Dungy: Bye Coming At The Right Time

Tony Dungy took some time to talk to the media Wednesday after the team practiced. See what the Colts coach had to say about the team's bye week, their improvement on special teams, the deflation of the RCA Dome and more!

"I thought (Wednesday's) practice was a good one from our standpoint. What we talked about was really just focusing in on our fundamentals and going back to work and trying to improve. We practiced with no pads. We got a lot done, and I thought we had pretty good focus. So, overall we're happy with it. We want to have one more good practice day (Thursday) and that should do us pretty well for the week."

On if there is an advantage to having the bye week so early:

"I think it's how you look at it. For us, it's probably coming at the right time. We get a chance to do some things and really not prepare for an opponent, but concentrate on straightening some of our situations out. We get a chance to get some guys healed up, which is good. We only had six linemen that were practicing (Wednesday), so it would have been tough in a few positions to have a regular work day. So, it probably is good for us right now. What we want to do is just try to improve and use it that way, and I think it will be good for us."

On how he feels about the team's return coverage:

"Your coverage is, ‘What have you done for me lately?' We covered pretty well in the preseason. We've covered well the first three weeks. Every week is a different challenge. (Jacksonville CB-Brian) Witherspoon was leading the league, or up near the league leaders in punts and kickoffs, and we did a good job covering on Sunday. That's the way it should be every week. We'll have another challenge with Houston, I'm sure."

On Houston's return game:

"They're good returners. They're big strong guys. They run hard, and they broke a couple against us last year. Most of the time, you're facing good returners in this league and that's why you can't relax, you can't have off days, you can't have one off coverage. That's what we have to guard against, but so far, it's been pretty good."

On keeping the team from getting frustrated with the record:

"That's the normal thing that happens when you lose games. You can see it all throughout the league. You have to try to keep your poise and keep your focus, focus in on the things that count and continue to improve. Especially when you haven't lost a lot of games, a lot of times that can take its toll. To me, whether you win or lose, you always have to try to keep things in perspective. Sometimes you win and things aren't really going as well as it appears, and when you lose, it's generally not going that badly. But, you have to concentrate. You have to zero in on your job. That's the most important thing."

On if the offense is close to clicking:

"Yes. That's what happens with a lot of offenses early in the season. You're just a little bit off and you get that timing down better as the year goes on. Normally, we've had it early in the year and we just have been a little bit off on some plays that make a big difference. So, we have to just keep chipping away and we'll get there, but it's showing signs."

On missed opportunities for big plays on offense:

"You're just out of bounds, the ball is just off the guy's hands, you have a guy open but the pressure is there and you just can't quite make that throw so you have to throw the check down. That's the way we've been. We'll start clicking on those."

On Wednesday's RCA Dome deflation:

"I didn't see it. I knew it was coming and we were in meetings (Wednesday). It's different. We'll miss the Dome in a lot of ways. We had a lot of big games in there. At some point, Lucas Oil will feel like it's been there forever and it's always been, but I know most of us that have those games and those times in the Dome, you'll always remember that."

On if tackling has declined in the NFL recently:

"I think it's a combination of a couple of things. Number one, the backs and receivers are probably better. You have faster, more athletic guys. You have bigger guys that are on offense and that comes into play. And then, I think because of rule changes, because of the squad size, because of the salary cap, that you do less hitting and less physical preparation than in the past. So, I think tackling may be not as precise as it's been, but there are more good players on offense causing those misses."

On how much of a difference there is in hitting during practice when he was a player and now:

"When I played in Pittsburgh, we had a lot more hitting than we have now. In San Francisco, it wasn't as different and maybe more similar to what we do now. Our practice schedule is kind of set up the San Francisco way off Bill Walsh and Dennis Green's schedule. And, we have more no-pads days. Friday, when I played, was pretty much a live day that you went through everything full speed. We had pads on and Friday was a full hitting day. We haven't generally done that here on Friday and that's part of it."

On if tackling is a lost art:

"I don't think it's a lost art. I think there are still some good tacklers. It's a combination of both, and I have to give a lot of credit to the offensive guys. There were some good offensive players that made people miss tackles back then, too. I remember seeing (Chicago RB) Gale Sayers break a lot of tackles and make a lot of people miss. We didn't always credit it to bad tackling, and it's the same thing. We were talking about that (Wednesday) as a coaching staff, lamenting the missed tackles that we had, and I remembered a game when I was in Minnesota we had 25 missed tackles against (Detroit RB) Barry Sanders and we had seven on one play. So, I can't say that 12 or 15 or however many we had in the game (vs. Jacksonville) was a world record, for sure."


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