Dungy: We Need To Be Ready To Go

Tony Dungy talked to the media Thursday as the Colts got back to the practice field after two days off. Dungy talked about the challenge the Colts will face against Tennessee, gave some injury updates, talked about the Titans' defensive line play, the decision to use Reggie Wayne in the slot, and more!

"It is good to get back to work. We had the extended time off for our players. I think it helped us get rested up a little bit more. We seemed to have good focus and good energy (Thursday) morning, and hopefully will have a good practice and get ready to go. We're going to need it. These guys are very tough. Looking at them, they're playing as well as anybody that I've seen. They haven't allowed two touchdowns in a game yet this year. They're protecting the football well and they're running and pounding it really well. Chris Johnson looks like the real deal as a running back. They don't have many holes, so we're going to need to be ready to go and we're looking forward to it."

On losing players because of the salary cap:

"On the one hand, you're sad to see guys go, but on the other hand, it is nice to see guys around the league — (Jacksonville LB) Mike Peterson, (Washington LB) Marcus Washington, (San Francisco CB) Walt Harris, and these three guys at Tennessee (CB-Nick Harper, OG-Jake Scott and LB-David Thornton) playing well. I've watched the tape when we're getting ready for Baltimore and getting ready for Houston, and you see them play well. You're sad in a way and you wish they could be here. It's hard to explain, but you're happy for them that they've gotten into a system that fits them and they're playing great."

On a standout player from Tampa that the team couldn't keep:

"Trent Dilfer went and won a Super Bowl. That's just the nature of the game and that's the way it is. You just very rarely see people that play their whole career with one team. It just doesn't happen much more, and it's part of life in the NFL."

On picking up DB-Nick Graham:

"(DB) Keiwan (Ratliff) has really helped us as a punt returner. Nick Graham, we think, can do some other things, especially on special teams and is a young guy that we just wanted to look at."

On who will return punts:

"We'll start with (WR) Pierre (Garcon). He's doing fine. We have some other options, but we'll give him more of an opportunity to get the ball in his hands, too."

On if Monday is a statement game:

"I don't know if it's a statement game, but I know we've been on the other side of the coin a few times in the last couple of years and I've always told our team, ‘Hey, this is the time when you want to put the other guys away, when we have a three-game lead and if we can beat them it's really going to make it unlikely for them to be able to bounce back and win the division. We can take control of things right now.' You always want to do that. For us, where we're sitting, we have to play a good game at some point down the road and prove to ourselves that we can play well against a team that is an upper-echelon team. I don't know if we've played against anybody with a winning record, when we played them, this year. So, this will be the best team that we have played, and we have to show that we can go out there and play."

On if there is some doubt with this team:

"I don't know if it's doubt, but we haven't done it yet. We haven't played the type of game that we need to play to be where we want to go. I think everybody knows we can do that, but we haven't done it yet this year."

On injuries:

"I think we're really at the same point as we were last week. If you had to guess right now, with (RB) Joseph (Addai) (WR) Roy Hall, (DB) Bob Sanders, (DB) Kelvin Hayden, all four of those guys you'd say probably not. We'll see by the end of the week how practice goes, but we're planning on going without them right now."

On if LB-Tyjuan Hagler will have an extended role this week:

"Yes, we'd like to get Tyjuan in more. Right now, our linebackers are playing well. We thought we'd get him in a little bit more last week and it didn't work out that way. But, he's healthy and I'm sure we'll get him going at least on special teams this week."

On if Hagler might play at LB:

"We'll have to look at it. We do want to get him in. He made it through practice and did well, and I think he'll be even that much farther along this week."

On if OT-Tony Ugoh is healthy:

"I think he is. He practiced well last week. We'll look to get him in practice more, too, but I think he's ready to go."

On if OT-Charlie Johnson will start Monday night:

"We'll see how it goes. We always look at it and see what gives us the best opportunity to win and who's healthy and all that. So, we'll take a look at it."

On the challenge of defending Tennessee's running game with two different styles of running backs:

"The different styles is the thing. Chris Johnson is a guy who can get the ball outside and make those homerun plays and make people miss on the edge. LenDale White has been pounding it inside. He has surprisingly quick feet for a big guy. It kind of reminds me of when I was in Tampa and we had (Mike) Alstott and (Warrick) Dunn. It's very similar in that you have two really good players that have different styles and it's almost a different type of attack when each one of them is in there."

On if the defensive game plan changes with Kerry Collins at QB instead of Vince Young:

"It is different. With Vince Young you had to worry about a lot of the option game and the fact that he could keep the ball. We played a lot of man-to-man against them and blitzed a lot, mainly because we wanted to take to ball out of Vince Young's hands fast. He hurt us so often running the ball, so that part is different, but as far as the plays that they run and what they do, it's really the same thing. You have to go out there and play sound and try to handle that running game and try to get them in long-yardage situations."

On Tennessee's DL:

"They're playing great. They are playing with a lot of energy. (DE-Jevon) Kearse and (DE-Kyle) Vanden Bosch really pressure you. They keep coming. They're relentless. (DT) Albert Haynesworth is playing great football. He's been very disruptive inside. He's a big body that is tough to block. Then, they rotate guys in, so they're playing fast and playing with a lot of energy. It's going to be a big challenge to get those guys blocked, and we haven't seen many people do it yet this year."

On where Haynesworth ranks among DTs:

"The way he's played the last two years, he's a Pro-Bowl caliber player and as good as anybody in the league. What you've seen the last two years, I think is what people thought they would see when he came out (from the University of Tennessee). I don't know that there's anybody in the league playing better than he is right now."

n if WR-Reggie Wayne is playing in the slot to create favorable matchups:

"No, it's just that slot receiver has a lot of adjustments and things that he has to do in terms of the passing game. Probably more adjustments than anything else, and he was just a little more comfortable doing it than Gonzo (WR-Anthony Gonzalez). That's why we started him in there. It's been good for us. It's allowed Anthony to play on the left and get honed in. I think Reggie can play anywhere, and it was more an experience thing than anything else, really."

On if Gonzalez is more comfortable outside:

"Yes. It's just that he played outside so much last year and played well. We let Reggie do the adjusting and it's worked out well."

On if playing both positions shows Wayne's versatility:

"I think it speaks more to the complete receiver that he's been and the way that he has an understanding of our whole offense. He's done a great job in there."

On if Wayne balked at moving inside:

"Not really. I think he saw all those balls (former WR-Brandon) Stokley caught in there and saw it wasn't all bad."

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