Indianapolis Colts' head coach Tony Dungy and defensive end Dwight Freeney quotes during a conference call with Houston media Wednesday morning.
Head coach Tony Dungy
(on DE Mario Williams and picking him in the first round) "Well I'm a defensive guy, and the cornerstone of most championship teams is defense, if it's not a quarterback. I remember coming to Pittsburg early as a young guy, and they were in the midst of a championship run, and everybody was excited, but Coach (Chuck) Noll took a lot of grief for taking a young guy by the name of Joe Greene with his first pick. It turned out pretty good. Obviously there is going to be pressure on Mario (Williams) because everybody is going to look at that (and say), we could have done this, we could have taken this guy, but guys like Lawrence Taylor and Bruce Smith, they become the cornerstones of great teams. And that's what they're expecting from him. To me it's a good pick, unless you're passing on a quarterback, you're passing on a John Elway or Dan Marino, (then) maybe you could have some discussion. But they think this is a cornerstone guy, I can absolutely see why they did it."
(on the potential impact of Mario Williams on the Texans defense) "Well, anytime you have a great defensive player in your front four, and people have to game plan for him, it makes a big difference. Guys have an impact on games. Warren Sapp has an impact on games whether he got a sack or not, because of the way they protected, the way they do things. Dwight Freeney is the same for us. We get formations, we get pass blocking schemes that teams have never even used before because they are doing something to take care of Dwight. So you can't always with defensive players look at the stats. Randy Moss is like that on offense. The way Minnesota was able to play was dictated a lot because of the coverages they were going to get, and Randy Moss was double covered every snap. So other players end up playing better, looking good, looking like they are number one receivers because they are getting single coverage all the time. They have a tremendous impact on the game. I would just urge the fans not to look at statistics, but give the guy a chance to play because he is going to be a very good player for them."
(on whether he is glad to have the Manning vs. Manning game behind him) "Oh yeah. I am glad it probably won't happen again in four years. I have never been involved with a regular season game with that much build up and that much going. I think the family and both teams are really glad that it's over with and now we can get back to normal and just concentrate on our opponents and our game."
(on that those tow teams could play in the Super Bowl) "Well, I guess we'd play it then if that was what happened it would have a lot of build up again and both teams would be excited. But I think even in that case people would still be talking about the Super Bowl and the game and who wins, more so than just two players and who does what on offense. If it happens in the Super Bowl, we would take it. We wouldn't be mad."
(on how concerned he is with the Colts run defense after last week) "I'm not that concerned about our run defense, per se. I'm concerned about us being sharp, and we weren't sharp on defense. They just happened to run the ball a lot. They could have done the same thing in the passing game with the errors that we made. So we just have to cut our errors down. This is a team that wants to run the ball. They ran it very effectively in the preseason. So we know that's in store for us."
(on how he prepares for a team with a new coach, a new system, and new players) "You look at what they did in the preseason and what they did against Philly, and it's not that much different than what they did in Denver . They have a philosophy that they believe in and a style of play. They have a lot of plays that they ran in Denver . They have some new ones that take advantage of the personnel that they have. But really, you have to go out and play sound and not make mistakes. If you do make mistakes, they look plenty explosive enough to take advantage. I think getting (WR Eric) Mounds has helped them, giving them a couple of looks up the field. The tight end (Jeb Putzier) from Denver is a really good player who understands the offense and can get the ball in a lot of ways. We just have to play much sharper than we did opening night."
(on whether he feels the Texans are in a better position to challenge the Colts) "Well, they have been in a good position a couple of times to beat us, and we made some plays at the end of a couple of games, especially down there, to hang on to beat them. They have a lot of things going for them, and it will be a good football team. We went through the same thing with New England and Tennessee , to a certain extent, my first couple of years here. And everybody talked about how you hadn't beaten them in this many tries, but if you go out there and play better than the other team, you're going to win. It doesn't matter what happened in the past."
(on Colts RB Joseph Addai, who went to Sharpstown High School ) "Joseph is going to be a great player for us. He's about as mature as any rookie that I have been around in terms of coming in, fitting in, and understanding football, and knowing what is going on. He's done an outstanding job pas blocking for us, catching the ball out of the backfield. The sky is the limit for him, and we are very glad to have him."
(on what stands out the most about Addai) "To me, his maturity and understanding of the game, and the fact that he can do a lot of things. He's a very good outside runner; he's a very good inside runner; he's the best receiver we have had out of the backfield since I've been here, probably, maybe (RB) Marshall (Faulk) you could put in that category. He can flank out. He can do a lot of things, and he's a tough guy. So there's a lot to like."
(on how this season and off season has differed for him personally) "Not a lot. It has been fun to get into the flow of things and get to the regular season and start preparing for teams weekly. I think it has probably reinforced a lot of things that I believe in. It has been fun. It has been a fun deal since August 31 on, getting ready for the talented people coming at us."
(on whether expectations are higher than ever after the increased success in 2005) "No, I think they are as high as they have always been. We thought we had a pretty good team my first year here in '02. We got to the playoffs. Ever since then, we have been one of the teams that people have looked at as having a chance of winning it. Our expectations have always been to win it, so it's probably no different."
DE Dwight Freeney
(on what he has seen of this Texans team) "To start off I know they still do the boot stuff. They've been doing it for two year now and it looks like its getting better and they're getting sharper. They did a great job in the preseason in what they do in that type of offense. They look good."
(on getting to QB David Carr) "Anytime I go on the field I have to have that mindset. Regardless of if they had a bad week or a great prior to, because that has no bearings on what they're going to do the next week. This is a new week. I'm not really basing it all on last week because you can have a bad game and we didn't get their quarterback last game. For them (Texans) they like their chances because we didn't get the quarterback."
(on T Charles Spencer) "I always like going against a rookie, obviously. But the thing is that he's a very athletic and strong guy. It all really depends on; you don't really know how the guy is going to play against you until you really get out there. After those few first snaps you'll understand, "Okay, I got this guy," or, "Okay, this is going to be a challenge all game." Regardless if he's a rookie or not, but obviously with a rookie you think of experience. But he looks like he's an athletic guy."
(on advice he would give DE Mario Williams) "First of all, I think that a defensive line giving pressure to a quarterback is probably the toughest thing you can do from a physical stand point and getting out there. We don't do the reads and stuff like that, that a quarterback does. The thing is to come ready from college to the pros, is not an easy transition. With that being said, it's one game. What's one game? I didn't think anything last game either. I don't even know if I was on the statistic board. But does that mean that all of a sudden I'm going to give up? No. It's a transition. See, offensive linemen and offensive tackles you draft them number one and they don't hit their peak until their seventh, eighth year in the league. Sometimes that the case with the linemen, too. Sometimes they don' reach their peak until the third or fourth. It's a transition. "
(on defensive plays that are not measured statistically) "The thing is so much more than getting to the quarterback. That's all you get the attention for because that's a major play in the game. What happens if a team runs away from you all the game? You may not have that many tackles. But the thing is you're making the other team game plan for you. The things that you don't really see when you're watching the game on TV, are the things that they may have cut five or six plays out of that offense. When they had to add two or three things to their offense to account for you. Those mean a lot more, at times, than statistics on getting this tackle there or that sack there."
(on Williams being moved around the defensive line) "I think that puts him at a disadvantage. I'll come flat out and say that. If you want a guy to get better you have to have him do the same thing over and over and over. Think of it as a concrete layer, to become a good concrete layer you have to lay a lot of concrete. You have to do the same thing. If he does twenty different things, he's going to be average. Sometimes he'll be below average sometimes he might be a little bit better. If you're not doing the same thing every single day it's going to catch up to you. You'll be a good utility player, but at the end of the day you have to be put in a position to excel."
(on the Colts' pass rushing vs. the Giants) "It's really a game to game thing. Different teams demand different schemes and defensive schemes. We have to adjust and it happened that we did not have the greatest, obviously statistically in this game stopping the run, obviously. But that's behind us. You can't dwell on it. We have to correct the problems and move forward."
(on playing a different Texans team) "For one, obviously, it's a new coach. You have to get the mentality of the coach and know what they do. We're really one game in it. You don't understand that. Preseason doesn't really show everything that you've got. You don't show your whole hand and we're only one game into this. We've got a lot to learn and I guess you could say that we haven't lost to them but we're not really thinking about that. You can't think about the past you have to think about what's ahead of you and that game. We've go to prepare and this is a big game, way bigger than last week between all the hype with Eli (Manning) and Peyton (Manning) stuff, that was all well. But that game didn't mean too much to us, except just getting a win. This means a lot more because it's a conference game and it almost counts as two."