Dungy: Shutting Down Running Backs is Key

Colts head coach Tony Dungy believes that the winner of this Super Bowl will be the team that stifles the opponents rushing game. Find out what he said to the media about that topic along with his thoughts on Bears returns specialist Devin Hester and much more!

(on what kind of challenge Devin Hester and the Bears return units pose)
"A big challenge. We faced it a couple of weeks ago with Dante Hall, where every time you kick to him you feel like that can be a momentum changer in the game. You have to be on it every single time, whether you kick off three times or six times, whether you punt once or 10 times. Every time you have to be ready. Hester has been the difference maker in several of their games this year, so our guys know what the challenge is and what's in front of us."

(on how important both teams' running backs will be)
"Usually the team that runs the ball the best wins. There are very, very few games where that doesn't take place. They have two excellent backs, guys who can not only pound the ball, but they can cut back and make people miss. We have guys that are energetic and are running well. That's going to be the standard. I think whatever defense does the better job on the other team's running backs is going to win it."

(on talking a lot since training camp about what Pittsburgh did last year and what made him think the Colts could take the same path)
"I actually thought it the day after Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl. I just saw the energy they had when they came in here the second time and played us in the playoffs. And then I was actually at a Christian outreach in Utah with Jeff Hartings and he kind of explained their whole season to me and the disappointment off the 15-1 season and the resolve that they had, their leadership. I talked about that with our players when we came back in March: ‘This is how the Steelers did it. They used that disappointment of losing a home game, of losing when they had the No. 1 seed. They went through some ups and downs. We're going to have some at some point during the year, but we have to be able to battle through it.' And our guys did that. Our veteran leaders have been tremendous this year throughout the ups and downs. But I really felt, ‘We have to take a page out of Pittsburgh's book' after they beat Seattle."

(on the Colts-Bears not really being a rivalry)
"It's different, and I know it used to be when it was the Baltimore Colts and Chicago, but since we've gotten here, we're AFC, (they're) NFC, we play them once every four years, and it hasn't built into that even though the geographical rivalry should be strong. It's going to be fun, and it's going to be fun being down there at the Super Bowl with a lot of midwesterners."

(on how the defense was able to come back in the playoffs)
"I think the unit's played better in the playoffs because they have maintained their faith, faith in each other, faith in (Def. Coordinator) Ron (Meeks) and what we're trying to do. And we're probably healthier than we've been. We have all of our people playing and playing in the spots they should be playing in, and that's helped us. They guys who had to play because of injuries early, they got some experience and guys like Marlin Jackson have been able to step in and make big plays in the playoffs. So I think the combination of the grueling season and the fact that we're healthy now, that's probably why we're playing a little bit better."

(on what makes facing LB-Brian Urlacher so special)
"He's a great player. He has mobility and he has striking ability. He's a smart player, and the system is really built for him. I remember when Lovie got the job, we were out at the Pro Bowl, and I told (Urlacher), ‘You are going to love this system. You're going to be just perfect for it.' At that time, he had seen us play in Tampa, and I think he was excited about. He's just a perfect match of a system for an athlete."

(on if it is an advantage playing NFC teams because they don't see the Colts a lot)
"I think it's an advantage for us to face teams that haven't played us, especially when they don't have a lot of time to prepare. We've played those NFC teams on short weeks sometimes and that really does help us. This I think is a little different situation. You have two weeks to prepare. You can look at a lot of things and kind of gear your guys into it, so that will probably be a little bit nullified. But we do like it when we play people that don't know a lot about us."


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