Preparation Has Been Key in Recent Weeks, Dungy Says
INDIANAPOLIS – As was the case a week ago, Tony Dungy liked what he saw.
The challenge now, Dungy said:
Turn a solid week of work into an equally solid performance.
Dungy, in his seventh season as the Colts' head coach, said one of the keys to a 31-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday – Indianapolis' widest margin of victory since the 2007 regular-season opener – was the continuing increased quality of the team's work in practice.
It's a trend Dungy said he has seen in recent weeks.
And one that he said has given him a good feeling entering the weekend.
"We've practiced better the last few weeks – really since the bye," Dungy said Friday morning as the Colts (3-2), the five-time defending AFC South champions, prepared to play the defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers (3-3) at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
"I think it's showing in our performance."
The Colts, who lost two of their first three games, focused on fundamentals and basics during the Week 4 bye, Dungy said, taking an approach that week similar to training camp. They beat the Houston Texans, 31-27, the week after the bye, rallying from a 27-10 deficit in the final five minutes.
Last week, the Colts scored the first 31 points and three points by the Ravens were the fewest by a Colts opponent since December 2005.
"It was really very good in terms of mental preparation last week, because we knew we had to," Dungy said. "We saw multiple defenses and blitzes and unbalanced line formations their offense had. There was just a lot of thinking and it was very sharp.
"This week, it's a different kind of preparation. They (the Packers) don't do as much, but you have to be prepared and they have big-play players, so I think our guys have taken on that same approach."
Also on Friday, the Colts released their final injury reof the week, with wide receiver Roy Hall (knee), cornerback Kelvin Hayden (knee) and safety Bob Sanders (knee) listed as out for Sunday's game, running back Joseph Addai (hamstring) and tight end Gijon Robinson (ankle) listed as doubtful and linebacker Freddy Keiaho (groin) listed as questionable.
Hall, Hayden and Sanders missed last week's game, during which Addai and Robinson sustained their injuries.
None of the five players practiced this week, while Keiaho practiced Thursday and Friday.
Dungy said he wouldn't anticipate Addai playing.
"If there's any doubt at all, we're going to keep him out, but we'll see," Dungy said.
Dungy said Robinson, a starter at H-back in the first five games of the season, "still feels confident he's going to play."
"If it's doubtful at all, we have other guys who can get the job done," Dungy said. "We have (tight ends) Jacob (Tamme), Tom (Santi) and Dallas (Clark), so we have three other guys if needed."
Dan Muir, a defensive tackle who has been inactive all five games since joining the Colts off waivers from Green Bay in Week 1, likely will be active, Dungy said.
Outside linebacker Tyjuan Hagler, a starter last season who spent the first six weeks on the Physically Unable to Perform list, likely will be activated Sunday, Dungy said.
"He has done fine and doesn't have any negative effects from practice at all," Dungy said. "So, my guess is we'd activate him and he'd be ready to go. I don't know that you can step right in and play a full game without having played any in the preseason or gotten it going. I think he could definitely play and he'll make some things happen for us."