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Picking Tony Dungy's Brain

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As I mentioned at the end of last week, Coach Dungy appeared on set with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He stayed on for two segments (which is about 20 minutes of on air time), and Coach had a myriad of questions thrown his way.  Here were his thoughts (and I'm paraphrasing throughout, as I couldn't write full quotes down fast enough):

  • He is very much in favor of a Rookie Salary Cap, which makes sense since Polian is leading the charge to get this in the next CBA.  It makes a whole lot of sense when GMs, Coaches, and Players are all in agreement.
  • He was asked what the one thing was that separated Peyton Manning from everyone else:  Preparation, and again, he's obviously right.  He recalled a story from the two weeks preceding Super Bowl XLI, where Peyton watched all 16 regular season games, plus the playoffs of the Bears in the 2 weeks before the game.  He also delegated the task of watching the Bear's 4 Preseason games to Sorgi, who had to report anything different they might have done then. 
  • He is not in favor of adding a 17th game to the schedule, as this has been thrown around lately.  He said with a longer season, there will be even more non-meaningful games.  I'm not sure I totally agree with that, but that was his reasoning.  I'm undecided on the 17th game, so I'll think about it some more, and write a full article in the near future, as I think it is an important topic to discuss.
  • He said that while the Patriots were/are a great team and a great organization, those 3 Super Bowl titles are tarnished.  He didn't understand why they needed to do those things, as they would have won anyway.  Now, however, there will always be that cloud of uncertainty.
  • He was asked the best thing he learned from being around Chuck Noll:  Fundamentals.  He said you need to know the basics before you can compete on the highest level.  Without it, you won't win games.  See Notre Dame Football, 2007 as Exhibit A of this theory.  He also said it is a shame Noll is always looked over when the great coaches of the NFL are talked about, as he learned a lot from him.
  • By far the biggest surprise of the interview, and I'm definitely not in agreement with him, is that he is against Instant Replay.  They asked him about using it in baseball (as that is topical now), and he said he was against it wholeheartedly in both sports.  He fears it will become unbounded, and soon everything will be up for review.  Personally, I think it is very easy to bound, and should not grow wildly out of control.  The goal is to get the call correct, no matter the team.  That is the reason for Instant Replay.

All in all a great interview with Coach Dungy.  They also plugged his book quite a bit, as it was just released in paperback.