Coach Tony Dungy Conference Call: 9/27

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Indianapolis Head Coach Tony Dungy, 9.27

On playing the Jets with a new head coach…
It is a little different for me, and I guess I like it better this way. It is always tough going up against guys you have worked with and guys that are good friends. I know Eric and I wish him the best, but it is not the same as going against a guy who you have known for 30 years. This is a different team too, a different style of play, so we have our work cut-out for us trying to get familiar with them.

On if he is surprised the Jets have started out 2-1…
Not really, because I try not to buy into the preliminary reports. I always think that it takes six or seven weeks before we figure out who is good and who isn't. You have to watch people play and watching these guys play. They play very well. I told my team this morning, we are playing the team that is in first place in the AFC East. That is the way that we have got to coach it.

On what he see's that coach Mangini has brought over from New England…
There are some similarities on defense with the things that they do, and there are similarities all the way around. They play hard and they play intelligent. They are winning the turnover battle and not beating themselves, so a lot of that is what fits in with what New England is doing. But, I think the way that they are going about things are probably things that he has taken from a lot of the staffs that he has been in.

On Dungy knowing what to expect from Mangini…
Not really. Every game you go into, you have three days to prepare and get your team ready, and you have to prepare based on what you see. That is what we are doing and I am sure that is what they are doing with us. The team that plays their style and plays their best will win. Even teams that you are very familiar with, we played Jacksonville, and you know a little bit more about them and they know a little bit more about you, but it is how you play that particular day.

On Chad Pennington's comeback…
Watching him throw in the preseason games and these past couple of weeks, every week you can see that he is a little bit better, and a little more confident. The way that he is throwing the ball is impressive. You knew that he was going to manage the team well and be poised and be accurate and get them in the right plays and do all of those things, but he really is throwing the ball well. He is a big reason why they have those two wins.

On the IND running game…
We do not count carries and all that, we substitute our backs when they need a blow. Sometimes, both will be in there and it will be all passes depending on how the defenses have reacted to it and the next series for the next guy may be all runs. They just play by series and those carries will even out by the end of the year.

On Curtis Martin not playing…
That is a little strange too. I was with Curtis at the Super Bowl breakfast. He is a guy that you have some much adoration for. I met him when he was a junior at the University of Pittsburgh and I was a young coach with the Steelers. That is how far we go back. There are not many guys in the NFL that I have appreciated their career and their work more than Curtis Martin. It will be strange to go there and not see him.

On Dwight Freeney getting more attention this year…
No, not anymore than usual. After the middle of his second year he starting getting all of the tips and the double teams and the different protections. It probably hasn't been any different than the last year and a half to two years.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson…
I think he is going to be a really good player. He has the long arms and he kind of reminds me of Lomus Brown, maybe more than anyone else that I have seen recently. He has the big long arms, he is a good athlete and he seems to have the mental make up to play that spot and he has done a really good job so far.

On Terrell Owens…
I just saw a report and I would like to wait and see what happened and what transpired and get some facts before I comment on it.

On the Reggie Wayne situation…
It is very difficult. We had a big win, everyone is excited in the locker room and fired up about what we are able to accomplish, and then you realize one of your teammates is really suffering. It was tough and it put a damper on things over the weekend. I talked to Reggie last night and he is doing better and plans on being back with us this week. We plan to be supportive across the board and do as much as we can.

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