Dungy: We Need To Be Better Than We Were

Tony Dungy talked to the media on Thursday, and shared his thoughts on the New Year, gave some injury updates on the linebackers and injured guards Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard, what happened in last year's playoff game, and more!

On what he did for New Years Eve:

"We went to church, had a great time. We talked to the players about having fun. I recounted when I was 21 years old and a rookie and it was New Years Eve. Back in those days (former Pittsburgh OF/1B) Willie Stargell and (former Pittsburgh LB) Jack Lambert always had the parties so we wouldn't have to be out and around. We could have fun but do it within the confines of our group, and I encouraged them to do the same thing."

On if he saw the ball drop:

"I did. I was up until about 12:10."

On if the starting linebacker group will be Freddy Keiaho in the middle and Tyjuan Hagler and Clint Session on the outside:

"It probably will. That's the way we've practiced and they look pretty comfortable. Buster Davis will be the first substitute if we have any injuries. That's probably the way we would start the game."

On OGs-Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard:

"We'll find out (Thursday). They're going to try to do some work. Dan Federkeil has had all the work there. Unless Mike is really great (Thursday), Dan will probably start. But, we'll see how Mike and Jamey do (Thursday) in their workout."

On Federkeil starting:

"He'll do fine. He's practiced well, and he'll do fine."

On if Richard would start over Federkeil:

"We will just kind of have to see how they do. Unless (Richard and Pollak) just come out and run great, and they're 100 percent, which I doubt, then I think Dan would start. But, just who's available, that's what we have to determine."

On how important pressuring San Diego QB-Philip Rivers will be:

"I think it'll be very important. That was a big game in the last playoff game that we lost here. We didn't get much pressure, didn't get around him. They threw a lot of deep balls up the field, made big plays and we need to be better than we were in the playoff game for sure."

On how much surprising the teams can do to each other on Saturday:

"There might be a couple of little things, but not much. And, I don't think it's going to be surprise-type game. I think it's going to be execution and the big-play guys doing their job. (San Diego RB) LaDainian (Tomlinson)'s comment that he missed practice (Wednesday), but because they've played us so much practice, from the sense of knowing what's going on, is not that important. It's important for timing and everything, but he didn't feel like he'd have any issues as far as knowing what to do. I think we're all in that boat having played them four times in the last two years."

On what Rivers has improved most since last year:

"They're making big plays, and they've always been a big-play offense. The mistakes are down. The thing that I see the most is the fourth-quarter scoring. They've scored a ton of points in the fourth quarter. When they've had to move the ball and had to get points, they've done it. That's probably the mark of a great quarterback is how you do in the pressure situations."

On if this is as healthy as the team has been entering the playoffs:

"Probably so in a while. Obviously, we'd like to have (LB) Gary (Brackett). Everybody would like to have all of their guys, but I think we just look at last year's (playoff) game and how San Diego was. They're missing guys and guys get hurt in the course of the game and other guys step in and play. I think that's what good teams do. You're at a point where you can't worry who's not there. You have to play, and the guys that play will determine the game."

On how close Brackett is to returning:

"It's hard to say. He still hasn't practiced yet, so I don't think it's imminent. I think if he could get out and practice next week, we would certainly play him. I don't know where he is. We'll find that out, probably, on Tuesday if we win."


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