Owner and CEO Jim Irsay on Coach Dungy and Family

  COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY

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COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY (on the passing of Head Coach Tony Dungy's eldest son, James)

"I spoke with Tony Dungy about (3 p.m.) and he is in Tampa.  He is making arrangements, meeting with his spiritual advisors, his family out there and some of the authorities.  He sounded very good, very strong.  In terms of when he will return, he will make that determination.  I suggested that he needs to take as much times as he needs, to go through the mourning process and come back when he's ready.  He told me that his family also is with the team and the players and the coaches, and that's something he sees as great strength to be around as well.  So, I think he will try to determine how to process what plans he needs to make and the needs of his family.  My view is that none of it is based around football.  It's all based around what is best for him and his family.  This morning when the phone rang at 4 a.m., you have three or four seconds to turn on the light, and anyone who has had those calls, you hope that it's a wrong number, because if it's not the wrong number, it is usually not a good thing when you get that 4 a.m. phone call.  So, I made my plane available for him immediately for his family to get down to Tampa, and that is where things stand right now."

COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY (on if there was a message Coach Dungy gave to pass along)

"I think the message is clear with Tony.  He's a very spiritual man and grounded in great faith.  Like I told the team, darkness came to knock on this house, but this house is built on faith.  The faith that we have and the unity that we have only grows stronger.  It doesn't shake us at all in terms of the faith that we have.  We have each other in this world, too.  And his message was simply that his faith is strong and he's doing what he needs to do to take care of things.  It was obviously a shock and a thing that happened very suddenly.  He is just trying to work through it.  I do think the fact that he is there, on the scene, and able to see with his own eyes and be around the whole situation and what happened, have a chance to talk to people, that's started the process for him to get grounded and continue to come through this."

COLTS OWNER AND CEO JIM IRSAY (on the team continuing to play and practice…how hard it must be)

"I think it is difficult, but I know all of the guys and coaches feel that they are doing it for Tony Dungy and for his family.  The players knew James and were close to him.  He was in our locker room and on the field in training camp and that sort of thing.  So, I think that they know that's the service work that they can do, is pray for the family and prepare and go out and do what their coach would want them to do in his absence, because as difficult as it is for us and all of the people that really love Tony and his family, it's much, much more difficult obviously for them because the hurt is very deep and profound.  So, I think that is the way our guys look at it, that they are helping and really serving Tony and his wishes well by preparing and going out to play the game."

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