Colts Press Pass: Tony Dungy

As the Colts prepared for their first preseason game against Dallas, head coach Tony Dungy shared his thoughts with the media this week. Find out what's going through his head in regards to getting ready for Dallas, his thoughts on key rookies like Anthony Gonzalez, Quinn Pitcock and Tony Ugoh ... and much more!

(on his emotions going into a preseason game)
"I am always excited when we play. You're excited to see different things. You're excited to see how some players are going to fit in the role that you have them that day. You're excited to see how your team is going to perform against someone else, so there are things that you're looking for and things that make the game a lot more fun than just a regular practice day."

(on the division of playing time for the preseason)
"The first game, we pretty much do it the same way every year. Those guys [the starters] will get a couple series offensively and defensively. We have some guys that are second-team guys that we want to see against really good players, so we will ease some of those guys into it. Then we will probably have more of a mass substitution at the tail end of the first quarter. There are some things that we want to get accomplished with that first group and there will probably be 10 to 15 plays."

(on preparing for the unknown against Dallas)
"Well, we just have to kind of assume some things…all in all, what we really tell our young guys is that we just have to go down there like it's a practice day, go out there and read your keys and play good fundamental football. We really won't have a great idea of what they are going to do."

(on getting more physical during preseason games as opposed to training camp practices)
"You are trying to get yourself groomed and get your fundamentals down. We do some hitting in terms of individual drills and fundamental work in camp but not the tackling so to speak. That's where you do have to get sharp on defense – the tackling process."

(on the rookies' playing time during the preseason, specifically WR Anthony Gonzalez and OT Tony Ugoh)
"Those guys will play a lot, play in some different situations and they won't be limited to just ‘You have five series here, you have four series here.' We will try to work them in some. We have guys on defense the same way, that we'd like to see them play with the first group."

Anthony Gonzalez (AP)
(on expectations this year for the rookies)
"It is no different than it ever is. You draft guys with the idea that they are going to come in and help you in a lot of different ways. Guys that come in that don't think you are expecting a lot out of them because they are only playing special teams or they are only playing in certain situations, they are still critical to us. We have more chances maybe for some of our rookies, Tony Ugoh, possibly, Anthony Gonzalez, but what we have to remember is that we have other guys who have played those positions and will play well, and it is never going to fall entirely on them. It is not the type of thing where the team is going to sink or swim depending on the rookies' performance. We do expect those guys to contribute, and as I said many times, you don't know who it is. We certainly thought Joseph Addai would play, but I don't think at this time last year we expected Charlie Johnson would play three quarters of the Super Bowl."

(on mental preparations for a rookie, specifically OT-Tony Ugoh)
"I think for any rookie that comes in that is the biggest part of the game. Most of these guys have played in college and played well and you are learning a new system, you are learning to play with new people. Techniques a lot of the time are different for our offensive linemen, for our defensive backs, what you are allowed to do. That kind of thing is different in the NFL. It really is a learning process. All of them are going through it. Tony (Ugoh) is doing it as well as anybody."

(on DT-Quinn Pitcock)

"Quinn's doing a good job. He hustles, he's a strong guy. He has to work himself back into condition. I think the heat was an issue for him today, but he's going to do well for us from first impressions."

(on WR-Anthony Gonzalez)
"I think he is going to be in the slot. That is where we need him and that's one of the things he does best. So, I think that's going to be a good fit and that's where we are working him most of the time."

(on losing DT-Anthony McFarland)
"It is always tough when you lose your leaders in veteran players, but that's the nature of football. We've faced it before, a number of times, and what usually happens is other guys get more of an opportunity and guys that you maybe weren't expecting as much out of, you find out they can do more than you thought. Other guys around that position tend to pick it up and play better and that's how we found DB-Antoine Bethea last year when Mike Doss was hurt. That's how we found a number of guys, just because they get more of an opportunity to practice and play."

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