Colts Press Pass: Tony Dungy

Find out what Colts head coach Tony Dungy told the media this week about the defensive line, strongside linebacker Rob Morris, and this Monday's preseason matchup against the Chicago Bears!

On the progress of the defensive line in the absence of Booger McFarland...

"You know, I think they are taking it as a challenge and everyone at this point is saying what a blow it's going to be and how are we going to recover. I think they want to show people that everyone just picks up the slack and you move on. So they have worked really hard and we got some of the young guys involved, and its been a good process."

On DE-Jeff Charleston...

"Jeff's doing well. He's a guy that just seems to make a lot of plays when he's out there. He does things the way you want them done. He's not afraid to try things the coaches want to get done and he is a very conscientious guy. Long arms, a lot of hustle, he reminds me a lot of Josh Thomas when Josh first came in."

On DT-Ed Johnson...

"Ed's doing very well. He's getting comfortable playing with that first group. I think the guys are getting comfortable with him and he just keeps getting better and better. He did some things the other day in the goal-line and short-yardage scrimmage that we hadn't seen in awhile, that type of penetration and quickness off the ball. So, he is doing a good job."

On the possibility of replacing McFarland by committee...

"Well, it could be. I look at the way we replaced Edgerrin James, and it was Joseph Addai and Dominic (Rhodes). Last year, when Brandon Stokley got hurt, it was some Dallas Clark playing in there, Aaron Moorehead some, Reggie Wayne going in there. You have to utilize what guys can and it may be two or three guys."

 Doug Pensinger, Getty Images
On linebacker Rob Morris...

"He really is doing a good job. Middle linebacker is his natural position, but SAM is just where it fit for us. I think those qualities he has of studying, knowing what is going on, of being a guy that just doesn't quit, doesn't give up, that's what's propelled him to play so well out there. I don't think it is his natural position, but he's been very good for us."

On Morris' attitude of moving to strongside linebacker...

"Well, to me that was the easy part. Everybody, when you say, ‘Hey, you can switch positions and start.' Everybody will do that. When you say, ‘Hey, you are not going to be a starter at middle linebacker, we want you to be a backup player and a special teams guy.' Do that for a year and still have the same attitude, and play great on special teams, to me that was the impressive part. Then to be ready when we say, ‘Hey, we are going to move you and give you a chance to play,' and even though I don't know that position, I don't know everything about it, I am going to learn, and work and hustle and just play as hard as I can while I'm learning. That's the impressive thing."

On Morris being the oldest guy on defense...

"Experience helps, and he's just one of those guys that has made himself very valuable in a lot of different ways, and that's probably the lesson for the young guys. Do as much as you can, work as hard as you can, be ready to play all the time and become a guy that is too valuable to get rid of."

On Monday night's game being a confidence-builder after the Dallas loss...

"Well, not really. We are going to have to play a lot better than we played in Dallas. Our regulars are going to play longer. We want to come out and play well at home and we are playing against a team that everybody says the same thing about us. We are playing against a team that was in the Super Bowl last year. That gives you some incentive there. But I think more than anything, it is just to play a little bit better than we played last week."

On the goals of this week's preseason game versus last week's game...

"A little bit different, some more things we want to accomplish. We want to get a little more continuity with our first groups, play them a little bit longer, see some, not progress, but just get to see them play more. You kind of had in your mind who played well and who practiced well in Week 1 and who needs a little bit more time, so you want to see those guys get a little more in Week 2 and come on."

On his coaching philosophy compared to Lovie Smith's...

"It is probably pretty similar in a lot of ways. You have things that you want to accomplish. You have a lot of faith in your team that they can get those things done. You want to build your team so you don't beat yourself. You give yourself the best chance to win and I know those are things that Lovie believes in definitely."


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