Head Coach Tony Dungy Press Conference

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (general comments) “I guess it’s fun for us playing at night.  Again, we had a good night game, and I tell you what, it was really kind of an unbelievable atmosphere.

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (general comments) * *

"I guess it's fun for us playing at night.  Again, we had a good night game, and I tell you what, it was really kind of an unbelievable atmosphere.  Even the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, I don't know, maybe it was just the feeling because it was so localized and all of our crowd.  But it was really exciting being around town the last couple of days and riding into the stadium yesterday.  It was just great for the city and I was really pleased that our guys played to that tempo.  I think we were excited about the whole thing as well.  We played as hard and as physical on both sides of the ball as I can remember.  And that's what we needed.  That was a very, very good football team, and I think the 10-10 halftime score was really more indicative than the final score.  But we hung in there and just continued to play and we forced them into some mistakes in the second half and eliminated ours.  That's why the score was so different.  But it was a good first time out.  I think a good lesson for our young players that you really do just have to keep persevering and keep playing hard until good things start to happen for you."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on how this team is built and playing with a lead)

"It's important for us.  We are much better with the lead, and that plays into the style of our defense.  And once we got that lead, we felt pretty good.  We had a chance to go up 10-0 or 14-0 in that first quarter, and we had the fumble, and that really took a little wind out of our sails for a while.  They got the lead, and we had to fight back.  Probably the biggest series was when they had the ball 10-7 and had a chance to go in, maybe expand the lead.  We got a three-and-out and got the ball back for our offense.  That's the mark of a good team, though.  When things aren't clicking on one side of the ball quite right, the other side can hold fort, and that's what we did last night.  At halftime, we really just talked about getting to our running game and forcing them to come out of that two-deep coverage.  And if they didn't, we were going to have to continue to run.  We got Joseph (Addai) some good run looks in the second half, and hit a couple of deep balls when they did come after us.  That really turned the tide.  But it was really the defense holding the fort until we could get that going."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on big plays on both sides of the ball)

"We're a big-play defense, no question about it.  Offensively, we'd like to be a big-play offense, but people are playing us to take that away.  New Orleans, we hadn't seen much of that all preseason.  We saw a lot of five-and six-man rushes and a lot of man coverage, and they really stayed away from that.  So we had to take what was there.  We finally did get some big plays when they got behind and had to take some chances."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on how the defense played)

"They played well, in terms of results.  Our speed erased several mistakes, and that's a little bit troubling.  That will be fun because guys came in on a good game and energized and they will look at the tape and see eight or nine things where, 'Hey, this wasn't played quite right and if we hadn't had some great individual efforts, this could have been a problem.'  The glass being half-full on that is we have some guys who, everything doesn't have to be perfect for them to make plays.  And that's good to see."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Season Ticket Deposits Available Now!

Season Ticket Deposits Available Now!

Join the priority list now for 2023 season tickets! Place a deposit today and you'll be the first in line to get the best seats, benefits & more!