HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(opening comments following Sunday's loss at Kansas City) 11/1/04
"As I said yesterday after the game, there's not a lot of positives to take out after a loss, and looking at the video today was tough. We had some good effort, I thought we played hard for the most part and we came back in a venue that's tough to come back. Usually, you put yourself down in Kansas Citywith the way they get that momentum going, it's tough. But we gave ourselves a chance to get back in the game and didn't quite get it done. I think the big thing we have to do is take our disappointment and use that to our advantage, not dwell on the loss or dwell on how things have gone, but look at how we can improve. Obviously, we have to do a better job of stopping people, and that's something we'll focus in on this week. The positive note was that we put a very good offense in 15 third-down situations, but the negative is they converted most of them, and that's been an Achilles heel for us all year and something we're going to look at and see if we can improve on. Offensively, we're still moving the ball. We missed some throws that we normally hit, that could have helped us, but all in all, I thought we played offensively well enough to win.
"All in all, I think we'll bounce back. The big thing that we have to fight right now is the tendency to panic, and I don't believe we will do that. I think we'll continue to grow and continue to work on the things that we need to do to improve. It's a long year. I've said many times, you don't really begin to get in the championship hunt and you don't begin to win championships until November and December. We just finished our seventh game, we're just starting November and there's a lot of football left to be played. Three weeks ago, there were probably different teams that people were saying were the hot team, and now it's all changed. Three weeks from now, some of those will be different, and we want to be one of those that they're talking about as a hot team."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the defense) 11/1/04
"The thing we have to do is play better, and the way you do that is by each guy doing his job just a little bit better. We talked about it as a staff with the defensive coaches, and you can't try to create new things or different things. We have to do what we do fundamentally and play a little bit better, a little sounder, and that's the way we're going to improve. And really, there's some things we can do, but for the most part, it's third down. If we can cut our third-down percentages from where they are now—close to 50 percent—down in the mid-30s, that's the difference. If you get two or three stops in a game, force the other team to punt, for us that's going to do it. So, we'll zero in on that, but it's not re-creating the wheel or bringing in new players; it's really just doing what we've done all of the way through training camp."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how you focus and practice third-down situations) 11/1/04
"You practice your fundamentals and what you do, your coverage techniques, your pass-rush techniques, and just doing things right. A team like Kansas City, they're a good offense. They're going to convert some third downs, they're going to make some. So, when you have a chance to stop them or you get them in a third-and-nine, you have to make those count, and that's what we didn't do yesterday."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how it's difficult to stop good offenses) 11/1/04
"It is. You have some good offensive players out there, but that's your challenge, and that's your task on defense, to do enough to win the ballgame and to stop them enough to get the ball for your offense. We did that in the first part of the year, and we have to get back to that. We've lost two games where, probably, we just have to stop the last drive and we have a great chance to win, and we haven't done that. The games before that, we did. We got to Tennessee, and when we were in that situation, we stopped the drive. The difference is not a whole, whole lot. That's what we have to regain and recapture."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the possibility of losing confidence with such a young defense) 11/1/04
"I think that happens and you start to search, you start to do other things and think you have to do something extra-special, and guys leave their assignments. That is something we do have to guard against. We just have to go out there and play and know that the system will work and it will take care of itself if we all do our job. And that is something that we're going to have to harp on, because it is a natural tendency."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on not making excuses defensively) 11/1/04
"No. That's why we have training camp, that's why we practice, that's why we have that many defensive players. We expect them all to play at some point down the line. You have to play well enough to win, and I think we'll do that eventually. I'm probably a little more upbeat than most people are around here, I guess, because I've been in much worse situations than this, and come on and done real well in the past. We were 3-4 one year in Tampaand had trouble making a first down and went to the NFC Championship Game. So, two losses in a row is not something you want to do, and hasn't happened to us in a long time, but in October, although it hurts, is not life-threatening."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on RB-Edgerrin James) 11/1/04
"He's running really well. He's running strong, he's making plays and he's involved in our passing game. He made a big play on the screen for us (against Kansas City), and he's pass protecting exceptionally well. So, I don't know how you can play much better as a back than he's playing for us."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on QB-Peyton Manning and WR-Marvin Harrison close to breaking the completions-receptions record for a duo) 11/1/04
"It's been a pleasure for me to watch them for two-and-a-half years, and I have kind of seen the finished product, but watching them, I know how they've gotten there. Both of them have worked extremely hard, they are both very knowledgeable about the game and they both have a lot of pride in how they play. We're in an era where we're throwing the ball a lot. You think of (John) Unitas and (Raymond) Berryand people like that, that played together for a long time…it's rare. People don't get to play together that long. (Jerry) Rice played in this league with (Joe) Montanaand (Steve) Young and then with the Oaklandguys. It's just unique. I think they have both been blessed to be able to play with each other, and they've taken advantage of it.
"They've stayed very healthy, and they've been productive. Marvin getting to 800 catches almost a year-and-a-half faster than Jerry Rice…it's really hard to believe."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on WR-Marvin Harrison possibly catching Jerry Rice's records) 11/1/04
"You don't know. Obviously, Marvin would