Tony Dungy Media Quotes

Colts head coach Tony Dungy shares his thoughts on the importance of Monday's game, the importance of turnovers, QBs Peyton Manning and David Garrard, and more!

On it being a big event, especially in Jacksonville...

"I think it will be, and it should be. They're playing well, a four-game winning streak. They lost a tough game to Tennessee. Otherwise, you would probably have the same type of hype as we had last week. But they're that caliber of team. They're good, and I think their fans will be into it."

On a team saying they don't get any respect...

"I guess you can't really worry about the fans. I think people in the NFL, the people that play against them realize they have a good team and how you have to prepare and how tough it is to win down there. I don't know what will have to happen to make them a household word around the country, but I think most people that know football know they're pretty good."

On the Jaguars making a smooth transition with QB-David Garrard...

"They really have. David Garrard is playing exceptionally well for them. I think they've done a great job of tailoring the offense to what the two running backs do best and what Garrard does. They have some play action passes that are really tough. He gets rid of the ball quick when he's in his drop-back mode. They have some designed runs, and then he can scramble afterwards. He realizes that he has some pretty good weaponry with him. He's not trying to do everything himself. He's playing very, very well right now."

On a chance to separate themselves from the division a little with a win...

"It is. The way the schedule set up, we knew we would have the away games early. If we can win them and get the advantage, then the second half of the year teams would have to win a lot more games than us. You can't win a division title in October, but you can certainly make it tough on everybody else. That's what we hope to do."


Darrell Reid and Rocky Boiman
Bob Levey/Getty Images

On if this is a rivalry game...

"I think we look at it that you have to win the division. For us, for the first couple of years it was Tennessee, because they were the division leaders. And now, I think it's everybody. When you split, as we did last year with everyone, you understand that it's tough to win, and these are big games. I think Jacksonville, Tennessee and Houston, that's probably what the league was trying to get at with this divisional set-up. When you only have four-team divisions, they should become very, very good rivalries with the teams well-balanced."

On if he is concerned about rust or timing coming off the bye week...

"We'll have to get back to that game-type of sharpness. We'll have to get used to hitting again. We haven't been in pads in quite a while. You're always a little concerned about that after a long time off, but I think the rest did help us and having our guys out there healthy, it should be better for us."

On when he came here, how important was turnover ratio...

"It was the number one thing, because that is really what goes into determining whether you win or lose. You have two things you want to get accomplished when you come: number one is impress on the offense how important it is to take care of the ball, and that includes everybody, linemen and everybody else that you don't have errors that create turnovers, your special teams, you have to be careful with your ball handlers there; and then defensively, getting across to the team how important it is to take it away, and then getting those types of players on defense that can take the ball away. You can look back 40 years in football and giveaway-takeaway is the most important stat."

On how you stress the importance of turnovers and how you get that...

"You bring that and you talk about that and you practice that way. The offensive guys had to get used to the defenders coming and tackling them from behind and stripping the ball and late whistles in practice to encourage everybody to run to it, to encourage those guys to hang on to it. And then, the more you're ahead, the less you tend to turn it over, the less chances you have to take and that type of thing. So it's a little bit chicken and egg thing. I think the mentality of, ‘We're still going to be explosive on offense, we're still going to be aggressive, but we're going to try not to turn the ball over.' That's what you're trying to get."

On out of 100 games, how many are decided by turnovers...

"Probably 85 are lost. You certainly lose more games than you win. So you really make that a priority. If we can avoid losing games, then you don't have to win that many."

On if QB-Peyton Manning's touchdown record was one he thought would stick around a while...

"Not necessarily, just because the way the game is going. There are so many more passes. When I played, Lynn Swann caught 40 balls and thought he had a great year. Just every year since then, the rules have tailored things toward the passing game, colleges are sending better quarterbacks to us, guys more versed, so the way the rules were going, I didn't know that it would last. I thought Peyton might break it the next year."


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