Dungy: We've Been In Tougher Situations

Tony Dungy needed to address the team after the Colts decided to part ways with Ed Johnson this week. He also had to get his squad re-focused for Sunday's game at Minnesota. Find out what's on Dungy's mind as the team prepares for the Vikings.

"We're on day two of preparing for the Vikings. I felt we had a decent afternoon (Wednesday). We started off a little sluggish in practice and then we got rolling and got much crisper. Our team periods to end the day were very good, so hopefully we can pick up where that left off. We're going to need to be very sharp to go up there and get ourselves a win."

On if he felt it was necessary to address the team concerning DT Ed Johnson's situation:

"I did tell them. We're kind of a family here and we had a family member that had a tough time. We had to make a decision on what to do. I did tell them what went into our thought process and why and then we can put it behind us and move forward. We have a lot of guys in the locker room and a lot of the people on the staff that are close to Ed. You hate to miss any guys, but that's where we are and now we're just going to move forward."

On what he said to the team:

"I'd prefer not to go into exactly what we talked about in the team situation. But, I said, ‘First of all we don't want any arrests. We don't want any misconduct, but we're going to evaluate every situation and the totality of it and make decisions.' That's what we did with Ed's. I explained some of the things to the team that went into it that are probably best left within the team. Not that they were going to dispute anything, I just wanted them to have the information."

On personnel moves stemming from Johnson being cut:

"We signed La Juan Ramsey, a nose tackle. He's here today and ready to practice. We'll probably start the game with Keyunta (Dawson) and Eric Foster and then we have Raheem Brock and Josh Thomas that can play inside. We will adjust and be fine."

On DEs moving inside to play DT:

"Nobody looks forward to it, but that's what you have to do in these kinds of situations. You have to be able to make things happen. We've had a lot tougher situations than this. We went to San Diego last year with not many players. We've had quite a few of these situations and usually the guys step up, whether it's (RB) James Mungro in Philadelphia (in 2002) or anyone else. You go forward and you expect to win. We have high expectations and whoever is in there we think will play well."

On C Jeff Saturday:

"Jeff practiced (Wednesday). He wasn't 100 percent, but made it through and took all of his turns. We'll see how it goes (Thursday) and if he's a little more comfortable. To put a percentage on it right now, I don't know. We're not going to play him if he doesn't feel good and feel like he can go out there and do a good job, but we'll see."

On if he has a better feeling for TE Dallas Clark's availability for Sunday's game:

"Not really. Dallas did not practice (Wednesday). I'm not sure what he's going to be able to do (Thursday). If he's not able to practice (Thursday), I would doubt that we'd play him, but we'll see."

On if the decision on Johnson sends a message:

"If there was a message sent, hopefully it was sent to our players and anybody who pays attention to us that shows what we're about. We don't want those type of distractions, we don't want those types of things. Again, it was an individual decision, but we've always talked about the way we're going to carry ourselves, the way we're going to handle things. It wasn't done with the idea of sending a message, but if there was a message sent I think it was a good one."

On players ultimately being responsible for their actions:

"You still have to remember that you're dealing with young guys and you're dealing with lifestyles that aren't mine. I have no false reality to think that everybody's going to be like I am, but we do have certain responsibilities. We have responsibilities to our teammates during the season and we have responsibilities to the people that watch us. I personally think we have young kids that watch our players and I think we need to send the right type of message and be the right type of role models. Are there going to be situations that come up that you wish wouldn't happen? Sure there are, but we'll make the decisions based on, as I said, the totality of everything that goes into the incident. We made a decision that this was best for our football team right now. We'll try to make the decisions that are best for our team in every situation. Hopefully nothing else comes up, but if it does, we'll go through the process the same way."

On if this situation keeps the team from bringing in other players with past problems:

"I think you always look at it. Every situation is different. You look at what the problems are, you talk to the player, you talk to people that are close to him, people that you respect that know him, and you make a decision and go forward. The tough part of making the decision is the idea of grace and second chances and helping people and you do want to do that. You do that to a certain extent, but still at the end of the day, it's what's best for the football team and what do we want people to think about our team. We do want people to think that we're a class organization."

On working in a league with no guaranteed contracts:

"Well, I think it would be tougher if you had guaranteed contracts because then decisions like this, you'd have to make them financially and there'd be a lot more pressure on (Owner and CEO) Jim Irsay if the coach went to him and said, ‘Hey, here's what I want to do.' Fortunately, we were all able to get on the same page. Jim and (Team President) Bill (Polian) and I talked about it and we were unanimous in our decision. But, yes, you're right, we didn't have all those financial ramifications, so in a way that's probably good. It was in this situation."

On if Saturday being out puts more pressure on QB Peyton Manning to help the young interior linemen:

"It may put a little bit more on Peyton, things that Jeff would do just routinely. Peyton may have to do a little bit more with (C) Jamey (Richard). Jamey studied and did a good job. Fortunately, these two weeks especially, the defenses are so much like ours, there's not a lot of extra communication that we have to do up there. It's not like you're playing a New England, for instance, that's going to give you a lot of different fronts and a lot of different people in the game to identify. From that standpoint, it probably is not as much of an adjustment as it could be."

On if he expects to see a Vikings defense similar to his:

"I would think so. Chicago did a few things a little bit differently, but Minnesota's played very good defense all last year and they played pretty well, other than maybe two plays, against Green Bay. I think they're going to be the type of team that does what they do well."

On if he has simulated crowd noise at practice:

"We have, and we'll continue to do that (Thursday and Friday). It'll be a noisy atmosphere with a good team that needs a win as much as we do, so it'll be a tough environment."


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