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Indianapolis Colts

Head Coach Tony Dungy Press Conference

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(general comments following Sunday’s 41-9 win at Detroit) 11/26/04 “As I mentioned yesterday, I was really, really proud of the team, the way we came through this November stretch.

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(general comments following Sunday's 41-9 win at Detroit) 11/26/04

"As I mentioned yesterday, I was really, really proud of the team, the way we came through this November stretch. I was very concerned about this last game against Detroit, but I told our team Wednesday night at the hotel, I'd never seen a team in a situation like that practice that hard, as hard as we did on Tuesday and Wednesday. They were very sharp on Wednesday, no complaining about being out there an hour and 15 minutes the day before the game. It just seemed like they were ready to play well. I thought we were very sharp offensively; defensively, not as sharp in the first half. We didn't tackle well. We were just a little bit slow on a few things. We gave up a lot of yardage in the first half, but fortunately, our red zone defense came through and we held them really to four field goal attempts. Special teams was a big challenge, and we talked about that all week, that we really had to control their returners. And we made that pay off for us, too. So all in all, really a good finish. We knew there would be a lot of emotion early with the Thanksgiving Day crowd and it was going to be important to come out and play well early, and our offense really did that. So, a very good win for us. The guys basically have three days off now, and we're going to come back for probably our most important game of the year, a division game that can really, if we win it, really set us up in terms of the tiebreakers. So, it's one we're going to really focus on and see if we can get a sweep. Sweeps are hard to come by in this league, and that will be our focus next week."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the first kickoff going out of bounds) 11/26/04

"We were going to kick it to the right, and Jason (Baker), pumped up, wanting to get a perfect kick, tried to blast it and just mis-hit it, and kicked it out of bounds. We weren't trying to kick it over there that close. We were going to just try to kick it deep, outside the numbers, and make him return it up our right sideline. Jason Hanson did the same thing on their second kick, trying to kick it away from Dominic (Rhodes), and just pushed it too far."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if four games in 18 days is tougher physically or mentally) 11/26/04

"It's a little bit of both. I think if you have a veteran team, then the physical part of it comes about. I know our guys talked about that, being a little bit weary. Mentally, maybe for our younger guys, it was a little bit tougher putting all of those game plans in quickly, trying to keep up with who you're playing and what you're doing, not having those extra days to kind of relax and clear your mind, but just going back-to-back. So, probably a little bit of both."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on what he learned about this team through this November stretch) 11/26/04

"I think our young guys are growing up a little bit. I think we have a fairly mentally tough team. I thought our veteran leadership, starting after the Kansas Citygame, was very good. There were a lot of doubts floating around, not so much in our building, but outside the building. And the veteran guys really set the pace and really just had our guys saying, 'Do what we do. Make sure we're on top of our fundamentals. We're going to be fine.' And I thought they led very well. And we found out we can score."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the return of DE-Brad Scioli with the injury to DE-Josh Thomas) 11/26/04

"He's been very good. He's practice well, he's kept himself ready to go and every week, we talk in the team meeting, 'Hey, you never know when you're number is going to be called.' It's happened with some of our young offensive linemen, and I think Brad has always approached it that way. He was playing well early in the season, and he just hasn't been active as much. But we expect him to come back in and pick up right where he left off, and take those turns in the lineup that Josh Thomas had been getting. So, he's going to play, and he'll be ready to play 18-20 plays a game I would think."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on DE-Brad Scioli's shoulder) 11/26/04

"It's actually better now, and obviously where it gets banged up the most is in the games. So, he's probably fresher and probably feels better now than at any time since training camp. I think that's going to be good for us."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on DE-Robert Mathis and the defensive line coming along) 11/26/04

"I think it's a matter of the whole group knowing each other, knowing the game plan, making things happen together. And Robert's obviously been a big factor and we're getting a lot more attention to our outside guys. And that's helping our inside guys, but by the same token, when they get the one-on-ones, they're making things happen. They're forcing the quarterback to step outside the pocket or step back, and that's helping the ends. So, it is, it's a group effort, and the fact that we're playing eight guys and they're all fresh. People have asked us, 'Why doesn't Mathis play more? Why doesn't this guy play more?' But when Robert's in there going 20-25 plays and going hard and being fresh and a Josh Thomas is taking 10 of those plays, it really does help."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the play of DB-Joseph Jefferson) 11/26/04

"Joseph did well, and he's getting better every week. It's probably his first time playing two or three games in a row. He's had an interception and two caused fumbles, and those are the kind of guys that can have some success in this defense, the bigger more physical guys playing corner and they're sitting out there in the flat and being able to come with a little authority when they make those tackles. It's a different type of body out there, and that's what we thought we'd get from him all along."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the offense) 11/26/04

"I've coached against some really dynamic offenses, San Diegoin the 80s. When you went up against those guys, you'd just watch tape and just marvel at how efficient they were. And then seeing it from the inside, it's really something. I do marvel at these guys and their professionalism and how we're doing things. The only (offense) I guess I've been close to was in Minnesotawhen we had Warren Moon and we had some really good skill position guys and Robert Smith was running the ball well for us. We had a lot of weaponry, and we were explosive. I don't think we're quite as explosive as that group, but we're really efficient. That's what I've noticed in the last seven or eight weeks, just how efficient we are. We're moving the ball; we're taking advantage of our scoring opportunities and not making many mistakes. It's not easy. They do make it look that way, and I think that's because of the efficiency. We have very few bad plays. We're not overcoming a lot of second-and-longs and third-and-longs. We're staying in third-and-shorts, which, when we can run the ball and throw it, that really puts the defense in a bind. We've been good about taking the points that are avai

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