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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Jun 18 - 11:55 AM | Thu Jun 20 - 09:55 AM

Tony Dungy AFC Press Transcript

Dungy: we had a great game in Indianapolis about a month ago, and hopefully, we can duplicate that.

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            **TD:**  Thank you very much.  It's a great privilege to be here and something that our team and our city is very excited about.  Obviously, a big challenge coming into New England, but we are looking forward to it, and we had a great game in Indianapolis about a month ago, and hopefully, we can duplicate that.  

Our injury situation, I know several of you are interested in that. We had a lot of guys practice today and got most of our guys back. The only person that didn't really practice for us today was Nick Harper. He has got some back spasms. Our doctors think that he should be okay to play. He has not worked this week, though.

Everyone else, including Marcus Pollard, who hadn't practiced all week, he practiced today and did well and we expect him to be able to start and play.

Brandon Stokley was at practice today. His son is stabilized and doing better, we are very pleased about that. He is planning on making the trip, he is planning on playing so as long as Cameron doesn't have any downturn right now, he is going to be able to play and we look forward to having him out there.

Other than that, it's been a real good week for us. I think our preparation has gone well. We are excited about playing the ball game.

Q: Coach, Jason Kohl from Miami Herald. You said Brandon plans on making the trip.COACH DUNGY: We actually only have the five us of us today. We are going to keep all of our team tomorrow but he does plan on being with us tomorrow. We're going to kind of keep our normal routine when we come.Q: Coach, what exactly is your team's itinerary? You guys were already here, going to spend the night and then the rest of the team joins you?COACH DUNGY: We are flying back to Indianapolis, we are going right back after this press conference, we are going to keep our normal routine, so we will have our meetings in the room and our walk?through there and fly out at 2 o'clock. It's so nice here, we wanted to come twice.Q: The players are cool with that?COACH DUNGY: Yeah, they are fine with that.Q: (Inaudible) from St. Pete. You have been involved in a couple of these greatest offense in history versus greatest defense in history. The defenses normally historically come out better in this.Are you comfortable being on the offensive side, and what do you think when you look at this New England defense? Are there other great defenses you would compare them to.COACH DUNGY: Well, New England has got a tremendous defense and for us to win, we can't just be one?dimensional, we are going to have to play very well on defense and very well on special teams.But that's the great thing about playoff football, football in general, you never know how it's going to go. The game you are referring to, four or five years ago we lost 11 to 6. The next time we played the Rams when I was with Tampa, it was 38?35. So every game has a different meaning, different flavor, and we will be ready to play it no matter how it turns out, but New England is very good on defense and I think that's going to be a match?up a lot of people are going to want to see, but I think our defense and their offense is going to be a good match?up also.Q: (Inaudible) from the Boston Herald. Can you just comment on some of the different schemes that people have used against Dwight Freeney this year?COACH DUNGY: Dwight is finding out what it's like to be noticed and well?known in the league as a pass rusher. He has gotten the normal things, tight end on his side, a little more bumped and chipped by running interaction, having the guard slide to him, that type of thing, it's what you have to anticipate when you have a good year and you have the ability to rush the passer, but I think he is adapting to that and playing smarter and, you know, he has had a great year for us.Q: Tony, tongue in cheek, do you plan on activating your punting this week?COACH DUNGY: Sometimes punting is not a bad thing, punting is better than throwing interceptions or fumbling, and fortunately for us we haven't done any of those three in the post?season, and we would like to keep it that way but it's going to be a little tougher.Q: Along that line, the fact that you have it, your offense is so successful in the two teams you have played, how surprised are you, not that your defense is not effective, obviously, but surprised that it has been this effective in the playoff situation?COACH DUNGY: You always hope that, that's the way the plays are designed, you want to move the ball and make first downs and score. And we anticipate that going into every game, and it doesn't always go that way, but our offense has been really focused, they have been in tune to their jobs, and that's what we hope to continue to have happen.Q: Tony, Josie Bunk [ph] with CNN. What would it mean to you personally and to the profession as a whole if you were to become the first African American to coach in the Superbowl?COACH DUNGY: That's something that I thought a little bit about this week, and it would probably mean more to me, personally. I can remember coming into the league in 1981 and there were very, very few African American coaches, period, assistant whatever. And we have progressed. I think it's neat now that Donovan McNabb has a chance to go to the Superbowl, and that's not the driving question, you know, about black quarterbacks, because of Steve McNair and Doug Williams and guys having done it already. That would be something that would make me feel good. If I could get there, I would certainly think about the guys who were in the league when I got here who didn't get an opportunity to do it, but I would think more of just hoping that, you know, five years from now when someone else has a chance, that they are not answering this question.Q: Tony, [inaudible] from ESPN. Last week you saw firsthand what can happen to a prolific offensive team if their defense can't compete.How concerned are you possibly facing that same path or road.COACH DUNGY: We don't think we are going to, we think our defense is going to play well, we have to play well, and we are excited about what our defense can do. We gave up 38 points the last time we played these guys and we don't plan on doing that again. I think if we do that we won't win. But our defense has a lot of confidence, we have looked at the tapes. Denver had an obviously good first game against us and we were able to make some adjustments and slow them down. Hopefully, we can do the same thing.Q: As you look at this past defense and break it down, what do you see as their strengths and weaknesses?COACH DUNGY: I think their strengths are they have tremendously smart players, and they have guys that understand football and they don't beat themselves. They have got some very, very good individual players, Richard Seymour and Ty Law and Ted Johnson, but the thing about them is they play so well as a unit, they understand that the idea is to keep the other team from scoring, and whatever it takes, they are willing to do that. They can play a lot of different styles depending who they play against, and a very versatile group, so it's fun to watch them. As a defensive coach, I appreciate what they are doing.Q: What are their weaknesses?COACH DUNGY: Well, we won't get into that, we hope to expose a few of them on Sunday, but there aren't many.Q: How surprised are you by the season that Vanderjagt has had, especially considering the circumstances that the whole thing started?COACH DUNGY: Well, I am not really that surprised. Mike is a tremendous kicker, a great athlete, and a guy that hadn't missed a lot of kicks, period, in the five or six years he has been kicking in the NFL. Last year, the previous year that I was here, he didn't miss very many big kicks, when we had to make one, he made them. He put a lot of pressure on himself to make kicks this year, and he is a guy that thrives under pressure so, to be honest, we weren't all that surprised.Q: Were the issues of the off?season forgotten by the time the season started?COACH DUNGY: They were forgotten two days after it happened.Q: Coach, Paul Beach (inaudible) Post. What were some of the players on the team ?? we are were talking about how Peyton Manning seems more relaxed and how he deals with them recently. I am wondering what changes, if any, you have noticed in how he deals with the other players on the team?COACH DUNGY: I will let those guys speak to that. I haven't noticed him being any more relaxed. I am not around quite as much as those guys are, but I think our whole group is very focused. I think our group has been a confident group, though, and maybe that's what the players are talking about.Q: Tony, it has been suggested in the past that over your career maybe you have been too nice. Did that ever make you mad?COACH DUNGY: No, I don't really worry about what people think are my shortcomings because I have learned in watching football, it all depends on if you win. If you win, then whatever you do is really good, and it's the best thing that particular year that you could do. If you don't win, those same things are bad, so if we lose Sunday, it will be because I am too nice. If we win, then nice will be in.Q: Tony, (inaudible) Chicago Sunday Times. You start the season when it's hotter then hell, and you end up with this kind of stuff. Is the weather going to have any effect on this or are you trying to disregard it entirely?COACH DUNGY: I don't really think it will. There were very, very tough conditions Saturday night and both teams played well, minimum turnovers, both teams were able to throw the ball. I think it's going to be better conditions than last week, so we feel like it should be fine, and we feel like we function in it pretty well.Q: Hey, Tony, South Florida Sun Sentinel: How much vindication would there be for you personally if you were able to get Indianapolis to a Superbowl the year after Tampa Bay won it?COACH DUNGY: I don't think that's really in my thought process too much. When I left Tampa and came to Indianapolis, my number 1 goal was to see if we to get our team to the Superbowl, and do it for our organization, for Mr. Irsay and for the city, so that's what I will be excited about. If we are able to get there, I think it will be great for Indiana, Indianapolis in particular, and great for our organization.Q: Mike Lowe, Portland, Maine. Just wonder if you can talk about ?? your team obviously has a very impressive road record. Is it a mind?set this team has or can you explain how that happens, because it's supposedly so tough to win on the road here in the NFL?COACH DUNGY: Well, it is tough to win on the road and I think you have to go in very focused. We have the ability to do that. I think our guys understand that playing on the road, you have to minimize your mistakes. We have great veteran leadership, as you will hear from these guys in a few moments, and I think they play a great part in that, they get our team focused and ready to go, and that's a big part of it, just understanding how tough it is to win and being focused when you do go on the road.Q: Tony, (inaudible) Orlando Sentinel. Given the elements Sunday expected, any chance of getting the pipeline story?COACH DUNGY: I haven't really had to talk about the pipeline story too much. Our guys understand the cold weather and they understand noise, and they understand all the things that don't really matter in a game, and we will talk about the Patriots and we will talk about their offense, defense and special teams. That's what's going to be the focus of the game, but that pipeline story is a good story.Q: Tony, Jason Kohl from the Miami Herald. Some Patriots players took exception to what Marcus Pollard had to say after the game on Sunday, saying "If we play this well, you might as well mail us the rings." And Tom Brady just said a little while ago that we don't say things that are stupid, and we don't even think things that are stupid. What's your thought about what Marcus had to say?COACH DUNGY: Well, I think he was really just trying to express a thought about how well we played in Kansas City and how well we played against Denver. We understand what the challenge is that we are going to have to come here and play well against New England, the game is going to be decided on the field, and I guess I chalk that up to one of the other things that's not going to matter, what people said before the game, I don't think, is going to have too much impact on the outcome.Q: Tony, will you describe what your emotions were last year, watching the Bucks win the Superbowl, and what your emotions were like when you heard guys who used to play for you say that they were thinking about you at that time.COACH DUNGY: My emotions in that game, I was disappointed that I wasn't there. You start the season wanting to go to the Superbowl, and I was disappointed that our team didn't play well enough to get there. I was happy for a lot of those players that I knew and had worked with, guys that I spent a lot of time with five and six years, in some cases, so it was mixed emotions, and I was gratified that some of those guys were thinking about me, because I was certainly thinking about them.Q: Thank you, Coach

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