DETROIT *LIONS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS POST-GAME QUOTES 12/14/08 *
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (opening comments) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Every game in the NFL is tough. We expected this one to be tough and it was. We weren't as sharp as we would like to be. I think some of that you have to credit to Detroit some of it to us. I think we had a good week of practice and were ready to go. But every time we got a little margin we couldn't make the play that we need to put the game away. They continued to fight back which I think is a credit to them. But we see that on tape, every game we watch. So it wasn't a surprise. We have a short turnaround now to get back. We need one more game to get ourselves in the playoffs. It's a team that beat us here. I now they would like to keep us out. So we'll have our work cut out for us. But we'll continue to work, come back to practice on Tuesday and get ready to go."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on Detroit playing the Colts tough) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It's something we expected. These guys have played a lot of close games on the road. They hadn't won any. But they had the ball at Carolina going in to take the lead and win the game. They had the ball last week going in to take the lead and win the game. It's not like we didn't expect them to come out and play tough. You obviously can't mishandle two punts and give them short fields, those kinds of things. We can't fumble at the end of the game. Those are the situations that usually get you beat. Fortunately our offense had some long drives; they had put some clutch drives together. But it was not really much different than we expected."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the fair catch call) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Because he was being blocked, he can run into him. Our question was whether the ball hit them first or us. They called it us first on the field. Apparently it wasn't conclusive on the replay. That's a situation where we have to call to our guy and tell him. We've got a code word when we are going to fair catch. We've got to get that communicated. The second one, you just have to hang on to the ball."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the tight end game) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It just developed. They're obviously trying to do a good job on our outside receivers and take our deep throws away. So they played a lot of cover-two and the tight end had a chance to work some holes in there against cover-two. We see that defense a lot at practice. Our guys know how to work against it and Dallas did a good job. That's what they gave us today and we did a good job of taking it."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the Colts organization) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"We gave game balls to Jim (Irsay) and Bill (Polian) today for setting the atmosphere to get it done. For creating a climate where you can be consistent. Kudos to those guys. The scouting that we have, bringing in here, the atmosphere that Jim creates where you are able to put stable teams together. We're able to keep coaches and pay guys well enough to keep them here. All those things go into it. Our coaching staff has been phenomenal during this run, working with young guys and getting them ready to play. It takes everything and it takes talented players and players able to focus. I don't take that lightly. It's great to be here. We celebrated that a little bit in there right now and in about 15 minutes we have to start working on Jacksonville because we've got one more win to get ourselves in the playoffs."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the game being in doubt through the 4th quarter) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It has sort of been the theme of our season during this little winning streak. They have kind of been four-quarter games. We were playing against a team today and not a record. Detroit played hard and we certainly did some things with the turnovers on special teams that sort of made it a little harder on ourselves. We had two unfortunate penalties, I didn't really get a good angle on them, but those certainly were unfortunate with the timing. On the one series in the fourth quarter it forced us to punt, but it was nice when we had to score, had to make a couple plays, we did it there. That is what you want late in the season is to be put in tough, high pressure situations and see if you can come through with them. It was nice that we did that."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the performance of TE-Dallas Clark) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It is not really like that. It is not like that before the game (Dallas being the focal point). One reason our receivers are always running good routes is because they think the ball could come to them every play because we do spread the ball around. We have no token routes. For example, every player on every pass play is a live option and the ball could come to them so that is why everybody runs full speed routes and it puts pressure on the defense. They were kind of mixing some zone and some man and Dallas did a great job versus zone catching the ball, getting yards after the catch. A couple times they did play man he did a great job beating the man coverage. He made a great catch on that last series. It was kind of a back shoulder, seam throw. Great catch by him. The touchdown was outstanding, getting his feet in bounds for the touchdown. Great job by him today."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the consistency of the franchise) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Like I said this game meant that we did something with the 10 wins and the winning streak, but this particular game we obviously would like to play better than we did in all phases. Offensively I think it was just a matter of getting the ball and staying on the field. It was unfortunate with the two punt fumbles that our defense stopped them and we had a chance to get out there on the field and had to go back on the sidelines. It was kind of hard to get into a rhythm, especially there in the second half we were on the sidelines a good bit of it, but when we had to score and had to make the plays we did and that was the encouraging thing."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the running game) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I think the key thing is we were pretty committed to the run. Had almost 100 yards. I think we had pretty good balance with the play calling. I felt like Detroit felt we were at least a threat to run a couple times and had to put a safety in the box or an extra linebacker in the box and it called for some one-on-one coverage and we were able to exploit that coverage. I think the theme with the running game throughout the season, even when it hadn't been as effective, at least we are a threat to run. We stayed committed to the run which at least keeps a defense a little bit off balance. Are they going to run it here? Are they going to run play action? (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) did a good job and (RB-Chad) Simpson did a good job getting into the end zone. He sort of kept the thrill in it there on the last series, but he did a good job on the one touchdown where he scored."
RB-DOMINIC RHODES (on getting a chance to carry the rushing load) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I always look forward to my opportunities and obviously taking advantage of them. Today was a great opportunity for me. I'm glad I was blessed enough to do a good job for my teammates."
RB-DOMINIC RHODES (on Detroit's effort) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"People look at their record and want to say what kind of team they are. They're grown men. They get paid just like we do. They're going to play you hard every time. So it was a little bit on us, not taking care of our business and I think being a little lackadaisical. We should have been putting them away earlier and doing what we need to do and we didn't. Like I said to my teammates after the game, next week we can't have a game like this because we all know that Jacksonville's going to be all hyped up to play us. It's Thursday night, they're probably going to have on their black uniforms and they'll be ready to go. My hat's off to Detroit for giving us a great game. We just need to execute better."
RB-DOMINIC RHODES (on the Colts' 4th-quarter drive) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Today was a real frustrating time for me because I felt like we shouldn't have let these guys stick in here like that. I felt like we're at home and we know what we're playing for. … If you kind of realize those things and you understand what you're being a part of, then you'll get it done better than what we got it done today. I'm not saying the Lions are a bad team or anything, I'm just saying that we have to know what we need to do to be where we need to at the end of the year."
RB-CHAD SIMPSON (on making a key third-down conversion in the second half) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I was just making plays. (QB) Peyton (Manning) and those guys put me in a position to make a play and that's what I did. "
RB-CHAD SIMPSON (on being able to contribute so early in his career) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It's big. I never thought I would be in this spot. I got blessed with being able to play, period. I'm behind two nice backs. It's just a blessing to me."
RB-CHAD SIMPSON (on getting his first career touchdown) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I'm happy. I never thought I'd be able to get one because I had two nice running backs in front of me. Our guys blocked, and I just put my head down and ran."
RB-CHAD SIMPSON (on what went through his mind when his play was called before the touchdown) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Oh, here we go. It's a big chance to further your career, help win and take us to the playoffs."
RB-CHAD SIMPSON (on his late-game fumble, which was recovered by the Colts) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It was a freak accident. The guy kicked the ball. It was wild. Of course I'm going to be down because that … could have been worse. I have to get over that, move on and get ready to make some more big plays."
TE-DALLAS CLARK (on his performance) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Every game kind of has its own personality. Especially with the weapons that we have you never know what defenses are going to do, who they are going to try to stop. I think they did a good job. You could tell that the focus was on Marv (WR-Marvin Harrison) and Reg (WR-Reggie Wayne). I know they are not too happy because they want their receptions and their catches and their looks, but I am just glad to be able to step up like that and make some catches. It was good, we needed that. We didn't know kind of how the game would go toward the end. We needed a good drive and it was a good way to answer, especially with the poor field position."
TE-DALLAS CLARK (on his opportunities against the Detroit defense) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"Peyton does a great job of kind of seeing coverages and seeing what they are trying to do. A lot of those checks were Peyton doing what he does and getting us in the right position and the right call. Just able to make some moves and things like that. You just don't know. They tried to take their shots with some blitzes. (QB) Peyton (Manning) did a great job of checking all day and really getting us in positive calls where we were able to be successful with."
TE-DALLAS CLARK (on the consistency of the franchise) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I think it is from the top to the bottom. I think (Jim) Irsay is a magnificent owner, one of the best. Coach (Tony) Dungy, can you get any better? I mean, a great man, great coach. I think the players, I think we have had great leadership. (QB) Peyton (Manning) and (C) Jeff (Saturday), they are our leaders on the offensive side of the ball, defense has theirs. It's 53 guys buying into the system and buying into the coaching and buying into everything. Just going out there and doing your job. It is hard in this business to do something like that. It is not made to have that longevity of a record and winning. I think it is just a credit to everyone in the front office, to all the players that have come and gone and just done a great job."
TE-DALLAS CLARK (on his record for most single-game catches by a Colts TE) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It is pretty cool. I kind of count it as one since I dropped that one. I am a little upset about that. Those are kind of the ones I focus on. The other ones were good, but I got to work on the other one and get that fixed. So just things like that. What is great about this game is that I don't think you can ever have the perfect game. I mean the stats were great and all that, but there are things to work on and that is what you love about this game. It just keeps you driven. Go back to it and get everything corrected and move forward. But it is pretty cool (the record) and I am very happy, but there is work to be done."
DE-ROBERT MATHIS (on the game) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"No game is easy in the NFL. Everybody is a team full of professionals and you can't sleep on anybody. It was proof of that today."
DE-ROBERT MATHIS (on success over recent years) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"It feels good to have consistency in the organization and it's just good to be a part of it."
LB-CLINT SESSION (on Detroit) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"We have to give them a lot of credit. They fought hard. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, and they had some trick plays that had success on us. Fortunately, we were able to make more plays then they made at the end of the game and we won."
LB-CLINT SESSION (on preparing for Jacksonville) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"We probably won't get a chance to put in a full game plan since it's a quick week. We'll go out there with what we've got. We have some good guys that can make any scheme work so we'll just play it by ear."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on the game) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"The most important thing is we came out with a win. We knew they were going to come in here and fight hard and fight long, which they did. We let them hang around too long. They got their confidence up so they were flying around and playing hard out there. At the end of the day we made some plays and came out with a 'W'."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on Detroit's game plan) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"We knew they were going to 81, (WR) Calvin Johnson. He's their big play threat. We knew they were going to run the ball and that we had to stop the run and the big plays. We knew what we had to do. They had some big plays on us but we came out with a win."
DB-KEIWAN RATLIFF (on his two punt return fumbles) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"I was fortunate that my teammates had my back after both of those. They came out and made enough plays to win."
DB-KEIWAN RATLIFF (on matching up with Detroit WR Calvin Johnson) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"You see him out there, and he's bigger than a tight end, and he's bigger than a linebacker, and he's faster than the 11 guys on the field."
DB-MELVIN BULLITT (on Detroit) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"They just showed us that they're not a bad team at all. They kind of humbled us a little bit. We had that big winning streak, and it just shows you there are a lot of things we still need to work on to get ready for the playoffs."
DB-MEVLIN BULLITT (on Detroit WR-Calvin Johnson) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"He's probably the best deep-ball threat in the game right now. He's 6-5, 240 and probably the best down the field. You can't take anything he does for granted because he can take it to the house at any time."
DB-MELVIN BULLITT (on if he was happy with how the defense played) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"No, not really. We missed a lot of tackles. We let a lot of interceptions go, I think it might have been five or six that got out of our hands. We're definitely going to look at this film, and there's a lot we have to learn from this game."
DB-MELVIN BULLITT (on playing at Jacksonville Thursday) Colts vs. Lions Post-Game Quotes 12/14/08
"We have to get some rest, enjoy this victory, recover and get in the film room and see what Jacksonville did to beat us last time."