HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(general comments) 1/6/05
"I think I'm probably like the players, where it seems like we've been preparing for Denverforever now. But it's something that you want to just try to stay in your routine and continue to be sharp. So, we had our normal Thursday practice and I thought it went well. Hopefully, we can continue to progress. Pretty much the same report as last week. We worked on our goal-line short yardage and our scoring zone and hopefully we're sharp."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on in preparing for Denverfor two weeks, how do you keep it from being monotonous) 1/6/05
"That's the challenge because you're going to do a lot of the same things. Try to dress it up in a different way. Approach it a little bit differently. But basically, in the meetings, everything's been explained the same way and the players just have to retain that energy. And they've done a good job of it so far."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on DE-Dwight Freeney and QB-Peyton Manning being named to the All-Pro Team) 1/6/05
"I think it's great, and obviously, I think we had some more deserving guys, but any time you're just picking one unit out of all 32 teams in the league, and you make that, it's something special. And both guys have had special years. Statistically, they've been at the top of their position pretty much all year. Dwight has done an outstanding job. He's come a long ways from the 11th pick from where everybody said we took him too high and it was really not a wise move. Looking in 20/20 hindsight, it's looking like a real good move at this point."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if RB-Edgerrin James gets overlooked in what he means because of all of the offensive weapons) 1/6/05
"Number one, and I think the thing that goes unnoticed, we do a lot with protection. He has to hear it, know what to do. He blocks defensive linemen. He blocks linebackers. He picks up safeties. He's very, very valuable that way. He rarely gets beat. He also catches the ball. He catches 50 balls a year for us. But on top of all of that, running and setting up everything with our run game and making our play action go and giving us that threat that people have to defend. Even if he only had 800 or 900 yards, he still would be very valuable with everything else that he does all-around. But when you throw in 1,500-plus yards, that's a great year."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on having such a great record when Edgerrin James runs for 100-plus yards) 1/6/05
"When we run it effectively, we have a great chance to win, regardless of how many times he runs it or how many yards. When we're running effectively and people have to defend it, it really, really helps us."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the difference in the first Colts team he took to the playoffs and this one) 1/6/05
"I think we're a little bit more mature. We have a lot of guys, obviously, who have been through four playoff games now. We had a few guys my first year, but we certainly have more guys in key roles. I think we understand what we're trying to do a little bit better. Certainly, we've gone past the talk of, 'Can you win a playoff game.' That hasn't been brought up, and obviously it was with the first team. And we're playing better. That first team, we played okay down the stretch, but not really up to our standards. This team is coming off eight wins out of nine games. So, I think we're a little hotter and probably a little more confident."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if he thinks they have to get to the Super Bowl to think they had a great season) 1/6/05
"It probably depends on what happens and how we play. If we play well and get beaten, I'll probably think it was a good year. If we don't play our best and get beaten, it will be a disappointment. I was disappointed last year because I thought we had a Super Bowl-caliber team. We played well and didn't play our best in the last game. So, 'Was it a good year?' It was, but it was still disappointing. If we play a different type of game and lose that last game of the year, I'd probably be happy if we're playing our best and just get beat."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if it was a conscious decision to spread the ball around this year) 1/6/05
"I don't think it was a conscious decision. It's something we've been trying to do ever since I've been here, trying to utilize all of your weapons. And I think our other weaponry has been better and been healthier. Last year, I think we wanted to do the same thing. We really didn't have Dallas Clark all year. We didn't have Brandon (Stokley) but for three or four games. And Reggie (Wayne) has just come on and gotten better and better. So, it's something that we wanted to do, but the other guys made it happen by really producing."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how frustrating it was for the Broncos to control the ball the way they did in the 2003 regular season game) 1/6/05
"It was tough. We didn't play defense well enough to win that game. We couldn't get off the field on third down and they really did control the game. And that's something I'm sure they're going to try to do, and we can't allow that to happen. But I've been involved in a few of those games, and they aren't fun."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how Jeff Saturday's job is different from most centers) 1/6/05
"Most centers make the line calls. They tell their linemates how they're going to block certain plays, how they're going to protect. Most of that happens in the huddle, and then there are some adjustments made at the line of scrimmage. Jeff's job is a little tougher because a lot of times he doesn't know the play we're going to run until two seconds before it's being run. And then it has to be quick communication. But those guys are used to it. They've done it for seven years now."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on what's different about the playoffs) 1/6/05
"What happens is you realize that if you don't win the game, you're going home. That puts mental pressure on everybody. It's not like, 'Hey, if I make a mistake, we'll bounce back and we'll get it next week.' So what you find is, there are some teams and some individuals that can function the same way in the playoffs that they do in the regular season. And those are the guys who we classify as 'great.' That's all it is. It's nothing any different, but so many people can't do, in a big game like that, what they do all of the time in the regular season. And the (Joe) Montanas, the (John) Elways the (Terry) Bradshaws and the (Roger) Staubachs, those guys were able to play at the same level, even though it's highly pressurized. That's what the playoffs bring out and that's what you find out: who can concentrate and who can do the fundamental basic things, not great, but just the fundamentals when it is a highly pressurized situation."