Tony Dungy: Indy Nearing End of Rough Stretch

Tony Dungy talked to the media about the rough stretch the Colts have worked been working through and how things should improve. He also shared his reaction to Sunday's game against Kansas City, his thoughts on facing Atlanta, the productivity of Joseph Addai, and much more!

On how the defense played...

"It was actually fine. We had some problems early in the run game and just getting that sorted out, but I thought our guys did well. We had one drive where we had a couple of errors, we kind of missed a coverage on a third-down play, we were offsides on a 2nd-and-10 that could have put them in 3rd-and-10, we had a ball that got caught in the end zone, a deep ball on another third down. The Chiefs played pretty conservatively on offense, but I thought we played okay."

On DE-Simeon Rice's performance...

"It's hard to say. He didn't really get a lot of opportunities. Kansas City played a style that was tough. They threw the ball quick, tried to stay in 3rd-and-mediums, and (we) didn't get a lot of chances to rush. So I think so far, so good."

On going for it on 4th-and-1 at the end...

"The 4th-and-1 really wasn't a hard call. When you looked at the whole situation, the positive to doing it was you were going to end the game right there and probably win it with an extra-point-length field goal. The negative, if we hadn't made it, they would have the ball with one timeout at their three-yard line. Chances are they're going to run it three times. If we can play the type of defense we needed to, they would have punted it back to us and we would have probably had it at midfield with a minute to go with another chance to win it. And the chance of losing the game there wasn't great. So, it just wasn't really that hard of a call. Had we been one point down like the week before, it would have been a little tougher."

On if they had not made the fourth down, if he thought the Colts defense could have gotten the ball back for the offense...

"Yes, that's what you have to assume, and at worst you probably go into overtime."

On recording the lowest two rushing totals of the seasons in past weeks...

"We have to make some first downs and convert some third downs and give ourselves chances to run. We did get a lot more single safety and a lot more of them coming down into the box, and if that's the case, then it's always been that we have to throw and force people to double-cover our outside guys. We have to hit some more throws, and I think we will. We never worry about seeing that type of coverage, so I think we'll be fine as we play a little bit better."

On if the rushing totals are because of the wide receivers' injuries and the defenses loading the box up more...

"No, I think it's just of us not playing as well as we can play, whether it's receivers, protection, throws, routes, any of that. It all comes together. When they put eight in the box, we have to throw and we have to be able to throw efficiently. Again, that's not one of the things I worry about too much."

On RB-Joseph Addai getting better each week...

"I think he's starting to relax and just play and let his natural ability take over. He's making some really good run reads, he's making some critical plays when we need them, and he's protecting well. He's doing a lot and playing very well. I think it's more of just getting comfortable in his role."

On K-Adam Vinatieri missed's field goals...

"No, Adam's fine, and he's going to be fine. Again, that's not one that I worry about too much. We never like to not do our job, and Adam's more disappointed than anybody. He's going to be fine, and as I said yesterday, he's about an 88 percent kicker and I think he'll get back to that, and at the end of the year that's probably where he'll be."


Adam Vinateiri
Associated Press

On K-Adam Vinatieri seeming to hook the ball left...

"I'm not a kicking coach, but I do know this: there's nobody I'd want kicking a game-winner for me other than Adam. So again, it's not really one that we're worried about."

On seeing more of kicking the ball out of bounds...

"I hope we don't necessarily punt them out of bounds, but we're directional kicking and punting to try to give our coverage units a little advantage. We're behind the eight-ball a little bit with just our injuries and personnel, and so until we get everybody healthy and ready to go we probably will directional kick more so than we have."

On evaluating the defense from the Kansas City game in the playoffs last year to now...

"We're playing better. We're playing more like I thought we'd be able to play. We've been much better against the run this year than last year. We haven't given up a lot of long passes. We still, I think, can make more things happen. I think we can create some more turnovers than we have, but we're doing a better job of playing our responsibility. I think we're hustling well and playing with good energy. So it's been a good stretch."

On the offense not being in sync vs. Kansas City...

"We just have to play a little bit better. Part of it is our own doing. Kansas City had a good plan. They blitzed us a little more than I thought they would and brought some people and some pressure. We had some situations where we didn't do things quite right. You have a penalty, a dropped ball, a missed assignment here and there, and you don't make first downs. That's kind of what happened to us. We had two really good, sustained drives, and we're used to doing that more often. We have to do the things to limit those mistakes, and it's been hard for us. The injuries aren't an excuse in terms of who's in there, but we just haven't been able to have the practice time that we need, full speed and full scale. And again, that won't happen this week, but I'm confident that once we get through this week, we'll be able to practice like we need to and eliminate some of those errors."

On how you prepare for a game in four days...

"This is more just a gut check and you have to just go and will yourself into winning. We'll have a pretty basic game plan, as they will, and you don't have a lot of time to work. You just have to go and be fundamentally sound and you just have to play harder and better than they do. And they're going to take the same approach. We've had this once before. We did it going to Detroit (in 2004), and we'll take the same type of approach. It won't be anything elaborate. It will be just doing our jobs and trying to execute."

On if he is surprised at the career RB-Warrick Dunn has had...

"I'm not surprised at all. I remember meeting Warrick when he came out of school, and of course I had been down there a year and watched him play. He's a special person and a special individual. I remember meeting him at the combine and the confidence that he had just really struck me. I talked to Coach (Bobby) Bowden and he said, ‘Don't let the size worry you. This guy's a great player and he's going to be great for you.' We took him, and he was. No, I haven't been surprised at all."

On getting through this stretch of the season...

"This stretch, we had the Monday night road game, Sunday road game, then we came back, we had New England and then San Diego, late night, and then now the two games in four days. So we had about a five-week stretch that we knew was going to be tough, and if we can get through that and get ourselves a win this week, then we have a chance to get rested up to get some bodies back to normal. I think we'll be okay coming into December."

On trying to get through a rough stretch...

"I think we're fine, and fortunately we've been through it before. We always say as a group that you have to play your best in November and December. That's when you win. We had the same thing (last year), you could probably go back 10 months and see some of the same descriptions in December after games and how tough it was and how bad it was going to be, and we came out okay. We've had games like this in the past, we've had little stretches, but we just have to get a winning streak started. Right now, we have a one-game winning streak and hopefully we can get it to two, and I think that's the way the team is looking at it."

On being able to have a normal schedule after the Atlanta game...

"It should be a lot easier once we get through this Thanksgiving Day game, and I think guys are pointing to this. We need to have a good performance and go down there and figure out a way to get a win."


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