Dungy: They Outplayed Us

Tony Dungy took some time to talk to the media Monday after reviewing the tape of the Bears game. Dungy didn't find a whole lot of positives to take from the game, a fact he related to the media on hand. Find out what the coach thinks the team needs to improve on heading into Sunday's game at Minnesota.

"Looking at the tape, usually on Monday you come in and say ‘Well, after we looked at the tape, it wasn't as bad as we thought,' but it was. This was one of those exceptions. I really have to give a lot of credit to Chicago. They didn't play a whole lot differently than last time we played them. They didn't do too much differently than what we expected, but they executed very well. They played hard, they played sharp, they tackled well, they didn't give up any big plays. They kind of forced us to throw by crowding the line of scrimmage with their linebackers and their nickel back. We threw and we completed balls, but we didn't get our big plays. We had a couple of shots just off the hands of guys, but didn't really get those big plays. We didn't finish our only drive in the red zone, and they stripped one ball out which they do quite well. It was just one of those days where they outplayed us.

"On special teams, they played a little faster than we did. We had a couple of penalties on kickoff returns that caused us to start back inside our 20. We kicked away from (KR-Devin) Hester a lot of the time and that let them start at the 35-, 40-yard line, so they won the field-position battle. They ran the ball well against us. Even when you take out the long run, which was a missed tackle and a good run on (RB-Matt) Forte's part, but even then they were running a lot on 2nd-and-10 and coming up to 3rd-and-3 rather than 3rd-and-7 or 8. That put them in a lot of short third-down situations that they converted. They just played sharp ball and we didn't. It's disappointing. There's really no excuse for it. It's a game that you can't get back so we have to move forward at this point and get ready for Minnesota, but it's certainly a disappointing way to start our home season."

On QB Peyton Manning's performance Sunday:

"It was not his best game. I'm sure, like all of us, he wanted to play better. But, it certainly wasn't one person. As I said last night, you couldn't put this on, ‘Well, if Peyton had played in the preseason and been a little sharper, we would've won the game.' We had a lot of areas that we needed to sharpen up to be able to win that game."

On how the interior OL played:

"They did pretty well, actually. Chicago crowded the line of scrimmage and showed us some blitz looks. They didn't come all that often, but when they did, we picked it up well. I think they pass protected well inside and they did their job."

On how he decided to start Jamey Richard at C:

"It was just a function of how we practiced and how guys went in the rotation. We had to make some adjustments early. Steve (Justice) played a lot more guard early. Jamey did fine. He has the right temperament for it. All three of those guys — Jamey, Steve Justice and Mike (Pollak) — are going to be good players for us. I think they'll all play a lot before the season's over."

On what he saw on Matt Forte's TD run:

"We were in a passing front and they ran a trap and broke the line of scrimmage. We had two safeties, Antoine (Bethea) and Bob Sanders just have to squeeze it and make it an eight-or nine-yard gain. Forte made a move and got outside of Antoine, which can't happen in a cover two look. The safeties have to keep all the runs inside of them. It was a good play call on their part to get a seven or eight-yard gain and pick up the first down. Defensively, you say that can't go 50 yards."

On Chicago's success on 3rd down:

"They didn't pick up many 3rd-and-longs. They got to 3rd-and-medium quite a bit. They did a good job on 2nd down. We had a lot of 2nd-and-9s and 2nd-and-10s that ended up getting to 3rd-and-3 or 3rd-and-4. I thought that was the best part of what they did. They stayed out of long-yardage situations. They ended up with 16 3rd downs and they converted 10 of them. They got a couple of 3rd-and-6s, 3rd-and-7s, but there were a lot of 3rd-and-2s and 3s that we couldn't get stopped."

On the play call on 4th-and-1 early in the 4th quarter:

"That was probably my fault. I suggested something that we don't normally do. We should have just done what we do. We had a couple of options there, thought we had the run in that look and didn't make it. That was definitely a big play. You can always, in hindsight, second-guess yourself and that was one of the things that ended up being a big play and turning the game."

On what he would do if he had it over again:

"I'd probably stay out of it and let (Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) make the call we practiced. We had a couple of thoughts. It was three-quarters of a yard. I think always as a head coach, you feel like you can make it. We were two scores down at that point, at midfield, and we felt good about making it."

On the interior DL play:

"Not as well as we need to play. A lot of it was the cutback running. A lot of it wasn't the line. I thought we got very good pressure when they did throw, but in terms of handling the running game we had some errors and some things we have to be a little bit sharper on."

On his reaction when a big player on another team is injured:

"You hate to see anybody go down. I was watching when they showed (Tom Brady's hit) and you felt like, ‘That looks like a knee injury.' You're just hopeful that maybe it'll be like Dallas' (Clark) where it's not as bad as it appears. We were at that point with Dallas two years ago and four or five days later it looked like he was going to be able to go and that is what happened. It's tough. You just hate to see that with anyone, one of your players or anybody in the league."

On if losing a QB is more hurtful to a team:

"You have to have the approach, and knowing those coaches (in New England and Tennessee), they will, that you have to find ways to win. One guy, as good as he is, is not indispensible. Everybody has to rally. The greatest example was (St. Louis QB) Trent Green a few years back. Kurt Warner comes in and they go to the Super Bowl and win it. I think that's the approach that you have to take and most teams do take, even when it is a quarterback."

On if he has looked at film on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson:

"I have looked at some film, yes I have. I don't know where to put him (in comparison to other RBs). (San Diego RB LaDainian) Tomlinson, I don't know if there's anybody else you can put in that category. He looks special and he gives them some spark. They have a very good offensive line, so it's going to be a big test for us."

On advantages to playing an opponent the week after they play on Monday night:

"I don't think it's an advantage for us, but it's certainly a disadvantage for them having to travel, play late, get back early Tuesday morning. They have a day less preparation than us. I think we have our normal routine. I guess if you looked at it being a disadvantage for them, I guess that's an advantage for us. I don't know."

On if there was any extra anticipation before Sunday's game:

"It was a nice atmosphere. We knew it was going to be. That was kind of the disappointing thing, to have all that going for us and have a great crowd opening night and not play well. That was very, very tough. It's a great atmosphere and it's going to be a great home field."

On if Lucas Oil Stadium was as loud as the RCA Dome:

"It was. In the first half when we were in it, it was very loud. We didn't give our fans a chance to stay loud in the second half, but it's going to be fine."

On things the team needs to improve on:

"Just overall sharpness. I think the physical aspect of it, we probably didn't get as much hitting in this training camp. Probably, our starters didn't get as much hitting in the pre-season games. I think we have to get back to that, just being fundamentally sound in the contact part of it."


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