Dungy: We Have To Concentrate

Tony Dungy took some time out from preparations for the Cleveland game to talk about the Browns, the Colts two-minute drills, the so-called "pick" plays the Colts have been running. Find out what Dungy had to say, and which Colt will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!

"We're getting ready for the Browns. Our defensive coaches had to spend a little extra time (Wednesday) looking at (Cleveland QB) Derek Anderson and trying to get ready for that. That seems to be the news, that he's going to be playing. We know what to expect going in there. Cleveland has a good football team, somewhat like San Diego, a little deceptive record, but they beat Buffalo a couple of weeks ago when Buffalo was really in the hunt in first place in their division, and they beat the Giants and gave them their only loss. The last time we played them was a 13-6 game here, and they did a good job of really holding our offense down. That's what we're anticipating, a team that's going to play their best. They have some weaponry and we have some things that we have to improve on from the San Diego game if we want to come out of there with a win. With this type of week, Thanksgiving week where you're a little disrupted schedule wise, we have to really concentrate and get a lot of work done (Wednesday), and I think we will."

On if the fact that Cleveland has some big wins this year helps the team focus after coming through a four-game stretch of New England, Pittsburgh, Houston and San Diego:

"I think that's what we try to do in every one of these games, starting with Tennessee on, is look at the team and really evaluate them and not really look at the perception of the team or where they were in the race but the things that we had to do to win that game and the things that were going to be tough. We did that with all of those guys, and we are doing the same thing with Cleveland. You look at their Pro Bowl players and guys that they have in certain spots that can give you trouble, (WR) Josh Cribbs in the return game, all the things that you really have to be sharp on. I think if our guys just watch the tape, they'll have an understanding of what we're going to be dealing with."

On what makes the Colts so good in the final two minutes:

"It's something we work on a lot. Fortunately, we have veteran people in a lot of those areas that are critical. We have veteran guys on defense making the calls, guys who can get pressure and get after the quarterback. Offensively, we work on a lot and we've had the same guys for a number of years functioning, so that really helps. Usually, especially on offense, it's a situation where you usually have more time than you think you have, and if you can just slow down and not rush and not make errors yourself, you have a chance to be successful. I think that's what our group does pretty well."

On if he has always practiced the two-minute drill:

"Yes, ever since I've really been in coaching. When I got with Denny Green (in Minnesota), that was the first place that we practiced it a lot, and Denny just felt that that was where you won and lost games. Of course, he had been with (former San Francisco QB-Joe) Montana and (former San Francisco Head Coach) Bill Walsh, and that's where I learned that you have more time than you think. If you can just slow down your thought process, you're going to be in good shape, and we have a quarterback that does that really well and our guys are tuned in to it. In 1992, back with Denny, is when we first started practicing it a lot, and it made you think about situations on defense, too, and what you want to do and how you want to use the clock and the whole thing. So, you think through a lot of those processes. I have to admit that measurement, re-look at the spot where you get about five minutes to look over one play, you don't usually get that. That was a little unusual situation, but if you've talked about a lot of those things beforehand and you've done them, that helps you."

On RB-Dominic Rhode's spike after his TD catch:

"That's some hard ground in the end zone there in San Diego. They've always had hard end zones, so that helps the ball go up a little bit more. He was excited. Dominic plays with a lot of energy and that's one thing that rubs off on the rest of the guys and one of the reasons why I think our guys really like him. He's excited out there and it shows."

On Cleveland QB-Derek Anderson:

"It's just kind of like our offense was, a little bit off early on. When you look at the Giants game, and you know what type of defense the Giants have, he carved them up pretty good and you saw that Pro-Bowl-level play. Other games you don't see it. We're preparing for the guy that played against the Giants and played against Jacksonville and put points up on two real good defenses. We'll see what happens, but he's obviously a great player. They have some great weaponry, and we're going to have to be ready."

On the Colts special teams play:

"It's been the best stretch we've had, I think, if we can get our return units juiced up a little bit more. We've had some situations with T.J. (Rushing) and Terrence (Wilkins) where we've returned a little bit better than we are now, but in terms of kicking the ball, making big kicks when we need them, our coverage unit is really doing a good job on good return guys. It probably is the best stretch we've had."

On the Colts improving 3rd-down efficiency recently:

"The biggest thing is we've avoided the catastrophes on offense. We haven't had as many penalties, we haven't had the first- and second-down sacks, so you stay in 3rd-and-5, 3rd-and-6 and that helps your percentages. We've been pretty good on 3rd-and-longs, the ones that we've had, we've been able to convert our share. More than anything it's been staying out of 3rd-and-11, 3rd-and-14 that's helped us, and that's been just overall sharpness of everyone."

On if increasing 3rd-down efficiency gives you more plays:

"It does, it definitely does. We had the one 3rd-and-1 that we didn't make (at San Diego), and that can cost you the ball game. That was one we needed to put the game away. When you make those third downs, you get three more plays if you aren't turning the ball over. That does help. A lack of turnovers and converting those third downs has caused the time of possession and number of plays to go in our favor."

On if he is surprised by how well C-Jamey Richard has played this season:

"It's probably a little surprising. When we drafted Jamey, we thought he was a good player. You think Buffalo is maybe not the level of competition and it's going to take him a while to adjust, but it didn't. From day one, he felt very confident in the huddle, and he's done a good job. Probably, just from that background, maybe it's a little bit surprising, but right now we just think of him as the next center."

On Richard having to block another big DT:

"The guy last week was really a handful, and he has the same type of player this week, a big, strong guy who tees off and then gets off the ball. We're going to have to do some things to slow (Cleveland DT) Shaun Rogers down and help Jamey out, but he held his own against (San Diego DT-Jamal) Williams really well."

On if the Colts had to call timeouts at San Diego because of a lack of communication:

"You're on the road and the defenses are giving you a lot of different packages and one that we misidentified and we had to take a timeout. Another one, we were changing the play and the clock ran down. Nothing more out of the ordinary, I think, than normal. Those are delicate situations, and you want to make sure you're right."

On if defensive players are allowed to come across the line of scrimmage before the play:

"I guess they are until we snap the ball. They can't be unabated to the quarterback, so they can't be teeing off coming across, but I guess what we have to do is if they're going to lean across is snap the ball. I've not seen it, either. I don't know that it helps them, because I don't know that they know what they're listening to, but we'll put that in our repertoire where we walk around and snap the ball. But, yes, it was a little unusual."

On why WR-Reggie Wayne was not interfering with the San Diego DB on the touchdown pass to WR-Anthony Gonzalez:

"There is no offensive pass interference on the line of scrimmage. So, if the defensive player is in the press position and he gets bumped within a yard of the line of scrimmage, there's no offensive pass interference. And, if you're being contacted by a defender, there's no offensive pass interference. So, if two guys are running a route and their both in press coverage, then whatever happens, happens. But, an offensive player who's unimpeded can not run into another defensive player. So, Reggie's being pressed by (San Diego CB-Antonio) Cromartie and being jammed up and he runs into the guy who's covering Gonzo, it's OK. We ran that same play against New England. We've ran it a lot. It's a play you run against press coverage."

On if the Colts run the play so the defense will back off of press coverage:

"No, we want them to stay where they are so we can keep running the play."

On if the contact on a "pick" play has to be within five yards to be legal:

"Not necessarily. It's anywhere if I'm an offensive player and I'm being contacted. If I run into another defender while someone's in contact with me, it's incidental. But, if I'm running by myself then I can't run into a defender."

On the referee signaling a first down before reviewing the spot and ruling it was 4th-and-1:

"That's what I don't understand about the system. It's supposed to be indisputable visual evidence. I don't know what was indisputable about how they could change that spot, how they could move it and how they can say, ‘It's just inside the 48,' and then mark it just inside the 48, and then move it back another two inches. I'm still at a loss with that. I guess I'm just not a fan of the system."

On QB-Peyton Manning:

"He's probably to his normal sharpness. This is what we expect and what we've gotten used to. Early in the year, we weren't firing on all cylinders, but we've had more practice time and more guys working with him and in the lineup. It's a good feeling to know that your offense is going out there, you're moving the ball, converting third downs and not turning the ball over. When we do that, we can score points."

On defenses not being able to lock on one offensive player:

"That's always been the benefit of running the offense and having the weaponry that we have that you can take a lot of things away, or you can try to take a guy away, but other guys can hurt you. That's what we go into every game saying. You don't know who's going to have the big game. It really depends on how they defend us. In certain games in this run, it's been the running backs running the football, it's been the wide receivers – Marvin (Harrison) has had 15 catches in the last two weeks – and next week it could be someone else depending on what the defense tries to take away. That's when you're playing good football."

On if DB-Bob Sanders is a candidate for knee surgery:

"I don't know about being a candidate, but he hasn't had any. I don't know what to tell you on Bob. We're just waiting and hoping that at some point he'll be able to play."

On his plans for Thanksgiving:

"Peyton (Manning) made the announcement (Wednesday) that anybody who didn't have family here or any of our new guys, they could come over to his house. I tried to tell the guys he wasn't just saying that, he's serious about it. Even though my family will be here, we may go over to Peyton's house. Peyton's serious about it. He's had a lot of the rookies over, and it's a pretty good time and pretty good food. We're going to try to take care of everybody, especially the guys that don't have family here."


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