*Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy *
Q: Obviously you have a lot of good things about Peyton Manning, but how much does preparation play into things?
A: I think it's a large percentage of it. He is a guy that's very driven. He's not satisfied with being just good or just okay. He is one guy who enjoys the whole process about the game. He enjoys the game planning, preparation of training camp, learning opponents, watching tape. He enjoys it and that's what makes him good. He's accurate, has a good arm, is big and has all the things you need to play quarterback. It's no doubt in my mind that it's how he approaches it that makes him special.
Q: How comfortable were you with him making play calls at the line of scrimmage initially and how comfortable are you with it now?
A: It's funny. Tom Moore is our offensive coordinator and Tom came his first year here. They've been together the whole time. The system that we run is actually the system I ran in college. Tom was my quarterback coach and we did the same thing, no huddle and the quarterback called all the plays at the line of scrimmage, so I was very familiar with it. It's a fun offense to be in and it really does encourage you to study and know what's going on because you are responsible for getting things done at the line of scrimmage. I was very familiar with it. We haven't changed anything in the five years that I've been here. We've just grown because we basically had the same system and the same quarterback for the whole time.
Q: Was there ever a time when you thought about changing your style and your demeanor?
A: No, I never really thought about that. I just know that when you win, whatever you do, whether it's scheduling, your demeanor or how you pick the team people will say is a great idea. When you do the same things and lose, that becomes the problem. What you have to do is win. I couldn't really change the way I was. I think Bill Polian and Jim Irsay really knew that we had a good system in place that was in place long before I got here. We didn't really think about changing anything we did, we just felt if we stayed in there and hung in there long enough, eventually we'd make some good things happen.
Q: Did you develop your conviction from working with Chuck Noll or did you develop it on your own?
A: It was partly my parents and certainly the way I was raised, but certainly my football convictions from Coach Noll. That was one of the things he was huge on. You did what you did and if you did it better than the other guys you would win. He was accused of being stubborn. He used to always tell us stubbornness was a virtue if you were right. I probably did draw on that from him.
Q: How is the defensive unit patched up in the offseason after losing a few guys to free agency?
A: They're doing fine. You lose people every year in this day and age. We lost a lot of players last year before our Super Bowl run. Something was made of it early in losing Edgerrin James, Larry Tripplet and David Thornton. We lost some other guys during the course of the year. That's one of the things that our team understands. You have a 53 man roster. You have eight guys on the practice squad. You have 60 guys that will be willing to play, work and prepare. I think that's one of our strengths. We had some guys in the wings that we thought were ready to go. We drafted some guys that we really believed were going to help us. Some other guys that were here are really improving. We like where we are. We are obviously going to be tested by the Saints offense on Thursday, but we like where we are.
Q: Was your book something you always wanted to do?
A: It's not something I ever really thought of doing. I had several people ask me about it for a number of years. Several people asked me about it after winning. I was hoping to not do it. It's turned out great, it's been a great experience. It's probably a once in a lifetime thing. The timing was right and now we're probably ready to move on.