't look at anything (else). This is what we have and this is the group that we have to get the job done. And I believe we can."

On being No. 2 in scoring defense last year and among the leaders in sacks:
"That's what defense is all about. We held people down and we didn't let people score last year. We didn't give up a lot of big plays. We made people work for it. Our run defense was better than it is this year, but we didn't give up a lot of long plays. That's what has happened to us this year, we've given up a ton of big plays that we have to get corrected."

On the lack of sacks and QB pressure:
"I don't think people have been in those situations where they have really had to throw, and the times that they have, I think we've had decent pressure. But I think people have played us a lot differently, and it's probably the thing to do. For a few years, people came in feeling like, ‘Hey, we're going to have to get a lot of points, so we're going to throw and try to score a lot.' This year, people have said, ‘Hey, we're just going to try to do what we can do and run and maybe not get ourselves in those throwing situations.'"

On the mood of the team following back-to-back losses:
"I think we're disappointed about how the last few weeks have gone, and I think our veteran guys understand what we have to do to get back into things. We have to just start playing our game. We have to score when we have the football. We have to give our offense a chance and not get behind, not give up scores on defense, and we have to improve on special teams. We have to play better. We did that. We were playing that way for eight or nine weeks and we have the capability of playing that way again. We just have to make sure we're doing it. I think our team is still upbeat. I think they still understand that we're in the middle of the playoff race and we have a record that a lot of teams would like to have. The negative for us is the last four weeks we really have to play up to our standards and play as well as we can play."

On moving forward:
"We're all frustrated. We're all disappointed. We know that we have to play better, but we all feel like we can play better. And that's what has to happen these last three weeks. My thought is to looking ahead to see how we can improve it and get ourselves going and win these last three games."

On if they discuss scenarios of rising or falling in the playoff rankings:
"No, we just talk about where we are. We don't have that No. 1 seed in our own hands right now, and we did up until yesterday. So, we have to continue to play and win and just win as many games as we can. But right now, we're in the thick of things and we're still in the No. 2 slot. We have a lot of good things that can still happen for us, but the big thing for us is going to be playing well. If we're playing well, I don't think it really matters what seed you are. You can be the No. 1 seed. If we're not playing well, it's not going to helps us. So, that's our concern right now, is to try to get ourselves back playing well. And that's everything. We can look at the run defense, and that's certainly a big, big part of it, but you can't have punts blocked, you can't have kickoffs returned for touchdowns, those kinds of things. We just have to play better all the way around."

On listening to the media and all of the negative:
"What we have to do is what we have to do. We tried not to worry about it when we were 8-0 or 9-0, and we knew that we had some things that we had to improve at. We know the same things now, so I don't think that's any different. I think we just have to do what we need to do to get better."


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