Tony Dungy Conference Call

Tony Dungy talked to the media about his relationship with Brian Billick, the Ravens' defense, Steve McNair and more...

(on his memories of coaching with Brian Billick in Minnesota)
"That was a great time for a lot of us. I think Denny Green really put together an outstanding staff and Brian took over the offense midway through my time there and did an outstanding job. We had an offense that moved the ball and put points on the board, and that's what you are looking for defensively. We worked together a lot in training camp, when we went against the offense, but not so much during the regular season as they are preparing and we're preparing. But, it was a lot of fun. I think we both learned a lot from Denny in terms of how to structure a team, how to get your teams ready to go. I know I certainly owe a lot to Denny and feel that my four years there were invaluable in building me into the coach that I am. I don't want to speak for Brian, but I think he would say the same thing."

(on how he manages to stay so calm)
"It takes a lot of work and a lot of practice and it's something that I've worked on. I certainly wasn't like that when I was younger and when I was a player and even early on as a coach. As I've gotten along, I think it's important to try to keep your composure. I think some of it is personality type, some of it is working at it [and] some of it is just kind of a question of maturity that you grow in your demeanor as time goes on. Maybe it's outward; it's not necessarily inwardly calm."

(on ranking the Ravens in comparison to over defenses he has faced)
"I think they are probably the toughest team we've played against in terms of having to prepare for a lot of different things. They have talented players, they have smart players that can play a lot of different roles, and they don't give you the same look very often. They're just very, very tough to prepare for and I think it shows up in their points against. That's where they do a tremendous job."

(on QB Peyton Manning's focus in the playoffs)
"We're not focused on that at all. You focus on the job at hand, and the job at hand is to try to come up with a way to beat Baltimore. If we beat Baltimore, it will be a good week. If we don't beat Baltimore, then everyone will talk about playoffs and what we have or haven't done. When you get into the playoffs you're playing good teams every week, you're playing teams that deserve to be there. You've got to be at your best and come up with great games to win those games. That's what our whole teams' focus is, Peyton's included."

(on DE Dwight Freeney)
"Dwight is an unusual guy in that he plays a unique position. He plays a position where it's usually bigger guys, taller guys who have succeeded. He's not the prototypical defensive end, but he's got speed and strength and power. I don't know that there's anybody that I've been around playing or coaching who has quite the same set of skills that he [does] playing that position."

(on the difference Steve McNair has made for the Ravens this year)
"Confidence, more than anything else. They know they have a great defense and have had a great defense for awhile. That defense can carry them 95 percent of the time, but there is going to be five percent of the games where you're going to need that offense to step up and make plays – whether it's a fourth quarter drive to win a game, whether it's drive early to get you the lead. They just feel like they've got a whole package now. They've got a guy whose going to take care of the football – he's not going to get rattled, he's not going to have an off day in a big game, and if they are down four points with three minutes to go, that he's going to find a way to win the game. So, you can see the confidence that they are playing with. I just think Ozzie Newsome has done a great job of putting that team together. He knew what type of team they wanted to be. They've got a lot of elements. They had the great defense, they've got the kicker and punter to go along with it; they signed special team Pro Bowlers to really help them with the field position, they've got the type of offense that just compliments the defense and it's just a well, well put together team."

(on the Ravens' defense now vs. the 2000 Super Bowl team)
"They have changed the unit, but I think the type of player that they have is that they know what they want, so they've gotten very versatile guys – Adalius Thomas and [Bart] Scott, those guys – exceptional players. They can do a lot of things. They can cover, they can blitz, they can take on guards and take on tight ends. They just are very, very complimentary parts. Again, it's just, I think, a matter of saying, ‘This is our defense, this is how we're putting it together, these are the type of guys we need,' and they do a great job of finding them."

(on what he expects the atmosphere to be on Saturday)
"I don't think it will be any different. You go places in the playoffs and their fans are excited. Everybody's fired up; they know they're two games from the Super Bowl. That's what we're going to face, that emotion and energy. I think it's an added story of the Colts coming back, but regardless of who would be coming in there, that place is going to be revved up on Saturday no matter who comes in."

(on whether he is preparing the Colts for the Baltimore fans)
"No. We have to worry about Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis and Steve McNair and Matt Stover. Those are the guys we have to worry about, not anybody in the crowd."

(on the Colts having a new confidence in stopping the run)
"We did what we thought we should have done all year. That's the way you hope you play every week. The thing about the playoffs is [that] you have to do it on a three or four week stretch to get anything done. You can have one great game in one area, but if you can't play in all areas and you can't put that together back to back you're not going to achieve your goal. We'll be tested again. We've got another Pro Bowl running back in Lewis and that big offensive line, so we'll have a bigger test this week than we had last week."

(on his memories of Brian Billick)
"[He was] very analytical, very confident in how the offense was going to run, and a guy who put his players in position to do what they did best and didn't put them into positions to expose their weaknesses. I know that's from working with Denny [Green], working with Bill Walsh. I know that Brian feels that's what coaching is all about – maximizing guy's strengths and minimizing the things they don't do well, and that's how you put a good product out there."

(on whether he sees similarities in rookie RB Joseph Addai to former Colts RB Edgerrin James)
"Very much so. That's why we drafted him. We felt he was the back in the draft that could do the most things like Edge, so we wouldn't have to change too much. Joseph's been just what we had hoped for. He's a very tough guy, he's a good pass-protector, a good route-runner; all the things that our offense asks out of that halfback position."


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