Dungy: Time Away Is Important

Tony Dungy talked to the media Thursday after the team began a three-day weekend away from football. Dungy talked about what the team accomplished during its bye week, how the team's new defensive tackles are progressing, the importance of getting away from football from time to time, and more!

On if this was a good week of practice:

"It really was, from my standpoint. We got to take a break from preparing for another team and really just look at some things that we need to do better, get some of our younger guys in, get them involved with the communication on defense and the timing on offense and really just stress the things that are important to us. It was two very good days. I thought we concentrated well."

On if the staff still scouts during the bye week:

"We do. We look at the first three games and try to break down all the things that went well and what didn't go well. It's usually the same old story, the things you practice a lot and you do a lot you do well, and maybe some of the things that you try to do that were special or different, you didn't do as well. That's what we have to do, just eliminate the breakdowns and build on the things that we do well. So, that was a big part of our week, looking at that."

On if looking at film this week was different:

"Not really. You see the same things. We just had more, probably, little breakdowns that caused us to be 1-2 instead of 3-0. But, you see the same things and it just reinforces what you always believed, that if you're doing the little things very well, you're winning games and it's usually is those little things that cause you to stumble when you do lose."

On wedge busting and being in the wedge:

"I've never been in the wedge, so I don't know what it looks like from that standpoint. One of the things I learned very early on, my first day in camp with (former Pittsburgh) Coach (Chuck) Noll was, you don't want to bust the wedge, you want to slither through it, and that ‘wedge buster' was a misnomer, that if you went down to bust the wedge you wouldn't stay around a long time. Your goal was to somehow get through the wedge and get to the ball carrier. There are times when you can't do anything, you have to hold your ground and take on that blocker and keep one arm or the other free and you have to go down there and hit him. Especially with smaller guys, making that movement and trying to get through is more important. It's not as dynamic or not something the fans are going to notice, but there are a lot of guys who are exceptional at working their way through or around a wedge and making the tackle. That's probably, in longevity, a better way to go."

On DT-Darrell Reid's ability with the wedge:

"Darrell has been exceptional. He's been a very, very good wedge player. He has good feet and a good ability to adjust and he can really deliver a blow. And, he has that determination at the other end to get down and make the tackle. Because of how well he's played for us, he's gotten double-teamed. A lot of people used to let him just run to the wedge, and now he's getting more blocks before he gets there. But, he's been a very effective cover man for us."

On if good players normally get double-teamed on kickoffs:

"The really good players get a lot of attention. You have different ways and different blocking schemes trying to slow them down, not let them know who's blocking them, and Darrell has gotten his share of that."

On if he expects special teams guys to step up when a double team happens:

"You do, yes. Part of it is trying to figure out how they're blocking and what they're doing and trying to take advantage of that. But, you can't count on one guy. If that's all there is, the other team is going to zero in and take him away. When they do, other people have to step up."

On the impact of DTs Daniel Muir and LaJuan Ramsey:

"They'll be better for us. This bye week was important for them, to be able to just strip away all the looking at another team and what type of offense we're playing and really just focus in on their learning curve of what we do. It was a good week for them. They made a lot of strides, and I think both of them are going to be able to help us."

On if it's easier for players to get away from football during the bye week because of the team's record:

"I don't think it's that part of it. I would urge them to get away from it no matter what and relax and enjoy it. When we just broke, I talked to our team about (Tampa Bay K) Matt Bryant. Matt was with us one game (in 2004). He kicked one game and we have a lot of guys on the team that know him, but many guys who didn't. He had a three-month-old boy that didn't wake up (Wednesday morning). And, I just urged our guys, ‘Hey, take these three days. You don't get them during the season very often. Be around your family. Be around people you love. Enjoy them. Don't take them for granted.' Whether we're 3-0 or 0-3, this is three days for them to really enjoy with their families."


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