Billick, Dungy a study in contrasts

OWINGS MILLS -- The contrasting personalities of Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick and Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy offers an interesting character study. While Billick is outspoken with a booming voice and a tendency to use profanity during games, Dungy has built a reputation for his calmness and relatively quiet nature in the noisy world of the NFL.

"It takes a lot of work and patience," said Dungy, who brings his Colts (13-4) to face the Ravens (13-3) in Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game. "It's something I've worked on. I certainly wasn't like that when I was younger as a player. But the farther I've gotten along, I've realized that it's important to keep your composure.
"I think some of it is personality type. Some of it is Christian maturity. You grow into your demeanor as time goes on. Maybe it's outward, but it's not necessarily inward calm."
Dungy, 51, who's 63-24 in his five seasons in Indianapolis, endured a tragic personal blow last season when his teenage son, James, committed suicide. Despite the tragedy, Dungy returned to coach while grieving his son's death and conducted himself with a strength and perspective that drew nationwide admiration.
"I can't say it enough, he's one of the greatest men -- never mind coaches -- men that I know," Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "It's just the fact that through adversity, through any type of situation or issue, he doesn't panic. He doesn't hit that panic button.
"We are what we do every day. He's not a scream guy, he's not a yell guy. For the most part, if he's yelling, there is something desperately wrong. At the end of the day, man, he has a lot of confidence in the guys who are out there and we have confidence in him as a coach."
Dungy coached on the same Minnesota Vikings staff with Billick from 1992 to 1995 with Dungy running the defense and Billick setting records as an offensive coordinator, and enjoyed competing with each other during spirited practice sessions.
"I learned a great deal from Tony Dungy," Billick said. "Watching Tony prepare during my first coordinating experience as a pro coach, there are fundamental beliefs I have now in the way we prepare. I owe Tony a great deal in that regard."
MODELL BID DENIED: Former Ravens majority owner Art Modell wasn't named a finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame balloting to be conducted the week of the Super Bowl.
Modell has been a finalist in the past, but didn't make the cut to 17 on Wednesday that includes NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and former Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk.
Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King, who has voted for Modell in the past but didn't this year, rationalized his decision by saying there were many deserving players in this year's class. King said the only management candidate he voted for was Tagliabue.
TRAINING ROOM: The Ravens added outside linebacker Adalius Thomas to the injury report with an ankle injury, listing him as probable. Safety Gerome Sapp (back) was upgraded to probable.
Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (toe) practiced for the second consecutive day without incident, but remains questionable. He's still limping noticeably.
Right guard Keydrick Vincent, who's questionable with a recurring groin pull, reiterated that he's going to play.
"I'm a little rusty, but I'm getting my mobility back step by step," Vincent said. "I'm feeling pretty good."
IMITATING FREENEY: To simulate Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney's upfield speed rush, safety Ed Reed took turns lining up across from offensive tackles Tony Pashos and Adam Terry after practice.
"Ed is so compact and fast that it really helps you get prepared for the Colts' speed at defensive end," Pashos said. "That's huge."
ROAD SLIDE: The Colts have lost their past four road games, and Baltimore is 7-1 at M&T Bank Stadium this year.
The Colts were 28-8 on the road from 2002 prior to this skid.
"We've won in tough venues before," Dungy said. "I don't think we fear going on the road. We've just got to find a way to play at that high level."
QUICK HITS: Billick declared the Ravens as eager for kickoff to arrive following the bye. "They are ready to play," he said. "With the bye, the time we have put into it, the week is getting a little long for us. We can't get to this game quick enough." … Billick, a Bill Walsh disciple who used to work for the San Francisco 49ers, acknowledged some similarities between Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice and Colts All-Pro wideout Marvin Harrison. "They're both such pure receivers," Billick said. "They are great route runners, their sense of timing and their hands. That's probably a fair comparison."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

Ravens Insider Top Stories