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Colts Press Conference Quotes

  COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY (General Comments) “Good afternoon.


"Good afternoon.  I am here to announce that Tony Dungy is still our coach.  That's something obviously we are all excited about.  I think the process has been ongoing for the last couple of years.  Tony (Dungy), not like a lot of other coaches, sits down, putting so much into each season and wants to make sure he's ready to go and come back for another year.  There's been a lot of attention on this and I understand that.  It's been attention that's been earned because of Tony's accomplishments and the franchise's accomplishments.  To me it's business as usual.  I think a lot can be made out of this.  I just don't see it being that complicated.  I think what we have here is going in '08, looking to win.  Things aren't going to be different in really any respect from that standpoint.  Jim Caldwell is someone that Bill Polian and I have identified, certainly as well as Tony (Dungy), giving us input on what an outstanding coach he is.  There's been a lot of interest in Jim over the last couple of years with head coaching interviews.  We thought it was in our best interest to have a transition plan in place that would allow Jim to know that he's a guy that I look to be our head coach someday.  I say someday because this isn't a victory lap tour for Tony (Dungy).  This isn't definitely one year or something like that.  I told everyone before that just like at the end of this coming year, we'll sit down and talk again.  That's the way that it has been.  I think that from that standpoint we don't have two head coaches.  We are going to operate the way we've always operated.  Tony (Dungy) is going to be around as much as he's always been around.  From an owner's standpoint, I've just tried to make sure everything works out and you do that to try to give your team the best chance to win.  It's not unusual. Bill Polian when he first started with us, his family was in Carolina.  When Tony (Dungy) first started with us, it was that way as well.  It's a great day for us as well, acknowledging Martin Luther King, Jr. day with Tony (Dungy) being the first African American coach to win the Super Bowl and Jim (Caldwell) following him up.  There can be some negative things that are brought up.  I don't really buy into any of them.  This is something that is not that unusual at all.  It's goes on in the past, it will go on in the future, in terms of where a coaches' family is and that sort of thing. Tony's (Dungy) committed to his family, he's committed to the franchise and that's what every head coach that has balance has to do.  They have families, they have the franchise to look after and Tony (Dungy) does a great job in balancing that.  That's the way it will be.  In terms of going forward, we're focused on a great '08.  As an owner of the franchise, we want more.  That's what we're focused on, is really committing ourselves, re-doubling our efforts and really being focused as an organization; every member, every player, every coach, because we want to be playing right now, and it hurts that we're not and we all hurt from that.  So my focus is on that.  I know Tony's focus is on that as well as Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, everyone else." 


"This is a tableau that I think is not only emblematic but is the practical way this franchise works.  You have an owner that's tremendously committed to winning and an administrative and coaching staff that feels the same way and works hand and glove with ownership.  That's why we achieved what we have over the past nine years.  The good news is that Tony's (Dungy) back.  He's back for not only this season, but perhaps beyond that.  The "no" news, or that lack of news is that this has gone on for the past three years.  It's only become public this year unfortunately, and this is a process that we've gone through privately for each of the past three years because Tony said many times that coaching isn't what he's going to do forever.

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