Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy (9/21/05)
(On the first games of the season) – "We're pleased to be 2-0. That's for sure. [It was] a rough stretch for us [playing] Jacksonville, who's always tough on us, and going to Baltimore. I don't think we're playing as well as we're going to need to play, and I think we're going to continue to improve. But getting through those minefields and being 2-0, we're definitely happy about that."
(On how Trent Dilfer has changed since playing under Dungy in TampaBay) – "From what I've seen, he's gotten better and better. He's playing very good football for them right now, doing the things that you have to do to win games. That was our situation there. He was kind of in a growing stage, and he got better every year for us. Even though he went to the Pro Bowl my second year (1997), I thought by the end of his time there he was a better quarterback even than he was in 1997. He's a very, very tough guy. He's going to implement the game plan exactly the way the coaches want it. He's going to get them in the right situations and make good decisions, and he's going to be a leader for them. That's what quarterbacking is all about. He's got a little advantage, I think. He's played against this defense and played against it in practice for five years. It really hasn't changed a whole lot since we were in Tampa, so he'll know it as well as anybody. We're somewhat familiar with him, but we're still playing their system, and he's playing against our system, so it might be a little edge for the Browns."
(On the running back situation) – "Ran (Carthon) has run very well for us whenever he's gotten the opportunity. He's run well in the preseason, and we've got a lot of confidence in him. We just signed Kory Chapman today, and we'll try to get him as familiar with our offense as he can. But basically, it'll probably be Edgerrin (James) and Ran carrying the load. You never know how the injuries are going to go, but both of those guys will do well. We really won't change too much if Ran has to go in there and play just like he did last week. That's one of the things I think our team really does well is we pick it up around that person and we don't really change a lot, so we'll be fine."
(On Corey Simon) – "We're going to hopefully get Corey into that speed mode, too. He's got some quick-twitch fiber, even though he's a bigger guy. But he gives us a presence inside that we really haven't had any place I've been with a guy that big. I think when he really understands what we're doing, he's going to have to be double-teamed a lot to run the ball inside. He's going to be a pretty good pass rusher for us when we get him going, he learns our guys and learns our calls, so we think he's really going to help us."
(On whether he expects a similar defensive look as the Patriots showed under Romeo Crennel) – "I would think we would. I'd think we would see a lot of the same type of things. They slowed us down as much as anyone over the last three or four years, and I wouldn't think they'd deviate too much from that. That's what they do, and that's what they've shown. They're playing very solid. They did a good job on Brett Favre last week and did a fairly good job on Cincinnati, so I would expect yes."
(On Colts defensive back Mike Doss) – "That was a tough deal on Mike because of injuries. He had to really come back with just one week practicing and pretty much play the whole game. He got fatigued a little bit at the end, but played pretty solid. I think he'll tackle a little bit better than he did last week. He had a lot of tackles, but he missed some that he normally makes. I think just one week into the flow will help with that way. Mike's been a good player for us. He's been around football a lot in the time he's been here and has made things happen. I would just expect him to continue to get better."
(On the Browns play calling late in the game against Green Bay) – "You get in that situation, and you know you don't want to give Brett Favre the ball back where all they need is a field goal. So, really, you have to make first downs in that situation. They did what they thought was best to make first downs. They threw safe passes. They completed them, and basically ran the clock down. They would've run clock completely out if not for the touchdown play, so it's a little bit different than when you're ahead by four or seven. You have to make first downs, and they did what they thought was the best way to attack Green Bay's defense at the time."
(On whether teams are dropping more players into coverage against them) – "We're getting more of that. We got some of that last year, and there'll be some times where we have to run the ball. I think Edgerrin James is going to have a big year for us. As that becomes the mentality of the way they're going to play us, he's going to run and run well. That's what we have to do. We have to be patient. That's always been our style, to go to the line of scrimmage with run-pass checks and take what the defense gives us. So if that's the way people play us, I think we'll be able to counteract that, as well."
(On how the Colts keep from looking forward to New England) – "You have to continually show the team the tapes of the team you're playing. That's all you have to do. I've been in professional sports a long time. I've been a head coach nine years, and I've never won a game in Green Bay. I think I'm 0-7 up there. So [the Browns] go in and win up in Green Bay. That speaks to what they're all about. If we start looking at other people that don't really affect this particular week, we're going to be in trouble. Fortunately for us, we've got mature enough guys. We've got some great leadership—veteran guys on our offense, guys like Corey Simon and David Thornton, who have played a lot of football—that understand that every week's a different challenge, so I don't think we're going to have that problem. We're not as obsessed with New Englandas the rest of the country is. We're trying to win our division, number one, and last week was a big game as far as that goes. We want to win every game on our schedule, and right now Cleveland's the next one up."
(On winning home-field advantage) – "[It's] not as important as people think. New England's gone to the Super Bowl twice without home-field advantage. We have a very good record on the road. We might have one game's difference between our home record and our road record. You always want home-field in the playoffs, no doubt about it, but for us the more important thing is to win our division and see if we can get a bye. We've been 12-4 the last two years and haven't gotten that first game off. To me, that's much more important when a team can rest up for you and wait for you. No matter where you're playing the game, there's an advantage to the team that has that week off. That's what would be more of our goal, to see if we can get a bye. Home-field would be nice, obviously, but hopefully we can win the division and go from there."
(On former Universityof Michiganteammates Marlin Jackson and Braylon Edwards facing one another) – "We watched a lot of tape of those guys, and they went against each other one-on-one a lot in practice. I'm sure it's going to be fun for them to actually go live. I'm sure there'll be some times where Marlin does match up with Braylon Edwards. They're both big, physical guys, and they're both very competitive. Marlin's playing well for us. He's brought a great attitude to our defense. He's brought some physical play to our secondary, and he's still learning the game very much. But he's a really exciting and excitable player, so we're happy to have him."
(On the Belichick/Parcells coaching tree) – "No, I don't think there's any mystery to it. Cleveland's got an outstanding coach. Romeo's obviously been around Bill Belichick a