Dungy: We Have Our Work Cut Out For Us

Head coach Tony Dungy looks ahead to what lies before the Colts and talks to the media about the Colts' running game, the Houston Texans, how much rest players will get before the playoffs, the Pro Bowl, and much more!

General comments...

"Looking at this game and looking at Houston, I see a team that really is doing some impressive things. Their last couple of games playing against Tampa, who is in the middle of a playoff run, and against Denver, who needed it to stay in the playoff hunt, and they really outplayed both of those teams at home. So, I think a little bit different team than we played the first time around. Andre Johnson was not healthy when we played them, Ron Dayne didn't play, so they have a little bit more offensive weaponry. Defensively, they've been playing very strong. I think four of the last six teams they've held to 17 points or less. We'll have our work cut out for us. We'll want to improve more than anything else. That's probably the theme for the week, is to play a little bit better than we played last week, continue to get good practices in. We're going to approach the game that way, that everybody is going to play, and we're going to try to win the ballgame."

On his take on the running game and what can be done to improve it...

"We have to be a little bit sharper, and that's one of the things that we've talked about, improving. We've had a couple of teams that have played us to take away the run and played a lot of people in the box, pressured us, that kind of thing. The Oakland game, we really liked the odds of throwing the football against man-to-man coverage. We didn't move it in the red zone as well as we would like, but we just have to be a little sharper at everything we do, including the running game."

On if the lack of running game is an issue of RB-Joseph Addai wearing down...

"No, not at all, not at all. If we get some looks to run, I think we'll run effectively. Houston is a tough team to run on, we'll have to see how they play us, but I think it's more of us just being sharp and doing what we should do on every play."

On LB-Freddy Keiaho having a productive game at Oakland, and if he as played pretty well all year...

"He has. He missed a little time there, and that probably hurt his development, but in the last two or three weeks, he has played very sharp, very active. He did a really good job on Sunday."

On WR-Devin Aromashodu...

"Devin's one of those guys we want to play a little bit more in the next two weeks because he very well could be in there a lot for us in the playoffs. He's coming along. He was off to a great start last spring. I thought he was probably our most improved player during the offseason workouts, got the hamstring injury and we had to release him. So he missed that early part of the season with us, but he came back and really had good recall of what was going on and made a couple of big catches for us the other day. He has some things that we can work with, so hopefully we can get him a little more activity in there and some more catches and continue to groove him….He has great speed and strength. He's done some good things in college as a kickoff returner. That's what originally caught our eye. We may see him back on some of the returns as well."

On how much rest is the right amount...

"Rest is good, and you want to be fresh. I thought we were fresh in the playoffs last year even though we played all the way. It really is hard to figure, and it's not something that you can always count on. We have a chance to do this, so I think probably the biggest thing is not playing guys who are at risk, not rushing guys back into the lineup. We'll play our guys this week I would imagine pretty much like we did San Diego a couple of years ago. Then we'll see what we need to do and we'll reassess it again for the following week."

On if he thinks the layoff in 2005 had an affect on the team and the outcome vs. Pittsburgh....

"I really don't. I think whatever you do, if you win, it was the right thing to do, and it was smart and it was wonderful. And if you do the exact same thing and you lose, then it's the reason why you lost. No, I don't look back and second-guess, and I don't think I would have done it any differently given where we were and how we had played those first 13 games. This is a little different stretch for us. We have a lot more people hurt, we've had a lot more lineup changes, we have a lot more people that could likely be playing than we did that year. So I think it's different and every year probably is a little bit different."


RB Joseph Addai
Bob Levey/Getty Images

On Houston beating the Colts last year and if wins like that mean something to teams trying to build for the next year...

"No question about it, it was a game that we needed to win. It wasn't like this year where if they beat us, people say, ‘Well, the Colts didn't need it.' We needed that win, and they beat us. We went to the Super Bowl, and I think they had to look at it and say, ‘Hey, this is the type of team we have, this is what we're capable of.' So I think any time you win in those situations it does your team a lot of good."

On QB-Sage Rosenfels filling in for Matt Schaub...

"He's done a good job. I was impressed with Schaub the first time we played them down there. Sage has come in and played these last few games and haven't really missed a beat offensively. He's getting the ball to the right guys and playing with a lot of poise. They moved the ball well, and he's been a big part of it."

On DE-Mario Williams coming around and being a better pick than most thought this time last year...

"I said that last year when he got picked. I remember Joe Greene wasn't a real popular pick. There were a lot of offensive players that people wanted to be taken, and Joe didn't have a national presence at that time. But it ended up being a good pick. Mario is doing some excellent things for them. He's getting better and better. He's never going to score a lot of touchdowns, that kind of thing, but I think between he and (Amobi) Okoye, they have two pretty good cornerstones to build around. If I was a young coach, I would love to have those two guys."

On it being dangerous to have a let-down the next couple of weeks giving division opponents confidence playing against and with you...

"No question, that's something against teams that you're going to play all of the time, you don't want to ever let them get the feel that they can handle you. So we do want to come out and play well. They're playing to have a winning season, to have the best record in the history of the team, so they're going to be motivated, excited. We have to be the same way."

On the Pro Bowl selections of RB-Joseph Addai, QB-Peyton Manning, DB-Bob Sanders, C-Jeff Saturday and WR-Reggie Wayne...

"We're excited for the guys that made it, happy for them. I think we're like every team, you feel like you have some guys who would have deserved to go, but you can't have a 200-person team. Some guys are going to get left out, some very deserving guys, and I think our division had some deserving guys. We have some guys that had great years on our team. We're playing Mario Willliams, he didn't get selected, and Fred Taylor and (David) Garrard, some guys at Tennessee. We know those guys because we see them all the time and we know how we'll they've played. It's just a shame that everyone can't go, but we're definitely happy for the five guys that went, and well-deserved."

On having only one defensive Pro Bowler despite ranking No. 2 in overall defense, and if he thinks they may get more in the future...

"I think that's still a little hard for people to really believe that we have a good defense. That's what happens, and it usually is a couple of years later. I think it's hard for people around the country to believe Jacksonville has a really good team and Fred Taylor's a really good back. It's just perception a lot of times, and again, it's just hard to take everybody."


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