Dungy: We Understand What We Have To Do

With injury concerns mounting once again, Tony Dungy spent most of Friday's meeting with the press discussing the health of the team and what the possibilities are for Sunday. Find out what to expect in the secondary, how Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes will share the carries, the status of Reggie Wayne, and more!

On DB-Dante Hughes:

"He has a strained foot. We expect him to practice (Friday) and see how he does. We'll find out today. We're anticipating everything's fine, but we rested him (Thursday)."

On who will cover New England's slot receiver:

"It probably depends on how all of these guys do. I don't know yet."

On if that is an important defensive position:

"It is, yes. For us, it is. We play a lot of zone coverage. They have (WR) Wes Welker in there who is their leading receiver, so it is a critical spot. We've worked a lot of guys in there, it seems like a different guy on every day as we're trying to rest some of our guys, but we'll see. We'll probably have a better idea after (Friday)'s practice."

On if DB-Nick Graham will play there:

"Nick will play, but he'll be outside. Keiwan Ratliff has practiced out there, Tim Jennings, Dante Hughes, Antoine Bethea, so we've worked a lot of different guys in there just seeing what our best combination is going to be. Melvin (Bullitt) has worked in there, too."

On if it is hard to find someone to play that position:

"I told the team today one of the things I admire about New England is what they do when they get in situations like that. We were as hot as you could be in '04 (divisional playoffs) and they had everybody hurt and (WR) Troy Brown played in there and they beat us. It's no different. Whoever gives you the best chance and the best group. We've done it with the offensive line and we've done it in a lot of different places, and that's what it has to be. We'll see what the best group is, and whoever plays in there will do a good job."

On if he expects New England to play three WRs:

"That's what they do. That's their best set-up, with Welker working in the slot. I would imagine that's what we'll get, but with them you never know."

On WR-Reggie Wayne:

"Reggie should be OK. We expect him to do a little work (Friday), too."

On OT-Dan Federkeil:

"He's actually doing better and recovered. We've worked him in the rotation, and this will probably be a week where he's back and working in the offensive line rotation."

On LB-Freddy Keiaho:

"Freddy practiced Wednesday, the first day, and got a little sorer than we had hoped, so we rested him (Thursday) and we'll see how he bounces back. Some of the other guys, like Reggie, we rested them early and have them practicing (Friday), so we'll see. (LB) Tyjuan (Hagler) has practiced in there and done well, so if Freddy's not 100 percent, Tyjuan will probably start, but we'll see how Freddy does today."

On how RB-Joseph Addai and DB-Bob Sanders practiced:

"They did fine. Joseph was actually better (Thursday) than he was Wednesday, and he was really encouraged. Bob did fine both days."

On who will start at RB:

"Joseph will start if he's ready to go and 100 percent, but Dom(inic Rhodes) is going to get a lot of carries and continue to do a good job for us either way. If Joe's not 100 percent, then we'll start Dom."

On if the team is looking to bringing in another DB:

"I don't know who there is, and Keiwan (Ratliff) is doing a good job for us so far. We'll look down the road, but there's probably not anybody sitting out there who is going to be a Pro-Bowl-caliber guy. Usually, you stick with the guys you know and have done it for you."

On if Sanders and Pittsburgh SS-Troy Polamalu have revolutionized the position:

"Not really. Those guys are just rare. They're hard to find. You always want those types of guys, and there have probably been guys like that. (Former San Francisco/Oakland/NY Jets DB) Ronnie Lott was that when he played and (former Seattle DB) Kenny Easley, guys that I can remember from 20, 25 years ago, but they just don't come along that often, guys that can run and play half-field coverage and cover tight ends man-to-man, cover receivers and hit and be physical. I wouldn't say they've revolutionized it, they've just done it better than anybody else in a while."

On if Lott and Easley came down in the box for run defense:

"They did at times, yes, and Easley especially. Donnie Shell played that way for me (in Pittsburgh) and that was in the ‘80s. So, he would be disappointed to think that people think they've revolutionized that position now. That's what safeties did, and some guys just did it better than others. (Former Houston/Washington DB) Kenny Houston, there were guys who could do it, but they always went to the Pro Bowls, and they were always the guys you were looking for and just couldn't find that many of them."

On if it was unusual not to see Wayne practice:

"Yes. Reggie has not missed very much practice time in the seven years I've been here. That was a little unusual, but he thinks he'll be able to go and he's a guy that has lined up for us just about every week."

On why Wayne didn't practice:

"He was just sore. I think had we had a normal work week, he probably would have practiced on Thursday after a Sunday game and would have just taken one day off. With the rushed week, it was better to rest him both days. He'll do a little something (Friday), and I think be ready to go."

On how practice has been with all the injuries:

"We have practiced well. I think our guys understand what we have to do. New England is kind of like Baltimore. They force you to be sharp in practice because you're practicing a lot of different things, a lot of different looks, and we have been pretty mentally sharp and focused."

Click here for Friday's injury report.


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