Dungy: The Season Will Tell The Story

Tony Dungy had some time to talk to the media before practice Thursday, and he had plenty to say about those that think Marvin Harrison has lost a step. See what the coach had to say about Harrison, the rest of the receivers, the penalties the Colts have been called for this season and more!

On if WR Marvin Harrison is still trying to come back completely from his injury or if he is all the way back:

"What I've seen, he looks to me to be running and practicing, doing everything the way he did before. I'd say he's in pretty good shape. I've really stopped thinking about him or worrying about him at this point."

On people convinced Harrison has lost something:

"I probably wouldn't think that would be any DBs out there. I don't know who that would be, but I guess the season will tell the story."

On if the media is too quick to write off an older player:

"I think that is conventional wisdom, and with most people it would be. There aren't very many 36-year-old guys, but there are some guys, (Dallas WR) Terrell Owens, I think, is the same age and doing some pretty good things. Jerry Rice did some pretty good things at that point. I remember the Cincinnati Bengals getting rid of Charlie Joiner because they thought his best games were behind him, and then he played about 15 more years in San Diego. I think there are special guys and different guys. Conventional wisdom would tell you that there aren't going to be many 30-plus wide receivers, but I'd be willing to bet Marvin's going to be one of them."

On the advantages to swapping WRs Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez between the slot and outside positions:

"They each do different things well. A lot of times it's matchups and who's playing, inside defenders and what we want to do and what patterns we want to throw. There's a lot that goes into it, but both of them know both positions and it works out pretty well."

On how Gonzalez is progressing:

"He's doing about what we thought he would do. He has some skills, quickness in and out of cuts, he has good hands, all those things that you look for. With most guys, it's really assimilating into this offense and learning what to do and adjustments and how to run the same route against different coverages that you see and where to expect the ball. Those are the kinds of things that he is picking up on that are really helping him. He's going to be a good receiver for us."

On if Gonzalez is a tough critic on himself:

"I think all of our receivers are that way. They want to play perfect football and I think he is right in that mode of a guy who really wants to be very good."

On physical play at Minnesota:

"Well, I would say there was a lot of contact that wasn't called. We may be getting into that mode again where we just don't want to have too many penalties. If that's the way they are going to be called, we'll have to adjust.

"I think we're just at the point where we're trying to cut down on penalties. Coaches are trying to coach so you don't get them and I think we're trying to officiate that way, too. We have to adjust some things that we do. If there aren't going to be a lot of penalties called, we just have to get used to it."

On sending tapes to the league for officiating purposes:

"We do. That's what you try to get clarified. What is going to be called and what isn't? If you get situations like that and they say, ‘It should be called and the guy just missed it,' you can live with that. But, if they say, ‘No, we're really not going to call that a penalty,' then that's when you have to adjust your thinking and what you're teaching. That's why you send them in and try to learn from it."

On if he thinks people would be surprised to know that his team is the shortest, lightest and third-youngest in the NFL:

"They probably wouldn't be surprised that we're the shortest and the lightest. It's not something that we planned, but it just kind of worked out that way. I think some people might be surprised that we're the third-youngest, but we've always been that way. We have a lot of young players because of our salary cap situation. I'm not surprised, but I don't know if people in general would be."

On the penalty on LB Buster Davis:

"Buster was back off the line. Usually they're going to give you a warning if you're close, and he felt it wasn't close enough to merit a warming. We just have to be sharper. That's the kind of penalty you really don't like to see as a coach. We have to get that cleared up.

"It was far enough off to call. I wouldn't complain about it."

On if OG Jamey Richard moves to LG with Jeff Saturday's return:

"I don't know yet, we'll see. He and (C) Steve (Justice) will practice there. Once we're certain that Jeff's going to go, we'll probably make a decision at guard. Right now, I think we would be leaning towards Steve because Jamey still might play center."

On if more pressure affects QBs:

"It's not anticipating hits, you just throw faster. It's just human nature. That's the whole idea behind playing defense. That's how we play. You don't necessarily have to sack the quarterback. If he can throw faster or has to throw faster, or in his mind has to throw faster, that helps your coverage. That has happened to us and there's nothing you can do about it. It's just human nature. You don't want to take sacks, you don't want to have your arm hit and cause a bad throw or an interception that way, so you throw faster. That's where we have to get our protection squared away so we don't get in that mode. Those guys are working on it and they'll do that."

On QB Peyton Manning standing in the pocket and making throws late in the game with pressure around him:

"That's what good quarterbacks do. That's why I said after the game that that might have been one of the best performances from him I've seen, because he was in that subconscious mode of getting rid of the ball quicker and throwing faster and he was still accurate and made the big throws we needed in the fourth quarter. That's pretty special."

On teams willing to make Manning beat them this season:

"It's been different for us. We have to continue to make some of those big plays. We hadn't made them. We had some available in the Bears' game and we were just off. That's a strategy that you can use, ‘Hey, we're going to crowd the line, our defensive backs are going to play underneath and you're going to get five or six chances up field and you won't make them.' Reggie (Wayne) made two and Gonzo (Anthony Gonzalez) made one and that was really the difference in the (Minnesota) game. It is a different strategy that we're seeing and if people continue to do that, we have to make them pay."

On only getting so many chances for big plays:

"We have to take advantage of them. Reggie had one in the first game that he ended up catching out of bounds. He had one right off his hands in the back of the end zone. Marvin (Harrison) had one off his hand. Those are balls that we normally hit and if people continue to play us like that, we have to hit those."

On how TE Tom Santi has returned from his injury:

"Tom's actually doing pretty well. He got a little taste of the action, actually played quite a bit last week, and did a good job for the most part. He's getting more comfortable with everything that goes on, the audibles. That's probably the biggest thing for him, how fast things happen and how fast the plays change. You have a lot of different things that happen to you at tight end. We may not change the pass route, but we change the protection and that changes you; we change the blocking scheme at the line of scrimmage, and that's what he's adjusting to, but he's doing well."


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