INDIANAPOLIS COLTS HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY
January 12, 2005
Q: Coach, are you practicing inside or outside this week?
TD: Well, we've got a real, real wet field so we're going to have to practice inside. We'll have the doors open and try to get it as cold as we can, but we will be inside.
Q: How has Ty Warren played this season?
TD: You know, the amazing thing about these guys is that everybody seems to play a little bit better as the year goes on and we saw him week one and he and [Vince] Wilfork are, I think, completely different players now than they were week one and they've played really, really well in the last four or five games that we've looked at coming down to the end of the year. Very, very strong, Warren, and he's done an excellent job.
Q: Have they been able to get pressure on you with just their basic pass rush and not blitzing the past two meetings that you've had?
TD: Well, they have. They've got some good rushers, obviously. They've gotten some pressure with some four-man rush running games. They've gotten some pressure with some different types of blitzes. Our line's done a good job a lot of the time picking them up, but they're tough. They're not—everybody kind of thinks of them as scheme-driven and they do this and do that, but they have guys who can win one on one rushes and they do it well.
Q: Does the fact that you've played some 3-4 teams down the stretch help you going against the Patriots?
TD: Well, we hope it does. The 3-4 isn't novel to us now at this point. We played San Diegoand we played Baltimoreand we have played some teams that have run it and obviously that does help you because now your rules and everything, you've gone over them and you've played in that situation.
Q: I'm sure the other teams you've prepared for you can probably get a pretty good idea of what they're going to do by watching their films. To some extent that's probably true with New England, but how different is it week-to-week or year-to-year going against Bill Belichick's defense when you face it?
TD: Well, the thing they do, you can watch 10 games and they do something different because they have veteran players, they have smart guys and they structure it to take away what the other team does best. So, if they're playing Baltimoreand it's a run offense and two tight ends, they have a package for that. If they're playing St. Louisand it's all spread out and passing, they have a package for that. So, that's the thing, to me, that what they do is they're able to tailor it to what they have to do to win that particular game.
Q: Could you just talk about Eugene Wilson for a minute? He switches from cornerback to safety to cornerback. How hard is that for someone to do?
TD: I think they have a lot of guys like that, that have kind of taken a role of 'I'm going to do whatever it takes to help the team.' That is difficult. It's hard enough to play one position in the NFL, but to play a couple well takes good coaching and very smart players. Eugenewas a guy that we loved coming out of school in the draft. I thought he was going to be a top-flight corner in the NFL. He goes there and they need him more at safety and he steps in and plays great. Then, when they need him back at corner, he is able to go back without a whole, whole lot of practice time and do it and that's incredible. Troy Brown, you can't say enough about that, where a guy's basically your number one receiver and says, 'Hey, they need me more on defense and I'm going to concentrate over there and go over there and play.' There just aren't many guys that would do that and that is what I love about their team. They're all about winning and they put winning above everything else.
Q: Fairly or unfairly, do you think that Peyton's legacy up to this point is going to be somewhat determined by what happens on Sunday?
TD: Well, it won't be determined by what happens on Sunday, but he'll always have that—when I got here it was, 'He's a good quarterback but he can't win a playoff game.' Now that we've won some playoff games it's, 'He's a good quarterback but he can't win a Super Bowl.' If he wins the Super Bowl it'll be, 'Yeah, he's a good quarterback but he can't win two or three Super Bowls like [Joe] Montanaand some of those guys have done.' So, it's always going to be that way. A lot of great players have had that—Barry Bonds has had that and Barry Sanders had that. Do we look back and say, 'You know, Barry Sanders was really an okay player, but he never really took his team to the Super Bowl.' I don't think that, having coached against him, but there might be some people that will and, especially with a quarterback, that is what happens.
Q: In every sport there seems to be some teams who have to get by another team, a certain team, in order to become champions. Do you feel like you're tied to the Patriots in any way in that sense?
TD: Well, I think we are in a situation where it's just a very, very competitive AFC right now and I can remember when I was playing in the late'70s there were some teams that felt that way about Pittsburgh. I think the Raiders of that era, their legacy would've been a little bit different, the Houston Oilers and Earl Campbell, maybe the Cowboys would've been the team that won four or five Super Bowls in that era if it hadn't been for the Steelers. It's just, that's the era you're in. when you're up against a great team, you have to step up and you have to win some of those games and that's what our challenge is right now.
Q: As a former defensive back yourself, how hard do you think it is for Rodney Harrison to sort of be the traffic cop back there with all the injuries the Patriots have had?
TD: He might—I was asked this about Peyton Manning and how did I feel about him being named the Most Valuable Player, and when you look at what they've done and what he's had to do, not only play well but play with so many different guys and so many young guys, I'm not so sure he hasn't been the most valuable player in the NFL. They've done a great job and won 14 games and he's been the one constant back there, he and Eugene, but as we talked, Eugenehas played different positions. He has done a great job and had an outstanding year and shows up on the film week in and week out playing well, but also I think, making the other guys feel comfortable so they can play well.
Q: If I could distract you with an AFC question about a different eastern team, your good friend and former assistant Herm Edwards was shown on the sidelines kind of animated with his running backs coach, and I'm curious what you recall from his time with you in Tampa, kind of what his personality was like and was he pretty animated on the sidelines in Tampa with you?
TD: Well, Herm is a fiery guy and people sometimes can mistake when you don't see th