Dungy Says Three-Day Minicamp Featured Real Good Work
INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Dungy wanted to see progress, chemistry and a rookie class getting a bit more acclimated to the NFL.
That was the goal entering the 2008 Colts' rookie/veteran mini-camp, a three-day mandatory camp that concluded Sunday at the team's practice facility.
"So far, pretty good," Dungy said Sunday afternoon.
Dungy, entering his seventh season as the Colts' head coach, said the team accomplished its objectives over the weekend, and that he didn't spend much time evaluating personnel, instead focusing on teaching and ensuring the Colts' rookie class is prepared for the team's upcoming organized team activities.
"We are finishing up the week," Dungy said. "I think our young guys are getting a good feel of how we do things. It's been real good work.
"We had a good productive last session, and we should be in good shape."
The Colts held a three-day rookie camp in early May a week after the 2008 NFL Draft, but this weekend was the first chance for veterans to work with the rookie class.
The team's summer-school sessions – known around the NFL as organized team activities, or "OTAs" – will begin this week.
"I really don't look to evaluate much," Dungy said. "We're trying to get information to these guys. I like the way our team has approached it. I like the mental attitude of the veterans and the learning attitude of the rookies.
"Everything's been on pace. It will be much farther into the OTAs and the summer before we really start to evaluate. . . ."
The weekend was not only the rookies' first work with the veterans, it also was their first work since the three-day camp in early May. Partly as a result of that, Dungy said a focus for this weekend's minicamp was chemistry and tempo.
"Getting everybody comfortable with each other and getting our new guys to learn exactly what we're doing and bringing them along . . . those are the two big things you hope to get out of this," Dungy said.
Dungy said veteran participation in the voluntary OTAs and ongoing off-season conditioning program typically is high, and said he expects that to continue to be the case.
"That's one of our goals, to always have that type of participation so we can be a little bit lighter in training camp," Dungy said. "I think our veterans buy into that philosophy."
Dungy earlier in the camp said he considered the weekend essentially the beginning of the 2008 season. In a brief session with the media on Sunday's final day of the camp, he said the team's 2007 season – which they won a fifth consecutive AFC South title before losing to San Diego in an AFC Divisional Playoff – is in the past.
"I think you're a little more disappointed when the year doesn't finish off as well, but we try to do the same thing," Dungy said. "We try to move forward and make our corrections, look back, build on what happened well, but not really dwell on it.
"This is a new year and hopefully we're starting from scratch. You just want to divorce the past and move ahead into the future."