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Michael Sam has great response for Tony Dungy

Michael Sam RamsTony Dungy became persona non-grata this week after saying he would not have drafted Michael Sam. A day later, Dungy decided to “clarify” his original comments. Sam also was asked about the comments Tuesday and responded.

“Thank God he wasn’t St. Louis Rams’ coach,” Sam joked to the media. “But I have a great respect for (Tony) Dungy, and everyone in America is entitled to their own opinions.”

That’s a pretty good response from Sam, who did not want to continue talking about that subject.

“I don’t really care what people are coming up and talking about,” Sam said after being faced with another question from the media about Dungy. “My job is to make this team, that’s my number one priority.”

Dungy issued a statement Tuesday to elaborate on his controversial comments about not wanting to draft Sam. Dungy says the media circus surrounding Sam is what would have dissuaded him.

His statement is below.

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Tony Dungy: I would not have drafted Michael Sam

Michael Sam RamsMichael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams more than two months ago, and we have heard very little about his sexual preference since then. With the exception of his touching speech at the ESPYs, the fact that Sam is gay has seemingly been a nonissue. Tony Dungy must not have taken note of that.

Dungy recently said he would not have drafted Michael Sam if he was still an NFL head coach.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” the former Indianapolis Colts coach and current NBC analyst said, via Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

Not wanting to “deal with all of it” is undoubtedly the reason several teams passed on Sam. While all has been quiet to this point, Dungy doesn’t believe it will stay that way.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen,” he added.

The most interesting thing about Dungy’s stance is that he tried to go down the politically correct road when asked about Sam back in February.

“The NFL has always been based on merit and I think that will continue to be the case whether it’s Michael Sam and the issue of homosexuality or anything else,” Dungy said at the time. “Guys who produce and play well will be welcome in the league.”

I guess what he meant was Sam will be welcome in the NFL, but he wouldn’t be welcomed by me.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Dungy’s is one that is shared by many but bottled up by most. Fortunately, the Rams were willing to deal with whatever distractions might come with drafting Sam if it means potentially improving their football team. If everyone felt the same way Dungy feels about Sam, an openly gay player would never be drafted.

H/T The Big Lead

Tony Dungy: ‘I am done coaching!’

Tony DungyTony Dungy’s name still comes up here and there regarding coaching vacancies in pro and college football, but it sounds like you can permanently cross him off all lists.

Dungy was answering fan questions on Twitter Friday and was asked if he would consider taking the Detroit Lions job if it becomes open. Dungy gave an emphatic answer:

Rumors have said Jim Schwartz will be fired if his 7-7 Lions miss the playoffs, so some are expecting them to look for a new coach after the season. Dungy is also from Michigan, which is what prompted the hometown question.

Dungy hasn’t coached since leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 12-4 record in the 2008 season. He’s been content serving as a writer, motivational speaker, and NFL analyst on NBC.

If Dungy were ever interested in the Lions job, that would make for an interesting situation based on what he said about the organization and Ndamukong Suh two years ago. I’d love to see what a meeting between him and Suh would look like.

Kenneth Edward Tarr, prankster who offered coaches fake jobs, arrested and facing charges

Tony-Dungy-Ndamukong-SuhThe Los Angeles man who allegedly made prank phone calls to high profile coaches from the NFL, NBA and college football was arrested on Monday. According to NBC News, 32-year-old Kenneth Edward Tarr was booked on suspicion of felony eavesdropping for recording phone conversations without permission. Tarr is being held on $20,000 bond and charges could be filed as soon as Wednesday.

At least a dozen coaches were reportedly victims of Tarr’s cruel prank, with names like Tony Dungy and Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson among them. About two months ago, USC claimed people were posing as Trojans representatives and speaking to prospective coaches. At the time, we thought USC was lying and had offered the job to Dungy and he turned it down. Tarr’s arrest would seem to confirm that we were wrong.

In October, a person named Kenny Tarr contacted Deadspin and admitted to making dozens of phone calls to high-profile coaches. Tarr sent Deadspin a recording of a conversation he had with Jackson where he posed as a Los Angeles Lakers representative who was supposedly helping with their head coaching search.

“It’s basically a new frontier for me,” Tarr said. “I’m amazed that they’re returning any of these calls.”

Tarr went on to brag about how USC threatened to sue him but “no one ever has the balls to go through with it.” He admitted to contacting Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Stanford head coach David Shaw and several others.

“Our investigation is ongoing and includes coaches from across professional sports,” LAPD Lt. Mark Reina said, per NBC News. “We will be analyzing evidence taken during the service of our search warrant to determine if there are additional victims we are not aware of.”

Whether USC or anyone else sues Tarr, it appears that his prank is going to cost him. I hope it’s worth the fame he has received.

Tony Dungy: I would not want to work for Daniel Snyder

dan-snyderThe Washington Redskins have taken a giant step back this season after winning the NFC East in 2012. Part of the issue has been Robert Griffin III’s recovery from knee surgery, but a lot of the team’s struggles have had to do with poor coaching. Naturally, poor coaching reflects negatively on ownership. That is something Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has grown accustomed to over the years.

On Monday, Tony Dungy discussed the current state of the Redskins on “The Dan Patrick Show.” He expressed confidence that Griffin will turn out just fine, essentially pointing the finger at Washington’s ownership group for this year’s media circus.

“I think the whole thing gets kind of exacerbated in Washington, with the whole setup there, the way it’s been, the owner and everything, and the press,” Dungy said, via DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg. “RG3’s gonna be okay, just like Cam Newton. Now in three or four years, he matures, he’s playing great football, maybe he’s matured a little bit, but they’re winning more, he’s playing better, so now it all looks pretty good. Whereas when you’re not winning, everything seems to be a negative.”

Dungy also said he believes the Redskins are best off sticking with Mike Shanahan and giving the current offense time, though he said Snyder has a history of jumping ship. He was then asked specifically if he would work for Snyder.

“No, no,” he replied. “When you’re interviewing coaches for the job, and you haven’t told me I’ve lost the job yet? No, I would NOT want to work for him.”

As Steinberg noted, Dungy was likely referring to Snyder interviewing head coaching candidates like Shanahan while Jim Zorn was still under contract with the Redskins.

Dungy’s opinion is one that is shared by plenty of people. Perhaps Clinton Portis can change all of their minds.

Tony Dungy thinks Kirk Cousins would give Redskins better chance to win

The Washington Redskins have fared so poorly in their first two games of the season that people are legitimately questioning whether the team would be better off playing Kirk Cousins at quarterback since Robert Griffin III is nowhere near 100 percent healthy.

Robert Griffin knee braceWashington coach Mike Shanahan was asked on Monday whether he has considered benching RG3 for Cousins, and he gave a big smile and pretty much laughed off the suggestion. But there are people who think they should make the switch to Big Cuz, and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy is one of them.

Dungy just doesn’t think Griffin is ready to play at the level he needs to be at.

“You always want your big guns out there, and they want to be out there — they want to be out there to help their team,” Dungy told Dan Patrick on Monday. “But I’m seeing a guy who is not doing the same things that he did last year. So you’re saying we’re going to change the offense, we’re going to tailor it, we’re going to keep him safe and let him throw from the pocket, he’s still a good quarterback. And he is all that. But he’s not 100 percent, and he’s not presenting the problems that he did in the past.”

In addition to not being the same dangerous presence that he was, Dungy is concerned that Griffin could get hurt.

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Tony Dungy, Cris Collinsworth overhyped Joe Webb who was a flop

joe webb vikingsMinnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb played an absolute stinker of a playoff game on Saturday, which is shocking if you actually believed the absurd hype some of NBC’s analysts tried to feed us about him before the game.

NBC was hoping for a good game between the Vikings and Green Bay Packers, but they learned Saturday that starting quarterback Christian Ponder could not play because of an elbow injury, and that Webb would be starting in his place. NBC executives may have panicked and worried that fewer people would be interested in watching Webb, who did not throw a pass the entire regular season, but luckily their analysts assured viewers that the former sixth-round pick was quite capable. Actually, they started hyping Webb like he was in the same quarterback class as Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, and as if he was a Pro Bowl candidate this season.

“No matter who plays quarterback, the goal is always to take pressure off of Adrian Peterson,” Cris Collinsworth said of the Vikings before the game. “If Christian Ponder is the quarterback, you have the threat of the play action passing game. But with Joe Webb, you have the threat of the play action passing game, and you have this read option offense which Green Bay really hasn’t had a chance to prepare for, so it’s going to be a really interesting matchup.”

When play-by-play man Al Michaels asked Collinsworth what the change meant for Green Bay, Collinsworth went even further off the Webb deep end.

“This is the third time [the Packers have] played the Minnesota Vikings in five weeks, so they come in here thinking, ‘we know everything there is to know about what they’re going to do on offense.’ And then you get this Joe Webb X-factor. There is an uncertainty going into this game now, which is going to make it really, really interesting to watch.”

“This is like Saturday night mystery theater,” added Michaels.

Saturday night mystery theater, X-factor, really interesting matchup, uncertainty — I mean shoot, the Packers should have really been worried, right?

That sort of hype about the game was nothing compared to Tony Dungy, however.

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