Friendly Foes

Jets' head coach Herman Edwards and Colts' head coach Tony Dungy spoke to their local media today about their friendship, and facing each other for the first time. The two coached on the same sideline at Tampa Bay and are very close friends, which should only heat up Saturday's big showdown. Here's what they had to say:

Edwards on facing the Colts


"Well, we know them.  We know them on offense.  Their offense really has not changed.  Their defense is similar to  ‑‑ well, Tampa's defense. I think I know the coach down there, so I can probably say that.  They will play that way.  They will be a very disciplined team.  They will play very hard.  It will be  ‑‑ it will be a tough game, tough game to be in, one of those deals.  It's kind of like  ‑‑ this is my first time facing Tony and it's not a lot of fun but it's part of competing.  It's like when you were young, you play your big brother in basketball.  It's kind of one of those deals.  So it will be a fun week for both of us but it will be a hard week, too."


Edwards on his friendship with Dungy


"Probably the only reason I'm standing here, is because of him.  I appreciate that.  He's a guy that, I look at what happened to him down in Tampa, and to do what he's done already, to come back and coach another team and get them in the playoffs his first year, says a lot about his coaching, his style of coaching and what he's about.  You know, he's been a mentor for me for a long time."


Edwards on what he learned from Dungy


"Some of the schedule, some of the training camp. I'd change some things, and vary some things on how I do it.   But a lot of it is the way he would do it.  We would sit and talk about it.  When I first got down there, how we would kind of do things. He would ask my input and I'd give some of mine and he'd give some of his and we'd evaluate it and we'd put it together.

          Probably the reason that I stand firm on my beliefs was the fact that we were down there (in Tampa) our first year, we were 0‑7.  We were 0‑7.  We were trying to find our way.  We just kept doing what we had to do and finally we got it turned around.  So that's why when we were 1‑4, he would call me every week, he says, "Don't forget 0‑7."  And he was right."


Dungy on the benefits of his friendship with Edwards


"I think it's going to be easier for both teams because I know Herman, he
knows me, and we aren't people that are going to change. We're not going to
come up with something totally different just because we're in the playoffs
or because we're playing the Jets. I think they win because they do what
they do very well and we do what we do. There's not going to be a lot of
secrets. I think it's going to be a game of execution and who goes out there
and makes the plays. You don't have to guess about any gimmicks."

Dungy on coaching against Edwards


"It's going to be exciting. It's going to be fun for me personally. It's
like family bragging rights. You don't want to lose that game. You want to
make sure you win that one because you're so competitive. I'm happy to see
their success. Herm, I've known him for a long time, since college. We
worked together for five years in Tampa and we had a great time. He was a
big part of our success there, so it doesn't surprise me at all that they've
been in the playoffs two years in a row."

Dungy on friendship with Edwards


"We talk a lot during the course of the year. I talked to them when they
were headed out to San Diego. I think they might have been 2-5 at the time.
We just talked about what we did in Tampa when things weren't going well,
which is cut back, do a little bit less and just focus in on what you
believe in. I knew he was going to do that anyway."

Dungy on conversations with Edwards


"Usually, one person will call after a loss. If we have a tough loss, he'll
call me. Generally, I get that call Monday morning. Same thing if they've
had a particularly tough loss. You don't really need to talk to anybody when
you're winning. But sometimes you need that confidence booster when things
aren't going well."

Dungy on similarities between he and Edwards


"We're both old school.  We have the same philosophy and believe in the same
things that are important.  We both believe in fundamental football and
winning in a simple kind of way.  We both believe in how you do things
rather than the end result because things will come if you do things right.
You have to be professional in the way you do things.  He's (Edwards) a much
more fiery guy than I and is much more talkative." 

Dungy on both minority coaches facing each other


"I think it's kind of a sense of honor to me. To be able to play against him
(Herman Edwards), to see what he's accomplished, and what we've
accomplished. He's been a head coach two years and been to the playoffs
twice. That's hard to do. We've been to the playoffs our first year (in
Indianapolis), that's something we're proud of. I think it's going to
spotlight the minority issue, and that's not all bad."

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