Dungy: Patriots "Force Teams Into Mistakes"

Colts head coach Tony Dungy talked to the media about the Colts' special teams, pass protection, passing game, the Patriots, and more in this press conference highlights feature.

General comments...

"Always disappointing when you lose at home. That's something that no team wants to do. You get in this situation, you want to protect that home field. We weren't able to do that yesterday. It's especially disappointing when you lose a fourth-quarter lead. That's something that we've worked really hard at not doing, and we did yesterday. We gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter, and that hurts anytime that happens. Our team is very disappointed. I think we have to give a lot of credit to New England and the fact that they kept coming as we knew they would. They have some championship-caliber players over there and a championship-caliber team that made the plays when it counted. And that was really the bottom line of the game; when it was to be decided there with eight minutes to go, they made some big plays offensively and defensively. We had a chance to do that and didn't do it when it counted. We kind of lost the field position battle in the first half. We out-statted them offensively, defensively, but we're starting from our 10-yard line, 15-yard line and they're starting from the 35. That makes a difference when you're playing a great team like that. We didn't cash in in the red zone, had some chances, and they stopped us. We had to kick field goals, got a field goal deflected, and those kinds of mistakes you can't make against a team as good and as potent as they are. So, it was disappointing all the way around, but what we have to do now is see if we can start another streak, go out to San Diego and play well and get ourselves back on a winning track."

On if he looked at the game more of as the mistakes the Colts made or the good things New England did...

"I think they're a good team. I liken them to back when UCLA was playing basketball really well. You have to do everything right, and they are so fundamentally sound, they force people into mistakes. We had seen it the first eight games that we watched, and we said if we just didn't give up unearned runs, we'd have a chance. But because of the way they play and the type of performance they have, you have to be on top of everything, technique sound, and when you aren't, you're going to make those errors. That's what happened. We just weren't as sharp as we needed to be, kicking game, offensively and defensively."

On punt coverage...

"Our coverage was not good yesterday. We haven't had very many punts returned against us. We haven't punted backed up very much. We had a couple of long returns early, and then everything else has been kind of punting into plus territory. We kicked some punts that we didn't have enough hangtime to really get them covered. They are long punts and one guy misses and he has a long ways to go. We need to do better in that area. (New England) had two big returns that really set up part of that field position we were talking about."

On the pass protection...

"Pass protection is always a concern. You don't want to get pressured, you don't want to get sacked. We had two sacks yesterday in the fourth quarter at the wrong time. That's what happens with sacks. They show up in critical situations, then they seem a lot worse. So there will be a lot of focus on that because we did give up two at the wrong time, but overall, I think it's been pretty good."

On the state of the passing game...

"I think our passing game is fine. I think our running game is fine. I think we didn't execute. Our passing game was good enough to give us a 10-point lead, and we didn't hold it. That's what I'm disappointed about. I thought we did a lot of things well, but we didn't play quite well enough to win."

On not switching to Randy Moss on the outside...

"We have guys that play their spots, and we understood that we were going to get some jump balls out to Moss. But they also do a lot of other things. That's not the only thing they do. So we felt it was best to leave our guys where they're comfortable, and we had some things that maybe we could have played a little bit better and didn't. But they could put Moss anywhere. They didn't have to put him over there."

On how he felt about the Colts defense overall...

"I think our guys will be a little disappointed when they watch the tape, some things that we really went into the game wanting to take away we didn't do. I think we can play better, and obviously if we play them again, we have to play a little bit better."

On Tennessee staying close in the division...

"Yes, we've never thought that way. We're trying to win our division. That's the first thing. Right now, we're one game ahead. We've played a pretty good first half of the season, 7-1, but we're only one game ahead. We have three division games left, and Tennessee is playing well. That's going to be our focus, and that's why this week is a game that we have to go out and win, to not get ourselves back in that tied up situation. It will be a fight all the way through the year, and in eight more games we'll see where we are with all of this. It's what I told the team in the locker room. You can't assume that, ‘Oh, well, we'll see these guys again and everything that everyone's saying.' We have to get ourselves in, and that's going to involve some good playing down the stretch to do that."

On if he has reached out to Philadelphia Eagles' Head Coach Andy Reid...

"I have talked to Andy on a couple of occasions and that's something that I think every coach in the NFL really feels right now because we're all in the same boat, and people look at you and think that you don't have the same type of issues that everyone else has. And everyone does. That could be any one of us, and it's just really, really tough. I think everyone in the National Football League is supporting the Reids right now. There's not a whole lot you can do from a distance, but I think Andy knows how we all feel. We're just in prayer for him and his family because it's a tough, tough situation."

On if it is tough balancing football and family...

"It is a very tough balance, and it's one where if you want to do a good job in this profession, you have to put in a lot of time, you have to be away from home at different times, and you do shortchange your family to a certain extent. It just goes with the territory. But that's not unlike a lot of other jobs. The other tough part about it is that it is very high-profile, so everyone is reading about the (Andy) Reid situation and everyone can weigh in on it, where that's not the case with a lot of people. But it's a difficult balancing act, and I think Andy has done it well and most coaches do it well. It's one that we're all aware of and concerned about with our families for sure."


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