Talkin' With Tony: August 19

Tony Dungy talked to the media after the Colts held their first practice at Lucas Oil Stadium Tuesday. Find out from Dungy wahat his thoughts are on the new stadium, how Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney looked in their first practice of the preseason, what Jim Irsay had to say to the team and more!

"Well, we got accomplished everything that we wanted to do today. The number one thing was to go down to the stadium, learn our way around and see it. And I'm glad we did so the first time wasn't on Sunday because it took a little while to take everything in. I think our players and our staff came away with the impression that it's first-class all the way, exciting. (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay was there and really talked about what it meant to him to go into the new stadium. It was a great experience. I think our fans are going to be very pleased. We had heard all the good comments from people that had been down over the weekend and seeing it for yourself, it rang true. So that was good. We got a little practice in down there and we'll start tomorrow to get ready for Buffalo."

On eyes looking up and around the stadium:

"There were a lot of eyes looking at a lot of different things—the video boards, the advertising boards, the structure, the locker room, everything. There wasn't anything that you saw that you said, ‘Boy, I wish they had done this better,' or ‘they could have done that.' It's just a well done place and I think it's going to be a great home for us."

On any similarities to opening Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay:

"That part is the same. You have a little pride in the fact that you're going into a new place. You have gratitude to the city, that they built you a home that's on a par with anybody in the NFL. So from that standpoint you are, you're very thankful, very appreciative. You can see the difference from what you came from to what you're going into, and it's a great feeling."

On Peyton Manning's rehabilitation process:

"I kind of take the approach, when they say they're ready to go, they'll be back. They told me the other day Bob (Sanders) and Dwight (Freeney) were going to go today. They actually went and did fine. So at some point Peyton and the rest of our guys will. When that is we'll see."

On guaranteeing Peyton Manning will play September 7:

"I don't think we can guarantee that. I don't know that any of those guys will be out there on the 7th. So that's what we're trying to do right now is develop a 53-man roster and be ready for anything. My sense is he will, but we'll see what happens."

On any surprises on the injury front:

"No, we have our four defensive linemen that are going to miss quite a bit of practice time this week, and probably will hold them out of the game. Other than that I think we had most of our guys that were expected to go, went. Bob Sanders and Dwight did really well. Dwight had about four rushes at the end of practice in the two-minute drill that looked like very similar to what I used to see back in the day as they say."

On Indianapolis native Lucious Newsom passing away:

"I just heard that actually on the way back from the stadium. And that's one that's a sad day for us in Indianapolis. Lucious Newsom did so much for this city, so much that was kind of unknown and unspoken; but had a lot of things that he did for the city that I don't even know if you can put it in the same context with a football team or anything that we do. Just a very, very sad day."

On the team prayer at the stadium:

"That's something that I think people do with their houses, their churches, that type of thing. That was (Colts Owner and CEO) Jim (Irsay)'s idea. He asked Jeff Saturday to pray just about our taking the field and taking the stadium. I thought it was unique. It was very, very touching. I thought our players appreciated it, and it was very, very special. That's one of the things that Jim wanted to do. He called me yesterday and asked what time we were going to practice, said he wanted to address the team, and he did. He talked about coming from Memorial Stadium, here, and the steps that happened and thanking the people that had gone into this whole process of getting a stadium. He just felt like it would be the right thing for us to do, to have a prayer, a blessing over the facility. It was something I really appreciated."

On practicing with the window and roof open:

"We got the window open, roof open. We didn't practice with the roof closed, but we had the window open and closed trying to see if that would make a difference. It's fabulous and I think there will be times when we'll have it open. It didn't seem to have much effect on the balls that we kicked or threw today."


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