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Tony Dungy Quotes 12/31/03

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY 12/31/03 (on slowing down Denver’s rushing attack) “They have a great running attack. They’ve been that way for a number of years.



(on slowing down Denver's rushing attack)

"They have a great running attack. They've been that way for a number of years. Clinton Portis has averaged over five-yards-per-carry. We've just got to come up with some things where we tackle a little bit better, we knock them back a little bit more. We've got to play a little bit sharper, but the other thing we didn't do, we didn't stop the third-down conversions. We didn't stop them in the red zone. I don't think this is going to be the type of game where Portis goes 10 carries for 35 yards. I don't think we're looking at it that way. We've got to put them in some longer-yardage situations."

(on if the defensive game plan will change)

"We've got to tackle a little bit better, do some things a little bit differently. We obviously can't go in thinking, 'Hey, we're going to do the exact same thing.' They probably won't do the exact same thing. We're going to make some adjustments, I'm sure they are, too."

(on QB-Jake Plummer)

"He's really helped and I think he's given them the quarterback that is probably the most like John (Elway) since John hasn't been there. He can get out of the pocket and make plays out on the perimeter. He can make the throws that they need to make under pressure. He just seems to be a real good fit for what they want to do. He gives them some misdirection, and he gives them that kind of sense that, 'I can make the big play when we need it.'"

(on practicing for Denver's players)

"With Denver, you have to practice a little bit of everything because they give you all different types of personnel groups and formations, and then they kind of stay with what works."

(on the criticism that QB-Peyton Manning has received for not winning a playoff game)

"We all take it personally, but I think more so with him. A lot of the focus has been directed at him. Even though, I can remember watching on TV, the Miami game where he had a great game and they just didn't win it, they lost in overtime. Whenever you don't win, you always take it hard, especially as a quarterback."

(on scoring against Denver's defense)

"We've just got to be on our game a little bit more. We can't let them score every time they have the ball on offense so that we get behind and have to throw. We've got to be able to play a balanced game and not let the score take us out of our running game."

(on if he doesn't like the perception in the media and around the league that he is a nice guy)

"I don't think there is anything wrong with being a nice guy. I'm glad people feel that way. My kids don't feel that way, my wife doesn't feel that way all the time. My players, it's hard to tell. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I've never thought what type of person you are has anything to do with what type of job you can do. You're given a job to do and you have to get it done. We're judged on wins and losses."

(on if he is concerned with Denver's offense)

"They've got a great offense. They've got the number one rushing offense in the league. They're focused pretty well and functioning on all cylinders. That always gives you concern, but no matter who you are playing right now, you are going to be playing a good team. You've got to play your best to win and if we don't play our best, we probably won't win."

(on the defensive inconsistency and breakdowns)

"That's something that as our defense continues to mature and gets better and older, we'll have less of those kinds of games. We certainly had more in the last two years than I've probably had in the 15 years before that. That's our team and that's the way we are right now. We understand that."

(on if he would like redemption for losing to Denver in the regular season)

"It's not really redemption. Your motivation in the playoffs is to win so that you can keep playing. There are 12 teams in it and you want to be one of the final two playing on the last day. If you don't win, you're not playing next week."

(on not scoring many points in previous playoff games)

Usually, you're just playing better defenses in the playoffs than you always play in the regular season. What we've done in the past is gone on the road against pretty good teams and not scored a lot of points. We've got to find a way to do that. We like our offense. We feel like we'll score points this year. We scored points on the road against good defenses. We're pretty confident that we will (score points this off-season).

(on Bart Peterson, the Mayor of Indianapolis, talking to the team after practice)

"He addressed the team and really just thanked them for a great year and talked from his personal perspective. It was great and the guys appreciated it."

(on if he consults K-Mike Vanderjagt before sending him on the field to attempt a field goal)

"Basically, I ask him how close we have to go. All I'll ask him once we get there is, 'Are you still OK from here?' Usually, he says, 'Yes.' Sometimes he gives me a little funnier answer than that, but most of the time he says, 'Yes' or 'No'. We did talk in Cleveland (the first game this year). He wanted the ball on the left hash, and we got it on the right and he kind of mentioned to me, 'If you could it on the left hash this time, I'd appreciate that.'"

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