*IndianapolisColts Head Coach Tony Dungy *
(transcribed by Melissa Brinz)
(On coming back from 27-10) "That game certainly ran the whole gamut of emotions for us. I've never played a game quite like this where we played the first ten minutes pretty well and the middle part not and the last four minutes we played with some passion and intensity and got some breaks to win it. The middle part was not very good, to let them score 27 unanswered points. It was one of those things that was quite a shock. We had to speed the tempo up and make some good plays. One thing that was positive was that we hung in there. We played all the way through, that's what the NFL is all about. We have to play better and sharper. We have to play all 60 minutes and we didn't have that passion in the middle of the game, but we got it back at the end we have to be sharper."
(On how this game compares to the Tampa Bay game) "It's similar. Same weekend, first game in October. On the road, you get to a point when you feel like its not going to happen. It was very similar, where we were not sharp, but we gave ourselves a chance to win in the end."
(on the probability of coming back) "After we had gone I don't know how many minutes without scoring, we moved the ball. Defensively we didn't do a good job of stopping them. Credit to our guys for continuing to fight. They didn't stop."
(on the range of emotions in this game) "Really unbelievable. We didn't get the onside kick so we were a little down there. We were disappointed that we didn't stop them. We saw the ball come out and think we just have to stop them one time and we would have it. It was quite the range of emotions.
(on this game being a season saver) "There is definitely a big difference in being 1-3 and 2-2. I told the team in the locker room that this can be a season saver if we take this passion and energy and emotion that we played with in the last four minutes and play with that all 60 minutes."
(on this game making a statement) "It shows what we are capable of when we play with passion on defense. We can play a lot better than we have these first few weeks of the season, and hopefully we will see that in the second quarter of the season."
IndianapolisColts RB Joseph Addai
(transcribed by Nicholas Spalding)
(on how it feels to come back and pull this one out) "I don't like those kind of games. If we're going to win, I want to know we're going to win it. It's just also a good feeling to have when you come back and just find a way to win and then you can go home. Especially on the road, it's always hard to win a game on the road. Now, we've got a win and kind of got a good feeling now. Now we get to go home and watch the film and try to get better."
(on what the coach told them on the sidelines when they were down) "We've done that a lot of times, just come back and try to win the game. (LB) Gary (Brackett) got a good pick up and ran it back, came back, and got a little spark on offense and was able to score a touchdown, then stop them and win the game."
(on if there was something they could see that made them think they could come back) "Regardless, we were confident in ourselves throughout the whole game, but it's a matter of going out there and doing it. It took a long time and we were able to do it in the fourth quarter."
(on if he feels sorry for the Texans after all they have gone through) "Regardless, human nature, you feel kind of bad, but you don't want them to get better on us. We don't want that game like, 'oh, they started off the Colts winning games and they kept going and going.' You don't ever want to be that way, but they played a good game and we were able to win the game and that's all that matters."
(on how unlikely this comeback was) "It was hard and it was well earned. I think we all came together and then really wanted it bad. One and three doesn't sound good. So, you want to go home on the plane, and that's a long ride, what two hours going back to Indy? That's a long ride just being quiet on the plane. You want to get a couple of laughs and just talk about the game. We all came together and was able to do it."
(on if this is the type of game that can mean something to a season) "Going into Monday's practice and starting back on Wednesday, it kind of gives you a lot of confidence. Knowing that you can fight to the end and get a win regardless, I mean we don't know how the start of the game next week is going to be, but regardless you know we've got to play the 60 minutes and we were able to do it today."
IndianapolisColts LB Gary Brackett
(transcribed by Christina Coffey)
(on his thoughts about the fumble recovery) "Honestly we were down three touchdowns and we needed a big play. The quarterback (Texans QB Sage Rosenfels) broke down on the bootleg and it went airborne. Our guys made a good play by hitting him while he was in the air and the ball came loose. I saw it on the ground and I heard 'jump on the ball.' At that point you really had to make a big play so after I got the ball in my hands I just hoped I had enough gas to make it to the endzone."
(on T Duane Brown almost reaching him) "Just about, he had a good angle. If you go back and watch the film, he had an angle. Some of the guys were teasing me how fast I was and I told them fast enough. Whatever we need to get to the endzone at that point in the game, that's what I was thinking of in my mind during that play."
(on his emotions on the comeback) "Definitely didn't want to be down 1-3. That's not something we imagined going into the season and we were facing it going into the 56th minute of this ballgame. We were afraid of being down 1-3. One thing we said after we gave up that last touchdown was 'Don't give up'. I've been in games like this like in Tampa Bay, where as long as there is time on the clock you've got time to win the game. I told those guys that there's a lot of game left and someone had to make a play, just happened to be myself."
(on DE Robert Mathis' fumble recovery) "That was huge. At that point we would have just stopped them, given our offense a short field, and tried to let those guys punt. And then (DE Robert) Mathis made a great play. Get in there and get the ball out that close to the endzone with the type of offense we have, good things are going to happen."
(on his decision to fall on the ball and the blocking) "It's definitely a split second decision. I guess that's one advantage of being short, I don't have to go down that far to pick up the ball. At that point in the ballgame I was able to scoop it up fairly clean, get a good start and those guys blocked great for me and let me in the endzone."
(on his thoughts on the final touchdown) "I was thinking there was two minutes left. Jacksonville two weeks ago the same thing happened. The offense went up and at that point they needed a field goal to win. But in this league anything can happen. You definitely have to play 60 minutes and you can't pat yourself on the back until the final whistle blows."
(on what this means for the Colts season) "It puts us up. We definitely wanted to be 2-2. But there is a lot of stuff we need to do get better as a team. Those are things were going to look at next week but we're just going to enjoy the victory. "
(on avoiding the 1-3) I think being down 1-3, I've never been there as a professional player but you see some guys and some of the teams, destruction happens. We definitely don't want to get to that point in our season. So getting a win today is huge not only for our division and not being in last place but for our season, being down 1-3 is nothing we wanted to be in the beginning."
IndianapolisColts DT Raheem Brock
(transcribed by Nicholas Spalding)
(on if this is a type of game that can catapult this team) "Yeah it can. We've just got to look at it and see that we can play that kind of defense like we usually play and be consistent and play that for 60 minutes, we'll be good."
(on being involved in the big play and causing the fumble) "The quarterback just held on to the ball. I guess he (QB Sage Rosenfels) was trying to make a play. I was able to jarr it loose and GB (LB Gary Brackett) picked it up and went into the end zone. That gave us the momentum. The defense picked it up from there and won the game for us."
(on LB Gary Brackett running the ball back) "He did a great job. I was just hoping that he stayed in bounds and get in the end zone. I was just blocking for him as much as I could and we got that touchdown. That gave us the momentum."
(on this being a season changing two minutes) "Yeah, like I said, we have to look at this and move forward from here, that we can play that type of defense. We just have to be consistent and play that way for 60 minutes and believe in ourselves that we can play Colts' football like that."
IndianapolisColts TE Dallas Clark
(transcribed by Nicholas Spalding)
(on how does it feel to get this win) "It's huge. We're going to enjoy it, but then you start thinking about the game, and we can't play like this. We started off the game the best we've started all year and then we just stopped. We started making those mistakes that we've made all year and just shooting ourselves in the foot stopping drives. We can't play like that. It's going to catch up to us. We're going to enjoy it. We're very fortunate, but we definitely have to improve."
(on what is says about the team that they didn't give up) "It's great. That's the best part about it is if we are putting ourselves in this hole then what are we going to do about it. We didn't give up. All of the sudden I looked up and we had 31 points and all I know is that we had ten before. It just kind of shows you the character of this team. We have a lot of guys that are going to fight, not quit, believe in each other, and that's what it took to come back from that deficit."
IndianapolisColts DB Marlin Jackson
(transcribed by Nicholas Spalding)
(on describing what this means to the team) "It means a lot. We definitely needed some offense. We didn't play well the entire game and to turn around and play that well in the end, well enough to squeeze out a victory, it means a lot and builds confidence and gives us a boost."
(on the first fumble play and what he was thinking to see QB Sage Rosenfels stay in the game) "I mean, I was really surprised, usually a quarterback is going to slide. He tried to make a play and it ended up being a good play for us, got a good hit. (DT) Raheem (Brock) got a good hit and the ball was able to come out. G (LB Gary Brackett) was right on the spot, picked it up and ran it back"
(on if he thought they would find a way to win after the fumble recovery) "Yeah, yeah. Definitely when that happened, we definitely thought we would find a way. We knew the offense did its job. We had to come back out there and get three and out. We did better and got a turnover and the offense punched it in."
(on if he could tell if QB Sage Rosenfels was short of the first down) "Sage? No, I just knew he was running at me and I was surprised. When you do that, things will happen when your quarterback tries to run over a defensive back."
(on if he feels like they got a break with the way things looked for the Colts today) "Yeah, I mean, you saw the game. It definitely was a break, and we'll take it. We're not playing that good right now. We're playing inconsistent. We've still got some things to get right, but to come out with a win and a victory."
IndianapolisColts QB Peyton Manning
(transcribed by Christina Coffey)
(on what just happened on the field) "It's always a great locker room after a win, especially after something like that when it didn't look good. We kind of played the game, we started out with 1-2 coming here and we tried to take the crowd out of it. We jumped up 10 to nothing, probably could have been 14 to nothing. Houston did a good job fighting back. We just had some little things there, a missed assignment here, that was causing our drives to be stalled. We just couldn't afford to get behind right now because teams are doing a good job of running the clock so you get behind and the math doesn't play to your favor. Defensively what a great job by (DE) Dwight (Freeney) and LB Gary (Brackett) and all those guys creating turnovers. (LB) Gary (Brackett) picking that ball up and running it back. It's always fun to see a defensive player running around. Then there was (DE) Dwight (Freeney). He was close out there, he was getting there for us to get the ball back and have a chance to go away with it. Sometimes when you lose a game like that you say 'that was a garbage touchdown.' We've played enough games like that those plays do matter. (TE Tom) Santi's first touchdown went from being a nothing touchdown to pretty meaningful. It feels good to get the win on the road."
(on his range of emotion) "You sort of try to put your frustrations on hold if you will. Obviously it doesn't look good if you're watching the clock and you're doing the math and you're saying 'It's going to take us three scores. Are we going to have time to score?' Once you're in the huddle, and we haven't been there a whole lot but we've been behind by this much and usually we are going to score or have the lead. Just trying to get a score and I've always felt that you can put more pressure on a team at home when you are sort of clawing and scratching at them a little bit. If we score it will make it a two score game and that puts the pressure on them. They have to get a first down, they've got to make a play. And that was what the quarterback (Texans QB Sage Rosenfels) was trying to do, trying to make a play and try to get the game over with. And then a great play by (LB) Gary (Brackett). I thought it was a brilliant move kicking off to them. I don't get into those discussions but I definitely did not want to see us onside kick again because they can run it back and have us down to the 1 or 2 yard line. It was nice to have that timeout. We kicked off and our defense obviously got the turnover. That was nice."
(on what was going through his mind on the last touchdown) "I was really thinking about what the right strategy was, how soon we should score, and how much clock we should run. The thing was we were down 3 and so we had a field goal for sure and had a great run to get down there which I thought was pretty key, whether you noticed or not. Before we got to the 2 minute warning, when we got to the line of scrimmage and sort of got set we got a chance to see what Houston was going to do. They were going to bring everybody and blitz. It's kind of like the NBA. You go out there and you run your out of bounds play, call timeout and adjust off of that. So we got a good little look at what Houston was going to do. So at the 2 minute warning we came back, threw the fade to (WR) Reggie (Wayne) who went one-on-one and made a great catch. That's something he and I have thrown a ton of. That's why you work all the time and practice on those one-on-one routes. It was nice to score after the 2 minute warning. Houston had 2 timeouts and it took it to go up by 4 there."
(on if he has sympathy for QB Sage Rosenfels) "Sure, certainly when you're playing against a team, you want to beat that team that day. But you know he played well. He made a lot of big third down throws. He was keeping our offense off the field and it was pretty frustrating. You get up on 3rd down, you see a 3rd down and 8 yards or a 3rd down and 9 yards and he starts throwing and gets a good route to (WR) Andre Johnson. He did a great job of giving them that lead. I don't speak for other quarterbacks but he played a good game. He was fighting and competing. If he makes that play, everybody says 'oh what a great play.' No regrets and that's the way you've got to go play."
(on if this game was a season saver) "We're really fortunate, certainly defensively we made two great plays there so that gave us a chance. Certainly when we watch the film we are going to see some things that we can eliminate. We could have been in the game. We could have been 27-24 there at the end and not having to rely on a game-saving touchdown fumble recovery. So we've still got to be sharper. We're still making little mistakes. The frustrating thing is we feel like it is there. We have sort of shown what we can do and what we're capable of doing. It was a couple of the drives earlier in the game offensively. We're still missing some spots. Need to be a little bit more disciplined and not make those little mistakes that are causing us to punt."
(on a win vs a loss for mindset of the team) "It certainly feels a lot better. I go back to the quote, 'I love winning, it's better than losing.' It's a pretty brilliant quote. (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy encourages us to enjoy this win. You don't take nothing for granted. To win the way we did, I know how the other team feels in the locker room. They played a heck of a game and didn't get the win. That's football a little bit but we'll enjoy it. The encouraging thing is we can find a little more consistency, that we are capable of scoring more points and have the players to do it. The idea today was to get a little swagger back when we stared off offensively and had that and moving the ball in spurts. We have a couple of things we need to iron out a little sharper but I was proud of the guys for never giving up and fighting until the end."
(on if the offensive line is back to normal) "I thought those guys fought hard today. (G) Mike Pollak making his first start and (G Jamey) Richard playing his first game at left guard, he's played a different position in every game he's played this year. I guess they had two sacks and one time (Texans DE Mario) Williams beat out TE and we had a technique deal on his part. The second time that they forced him on (RB Joseph) Addai, obviously it's a tough situation. Those are thing we can correct."
(on the comeback mindset of the players) "In that huddle, I don't know. I'd be curious as to what (G) (Mike) Pollack and (G) (Jamey) Richard would say. What you see a lot of, when you have 8 minutes to go and you're down 17 points, you see a lot of teams that give up. That's when guys start arguing, that's when you see a sideline argument. That's when you see offense and defense start arguing and those kinds of things. We were pretty calm obviously. We had a sense of urgency but it is nice having guys like (C) Jeff (Saturday) and (OT) (Ryan) Diem and (WR) Reggie (Wayne), guys that have been in those comeback games before. It's truly never over until it's over."
(on if they feel like have found themselves) "It really felt like the game was kind of slipping away. It was nice to get that last drive. Obviously we were in a 2 minute situation so we were throwing. It was the kind of drive that you say 'wow, why didn't we have that going earlier?' We were spreading the ball around and we had plays here and there. That's what's encouraging, they we are capable of doing that. It was nice defensively when we had to get the ball back and have a couple of stops and great credit to (LB) Gary (Brackett) and (DE) Dwight (Freeney)."
(on if it reminded them off the Tampa Bay comeback) "It's hard to compare. It was (head coach) Tony's (Dungy) birthday and his first game back to Tampa. That was probably one of the craziest games that I've ever been in. Obviously 4th quarter comebacks are special especially when everybody in the stadium considers it over. It truly is 53 guys and the coaches against everybody. Nobody really gives you a chance. You've got to have some grace, you've got to have some tipped balls come your way and you've got to have sort of a freak play that happens and we had those but it was nice that it went our way."
(on if he has confidence in the rookies to make plays) "I'll tell you, (OL coach) Howard Mudd is a guy that holds those guys very accountable. He's not a guy who's going to replace somebody because he's a veteran. Howard is a guy that is going to play those guys who are ready to go that week and you've got to respect that about him. Those guys have to earn their job and earn their keep every week. This is the 5 that he wanted to go with and those guys played hard against a good defensive front against Houston. I was proud of the way those guys played especially those young guys."
(on the character of the team) "It does say a lot about the character of the team. There's no question that we were fortunate to have some tipped balls and fumbles go our way. It's a credit to the players for not giving up and fighting. And offensively I felt like the best thing we did was getting that touchdown drive when we were down 17. We could have forced on into double coverage or take a sack holding the ball but we were truly trying to score to put a little pressure on their offense. We had to make it a 2 score game. It's a credit to our guys for hanging in there."
IndianapolisColts DE Robert Mathis
(transcribed by Daniel Sampson)
(On sack and fumble recovery) "Just hold the ball. Just hold the ball until someone can get there and get the ball out."
(On being down 27-10) "We don't need to be down 27-10. Somebody has to do something, somebody has to step up. Fortunately we did that. Like (head) coach (Tony Dungy) said, that was close football the last five minutes of the game, so the other 55 minutes we have to get better. "
(On correcting mistakes at 2-2 instead of 1-3) "Well hopefully we will take this as a character game and going to build team moral and gather around it and make the best of it."
IndianapolisColts C Jeff Saturday
(transcribed by Daniel Sampson)
(On the difference between 2-2 and 1-3) "It's huge. You're still in the hunt in your division which is the most important part. I think Tennessee won again this week and you have to keep pace with those guys. To lose two division games early in the season is going to set you way back. So it was a good time to get a win."
(On what he thought of team not giving up) "I think it speaks volumes for our team, volumes for our defense. Those guys (defense) were in a dogfight all afternoon and at the end of the game they were playing lights out, putting their hearts on the line making huge plays for us. Gary (Brackett) scored a touchdown, they (Texans) give up the ball on the 20 and we score again. That's the way you win tight games."
IndianapolisColts Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne
(transcribed by Joshua Moon)
(on his touchdown catch) "I was just trying to make a play. (QB) Peyton (Manning) threw me the ball and my job is to catch it."
(on this win serving as momentum for the rest of the season) "I hope the last five minutes of this game is something we can build upon. That is the way we practice and that is the result we get from hard work."
(on how good the team is while running the two minute offense) "I don't know. I am a huge fan though. Being a receiver, that offense is very high tempo and sometimes you can catch the defense off guard with a big play. So far we are flawless with it and hopefully we can get more."
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell
(transcribed by Christina Coffey)
"Good morning, I am certainly glad to be here today for this very important day for the city of Houston and for the Texans. We all know the tragedy that took place here and the great effort that has taken place to help rebuild and support this community in a difficult period of time. We the NFL are glad to be here and I am personally glad to be here on behalf of them to represent our support for this community. One of the first calls I had was from Bob (McNair) talking about what he can do to help this community recover from the hurricane. We would like to participate in that and support those efforts. It's a great privilege to be a part of that but more importantly to support (Owner) Bob (McNair) who's a great leader in this community. We know how important the Texans are in this community and to be able to be a part of that, we're thrilled by. We're also happy to be a part of President Clinton and President Bush's effort. As many of you know, in addition to our financial support today, we are also going to be running a public service announcement on all of our 1 o'clock games. All of our broadcast partners will participate in that. We'll be alerting various media, to bring awareness to the need of this community, throughout the country today. We hope that will have a positive influence on this community because we are very supportive of the people here and what they do for this great community."
(on his first visit to a Houston Texans game) "I believe that is correct, yes. First for a game, I've been to Houston since I was Commissioner."
(on if he toured the city) "No, I didn't get the official tour. I had one additional appointment this morning. I had to meet with Bud Adams this morning so I had a look around the community between the airport and Bud Adams' house and the stadium. I mentioned to (Owner) Bob (McNair) as soon as he called me about supporting the effort here, I felt it appropriate for me to come down here and be a part of this. Because it is an important for the Texans, an important day for the NFL, and clearly an important day for the city of Houston. This gives us a national opportunity to talk about how Houston is doing after the hurricane and bring awareness to this community."
(on what Houston needs to do to get another Super Bowl) "Houston puts together a very strong bid this past spring and I think there is great recognition of the Super Bowl they held here and I think it was a terrific experience for the NFL. Unfortunately they went up some pretty strong competition in those circumstances. I'm optimistic that the Super Bowl will be back here in Houston and that it will happen some point in the near future."
(on the 80 man limit) "We think actually the 80 man roster, as a part of our collective bargaining agreement, it's something, and we've been under that rule for several years. When we discontinued NFL Europe, we had roster exemptions as part of that, which allowed the rosters to go up to I believe 87 in certain cases depending on how many players are put into it. I don't believe, after talking to the coaches, that there has been any negative impact at all to the quality of the product. That in fact, the coaches said to me, when you adjust it to 80 that it has worked very well. I don't see any need. We will look at that every year as we do. We also look at practice squads. But as you also know, we are getting ready for a collective bargaining sessions. As that negotiation takes place those will certainly be points that will be discussed."
(on possible changing the ratio of preseason to season games) "I think it's highly unlikely that would take place. In addition to our own internal analysis about making a decision on whether this is in our best interest and in our fans best interest and help us continue to grow the game. We have to negotiate with all of our broadcast partners and with the players association. I think to get that done all on time and to also make a schedule, which would have to be done in the January period, I just don't think it's practical."
(on the new management of the Oakland Raiders) "I don't know. As to my knowledge, as of Saturday, the agreements have not been submitted. Just based on what I've read and what I've heard from last week I expect something will come to my desk at some point in the future. When it does, I will certainly deal with it."
(on another Super Bowl in Houston) "I think the experience we had here in Houston several years ago was a very positive one. I think it was great for the city and I would encourage Houston to continue to do that because I do believe they will get another Super Bowl at some point in the future."
(on his concerns about player safety) "I wouldn't describe as a crack down. Player safety has always been a major concern to us. We had seen some hits that we thought were clearly not within the rules. We thought it demonstrated the types of things we want to remove from the game and our competition committee is focused on. I determined several weeks ago that we should do something unusual and that unusual was to send a note to every player every coach in the league that was read at the team meeting. It was probably read right here in this room. It was something I thought our clubs, our coaches, and our players should all refocus that this is a tough game to play but we need to do it within the rules and we need to do it with every bit of focus on ensuring player's safety. And I think the message is getting through. Obviously there will be times when plays will happen outside those rules and we will deal with them very forcefully when they do."
(on his reaction to Al Davis' press conference) "Well no one likes to see a dispute like that happen. I think Mr. Davis made it very clear that he didn't like it. I think it's something that's unfortunate. You don't want to see it happen but it is a reality of our business and they've moved on now. If I'm involved in some fashion or asked to be involved or required to be involved, I will obviously fulfill my responsibility. I don't think there is anymore to say but how unfortunate the situation is."
(on his opinion on player behavior off the field policy) "When we implemented the policy, I made the statement that this is something that is not going to get resolved over night. This is a long term effort. We needed to change behavior, we needed to get a better understanding on what was required and the standard set by the NFL, and we also needed to provide additional resources and education to our players and our coaches and everyone involved in the NFL on not only what's acceptable but what resource is available to them to help them make better decisions. And I think we've had significant progress in that. I think all of us understand the privilege it is to be a part of the NFL, whether you're the Commissioner, whether you're a player or whether you're involved in another form. I think that is getting through and I think that we have made progress but it is a continuing point of emphasis for us."
(on the possibility of Houston and Dallas playing internationally again) "Both teams have a tremendous fan following internationally. Mexico is a clear and obvious alternative because there is a tremendous Hispanic population in both of those markets but also because of their geographical location in Mexico. We continue to look at how we could have a regular season game in Mexico. We do not rule out preseason games but our focus has really been bringing a regular season live football to some of these keys markets. But I would think they will continue to be attractive. I don't know about whether they would play each other but I expect that they will play."
(on the current financial crisis and how it affects the NFL) "We are not immune. We've been talking about what I consider the economic downturn for well over a year and making sure we are prepared for it to be planning for it. It effects not only the NFL, our clubs, our owners, and stadium financing, but our business partners. More importantly it affects our consumers, our fans and so we are very sensitive to it. We are trying to plan appropriately for it. It's an ongoing basis for us to make sure we're properly positioned. I don't know of any business or any financial institution that's not going through the same types of analysis, the same type of evaluation of what we can do to better prepare ourselves in the current economic climate. We are not immune to it.
(on if it well affect CBA negotiations) "Absolutely, I think anytime you are dealing in the kind of economic environment we have you're increasing the risk to run your business and that's part of the issue here. The owners are taking on significant risks running these businesses. The players get 60% of the gross revenues without a tremendous recognition toward the cost of operating much less the risk. At the core that is exactly what the issue is and why the owners decided to make and terminate the agreement."
(on his meeting with Bud Adams) "I hadn't seen Bud (Adams) in a couple months and whenever I'm in the area I try to stop by and sit with the owners to their perspective on a one-on-one."