Dungy: We Know What's At Stake

Tony Dungy talked to the media Wednesday as the team began preparing for this week's opponent, the Detroit Lions. See what Dungy had to say about the Lions' quarterbacks, new running back Najeh Davenport, injuries updates, and more!

"We started our look at the Lions (Wednesday) morning with the team, and they are very much like Cincinnati in that we saw a lot of good individual performances. They haven't translated into a lot of team wins yet, but some things that we have to get working on and have to be concerned about. I think our focus is going to be good, and I'm pleased with the work so far (Wednesday) morning. I think we'll be ready to go. Detroit played very, very well last week. They had a situation where they kind of got hurt on a replay reversal right at the end of the game. It seems like things like that have been happening to them, but all in all, I think we'll know what's at stake for us, to stay in front in this wild-card race and continue to play better. That's what we're looking to do."

On if there is added pressure playing a winless team late in the season:

"I think there might be in some situations, but in our case the pressure is really to keep winning and to stay in the playoff hunt, so I think that will be our concern more than anything else. I know those guys have a lot of incentive to win. You can see it in their play last week, so we're going to expect their best shot."

On if signing RB-Najeh Davenport means RB-Joseph Addai is out for Sunday's game:

"We have Joseph a little banged up and (RB) Chad Simpson got a sprained ankle on his last kickoff return, and he may not be able to go either. There's a chance Najeh could be playing right away, so we'll get him up to speed as quick as we can."

On if Davenport will be the KR:

"Not necessarily. Right now, he's the second back so we'll see how Chad and Joseph do in practice."

On what he likes about Davenport:

"He had some familiarity with our system. (Pittsburgh Offensive Coordinator) Bruce Arians was in Pittsburgh (with Davenport), so he knew a lot of the basics of it. He can return kicks. He's been an outstanding kickoff return guy and a very good downhill runner. I think he's going to run fine for us and do well. You're always looking, at this point in time, for a guy who does have some experience with your system."

On how difficult it is watching Detroit Head Coach Rod Marinelli go through this season:

"I'm very close with Rod, and it is difficult. It is tough. I was on (a conference call) with the Detroit media and saying our first year in Tampa (1996) we lost our first five games and that seemed like a lifetime, so I can't imagine what 13 is like. I've talked to Rod a few times during the year. If anybody can make it through this, he can. I know they do things very much like we do. They really focus on the fundamentals. He's worked very hard and to not see any results from it, it is tough."

On if C-Jeff Saturday will play Sunday:

"I think he will. He was very close last week. We actually went back and forth on the decision whether we should let him play or not. He will definitely practice. If he makes it through fine, he should be ready to go."

On if the defense has to know where Detroit WR-Calvin Johnson is every play:

"You really do. He's a big-play player. We've seen him on tape play after play after play. They do move him around a little bit and try to get him the ball, and we definitely have to be cognizant of where he is because he's a game changer."

On how bringing RB-Dominic Rhodes in to split time with Addai has worked out this season:

"It has worked out well. Dom has given us a spark on a number of occasions. He gives us that quality guy that when Joseph's not in there we really don't experience a dropoff. He's made big plays in games that we've had to win. Last week was a great example. He comes in and runs the draw and gets us a touchdown to really get us started. It's like having a second starter, so that's definitely been beneficial to us."

On if he saw Rod Woodson having such a good career when he was a rookie:

"Yes. I thought he could. As a matter of fact, his senior year in college, you go do all your homework on different guys, and (Former Pittsburgh) Coach (Chuck) Noll told me – we had the 10th pick in the draft that year (1987) – and he said, ‘Don't even bother looking at Woodson because there's no way he'll be there.' We thought he was that special that he was probably going to be a top three or four pick in the draft. He ended up falling down to us at 10, and we took him. He held out quite a bit and came into us mid-season his rookie year, but you could see the skill level. He had all the physical tools and was a really smart player. I only had him two years, I guess, but you could see that he was going to be a special player."

On the difficulties Woodson presented to an opposing team:

"He's like some of the safeties now in that he can just be such a factor in the game because of his size and speed. He was a good blitzer and a good man cover guy. He was going to try to make big plays, so we would always try to get him to gamble a little bit when we played against him. But, he was a very, very special player."

On if he sees similar traits in DB-Bob Sanders that he saw in Woodson:

"Very similar. Competitive the same way, ability to change games, good hitter. He was just so much bigger than Bob. He was just a really, really big corner or safety, wherever you played him. Physically, he was very gifted."

On preparing for Detroit without knowing who will be their starting QB:

"That's been a little tough on us. We've had to look at different segments of their year to look at the different quarterbacks. (Daunte) Culpepper has played for the most part recently, so that's what we're assuming. We went back and looked earlier in the year to look at some of the other guys. We're going to have to defend their offense and not really be concerned about who the quarterback might be."

On if Detroit is still running the offense former Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz ran:

"No, it's different. It's more of a power running game and play-action passes off of that. It has changed."


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