Ken Dilger is one of my favorite Colts all-time. I remember the TD he scored against the 49ers his rookie year in 1995, a 15-yarder from Jim Harbaugh to give the Colts a 12-7 lead. The Colts would eventually win that game against the then-defending world champs, and many fans feel that game was a turning point for the Colts as a franchise.
Dilger was also a major factor in the development of Peyton Manning as a QB. He played with Manning from Peyton's rookie year in 1998 to 2001. The two are still friends even though they haven't played together in nearly ten years.
Dilger eventually made his way to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, where he won a Super Bowl under then-head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden, as you all know, replaced Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay after Dungy was fired following the 2001 season. Dungy had coached the Bucs from 1996-2001. For many, even though the 2002 Bucs were coached by Gruden, they were still considered 'Tony Dungy's team.'
Ken Dilger seems to disagree.
This past Monday, as a guest of 1070's Joe Staysniak, Ken Dilger talked about the difference between Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy, and how that difference supposedly helped get Tampa Bay over the hump and win a Super Bowl. Dilger also (I'm assuming unwittingly) took a shot at current Colts offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen [emphasis mine]:
There was a lot of talk about that, when we won that Super Bowl, that this was Tony Dungy's team. And, you know, I agree with some of that. But, I don't on another part because that defense he built, and he built a great defense down in there in Tampa, but he always struggled with the offense. Talking to some of the guys down there, on the offensive side of the ball, [saying] that the [offensive] coordinators down there weren't very good, they weren't very good drawing up plays. It was a basic offense. Gruden comes in there with pretty much the same cast of characters, you got myself, Joe Jurevicius, Keenan McCardell, some of the offensive linemen to come in and put those pieces together. And Jon's got a very dynamic offense. A lot of plays. A lot of formations. A lot of stuff just going on. It took us a while to get that offense going. But, the second half of the year we really got on the ball, and played well. ended up 12-4. The defense played well. Kept us in a lot of games, but his offense really came around that year.
It doesn't take a great leap of logic to assume that one of those coordinators Dilger says wasn't very good was Christensen. Christensen ran Tampa Bay's 'basic' offense in 2001, which saw them average 20.2 ppg (15th in the league). The Bucs had a 9-7 record that year, and lost in the playoffs to the Eagles 31-9. Dungy and Christensen were fired from the Bucs shortly afterward, and eventually made their way to Indianapolis. Christensen was the wide receivers coach for Indy from 2002-2009. This past off-season, he was promoted to offensive coordinator.
It's worth noting that the 2002 Buccaneers, with Jon Gruden's 'dynamic' offense, averaged 21.6 ppg (18th in the league). Meanwhile, their defense that year allowed only 9.4 ppg. In 2001 under Dungy, the defense allowed 17 ppg.
So, in essence, Dilger doesn't know WTF he's talking about.
I still like the guy, and enjoy hearing him talk about his career, but the simple fact is Jon Gruden's offenses in Tampa Bay never ranked higher than 18th in the league in scoring from 2002-2008. This means that Gruden's O ranked in the bottom half of the NFL each year he coached in Tampa Bay.
If that's 'dynamic' to Ken Dilger, he's got a pretty weak definition of the word.