Talkin' With Tony: August 6

Tony Dungy spoke with the media after the team's morning practice at training camp Wednesday. The coach talked about rookie lineman Mike Pollak, safety Antoine Bethea, the injuries to the linebackers, wide receiver Courtney Roby, the number of Big 10 players on the team, and more.

On if OL Mike Pollak is as versatile as he thought:

"Mike is doing well. He's played mostly at right guard, but he has the capability to play center or left guard, and if he can play any of those three inside positions it's going to help us in the long run. He's doing everything we had hoped."

On when LB Gary Brackett will return to the field:

"Gary probably will not return this week. He's doing well. It looks like Gary and (LB) Clint (Session) will both probably be ready for Monday following the Carolina game."

On how having five healthy linebackers affects the defense:

"It gives us the opportunity to work on our nickel and dime packages a little bit more, and that's the way we are taking this week. We'll get (CBs) Kelvin (Hayden), Marlin (Jackson) and (S) Matt Giordano work down in the linebacker positions in the box. You just have to adjust and take advantage of situations. Just like we're getting (QB) Jim Sorgi a lot more work, we'll get some of those guys more work and it will pay off in the long run."

On the performance of DE Marcus Howard against the Redskins:

"Marcus did some good things. He had 19 plays, most of which were in pass-rushing situations, and he was very productive. He had two sacks and a hit on the quarterback. It was a good debut for him. He was playing against a veteran offensive lineman, so I think his sense of what it's going to be like was good, but he had a good start."

On if he plans to flip the playing time of QBS Jared Lorenzen and Quinn Gray:

"Probably so. That's what our plan was. We'll see how they do. We'll try to give them equal time."

On how he judges the performance of quarterbacks:

"When you look at practice, you look at the decision making, the whole thing. It's not just the end result of what happens out there on the field on a game day. Game day certainly matters, and that's one thing that was impressive about Quinn. He did some things and got out of the pocket and made things happen and helped us. But you look at the whole thing."

On the progression of S Antoine Bethea:

"Antoine has been a really good player for us, especially last year. He's got very good speed for a safety, he's physical, but he understands what we're doing and makes a lot of the calls for us. He's been a very dependable player. To have a guy back there that has ball skills, but is also a good tackler really helps you."

On if DL Raheem Brock is making a good transition back to defensive end:

"We're asking him to do a lot of things and he's playing end on first and second down and moves inside on nickel and dime and passing situations so he's been keeping his foot in both places. That's not easy, but he's doing a good job of it."

On the amount of Big 10 players he has on the team:

"We do have a lot of Big 10 guys. I don't know if that's coincidence or because the head coach has a little bias towards the best football league in the country. I'm not sure which is the case. We've had good success with our Big 10 guys. We like them from anywhere, we really don't have any preference, but we've had a lot of good players from there."

On how WR Courtney Roby is playing:

"Courtney is doing fine. He's got some experience. He's not like a new rookie. He's done well on special teams. I think he understands what it takes to make the team; that you've got to be versatile and you've got to fill in other places and he plays hard, day in and day out, so it's great so far."

On what makes the preseason important:

"Well, they're important because you're trying to lead up to get yourself to be the best you can be on opening day. Some guys can do that without playing a lot in the games. Not many guys can do it without a lot of practice, but you play the hand that you're dealt. Sometimes you're not able to (practice or play) and you still have to go out and perform. Ideally, there's a certain amount of practice and a certain amount of game time that you'd love to have."


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