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Colts: Tony Dungy Press Conference Transcript

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (general comments)

"It will be fun to get back in. We're going to come in tomorrow and just have a good training-camp type practice and get back in the groove of playing, and then we'll start really on Thursday with the team preparing for New England. It should be a good game. I saw them play on Sunday and they demonstrated a lot of what makes them champions-the ability to come back and win down the stretch when things didn't really appear they were going their way. But that's what they do and they do it really well."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on turnovers in the past against New England)

"Well, you have to take care of the ball against them. That's what their defense does really well. They do take it away. They put their offense in good position. They seem to come up with the key plays. We obviously have to go in with the idea of protecting it. If we do, I think we'll be in good shape."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the history of this series)

"I really don't think what happened last week really has a bearing on what's going to happen this week, whether you had a bye or didn't, whether you lost last week or won. Every week is a new week. I guess you can't ignore it because it is history, but it's not going to have an affect on what happens in this game. We'll look at the games and obviously study them and learn from them and see the things that they did to attack us and vice versa, but it really won't have an impact. A lot of the people aren't even playing. People that were here in the game that we lost here (in 2003), there's probably only about 15 guys that are still here on our team."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on not beating yourself)

"We talk about it all of the time, things that you have to do to protect the ball. You have to handle it well, and those are things that people always think about-the ball handlers, the runners and receivers and the quarterback. But you have to make good decisions. You have to pass protect well, that helps you. So, there are things that we talk about all of the time, about not turning it over. The other side of the coin is you talk about those things all of the time defensively, that you want to put great pressure on people when they're throwing, you want to see the ball and break on it, you want to hustle and get to every ball that's on the ground, strip balls and things like that. So, it's something that you constantly bring up both ways."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on wanting to perform with the history of the series and playing on Monday Night Football)

"You have to channel it the right way. People that win big games are people that can function in a pressurized environment and do the same things that they do in a training camp practice, and that's what we have not done against New England in the past. We've gone up there and false-started on the first play of the game when we haven't had a penalty in four or five weeks. We've done those kind of things, which you can't do, because it's hard enough to beat a good team when you do everything right. A lot of it is understanding the moment and playing in big games and playing with a relaxed attitude knowing that you have to play well, but you still have to play relaxed.

"That's what you build. You hope that you're in a lot of big games and you learn from that and you realize that you can function that way and you hope that your veteran leadership has a calming influence. I think we've begun to develop all of those things."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on if he looks at any symbolism in victory)

"It would probably do more from an outside standpoint. I think it helped us when we beat Tennessee a few years ago. That helped our guys with some confidence, but I don't think we're at a point where we need a confidence builder right now. We've played a lot of big games and we've played against good teams, and it's one game in the middle of the season. Last year when we went up there, it was opening day and we pretty much knew that if we didn't win the game, we were going to have a tough time getting home-field advantage from those guys. That may or may not be true this time around, so it's a big game from a standings standpoint. For us, it will let us stay three games ahead in our division at the halfway point if we win it. It will do a lot from a standings standpoint, and I think that's more important to us right now than any symbolism that's going to come out of it."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the importance of the game)

"Who knows how this is going to play out. This is Week 8 and we have to feel like we'll see them again somewhere down the line. Really for us, it's a big game in that it's going to be on Monday night, it's against the defending Super Bowl champions, but it's still Week 8 and it's still one game. If we win the game, we certainly don't want to feel like all of a sudden we've arrived or we beat the New England Patriots so our season's over, we can just wait for the playoffs. That will get us in trouble."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on his impressions of QB-Tom Brady so far this season...a different Brady or the same?)

"It's the same. He's playing very well. He's actually having to carry the team a little bit more. They've been in situations where they've been behind a little bit more than the last couple of years. Their running backs have been out, so he's actually thrown more. He's doing an excellent job as usual."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on having a good time for the bye week)

"It was a good rest for our team. If you win the game, you'll say 'Hey, it was perfect and it was the right amount of rest and the guys handled it well.' If you don't win, you'll say, 'Our momentum was broken,' and it really doesn't have anything to do with it. It's how you come out and play that particular game."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on K-Mike Vanderjagt's lack of attempts this season)

"Well, it's tough on a kicker when you don't have a lot of big kicks, you don't have a lot of field goals, you're kicking one field goal every other game. They're like anyone else. They want to get out there and apply their trade as much as possible. It's tough, but Mike, the one thing about him, the bigger the kicks, the better he's going to kick. So, we don't really worry about him going two or three weeks and then having to make a big one. Generally, that's when he's at his best."

HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY (on the national hype surrounding this game)

"It's going to be big hype because of what's happened in the playoff games that last couple of years and the fact that we're undefeated and Monday Night, there are a lot of story lines, and Tedy Bruschi coming back, all of which I think is good for the game. But what we have to do is focus in on what's really important, that's just preparing for the Patriots like we would anyone else and getting ready for this game and treating it like a big game, but not a monumental, winner-take-all, do-or-die game. I think we've been pretty good at that so far this year, and hopefully that will continue."

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