HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(general comments following Sunday's 41-10 win at Chicago) 11/22/04
"Looking at the tape, it was a real satisfying win in a lot of ways. Chicagowas playing well, they were on a roll, and we went in there and stopped that momentum early. I thought it was a total team effort. Our offense really got going. I thought we really rallied around our two young offensive guards and got our running game going. And that slowed their pass rush down and then allowed us to do some things that way. Defensively, we got some third-down stops early in the game. Once we got ahead, it became a little easier, obviously, and I thought Hunter Smith punted the ball well and Jason Baker kicked off well, which was something we were really concerned about, keeping their returners under wraps. We wanted to force fair catches and we were able to get that done, and our kickoff team had a lot of guys down there making tackles. So, all in all, it was a good win for us. It allows us to really focus in now on Thursday and try to get this last win of this four-game stretch."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if he entered the four-game stretch thinking 4-0 or 3-1) 11/22/04
"No, you really don't think of it that way. You know it's going to be tough and you just take them one week (at a time), try to get one win, and then try to get the next one. And that's what we said going into Chicago. You really couldn't worry about, 'Oh, we have another game on Thanksgiving.' You have to get a win in Chicago, and that's all you're concerned about. Now that we've got the three, obviously our focus is on just really recovering, doing the best we can and trying to get this last win in Detroit. And then we'll get some time off."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on what he attributes the reserve offensive linemen playing so well to) 11/22/04
"I think our personnel department, number one. They bring people in to our team that are likely to succeed. They know the characteristics of the guys that play well in this system, and we have smart guys. For the most part, we have athletics guys and guys that are willing to work. I think our veteran group gets those guys ready—as well as (OL Coach Howard Mudd)—but they kind of expect to do well when they go in. Nobody makes a big deal of it. They obviously give those guys help and communicate with them, but it's not like anything is done any differently. And I think that helps those guys just feel like part of the group."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how much it helps having DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) 11/22/04
"That really helps. (Chicago) started the game off taking their fullback going to Dwight's side, chipping, giving the left tackle some help. Robert was able to get some pressure. Montae Reagor, we felt like, inside we needed someone to step up because we were going to get some one-on-ones inside, and Montae had two sacks and quite a bit of pressure. So, it just helps when you don't have only one guy that they have to worry about."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on RB-Edgerrin James) 11/22/04
"Well, Edgerrin has run well all year. Yesterday was obviously the most productive day he's had, but he had the opportunities. Because Brian Urlacher wasn't there and they were playing a lot of two-deep zone, he got in the secondary a little bit more and made some people miss. But he's run well all year, and when he's running like that, it really just magnifies what our receiving corps can do."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on if the offense is still improving) 11/22/04
"I think we're getting better. And to be honest, we weren't all that sharp yesterday. We had some third-down misses that we usually convert. We weren't as sharp in the red zone. We threw a couple of interception balls that we don't normally throw. One got intercepted, one got dropped. We had the penalties. So, we think we can still play better than that, but the thing we are doing is we're utilizing everyone and getting contributions from a lot of people."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the importance of RB-Edgerrin James) 11/22/04
"He sets the tone for us. He's on course to rush for somewhere between 1500-1600 yards. You know, that's a great year by anyone's standards. Because of the fact that we've had all the touchdown passes and had different receivers going, he can sometimes be overlooked, but our offense and our guys know what he means to us."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on how tough it is to get everything in this week) 11/22/04
"It's probably a little tougher on defense. I've played in two of these (Thanksgiving) games, and generally, on offense, you can do a lot of things you did the past week. Especially with us, we have a veteran offense, and being able to do things just in a walk-through setting and run plays in a game that you haven't really practiced, but just walk through them, we'll be able to get that done. Defensively, you have to tighten your package down a little bit because you don't have as much practice time. So, it becomes executing, fundamentals and tackling well. Hopefully, our young guys will do that."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on Detroit's offense) 11/22/04
"Detroithas some skill-position guys that are really good players, and they're trying to find their feet in their system, kind of like our young defensive players are. Roy Williams is as talented as anybody in the league and makes some highlight-film type of plays. Kevin Jones is just getting started, but we've seen him make some great runs. (QB-Joey) Harrington has been a little bit up and down, but obviously a high pick and a real talented guy. Stephen Alexander we know from his days at Washingtonand a very good receiving tight end. They have people sprinkled in, but it's a matter of playing together and functioning as a group. And they're capable of big plays, and I think that's the big thing that we have to be concerned about, guys who can make the big plays."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on the special teams play of Eddie Drummond) 11/22/04
"He's a big, big factor, and he's kept them in the games the last couple of weeks. A guy that you're very, very concerned with, and we're going to have to do the same thing (as we did in Chicago). We're going to have to kick well, hang the balls high, try to pin him near the sidelines…keep a lot of pressure on him, because he creates field position and creates scores. He's as dangerous as the two guys we faced last week."
HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY(on leading the league in give-aways/take-aways margin) 11/22/04
"It's something that we preach and something that we harp on. I think our offense has done a great job all year protecting the football, knowing how important that is and really buying into the fact that if we don't turn it over, we're going to put a lot of points on the board because we're tough to stop. Defensively, the last couple of weeks, we're creating some turnovers finally with our speed, getting ourselves ahead early in the game. If we continue at that pace and continue to build that turnover margin in our fa