Colts' head coach Tony Dungy and running back Joseph Addai spoke to the Houston media Wednesday morning during their weekly conference calls.
Head coach Tony Dungy
(on Monday's win) "It was really huge for us to get ourselves in the playoffs, to get back playing a little bit better, to reestablish ourselves at home and get a little confidence. It was good for us in a lot of way, but more than anything we just got back to playing the way we should play, fewer mistakes, playing a little bit faster, playing with energy. So all in all it was good."
(on RB Joseph Addai's playing status this weekend) "Well we're going to play him if he's ready. This is a huge game for us trying to stay in that number two position in the seedings. Obviously a player's health comes first; if he's not ready to go then we're not going to put them out there. But if he can play then he's certainly a big part of our offense and that's what we're hoping for."
(on Addai contributing more than expected) "Not really. What we're getting was what we thought we would get: a guy that could run inside and outside and catch the football and pass protect. We thought he was the most complete back in the draft and we thought he'd come in and do well for us. He's a very mature, young man for a rookie, and we're getting exactly what we thought we would get."
(on concern on rush defense) "We haven't been consistent on defense all year. We've done some good things in the passing game and we've put pressure on people when they've had to throw, but early in the games we haven't played as sharp as we need to. We've had some good moments and last week or Monday night was very good against a really, really good offense, but we've got to do that more often and more consistently."
(on WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne complimenting each other) "That's what's made us tough to defend, I think, the last three years. The fact that when I came here everything really did revolve around Marvin and he had to have 120 catches a year for us to be effective. He was the first option on just about every played designed. As Reggie has gotten better, (TE) Dallas Clark has gotten better and add to it (WR) Brandon Stokley and different people we've had it's just really helped. You can't just say, 'Well if we take away Marvin Harrison we're going to have a successful day on defense. Reggie has developed into a receiver where if he was on another team he would be the guy that you're throwing out things to stop. He's been that good."
(on Wayne's Pro Bowl selection)"I was happy for Reggie because I thought he really deserved it maybe two years ago and then certainly last year he had an outstanding year. Again, if he was on another team you might think he might get singled out for a lot more recognition. But the fact that people can look and say, 'You've got two of the best receivers on the league,' I think it's very well-deserved and certainly both those guys work hard enough to earn those accolades."
(on Texans' defense developing from Week 2) "They're much better. They've improved so much from the first four weeks of the season I think it's a matter of getting comfortable with what they're being asked to do. As hard as it is to say they were impressive to me in the New England game with the field position the way it was, holding New England to field goals a lot of times in those situations they held the fort. They're playing well; I think they're confident in blitzing a little bit more than they did early in the season. They're putting pressure on people. (DE) Mario Williams has really come on and he looks a lot more comfortable. It is (developing). We're looking to face a completely different defense than we did the first time."
(on his opinion on players getting fresh starts elsewhere in regards to QB David Carr) "A fresh start is good. I had that situation with Trent Dilfer when I went to Tampa and it was kind of the same thing, 'He hasn't had much success.' But Trent was a good player for us, he was a good fit and even though they didn't win early on and even my first year there. We only won six games, but Trent was developing, he was improving and he ended up taking us to the playoffs and going to the Pro Bowl. I don't think you should necessarily say, 'Well we haven't had the success we look for so it's best for this guy to move on.' I thought David's had a good year and really developing into the new system that they have now. I think he's going to get better and better."
(on defending WR Andre Johnson) "He is one of my favorite players in the league. He and Reggie (Wayne) are very, very close coming from Miami. They're so similar, they just do their job, they work hard, they catch the ball, they block, they play the game it should be played and he's had a tremendous year. And I think having Eric Moulds there has helped him take some of the double coverage away and he's been able to just make big plays against single coverage. What we have to do is try to not let him go wild. If he catches the ball and is able to run after the catch if he's able to catch the deep balls and have a big 140- or 150-yard day that's really going to hurt us. So we're really going to have to try to keep him under control as we try to defend their running game."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans) "As a normal rookie he's gotten comfortable. He makes a ton of plays for them. He's all over the field, he makes tackles. We ended up in a situation where we got up early on those guys so we'll have to keep them in their heels and stay tow-dimensional and run when they think we're going to throw and just the opposite. I don't think it's a fair assessment the first time out against us, but he's certainly playing well and he's been great for them."
(on Ryans being considered for Defensive Rookie of the Year) "I don't know who the other rookies would be involved in that. He's certainly played well. Anytime you start and play every week in the middle and as productive as he's been, I haven't seen a rookie playing better in the AFC. The Pro Bowl sometimes you have to get that notoriety, you've got to play on a playoff type team a lot of times. I wouldn't worry if I were him about making the Pro Bowl. He'll make his share of them."
(on why they have been so successful against the Texans) "Just the match ups and the style of play and we've been able to move the ball and get the leads in most games. We've forced them to play from behind and that's probably been our secret. I know they're probably saying the same thing, 'Hey we've got to come out and have a good first quarter,' and get ahead and make us play from behind. Really I think in only one of the games, that I can remember, that we had to do that and it was very tough and we won right at the end. But we've just been fortunate to get off to those good starts."
(on jumping to an early start to silence the fans)"That's what your hope is when you get in these situations, we're playing for playoff positioning and they're not. That's what your hope is that you don't give them the fast start and the momentum and the energy, don't allow that to build in their stadium. That's something that we have talked about; we really want to come out and start fast and see if we can get that playing on their heel."
(on feeling pressured to make it to the Super Bowl) "No, not really. I think we've had a team good enough ever since 2003 so every year that's your goal and you feel like you can make it and you do everything you can that year. If it doesn't happen you've got to start again from scratch the next year. I felt like we had a team that's good enough to get there and we put ourselves in position and we've got to just see what we can do to make that happen. But it's no different than the last three years really."
(on the team to beat this year in the AFC) "Well right now San Diego is in the number one seed, position. They haven't lost any games at home and if they're able to maintain that and play their games at home I would think they'd be the favorite, but we were in the same boat last year and Pittsburgh came in and beat us. That's what you're just hoping to get there and be healthy and be high and I think there's a number of teams that could win it."
**RB Joseph Addai
(on his ankle)** "It's alright."
(on his status for this weekend) "It's day by day really. They took an MRI and didn't see anything; the X-ray didn't say anything, so that's a good thing. It's day by day, it's a little slow, but it's alright."
(on wanting to play this week in his hometown) "Being a rookie, being my first year you always want to play in your hometown. You could say it's a big thing for me, but at the same time I want to be smart about it. I've got a good chance to going to the playoffs so I want to be as ready as I can that's what it falls to down the line."
(on the playoffs superseding wanting to play this week) "Yeah."
(on his season since Week 2) "It's going pretty good. I think each week I'm getting smarter of the game, just going out there feeling comfortable now more than I did way back then."
(on what he recalls from playing high school football in Houston) "High school, I think I gained more knowledge going to college and even now. But high school I think we just really got out there playing football and I had a little talent so I was able to go to college. But high school it was a good experience because I wasn't on one of those teams that was just winning and things like that. I know how it feels to be at the bottom and now I'm on a team that's winning. Even in college we were winning games, I've been on both ends. I think being in those situations I've gained a lot of knowledge."
(on his playing against Titans' QB Vince Young) "Yeah."
(on whether he's kept up with Young's season)"Yeah, I followed him. Each week he's getting better. I've been playing against him since middle school. Each week he's getting better and he's' finding way to win the games and that's how it's been since way back. He always finds a way to win the games no matter what."
(on Young and him being up for Rookie of the Year award)"It's kind of funny because somebody being from your hometown I feel Vince is doing his deal and trying to pursue his career and I'm doing the same thing. When you have people from your hometown you're pretty much happy for them as you are for yourself."
(on wanting to have played professional football in his hometown) "For me it really didn't matter. Just really getting picked up, it didn't matter if I was playing for the Texans or not. Just playing for the NFL I'll be happy with that."
(on getting more playing time than he expected) "I think about what I expected of. I knew coming in just learning from (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) and I knew that I was going to be the backup. However the situation, I knew I was going to learn first before (being) put in the situation where I had to be out there taking the total load."
(on Rookie of the Year talk amongst teammates) "Not really, just telling me I'm getting better by the week and they just say that I'm getting started on a good career. They haven't said anything about Rookie of the Year or nothing like that."
(on who has helped him the most to adjust to the NFL)"Different people, different things. Like (QB) Peyton (Manning) he helps me out with plays and stuff like that, little things that I have to work on or understand like the play calling because there is a lot to it. (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) he's helped me relax out there on how to be patient and just relax, he gets down on your level. Different players come at me differently."
(on his family being excited about the weekend) "Yeah, they're excited. They're waiting for me to come down there that's why I have to get this ankle right."
(on how many people are coming to the game)"I don't know right now. But I know there are a lot of people coming, but I don't know how many are coming right now."
(on getting to spend an extra day in Houston) "I think so. Peyton was telling me that (head coach Tony) Dungy usually gives us Monday off. If that's the case I'm going to stay in Houston."
(on scoring a game-winning touchdown here) "It'll be really exciting to even get to score a touchdown in a game in your home city. It'll be exciting to score a game-winning touchdown."