Dungy: We Haven't Played To Our Strength Yet

Tony Dungy talked to the media before the Colts practiced Thursday afternoon. See what he had to say about the Colts defense and playing to their strengths, the injury situation at cornerback and elsewhere, and more inside!

On how much Cover 2 defense the team plays:

"We're playing a lot less now because we really haven't been ahead a lot. We are getting more runs and we're getting people that are really running the football. When we've gotten ahead and we're able to sit back and play Cover 2, it's been good for us, but those have been few and far between this year. So, we have to get off to better starts, see if we can get out in front and get people in throwing situations."

On if the roster is built to play Cover 2:

"We haven't played to our strength yet this year. We feel like you have to be able to win any kind of game. We've been in some close slugfests and we've played against running teams that want to run the ball. This team is no different. They're probably going to get their 40 runs in during the course of the game, so we have to play accordingly."

On if the team can play zone even with a safety close to the line of scrimmage:

"Yes, we do. We try to keep everything in front of us and still limit the big plays, but a lot of it is dependent on how the other team is playing."

On the versatility of OT-Charlie Johnson:

"It's really rare where a guy can play both tackles. Usually you are looking for a right tackle or a left tackle, but for a guy to play both tackles and play guard and (OL Coach) Howard (Mudd) has worked him some at snapping the ball as an emergency center and he plays tight end on the goal line. He can do a lot of things, and that's been really helpful to us."

On military personnel serving in Iraq:

"I talk to a lot of people over in Iraq. Not talk to them, but send them letters and emails. It's very, very humbling to me, but encouraging in the same light, that they're saying, ‘One of the thrills we have is watching you guys or hearing about the games,' and it just doesn't even register to us. I pass those on to our guys a lot."

On not having big DTs:

"We have young guys in there that are working hard, but we don't have those overly big guys. We had two 300 pounders that aren't here now, and we have missed that. In the last couple of years with Anthony (McFarland) getting hurt and Ed Johnson and Quinn (Pitcock), we've lost three really good players. Other people have to step up, and Eric Foster is doing a good job, and so is Keyunta (Dawson). We are getting our new guys, LaJuan (Ramsey) and Dan(iel Muir), acclimated. Everybody has different strengths. It still comes down to being able to play with quickness and aggressiveness and play in your gap and you're going to be fine."

On if the size of DTs affects the pass defense as well as the run:

"Yes, and the rotation, too. We're using different guys in there. It's forced us to use Raheem (Brock) and Josh Thomas even in there some. You're better off when you have eight, nine guys that you can play in there. So, we've lost a little bit of our depth, but it's going to start to come back."

On the decision to release RB-Justin Forsett:

"It was really just for the corners. With Kelvin (Hayden) definitely not playing (vs. Baltimore), and earlier in the week we felt Marlin (Jackson) may not, we were really down to two healthy corners. So, we just had to get some guys in. Keiwan (Ratliff) can return the punts. With injuries we had at other positions, a returner was just kind of a luxury at that point."

On how quickly CB-Nick Graham can be acclimated:

"It's going to take a while to get him ready to go and to be able to do everything, so we're just training him at a few things and where he can fit in some of the nickel situations. Then, we'll get him going, but it takes a while."

On DT-Eric Foster:

"Eric played pretty well (at Houston). In that type of running game and the system they had, he can be active because there weren't a lot of double teams and he was using his quickness and playing against single blocks. This week is totally different. This week is a lot of double-team blocking and power running. He'll have to bow up a little bit. It doesn't play to his strengths as much, so it may be more of the bigger guys this week. We'll see."

On how big of a challenge the OL faces this week:

"Our whole line, and everybody on offense, recognizing different fronts and the different packages they have in. Is it three down linemen? Two down linemen? Four down linemen? Where are the blitzers coming from? (QB) Peyton (Manning) tries to help (C) Jeff (Saturday) a little bit, but he has to then call it to get it to everyone and everybody has to hear it and respond. Baltimore gives you a lot of problems that way. Jeff's done a great job in the past against them, but there's a lot going on for him."

On if opposing offenses use quick passes against the defense:

"They do, and that's what we have to be ready to handle. People are running the ball and throwing quick against us and we have to be able to defend that. We have to be able to stop those 3rd-and-4's. They're trying to stay out of 3rd-and-longs, and that's where we have to be better."

On how much cushion the CBs give opposing WRs:

"It really depends on the corner and the coverage. People know that's the way we've played for a long time, not give up big plays, make you be consistent and march all the way down the field. In the past we've done a pretty good job, this year, in the red zone. Last week we didn't and we gave up some touchdowns down there. A lot of it becomes a function of everything, the offense and the defense. When you're ahead 10-0, if you can hold them to field goals and continue to score, you get ahead. That's what we had done against Houston in the past in those situations and Sunday we didn't."

On LB-Philip Wheeler:

"(LB) Clint Session actually got nicked up a little bit (at Houston), so Philip got a chance to play and did well. We've settled him in at SAM linebacker and he's doing a good job."


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