Tony Dungy Press Conference Highlights

Colts head coach Tony Dungy comments on the pros and cons of a bye week, the Colts' consistency over the past few seasons, the upcoming game against the Jaguars, star tight end Dallas Clark and more in this feature!

General comments...

"It was one of those fun times for me, where you get to see why people enjoy football so much. I got to watch several games, exciting games, overtime games in college, some exciting professional games. It is nice to just kick back and relax and not have that game preparation, and I think our team enjoyed it, too. Now we'll come back and get ready to work on a big, big game. Jacksonville played very impressive again at home, winning, they won two big road games previous to that, and playing for first place. The break I think came at a good time for us and it will give us a chance to focus and to concentrate and see if we can get our game going again against them."

On how rookies deal with not always being able to play right away...

"It's tough. It's a tough transition because you are trying to come in and help. You have high expectations. You're used to playing a lot, and then you see some of your buddies get to play right away. Tony Ugoh for instance, he's playing, and you're not playing as much. So, it is a little bit of a transition for a lot of guys, and what I keep reminding them is that there is time down the road. Everybody's going to get to play. It's a long season, and at some point, we're going to have to count on you. Certain guys have found that out already. It's a long season."

On DT-Quinn Pitcock...

"I think Quinn's going to be a real good player for us. He's a very strong guy who is active, very good against the run, and he's developing as a pass rusher. Every day, he's working in his one-on-one drills and a little bit more movement. He's an active guy, bigger guy than we've had, and he's going to help us before this season is out I'm pretty sure."

On the good and the bad with the bye…are there concerns coming out of the bye...

"That's a concern. We're going to have three practices in seven or eight days. You're always a little concerned about that, that you lose a little sharpness. We're going to have about five or six days with only one practice. That's part of it. The other part is getting guys healthy and recovering and getting some momentum back. When you win, you think the bye was good, and if you don't win, you can blame it on the bye."

On being so consistent the past few seasons...

"I think it's really important because that's what good teams do. And that's what gets you in position in the playoffs. It's a long year, you're fighting to win as many games as you can, trying to get those advantages, get the byes, get to play at home. The way to do that is to play consistently. We've had a stretch for about three years where we've done that. Other than probably three or four road games last year, we probably have played close to our level. And that's what you're trying to get. I think it comes from our assistant coaches. It comes from our veteran guys understanding how important every practice is and preparing and getting yourself ready."

On the Colts' winning streaks the past few years and if the players appreciate what they have accomplished...

"I try to get that across to them every week, how hard it is to win just one week and what you have to do, do things right, play your best. And I hope we don't ever take that for granted because it's just not something I've been around in all of the places that I've been. It takes work and it takes good players and good preparation. That's what we've had and that's what you have to continue to have if you want to keep going."

On being among the league's best team in penalties and if you can coach that...

"It is coachable and it's something that we talked about after Week 2 and Week 3. We were 16th, 17th in the league and our goal is always to be in the top five. We didn't really get it corrected the first two weeks. We talked about it, we worked on it and you just have to make a conscious effort. You see situations in watching the games yesterday, big plays getting nullified by penalties, third-down stops getting taken away by penalties. You give good teams too many chances and you're not going to be successful. So, I think it is something that you concentrate on, harp on and make it a priority."

On how you coach not committing penalties...

"We don't necessarily stop practice, but we video everything. We point it out, we look at it. We coach good technique, and hopefully using the proper technique helps you avoid penalties. We really talk about the ones that you can control before the ball is snapped: offsides, formation penalties, false starts, those kinds of things. If you can eliminate those, that's half the battle."


TE Dallas Clark
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

On TE-Dallas Clark, and why his role and numbers have increased...

"It's a little bit of everything. I think it's some of the guys being injured. It's defenses, the way they're playing us. It's moving him around and some of the things that we've tried to do specifically, but I think it's just a combination of everything falling right for him in certain games. I think we all know that it could go the other way, defenses maybe doing things to try to take him away, other guys getting back in the lineup. I think all of our receivers feel like you have to take advantage of your chances when they come."

On Dallas Clark and who he compares to...

"There are a lot of tight ends who are really in that mold of guys that can do different things and flank out and play a lot of different places. You think of (Tony) Gonzalez and (Antonio) Gates and those type of guys, the Pro Bowlers. Shannon Sharpe was that way when he played. There just seems to be a trend towards those kinds of guys in the offenses that we're seeing. I think he's in a perfect situation where he can get utilized. There are some guys that can do that, maybe just don't always get the opportunity."

On if they have made a point to get TE-Dallas Clark more involved in the offense since the playoffs last year or has it just seemed that way...

"It's just the way it goes, and he's had a streak where he has had some big games. Reggie (Wayne) had a streak like that for a while. (Brandon) Stokley had a streak like that a couple of years back. We never know how it's going to go and how people are going to play us."

On if playing Jacksonville and Carolina on the road helps prevent the team from looking forward to playing New England...

"I think our team knows that (with Jacksonville coming up). That's the biggest game of the year right now for us. We have a chance to create some distance between ourselves and the rest of the division. We have a chance to get ahead in the tiebreakers, and Jacksonville has a chance to be in first place. If they win, they will be in first place. If we win, we'll be two games ahead with the tiebreaker. So, it's a huge game, probably the biggest game we'll have all year. And I think our players, hopefully they understand. They will by Thursday for sure."

On if the team will look at the tape from last year's game at Jacksonville or not...

"We will look at it and certainly look at how they ran the ball against us, what plays they ran. We'll look at what we did well, and try to build on that. Again, that game ended up tough, but it wasn't what you would think that there was nothing good that came out of it. We did some pretty good things in a lot of cases, just didn't have enough momentum in the second half to keep going. There were some things that we did that we can build on."

On if he has seen any of Jacksonville this season and them being on a hot streak...

"I have watched them. We saw the Tennessee game because we played Tennessee the second game. Tennessee played very well and Jacksonville probably didn't play their best. But since then, they have been as hot as anybody. They've won in Denver and in Kansas City, which not too many people can say they've won both of those places in the same year. They have played very well the last four weeks, and I know they will be excited to play us in the fact that if they win, they will be in first place. They'll be ready for us, no question."

On how Jacksonville is different with QB-David Garrard instead of Byron Leftwich...

"I think they have just gotten the mindset now of what they're going to be. They drafted Leftwich, they've drafted a lot of No. 1 receivers, and I think for a while went with the idea that they were going to have to throw the ball up the field and get big plays in the passing game. And now I think they realize, ‘Hey, we have a good, stout defense. People aren't going to score much on us. We have two great running backs, we have a big offensive line and we're going to be a ball-control team.' I think Garrard has really helped them in that regard. He takes good care of the ball, has not turned it over a lot. They can do some things with him off the running game, play-action passes, designed boots for him, designed running plays. He can scramble and make things happen on third down. So, they've become a real ball-control, tough football team, and I think he's helped that mindset."

On David Garrard making plays...

"He's third in the league in passing. What he's done, it's a different style of offense, very much like Tennessee has gone to a different style with (Vince) Young. They're using what these guys can do, and they're creating a different way of moving the ball as opposed to just sitting in the pocket and throwing it way down field. These guys are good at it, and they're creating opportunities for their offense."


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