Dungy Remains Disappointed with Performance in Preseason Victory
INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Dungy's thoughts didn't change much from one day to the next.
Dungy, in the moments after the Colts' preseason game in Atlanta on Saturday night, said a lot about the Colts' first victory of the 2008 preseason was disappointing. Too many penalties. Too many missed opunities.
Overall, just too many mistakes.
On Sunday afternoon, Dungy and the Colts coaches reviewed the 16-9 victory over the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.
And a day later, his opinion was basically the same.
"It was a little disappointing in a lot of ways," Dungy, in his seventh season as the Colts' head coach, said late Sunday afternoon. "We did a lot of things that cause you to lose games in the regular season: thirteen penalties, a turnover in the red zone, not taking care of things in the red zone and defensively, a lot of mistakes.
"It was a different type of offense than we've played in terms of moving around, shifting and motioning, but we kind of got out of whack that way. There were some positives to build on, but all in all, we need to be a little sharper.
"I didn't think we took a step forward, really, this week."
The Colts, who spent the last three and a half weeks in 2008 Training Camp at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., broke camp on Friday, and will resume camp at their training facility in Indianapolis Monday.
The coming week, Dungy said, will resemble a regular-season week in many ways.
The Colts play host to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the NFL first game at new, state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium, and unlike the past three weeks – when the team spent most of the time focusing on themselves – much of this week will be spent game-planning for Buffalo.
"That's the way we're going to approach it," Dungy said. "I know the guys are going to want to play well coming into the new stadium. We'll have a full week – a full regular Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – to prepare. We want to be much sharper than we've been these last two games.
"There are positives in terms of individual performances, but a lot of things we need to clean up."
The Colts against Atlanta fell behind, 6-0, allowing runs of 52 and 63 yards by running back Michael Turner that led to a pair of early Falcons field goals. They outscored the Falcons 16-3 thereafter, with starting cornerback Kelvin Hayden returning an interception 67 yards late in the first half for the game's lone touchdown.
Afterward, players talked of not having achieved the consistency they sought entering the game, and Dungy said attaining that will be the focus while preparing for Buffalo.
"I think guys understood – the defense, especially -- that we did some things that cause you to lose games," Dungy said. "That's what bothered them, I think."
Dungy said several individuals had solid performances, including cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, second-year safety Brannon Condren (two interceptions) and defensive end Curtis Johnson, the latter of whom Dungy said "made some highlight-type plays."
"I think some guys we are going to be able to count on during the course of the year are showing up," Dungy said.
Reserve quarterback Jim Sorgi, with starter Peyton Manning out recovering from surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee, has started three preseason games, completing 20 of 31 passes for 198 yards and an interception with no touchdowns.
Sorgi finished the Atlanta game completing seven of 12 passes for 67 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions.
On the Colts' second series, Sorgi for the third time in as many games led the first-team offense on an extended, field goal-producing drive. Sorgi, who played into the early part of the second quarter, on the Colts' second possession directed a 17-play, 85-yard drive that ended in a 24-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
"He's doing fine," Dungy said of Sorgi. "He's converting things on third down. He's getting us in the right plays. Other than two plays (a fumble and an interception in the first quarter) in Carolina, he's taking care of the ball well. He has done a lot of positive things.
"I just think overall we have to be sharper on offense."