Dungy Disappointed, Not Discouraged, With Overtime Loss to Carolina
INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Dungy saw Sunday what he saw the night before.
And while a lot of what he saw reviewing the tape from the Colts' second preseason game was disappointing, a lot of it wasn't.
Yes, the Colts made mistakes early. Yes, there were things the Carolina Panthers did offensively and defensively for which Dungy – entering his seventh season as the Colts' head coach – said Indianapolis could have been better prepared.
And yes, overall, the Colts' execution could have been better.
But as was the case the week before, Dungy liked a lot of the Colts' individual performances.
And he said what did go wrong can be corrected.
"There were some disappointing things, but again, there were some individual performances you can build on," Dungy said Sunday afternoon, one day after the Colts lost to the Panthers, 23-20, in overtime at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
"Some of the things that we had problems with were things Carolina did that we don't practice a lot. I can see where we need some work on certain things."
Dungy said Carolina used some blitz packages that gave the Colts difficulty, and that the Panthers also gave Indianapolis trouble with cutback running. Dungy said part of the issue was because it is preseason, the Colts didn't game plan extensively for Carolina, instead focusing much of last week on continuing to work installing their own systems in preparation for the regular season.
Because the Colts are largely a stretch running team offensively, and because the Colts don't blitz much defensively, the Colts' defense hasn't seen much cutback running in training camp, nor has the offense worked much against blitz packages.
"They were cutting a lot of things back," Dungy said. "We were overrunning some things. We don't blitz ourselves a lot. We've got to get some more work on that the next two weeks, obviously.
"We had a little bit of trouble with the running game. We hadn't had a long time to work on that and game plan for them. They're easily correctable things. We didn't pressure the passer as well as we did in the first game."
The Colts on Saturday fell behind 14-0 early in the first quarter after Carolina turned two early Colts turnovers into two short touchdown drives. Indianapolis tied it, 20-20, in the third quarter before Carolina kicker John Kasay kicked a 46-yard field goal with 3:53 remaining in overtime.
"I thought our second group came in and got us back in the game," Dungy said.
The first-team offense, a week after moving for a field goal on its lone possession in the preseason opener, committed two turnovers – a lost fumble by quarterback Jim Sorgi and an interception of a deflected pass by Sorgi – on the first two possessions.
Sorgi, making a second consecutive start at quarterback in place of injured starter Peyton Manning, completed 6 of 9 passes for 65 yards and no touchdowns with an interception. After losing a fumble and being intercepted on the Colts' first two drives, Sorgi drove the Colts' for a field goal on the third drive.
On that possession, Sorgi completed 6 of 8 passes for 65 yards.
"You don't like to have two turnovers early in the game," Dungy said. "We had a couple of chances. They were disappointed about that. Jim did fine. Had we worked on some of their blitzes a little more, we might have had a little more opunity."
Dungy said the second and third units, which outscored Carolina 20-9, played well, and he said the Colts' special teams played well for a second consecutive week.
"They did a good job and went in there and played hard," Dungy said. "I thought our coverage units covered well. We had a couple of kickoff returns inside the 20. (Punter) Hunter (Smith) and (kicker) Adam (Vinatieri) kicked well. (Cornerback) T.J. Rushing returned well for us."
Dungy also said the tight ends improved from the first week of the preseason, with rookie Jacob Tamme catching five passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns and Gijon Robinson catching three passes for 30 yards. Starter Dallas Clark caught one pass for 26 yards.
"That was another group that did a good job," Dungy said. They blocked well and pass-protected well. Jacob made several big catches for us. They're continuing to grow as a group and getting more confidence.
"They're doing fine. They're a group that played a little better this week."
The Colts return to practice Monday for the final week of 2008 Training Camp at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, with Dungy saying the focus this week will again be on honing the Colts' fundamentals rather than game-planning for Saturday's opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.
"You want to see how guys play and the system just has to take care of certain things that the other team does," Dungy said. "We weren't as sharp as we needed to be Saturday. I think we need one more week of that in terms of just working our fundamentals and getting our assignments down and getting better."