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Colts Tight End Ken Dilger Press Conference

Phone ConferenceColts Tight End Ken Dilger speaks to the press.



            **Q:  Tight ends that are second on their team in receiving are kind of rare, it seems that the offense is sort of designed around you?**  

D: If you take a look at it you've got [Tony] Gonzalez in Kansas City, I think he is their leading receiver. You've got [Frank] Wycheck in Tennessee. You've got Freddie Jones out in San Diego. Nowadays there are a lot of tight ends that are getting a lot of catches. A lot of tight ends are actually leading teams in receiving. I think that the last couple years a lot of tight ends are becoming more of a receiver.

Q: What happened with you guys here a couple of weeks ago?

D: We had some breakdowns. We moved the ball pretty well in New England, we just didn't score very well. That one drive we got down to the 10-yard and ended up kicking a field goal from our 25, so we had some protection problems. This week we'll just try to move the ball and hopefully score when we get a chance in the red-zone.

Q: Do you guys still have an imprint left from two weeks ago and what you want to do this week?

D: Well, I think so, the game was only two weeks ago so it is pretty fresh in our memories. We'll change some things, I'm sure New England will change some things too. Hopefully we can play a little bit smarter. New England had those two plays that they scored off of. You take that out and it's a very close ball game. I think it will be another close ball game in Indianapolis.

Q: What is your relationship with Peyton Manning?

D: We are close on and off the field. We play a lot of golf together in the off season, we workout together, we throw together in the off season, and we go out to dinner a lot. He is one of those guys that are fun to hang around with off the field, and on the field he is a competitor. I think all of us are competitors. I think Peyton is friends with a lot of guys on the team that act the same way he does.

Q: You guys had a break out year last year. Everybody knows all about you guys this year, is there a different feel in the way your opponents play against you this year?

D: I think so. I think last year, you are right, we did surprise a lot of people. This year we are getting the best game out of every opponent that we face. It is tough. We have a tough schedule, even the AFC is tough again this year. It is always a tough schedule for us, but we feel we have an offense that can compete with almost any defense out there.

Q: You guys have a tough schedule, you really don't get any breaks?

D: No, no we don't. The whole AFC East doesn't give any breaks this year. It seems like we fight against each other in the AFC East division and we go outside it and play some tough teams. The whole conference doesn't give any breaks. For us, our last five games are going to decide how well we go into the playoffs.

Q: What does it do for you when you are on the field with a guy who rushes for 219 yards? Do things just open right up?

D: Pretty much. Last week versus Seattle, it seemed like Edgerrin [James] could do anything he wanted versus the Seattle defense. He had a great game, but we had wide receivers blocking down field, we had tight ends down field, and we had running backs down field. Everybody worked together as a unit to get Edgerrin those 219 yards.

Q: Is that a real feather in your cap as an offensive player because you had to contribute to him doing that?

D: Yeah, you are right. The last couple of years I was with Marshall [Faulk] when he got 198 and 175, so it is always a good feeling when you are part of a running back that gets a record.

Q: Are you surprised at how the Patriots lost last week?

D: Yeah, I thought that they had turned the corner. They had won, I think, their last two games. They played well against us and they come out versus New York and kind of fall apart. I am sure they are inconsistent this year, they are going to have some games where they will shine and some games where they don't. But New England always comes out and plays well against us.

Q: Seems like with the way the division this year that you guys aren't going to be able to do what you did last year. This seems to be the toughest division in football?

D: Yeah, you are right. Every AFC East game is a tough game, it's a battle. You know, we beat the Jets twice last year. Once on an interception late in the game by Jeff Burris and another a scare at home 20-15. Every game is going to be a battle no matter what the opponent's record is.

Q: How do you compare [Drew] Bledsoe and Peyton Manning?

D: I think that they both are similar. They both have strong arms. They both are pocket passers, the old-type pocket passers. They both can scramble a little bit when they need to and I think both have a great feel for the game.

Q: Do you empathize with what the Patriots are going through with Bledsoe getting hit a lot?

D: Yeah you do. We have gone through so many years where we couldn't protect [Jim] Harbaugh and Peyton his rookie year. Now you see that with Drew and even with [Mark] Brunell in Jacksonville. A quarterback is so protected by his offensive line that when the offensive line falters, the quarterback doesn't shine as well.

Q: Your guys haven't given up many sacks, they really are doing a great job aren't they?

D: You are right. Our group has been together for two or three years now and we have a good system. But it all goes back to the whole group. As far as the O-line, they block well and they get help from the running backs and tight ends. Peyton knows is stuff, so he can throw the ball away or check out of a protection. It is kind of a whole group attitude going in to protecting Peyton.

Q: The ball seems to really get spread around your whole receiving corps, that must make you guys feel good?

D: It is a good situation. We can go into any game and feel that anybody can score on any route. That is the way the system has been and that is the way we want it to be. Marvin [Harrison] is our main guy, but after that you've got four or five guys that can step up and play.

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