A Blast From the Past: Talking to Tony Dungy

As we’ve been doing all week, we bring to you another interview from Nate Dunlevy’s fully inclusive coverage of the Colts’ training camp

Today, we bring you some quotes from the legendary coach Tony Dungy, who stopped by the Colts’ training camp to talk to Coach Pagano and Jim Irsay, on the request of the eccentric owner. Dungy was asked to come and give some advice to the new coach, and also got to converse with Irsay and Ryan Grigson about the new team. In the interview, Dungy shared his take aways from camp, as well as what some of his advice for Coach Pagano consisted of. 

On his first day with the new-era Colts: 

Actually, first practice I’ve seen of anybodies, since I’ve left. It was fun, see the start of a new era. I got to talk with Jim Irsay last night, he’s very excited, and after watching training camp, I can see why. I got to spend some time with Coach Pagano last night, I got a chance to meet Andrew and watch him. I got to see the decision making and the command of the huddle. They’re going to be in good hands, in good hands for a long time. To be able to address the team and talk about what it means to play football here in Indiana, what it means to have these fans, what they can do to lay their own foundation, that was a pretty special afternoon.

On the impressiveness of Andrew Luck in 11-on-11 scrimmages: 

That’s what I was impressed with the most, to see the decision making, and the lack of any indecisiveness. He looked like a 3rd or 4th year guy in his first practice. I saw him play twice, Oregon against Stanford. I saw him from that perspective. But you feel like “Well he’s running the offense that he’s been comfortable with.” But to see it out here, knowing he’s had a condensed offseason, was very, very impressive. I guess I know now what Ryan [Grigson] and Jim Irsay saw, that they’re going to be in good hands.

On catching up with some key veterans:

It was great, and the thing for me, was asking them how comfortable are they, not knowing many people, I mean there are only seven people here from when I was here. These guys have got a lot of new teammates. But they’re good, and they’re comfortable. It’s a new system, for them, but they’re embracing it and looking to be the leaders. Reggie [Wayne], Dwight [Freeney], Antoine [Bethea], Robert [Mathis], those are guys you want to follow, so they’re going to be in good shape.

On his advice for first-year head coach Chuck Pagano: 

We talked a little bit about that last night, and I talked about my first year. Probably the most important thing is just being resolute, more than anything. You think it’s going to go well, you think you have the answers, you really believe in what you’re doing. I thought that too, and we started out 1-8. But, whether you start out 1-8 or  8-1, you know what you want to get done.

How training camp helps this transition into a new era: 

Oh you know they’ve got some really good players, but you know it’s not about talent, but getting talent that understand the system. You’ve got new guys here and a new system, and that’s the big thing: how quick can it be put together. And I told the guys, our first playoff game for NBC was Cincinnati against Houston. Cincinnati was supposed to be rebuilding, had a rookie quarterback, and Houston was playing the third team quarterback after the first two got hurt, and they’d never been to the playoffs. So, we in the media can write about who’s supposed to be good, who’s got talent, who’s going to be this or that, but they get the chance to put it on the field. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what training camp is all about.

Thanks again to Nate for his hard work obtaining the sound bites, you can follow all of his findings at the AFC South Blog on Bleacher Report, or on Twitter at: @NateDunlevy

Other Interviews: 

Antoine Bethea and Jerraud Powers

Andrew Luck

Jim Irsay

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.