Dungy: It's Knowing What You're In Store For

Colts head coach Tony Dungy talks to the media about the difficulty of playing in Baltimore, what makes the Ravens' defense so tough, the satisfaction of this season, and much more!

General comments...

"We are looking forward to preparing for this game. We got a chance to see Baltimore on Monday night and saw what really makes them tough. They played New England very physical, a very strong running game, tough defense, all of the things we have seen the last four or five times we've played these guys. So we have to get ready to go. It's going to be one of those very, very tough, physical games. We have to understand what we're in for, and I think our team does."

On riding into the stadium at Baltimore last season...

"It was pretty different. I had not remembered it being that way. The first time we played, we played a night game the year before, so you had the crowd both times. But it was different. We're sitting there a day and a half and all the coverage of the moving vans and the stories, everything you saw on TV, every news channel had it, so it was something that was really played up. And again, for most of our guys, it wasn't something they could relate to because most of them didn't understand the history behind it. But I'm sure if you lived there, it's a difficult legacy to let go of."

On going into the playoff game last year and what is different this year...

"The playoffs obviously are special and it's a situation where you know if you lose, you're out. So there's a lot riding on it. We went there opening day two years ago, and it was a raucous atmosphere and same type of defense, and a real tough, low-scoring game in the first half at that one. I think it's going to be similar. They're playing obviously not at the 13-3 level, but they're doing a lot of the same things that that 13-3 team did, so that's what we have to prepare for."

On if Baltimore is as tough a place to play as there is...

"It's pretty tough. I've only been there twice, but it's definitely a real conducive stadium for crowd noise and that type of thing. They have a great atmosphere, and their defense is so tough, it's hard to score points there. So I would say yes, it's one of the tougher places you go."

On why the Colts seem to play so well at tough places to play like Kansas City, New England, Denver and Baltimore...

"I think it's just knowing what you're in store for, not having many surprises, knowing how tough it's going to be and preparing for it. Our guys do a good job. Our offense usually limits their mistakes and we don't get overwhelmed and have a lot of bad stuff happen to us on offense. That helps you when you go on the road."

On if he thinks the emotion regarding Indianapolis from Baltimore fans will get less and less as the games wear on...

"I hope so. You hope it's something that just plays out and you move on. I'm sure it has to be very emotional seeing the horseshoe for people that grew up there and remember the (John) Unitas era. I remember it from afar, but it's different, I'm sure. But again, for most of the players involved, the coaches involved, it's hard to really put a handle on it. But you do hope it just becomes two teams playing at some point."


Kyle Boller
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On QB-Kyle Boller...

"He's played pretty well the last three weeks. It's a tougher time when you're going in not as the starter and going in subbing for an injured guy. He's done well. He's had them in games, had them in position to win. They are throwing some different things than they did with (Steve) McNair, and he's done some things really, really well."

On what makes their defense so tough, and tough to prepare for...

"They have a lot of things that they do. They have interchangeable parts, linemen who can drop, linebackers and DBs who can rush, they play a lot of different coverages. So they give you a tremendous amount of looks. You just have to be patient. You can't get flustered if you are kicking field goals like we were last year, or you have some punts. You just can't try to get that big play and turn the ball over."

On Baltimore playing New England and Indianapolis on back-to-back weeks, and if he has ever had a schedule like that...

"It's always tough. Every time you go out, you're playing against good teams. We had the stretch with New England and then had to go to San Diego, so it's the same type of deal. They were in first place last year (in the AFC North), we're in first place (in the AFC South), so you're playing the first place schedule. You're going to play good teams, and you never know how it's going to come up."

On the so-called blueprint to beating New England, and if there is such a thing or if it is personnel...

"There is no blueprint to beat anybody, really. You have to do what you do, and I thought that's what (Baltimore) did. They played very physical on defense, they mixed up their looks. They ran the ball a lot and ran it well, and hit some passes off the play action. But that's what Baltimore is, and they played their game and had a chance to win. And usually, when you play your game, whatever that is, you have a chance to win no matter who you play."

On if this is one of his more satisfying seasons starting 10-2 despite so many injuries, etc....

"It's been satisfying in a lot of ways because people talk about the post-Super Bowl letdown, or what's going to happen or everybody's gunning for you, that type of thing. I thought our guys from the minute we came back to work were very focused on doing what we always do and trying to get the same results. We've worked hard, we've had a lot of young guys come through for us, and that's always satisfying to see those guys develop, and the defensive line and guys like Kenton Keith and Anthony Gonzalez on offense. So it has been, it's been a lot of fun. This has been a great team to coach."

On if any of the Colts rookies have surprised him...

"I don't think in terms of their ability, but in terms of maybe maturing and understanding what the NFL is and playing good, solid football and growing in their roles, we've had a number of guys that are doing really well. And you expect it, but some of the guys have played better than we could have hoped. Ed Johnson has been a starter all of the way through and really hasn't hit any type of rookie wall and is playing better now than he did at the beginning of the year. So when you see things like that, it's pretty gratifying."


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