Tony Dungy: Colts Have to Move Forward

Head coach Tony Dungy talks to the media about how the Colts are handling their onslaught of injuries, newly acquired DE Simeon Rice, the Colts' special teams, and much more!

General comments...

"It's kind of nice to be able to get started today and prepare for the Chiefs and get ready for a game. I think that's what we need. I think our players are looking forward to going out and practicing well and preparing well and trying to get back on another winning streak."

On DE-Simeon Rice...

"He's going to play right end, and with Dwight (Freeney) being out, that obviously helps having another guy there. We'll see how quickly we can get him acclimated into things. Just talking to him briefly in the hallway, he remembers quite a bit of how it is, so I think he'll be fine."

On if DE-Simeon Rice will be used as a situational player...

"I think we'll just bring him on and hopefully he can play well for us. And the better he plays, the more we'll have him in there."

On the timing of adding DE-Simeon Rice with all of the injuries...

"We're moving forward. The one thing we can't do is think Simeon Rice is going to be the savior or the night and shining armor that's going to make everything okay. We still can't give up kick return touchdowns, we can't miss field goals, we can't blow coverages, we can't have red zone turnovers. The right end is one part of that puzzle, but it's not the biggest thing for sure."

On the addition of DE-Simeon Rice similar to that of DT-Booger McFarland last season and having coached him before and fitting in well...

"I think he will ease into things. I think he knows very much the schedule, how we're going to practice, what we're going to do. He knows the defense. It will be like it was with Booger, fitting in and learning the line calls and what we do and playing with the guys next to (him). That will take a while, but I think he'll be fine."

On DE-Simeon Rice being familiar with the defensive scheme...

"I'll say this—we've gone through the adjustment process with Simeon. When he came to Tampa it was certainly different for him than Arizona. He got acclimated to how we did things. How we do it here is a lot similar, so I think he's looking forward to a short adjustment period because the defenses are the same. He knows what's going on and what to expect."


Dwight Freeney
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On how difficult all the injuries are to swallow, including DE-Dwight Freeney...

"It's not hard. You have to move forward and you can't really look back. And I think that's the way our team is going to handle it."

On the possibility of Raheem Brock going back to DE...

"It's hard to say. We'll try to rotate our best guys through for the situation. We have a lot of inside players now, don't have as many ends, so that is a possibility. But I wouldn't see us being too much different than we have been."

On in times like this with so many injuries, if he has to tell the team to just go out and play football and not be a hero...

"No, most of the guys who go in and play, they're good players. They practice their position, and fortunately for us, our guys got to practice. It wasn't like you had a majority of these in the game and you have to switch guys. Jake was probably the only guy that didn't practice at the position he played. It is football, and most of the time guys will do a good job if you let them. I think many times we panic and say, ‘We have to do this, we have to protect this guy and change this.' Most of the time they are going to do a good job."

On if he has to caution the team, and QB-Peyton Manning, not to do too much...

"I don't think so, and that was our message last week, that was our message against Tampa and that's our message this week, that we have to play our offense and our defense. I told them just as I'm getting hounded by these questions that they would get hounded all week, and it really doesn't matter who's not in the game. That's what you have to understand. It's who's in the game and they have to do their job. I don't think we're going to get caught up in all of that. I think we're going to just play and do what we should do. Maybe it happened to us. Maybe we were thinking about who wasn't in there the first 15 minutes of the game. But when we started playing, it really wasn't a factor. You didn't notice who wasn't in and we had a chance to win the game at the end. So that's the message. It happens all around the league every week, and it's not just us."

On if this is a time with injuries when sometimes you discover someone...

"That's usually what happens. Kurt Warner was not a household word until Trent Green got hurt. I remember Dick Vermeil saying very clearly, ‘We're going to proceed with Kurt Warner and we'll rally around him and Kurt will play well.' And the Greatest Show on Turf was born. And a lot of times that's what happens. A lot of times someone's misfortune is someone else's opportunity to shine, and you do find out a lot about guys."

On how important are the LT and RDE positions...

"They're all the same. You need everybody to perform. That's one thing Coach Noll always used to stress to us, that everybody's job was important and you needed everybody, and nobody's job was indispensable. If it takes adjusting and we have to do this to win, you do it and other guys have to play better. When you do get injuries, the healthy guys have to just do their job, and usually the guys who step in do pretty well."

On if he anticipates any changes on special teams...

"Well, we don't have a lot of guys to change to, so we have to get better. We have to do things better. Our kickoff coverage has kind of been like this all year where we kick off six times in a game and we have five pretty coverages and one that's not. So we have to try to eliminate that. Our punt coverage has been a little spotty. We haven't had to punt very much where opponents have had a chance to return. Most of the time we punt, it's been in short fields. We have to punt better and cover better those few times that we do punt backed up. We just have to be better and it's probably going to be with the same guys that we have."


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