Monday Press Conference
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (general comments)
"Well, looking back at the tape it's really a satisfying win. It was a game I was concerned about coming off the short week and a real emotional, physical game against Pittsburgh. I wasn't sure how sharp we'd be. We practiced well, but you're always concerned about that. We came out and did a good job, played a very good game and did a lot of things well. The game itself, the style was a little different. There weren't a lot of possessions and you had to take advantage of what you got. I thought our defense keeping them out of the end-zone was really good for us, and then our offense taking advantage of those chances. We got to the point where we want to be. We've got one game against Jacksonville to clinch our division, and that's really the first goal coming in to the season. I think we came out fairly injury free, some minor things, but nothing that looks major. Hopefully we'll get Nick Harper back and a chance to get Joseph Jefferson back. We could be pretty much a full strength. We feel good about where we are three-quarters of the way through the year. Our guys have done a good job of maintaining their focus even in the midst of all this talk of the streak and everything. They really are practicing well and preparing well and taking things one game at a time. We couldn't be happier."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on his Monday off routine after a win)
"We do that as kind of an incentive plan. Our normal routine is to come in on Monday, lift weights, get a little running in, watch the game tape and do a little 2-minute work and a little practice for the guys who haven't played much. We do that through September and October and then we get to November and to put a little added emphasis on how important the games are. Starting November 1st, if we win, we give [players] Mondays off. It really helps solidify that idea that getting better as the season goes on is important, and that even though all the games only count one, winning in November and December is huge. It helps, number one, by giving the coaches extra time off. We'll have the afternoon to start preparing for Jacksonville. It helps the players mentally to get away from things for a day. Most of the guys take advantage of it. They get their rest and I think they come back more fresh mentally on Wednesday."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on securing home field throughout the playoffs)
"It's important too. That's another goal for us. We want to definitely get that bye. We haven't had it in the three playoff years that I've been here, and we've got an opportunity to do that as well. It would be very important, the fact that we'd get the first round off and definitely have a first round home game. Those are big, big things, and things we thought about as the season started."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on if not getting a first round bye prevents a team from reaching the Super Bowl)
"It doesn't prevent you. It obviously makes it easier if you can get the bye. That's like winning a playoff game without having to play. The opponent that you're going to play, they had to play the week before, expend a lot of energy, injuries, and now you are sitting waiting on a team to come to you. It doesn't guarantee you anything, but it certainly helps, and when you come into the playoffs you want to have every advantage you can get."