Dungy Pleased with Colts’ OTA’s

cg.jpgOverall, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy saw what he wanted.  The rookies learned from the veterans and the veterans practiced with intensity and focus.   Overall, progress was made.  As far as Dungy, who is entering his sixth season as the Colts’ head coach, is concerned, that’s pretty much what he wants from a “summer-school session”. “I’m excited about our guys, just the way we’re working,” Dungy said. 

The Colts, the four-time defending AFC South Champions and defending Super Bowl champions, finished their four-week summer school this week.  Wednesday morning marked the last of the team’s 13 organized team activities for the 2007 off-season.  The Colts’ off-season conditioning program began a few weeks later than usual, and Dungy said the work was scaled back to provide a chance to recover from a fifth consecutive playoff appearance.

But as Dungy stated to John Oehser of Colts.com, quality supersedes quantity.  “We scaled it back a little bit and condensed the work, but when it was time to work, these guys did a great job,” Dungy said. “Our veterans did a good job of setting the pace and our young guys did a great job of following.  “It was good and I think we got accomplished what we need to.”

The Colts, 29-17 winners over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in February, visited the White House in late April, and on Wednesday night, they received their Super Bowl rings in a private ceremony at a downtown Indianapolis theater.  Those are just a few of the off-field events in which Colts players have participated in the four-and-half months since returning from Miami, but Dungy said the players have continued to maintain focus on the 2007 season.

Forty previous teams have won Super Bowls, and of those, only eight have repeated as Super Bowl champions.  The last team to repeat was New England in 2004, and before that, Denver won back-to-back Super Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons.  “I think the key is having solid guys who have been there – guys like Adam and Anthony McFarland, who have come off it and understand and are able to talk to other guys about it,” Dungy said.  “But then, there are guys where that’s just what they do.  We have so many guys where they only know one way to go and everyone follows that lead.”

Dungy said that sort of player has been typified this off-season by veteran left tackle Tarik Glenn.  A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he has worked extensively on and off the field with rookie offensive lineman Tony Ugoh, the team’s second-round draft selection.  That approach is something Dungy said he discussed in depth in his final summer-school meeting with the team Wednesday.  “That’s part of the whole process, getting everybody as good as they can be,” Dungy said.  “Last year at this time, I don’t know that we would have sat here and said, ‘(Offensive tackle) Charlie Johnson, (safety) Antoine Bethea and (cornerback) Kelvin Hayden are going to play critical roles in the last game of the year, so we better get them ready.  “Everybody just takes the approach that whoever’s here is going to help us.  We all just get them ready.”  Dungy said participation in the program has been critical in the past, and he said he expects that to continue, too.  It will come in handy in their quest for a Super Bowl championship this season.
 


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