Talkin' With Tony: July 29

Tony Dungy talked to the media in between practices Tuesday. The Colts coach talked about how the defense is progressing, the battle for wide receiver spots, and of course, Peyton Manning's recovery time. Get all the latest in Dungy's own words inside!

On the day's first practice:

"We got some good work in this morning. The weather continues to cooperate for us. We were able to work some of our red-zone offense and defense and get a lot of running in with the no-pads practice. I'm very pleased with the way we are working and the effort level."

On if it's too early to tell if the team is progressing like he wants:

"It's constant evaluation and we are. We're progressing in a lot of ways. I think we are learning what to do a little bit more each day. The energy level and the commitment to doing things the coaches ask and to studying. Our mistakes are getting cut down each day, so that's what you look for at this time."

On the keys to success for the defense this season:

"Probably just playing together and realizing that we don't have to do anything spectacular. We just have to really focus in on our assignments and we seem to be showing signs of continuing with that this year. Our young guys on defense are growing. We've had fewer and fewer mistakes every day and I think we are going to have another very fast, physical defensive team."

On if the offensive injuries make the defense a key to the season:

"I think defense always is (a key). I'm very confident our offense is going to put up points and move the ball as we always have, but to be a championship team, you have to play strong defense. There are going to be games when you've got to make things happen to win it and I think our guys found that out last year and they feel like they are going to be able to do the same thing (this year).

On LB Clint Session:

"Clint is really an explosive player. He plays with a lot of energy. He's not always in the exact right place, but he can make things happen. As he's been here longer, he's really zeroing in on his assignments, being more of a consistent player. He has the capability of making big plays, big hits and he's got some explosive power that we like. We're looking forward to seeing him. We've moved him over to the strong side now that Tyjuan (Hagler) is going to be out for a while and he's adapted pretty well."

On the progress of OT Tony Ugoh:

"I think Tony, like most of our second-year guys, is just so much more comfortable that he knows what's going on and that everything is not new, everything's not kind of last-minute in his thought process. He's playing more relaxed and that's allowing him to just let his athletic ability show. He's doing well."

On WR Courtney Roby:

"Courtney is a guy who's really working hard. You see the speed and the quickness. What he's done since he's been here is really caught the ball better and better every week. That's probably a function of being more relaxed and understanding what his assignments are. He's doing just fine and we want to give him some shots and look at him in the return game as well."

On the battle for the last spots at WR:

"It's going to be pretty hectic. We've got Marvin (Harrison), Reggie (Wayne) and Anthony (Gonzalez) and then you've got a lot of guys that do different things that are doing some good things. Roy Hall, Onrea Jones has been with us, Devin Aromashodu and those guys kind of know the ropes. Then you've got guys like Courtney (Roby), Pierre Garcon and Sam Giguere that have a lot of talent and they are just trying to find their way. It's going to be limited spots and everybody does something a little different; special teams, returning, covering kicks, playing in the slot, playing outside. And we will see who does the most for us."

On his thoughts on playing five preseason games:

"I don't mind five games at all. I think we can get some things done. We just structure our playing time. What we are going to use this game for is to see which of our rookies really merit getting that extra time in practice and extra time in the next few games, so this will be a thing where you say ‘Hey, you've had eight, nine days to get in the swing of things and now let's see who can go out there and can make things happen and carry it over into the game.' Those will be the guys that get the majority of the work next week."

On if the veterans will see a little time on Sunday:

"We want to get going, especially with our offense. We are going to want to get that going and make (QB) Jim (Sorgi) feel comfortable. Defensively, we would like to get our regular group out there and get established that this is how we play whenever we hit the field. The veterans will see some time depending on how effective they are. That's kind of the incentive - the better you play, the faster you come out."

On having a chance to bookend the season by being the first team and the last team on the field in the NFL this season:

"That's always a thought. It's an honor to open the season, whether it's in the regular season as we did last year or in the pre-season this year. We are excited about it and we want to put our best foot forward."

On if the team will have a chance to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

"We will. We are going to take all of our rookies and we made it optional for the veterans. We have a number of veterans who have signed up to go. I'm going to go and a number of the coaches are going to go. I haven't been since 1998 and I'm looking forward to seeing the new exhibits since I've been there and seeing the guys I know that are going in this year — Art Monk, Darrell Green, Emmitt Thomas and Andre Tippett, guys that I've watched through my career."

On QB Peyton Manning's status:

"Peyton is doing fine. He's following the doctor's orders, which is all we can ask for and so far he's progressing normally and he's doing well."

On where QB Peyton Manning is:

"That's the ‘Where's Waldo' question. Peyton is doing fine and he is here, he's immobilized. We don't want a lot of people trying to see him, that's why we are not saying exactly where he is, but he's here in town. "

On a time table for QB Peyton Manning to observe practice:

"There's not a time frame on that. We were just told four to six weeks from the original onset. We're watching (TE) Tom Santi's progress and he's a little bit ahead of him. Our big thing is we're not going to rush him out here to try to get him back for week three or week four of the preseason. When he's ready to go, he'll be out and hopefully he does get some pre-season time in, but we are looking at the long haul."

On if WR Marvin Harrison will play in Canton:

"Marvin is full go, as is everybody that is practicing. (DT) Dwight (Freeney) is lobbying to be put on that full-go unit and I watched him run the bags today. He did very well. (DB) Bob Sanders did well. It's just a matter of time for those guys, but right now we are thinking that our six PUP guys are the guys that are going to be out (for the game)."


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