Dungy: More Games are Lost Than Won

On Monday, Colts head coach Tony Dungy talked about what the team must do to be ready for the final stretch of the season, shared his thoughts on the Jaguars and their players like Fred Taylor and David Garrard, the play of middle linebacker Gary Brackett and more.

General comments...

"I had fun watching football over the weekend, caught some exciting college football and professional football. You can see when you get a chance to kick back like that and watch it why people do enjoy it and how much fun it is. I think I also saw what you normally see during an NFL weekend, that more games are lost than are won. And it just puts more of a premium as we come into December of trying to do things to make sure you don't lose games and that you function well. We were on that path a little bit in our last game, where in the first quarter we did some of those things—lining up offsides, protections, late-hit penalties, things like that. So we have to continue to work to eliminate that. Hopefully, we can have some good practices, three really good practices this week and be on our way to start December."

On the success of the tight ends...

"They're doing a lot for us, the tight ends. The fact that the receivers have been not as healthy, that probably helps on the field a little bit more. We're using them more in passing situations, but they've also been in the offense more, and they understand it better. They're playing at a really high level…It's a function of who's there and what defenses are trying to do. The fact that we haven't had some of our wide guys has put them more in the spotlight."

On a few players playing better in Atlanta after a rough stretch...

"I think our whole team is at that point where we aren't as sharp as we need to be because we haven't been together and haven't been practicing as much and as well as we need to. And again, hopefully we can get that straightened out in December."

On the linebackers' play despite injuries and lack of continuity...

"We're playing pretty well, and under the circumstances, I think doing an excellent job. We've had different guys in different spots, different guys working in the nickel package, guys working without practicing that much and not playing together as a unit. But the results have been good. We're tackling well, and I think we're playing very physical there. The more we can get so that the guys who are playing are actually practicing, I think the better we're going to be."

On LB Gary Brackett...

"He's held it (the linebacking corps) together. He's been the one constant for us in there. He's playing with a lot of different guys and playing his position well, but helping the other players out, other linebackers. With that in mind, probably his best year."

On fighting through the last stretch...

"You always want to be playing your best football in December and January, and if you can do that, really the first part of the year you're putting yourself in position. Last year we got off to a great start, (but) we weren't playing our best football in November and December. We got a little bit healthier in January and started playing better and it turned out well for us. I think our team really feels like we're sitting at 9-2 and we haven't probably played our best football maybe since the Jacksonville game the first time (October 22)."


Jaguars RB Fred Taylor
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

On RB-Fred Taylor...

"I remember the first time I saw Fred Taylor was at their workout at the University of Florida. Obviously I knew who he was. We had drafted Reidel Anthony who went to school with Fred. He had been a great player at Florida. I remember Tom Coughlin just following him around the whole workout, never left him. Every place they went, to the vertical jump, he was right by him watching him the whole way. You could tell he had his eyes on him. Fred went there and played exceptionally well for them. His rookie year he made a long run against us under two minutes to go to win the game. He just has had a lot of explosive big plays and long runs over the course of his career. He just went over 10,000 yards, which is a great accomplishment for a back. He's been a special player for them."

On dropped passes...

"If you look at the last couple of weeks, (we had) some dropped balls that could have really helped us. Last week, we line up offsides twice on defense, we have a late-hit penalty that gives them 15 more yards on a kickoff return that gives them a field goal, we have a facemask penalty that negates a touchdown — a lot of things that any one of them can lose you a championship. So we have to really work to eliminate those, dropped balls included. And again, part of that goes back to not being able to practice the way we normally practice. One of our advantages, why I think we have played well in December is we have a nice indoor facility. We can get good practices in, we can continue to work at a high level even through December when the weather is getting bad in some places. So that's what we have to do, I think, get back to really practicing sharply so we eliminate all of those things, the mental mistakes, those things that can really cost you."

On the Jacksonville game in October...

"That was probably the best game we've played since that time. I think we went down there knowing it was going to be tough, that it was going to be physical, that we would have to play our best. Defensively, we got some big fourth-down stops early in the game. Offensively, we were able to control the ball and score. All in all, it was probably our best game and we're going to have to play that way again. They seem to be playing a little bit better since (David) Garrard has gotten back."

On David Garrard not having thrown an interception this season...

"I think they do a good job of understanding what their team is all about. It's about running and field position and making the big plays when they're available. And if they don't turn the ball over, they have a good enough defense that they're going to be tough to score on. I think David understands that really well. He's an accurate guy and he's able to run and move and make some first downs on third down running around. So he doesn't feel like he has to force balls in on third down, and a lot of times, that's where your interceptions come."


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