Dungy: I Think It Was The Right Call

Tony Dungy was plenty steamed at the officials after they seemingly gave the Jaguars new life on a pass-interference penalty late in the game, but he was singing a different tune Monday. See what the Colts coach had to say about that call, what he didn't say about some other ones and what the Colts need to focus on as they head into their bye week.

"Looking at our game, there wasn't a lot to be excited about and very, very disappointing to not play better than that in a big game, a game that we needed in our division and the second home game in a row where we just really didn't play well. We have to go back to the basics, get back to our fundamentals and see if we can sharpen up during this bye week and get ready for Houston.

"Jacksonville gives us a little bit of a problem. They have two really good backs. We played a lot of eight-man front, where you have an extra guy up there and our eighth man had trouble tackling those two backs. They made a lot of things happen when we had unblocked players. They did a lot of good cut-back running and we really didn't control it that well. We didn't get the ball back for our offense. Offensively, we moved it pretty well, but then we had a couple of drives where we needed to get points and didn't and had some little, small errors, too, on offense. All in all, it just worked out that we didn't play well enough to win. Special-teams wise, I thought we held our own. They had very, very good special-teams units and we covered our kickoffs real well. Most of our punts, we covered well. That phase of it was pretty good, but offensively and defensively we didn't get the job done."

On how many missed tackles the team had:

"I didn't count them. Those backs make you miss. They had a lot of missed tackles in the first two games that they played, but they were four- and five-yard runs. Those guys are good backs. I thought we relaxed. We didn't hustle as well as we normally do. Something that we stressed all week was that these guys were going to make some people miss and you had to fly and hustle to the ball. In the second half, especially, we didn't really do that."

On how he explains the lack of hustle:

"It's not characteristic of us and it's something we have to get back to. We have to go to work on that, the fundamentals of things, and not spend so much time worrying about who's not in the lineup, and just do what we do and what we're supposed to do and I think we'll be OK."

On if the lessons learned in the 2006 season apply to stopping the run this year:

"The big thing is you just have to do what you are supposed to do. You have to trust the system. We'll see some things when we watched the tape where we got a little frantic, things happened, a play breaks here and we get concerned about it and we don't play things right. We just have to gear into what we are supposed to do and play hard and usually good things will happen to you."

n if the lack of forced turnovers is hurting the defense:

"That falls into a lot of things. It falls into playing hard, playing until the whistle blows, making things happen, hitting well, swarming, all of those things. We don't have a lot of turnovers yet on defense and that's something we have to get going. A lot of that is just a mindset and playing extremely hard."

On if the team needs to make personnel changes on defense:

"Not really, no. I don't know if we have any type of salary-cap room to have anyone in the picture, but I don't think it's going to be a matter of somebody coming in from the outside that's going to save this thing. I think it's going to be our guys playing a little bit better and a little bit sharper, us coaching a little bit better and getting back to our fundamentals. It's easy to say, ‘Change this person,' or ‘Change this,' or ‘Do this differently.' We have to get back to doing what we do best and playing a little bit harder and a little sharper."

On if seven players making their first career starts is a high number for this early in the season:

"It depends. We've had injuries, and Jacksonville had a bunch of injuries. They played some guys on their offensive line and they got the job done. That's part of it. That's always part of developing your 53-man team."

On if guys get too excited making their first career start:

"No, I don't know if it's that. We just have to be sharp and not have the errors. Little things can make a difference. We had some errors where we're just not exactly where we're supposed to be on certain things and we have to get that corrected."

On if he had received any explanation from the NFL on calls made during the game:

"I got an explanation on the last (pass-interference) call on (LB) Freddy (Keiaho). They said it was a good call. They said it was pass interference because he ran into the intended receiver. It's just one of those unfortunate things. He's looking at his man and happened to run into the guy who was the intended receiver. That one they said it was a good call. The rest of them, I can't comment on because you can only comment on the good calls."

On if he agrees with the league's ruling:

"Yes. It's one of those unfortunate things. I think had I been on the other side, I would have wanted a pass-interference call, too. The funny thing about it, if they would have thrown to the guy who was open, the tight end, then they probably would have called offensive pass interference because (WR) Reggie Williams would have been viewed as running into Freddy. But, because they threw it to Reggie Williams, then it's defensive pass interference. It's just one of those tough situations. I think it was the right call, and we still had a couple of chances to stop them after that."

On if the team has had to choose between having a second TE or a third WR on the field because of the young OL:

"Not really. We had our three-wide group in quite a bit and those guys made some plays. We had some opportunities to make some more that we didn't quite make. Jacksonville made more than we did, but I think, offensively, we're pretty close to being where we need to be in terms of personnel."

n the defense not allowing many points compared to the amount of yards given up:

"We have played a little bit better in the red zone. I'm not exactly sure the reason why, but we haven't gotten the ball in good field position for our offense enough. We haven't created enough turnovers and we haven't created enough punts. Those are things we have to do better on defense."

On looking up in the standings in September:

"We don't really look too much at the standings right now. We never did look at the standings when we were rolling well. We concentrated on us playing and improving every week, and that's what we have to do. We have to play better. If we do, we'll be in good shape in November and December. If we don't, if we play the same way we're playing now, we will be behind. But, I think we can play better and, if we do, we'll start winning games."

On if giving up big plays is hurting the defense:

"That's something that we never want to do. When we are playing well, we don't generally give up a lot of big plays. We didn't get the job done on third down in the second half. There wasn't much in that second half that was really sharp and good enough."

On if it is hard to get TE-Dallas Clark and WR-Anthony Gonzalez on the field at the same time:

"(Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) really looks at it, whether it's going to be a three-wide game or a two-tight ends game. A lot of that depends on the defense and how we're going. The bottom line is, if we get enough plays then all the guys play enough. When we don't get enough plays, when we don't stop them on defense or we don't make first downs when we're out there on offense, then nobody's out there enough."

On the team's focus during the bye week:

"We just have to get sharp and kind of go back to a training-camp mentality where we just focus in on our assignments and what we do and focus in on how we play. If we do that, I think we're going to be fine. We'll get a lot of suggestions about what we need to do, but for the most part, when you get in these situations if you gear down, do less and do it well, you're usually going to be in pretty good shape."

On if the team has enough depth on the DL:

"We do. We just have to get some of those young guys going. We just have to play better. That's what we have and I think it's going to be good enough."

On the way the team ran the ball vs. Jacksonville:

"We ran better. Part of that was getting (C) Jeff (Saturday) and (TE) Dallas (Clark) back, but part of it was just being on our assignments and doing things a little sharper no matter who was in there, and we did. We ran the ball at six yards per carry, which is pretty good."

On if the stretch play is important to the offense:

"It is. It doesn't necessarily help the runs more, but it helps the play-action passes."

On if he is happy with the pass rush:

"We didn't get a lot of pressure on them. They used a lot of seven-man protection. They chipped a lot. They played a very smart game. They ran the ball, they ran on 2nd-and-longs a lot, they threw quick, they used maximum protection and threw very, very safe passes and did a good job containing us."

On how much C-Jeff Saturday helps settle the OL:

"It always helps to have your veteran guys out there. I think having Jeff out there playing at home, where we could hear and make the calls, and playing against an opponent that we're familiar with, I think all that helped us a little bit."

On how OG-Jamey Richard played vs. Jacksonville:

"I think Jamey did OK. He played very, very well at center those first two games and had to slide over after (OG) Dan (Federkeil) went out. All in all, I think he did a pretty good job."

On how the offense is playing:

"We're just not as sharp as we need to be, probably like the whole team. We had some things go well. We play well in spurts. We missed more passes, for whatever reason, than we normally do. We got our running game going against a good run defense this past week, so that was good to see. Overall, we're not used to punting as much as we have punted and we've played in spurts, I think."

On dropped passes:

"I think everybody's pressing, trying to make plays. It just goes with the territory. Again, we just have to settle down and do what we're supposed to do and we'll be in good shape. We had one point there where we had the lead and had (WR) Marvin (Harrison) on the deep ball and couldn't hit that one. (WR) Reggie (Wayne) had one and dropped it. Then, we have a false start. So, instead of being deep down in their territory, we're at 3rd-and-15. That's kind of how we've been at times. The first drive was sharp, the last drive was sharp, but in between we weren't. We had one 3rd-and-14, I think, we make and Gonzo (WR-Anthony Gonzalez) ends up running backwards a little bit. Things like that are just things that we're not used to doing. That's what we have to sharpen up, just do the things we're supposed to do."

On if he would handle the last drive differently to leave less time on the clock:

"Well, you'd like to. That's always the goal, but the thing is you have to score. They're playing defense that dictates certain things. We threw two passes and didn't complete them and didn't take any time off, but eventually we scored. That's what you have to do. You don't want to take the time off and not score. We got the lead and (Jacksonville) had the ball at their 20, and our defense really needs to stop them at that point. That's what has to happen."

On if he counts on this team to respond:

"You have to count on having that type of veteran leadership. What we have to do as coaches is not hit the panic button and understand what we have to get fixed. I think we'll do that. That's been one of the things our team has done well over the years is focus in on the things that are really important. If we do that and get those cleared up, we'll be fine."


Colts Blitz Top Stories