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Tony Dungy Blames Lions Coaches, Organization for Ndamukong Suh’s Antics

On the surface, Tony Dungy comes across as a soft-spoken, back seat kind of guy. Those of us who know his history, however, know that he loves to ruffle feathers. Whether it’s pissing off the Cowboys, criticizing Rex Ryan for having a potty mouth, or telling the Titans what to do with Vince Young, Dungy is always ready to share his opinion no matter how controversial it may be.  For that reason, it comes as no surprise that he weighed in on the Ndamukong Suh situation on Monday and took an interesting stance.

“I really have to fault the Detroit organization,” Dungy said on the Dan Patrick Show. “I think they really could have stopped this.”

As we saw by his no-hesitation stomp of a Packers offensive lineman, Suh obviously lacks discipline.  That being said, how would you handle him if you were the Detroit Lions coaching staff?  Suh’s attitude and aggressiveness are what make him a force on the defensive front.  There is no excuse for stomping a player or throwing shots after the whistle blows, but if he spends too much time worrying about harnessing his aggression wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would become a different player?

Much of what people perceive as dirty play from Suh is simply playing hard.  Jim Schwartz and company have the difficult task of needing to find a middle ground between telling Ndamukong to tone it down and changing him as a player.  Despite what Dungy says, something like that is much easier said than done.

H/T to Pro Football Talk for the story.

Can the Tim Tebow Offense Last? Tony Dungy Says No

By now you all know that the New York Jets got Tebowed last night. Well, they actually got Sanchezed too but it’s more fun to talk about Tebow Time than it is to blast Sanchez for not making any significant strides in his third season as an NFL starter. With the Broncos trailing 13-10 and 5:54 remaining in the game, Tim Tebow took his team 95 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Naturally, it was Tebow himself who ran it in from 20 yards out.

Once again, Denver was able to win with a virtually nonexistent passing game.  Tebow completed 9-of-20 throws for 104 yards and no touchdowns.  He was particularly inaccurate when throwing from the pocket, missing at least three wide open receivers throughout the course of the game.  Per usual, none of that mattered.  The Jets could not find an answer for Denver’s spread offense on the game-winning drive and Tebow led his team to yet another comeback victory, improving his record to 4-1 as a starter this season.

Despite the Broncos’ success over the last five weeks, the Tebow-style offense — the one John Fox insists his quarterback would be screwed without — still has its doubters.  And it should.

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Tony Dungy Could See Peyton Manning Walking Away from Football in a Year

Peyton Manning had been a bastion of good health throughout his NFL career until succumbing to a neck injury recently. In early September, the All-Pro quarterback had a third procedure on his neck, ending his streak of 227 consecutive starts. His former coach, Tony Dungy, doesn’t believe the quarterback will exit the game on this note. However, Dungy could envision Peyton walking away from the game after one more year.

“I don’t think it would be hard to walk away from the game where he is now, with everything that he’s done. He loves it, he’s very competitive,” Dungy said during a guest appearance on PTI Thursday. “I don’t think he’ll walk away like this unless the doctors tell him that he can’t play. I think he wants to come back and have a great year. I could see him walking away after one more year, but I know him as a competitor, and there’s no way he wants to leave because of an injury.”

Dungy coached Peyton for seven years, so we trust his insight on the subject. However, he conceded that he no longer has insider info on his former quarterback.

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Tony Dungy Believes Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury Traces Back to 2006 Hit

Peyton Manning recently had his third neck surgery and is expected to miss at least 2-3 months. Many people wondered how Manning sustained the injury given that few of us had heard he was experiencing neck problems. Peter King reported Saturday night that “Peyton’s current neck trouble stems from hurting himself working out at Indy HS last spring.” Indianapolis Star writer Phillip B. Wilson says the pain in Manning’s neck started at least in February. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy thinks the injury goes back even further than that. He traces the problems back to a 2006 hit.

From Cindy Boren at The Washington Post:

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Tony Dungy: Aaron Rodgers Is the Best Player in Football

Despite winning Super Bowl MVP last season, Aaron Rodgers is rarely mentioned when people are asked to name the top quarterback in the NFL. The list usually starts with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. When those two were ranked one and two on NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2011 list, I said that Rodgers should have been No. 1. Instead, he was listed 11th. Apparently someone else agrees with me.

During the pre-game analysis of the Packers-Saints season opener on NBC, former Colts coach Tony Dungy declared Rodgers the best player in the NFL.

“Rodgers is special,” Dungy said. “He’s smart, he’s tough, and he can make all the throws you need to make.

“What separates him is the mobility. This is what makes him a great quarterback and why if I were building a team right now, I’d take Aaron Rodgers if I wanted to win a Super Bowl. I would take Rodgers over [Drew] Brees, [Tom] Brady, and [Peyton] Manning.”

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Tony Dungy: ‘I Would Cut Ties with Vince Young’ if I Were Jeff Fisher

It’s one thing for an impetuous writer or a schmuck caller on sports talk radio to say the Titans need to part ways with Vince Young. It’s quite another when Tony Dungy says it. See, Dungy was a Super Bowl winning coach with the Colts, so his words actually carry some weight around these parts. He’s run teams, helped with personnel decisions, and he seems like a rational dude. Rational people don’t make conclusive remarks without really believing in them, so you know Dungy was serious when he commented on the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher situation in Tennessee.

Asked what he would do with Vince Young, Dungy said “I think you cut ties with Vince Young … that’s just wrong.” Tony added “No coach in the National Football League has his players’ back as much as Jeff Fisher does. And Vince Young as a quarterback, he’s gotta be with them.”

That’s coming from someone who knows how difficult it is to find a quality quarterback, and how much a team can be hurt by a lack of good quarterback play. Dungy wouldn’t have recommended the Titans part ways with Vince Young if VY hadn’t really screwed up, and if he didn’t believe Young were expendable. We already knew Buffalo would be looking for a new quarterback in the draft, maybe now you can add Tennessee to the list.

Tony Dungy Upsets Wade Phillips, Tony Romo This Time

The same week that Tony Dungy elicited the anger of Chargers coach Norv Turner, he also upset the Dallas Cowboys. Dungy inspired the Cowboys last year saying they had no chance to beat the undefeated Saints, but this time his comments were reserved for quarterback Tony Romo. After Romo threw three picks including one to seal the loss for Dallas, Dungy said on NBC “Part of being a leader at the quarterback position is protecting the football. You’ve got to do that to be a great quarterback.” Fair comment, especially since that pick sealed the loss.

Well head coach Wade Phillips went after Dungy, bringing up how Tony wasn’t so successful entering a game for the Steelers as their emergency quarterback when Wade was on the Houston Oilers staff. Phillips added, “Tony Dungy has been a great coach in this league. He told everybody that New Orleans would kill us last year and we had no chance. I don’t know his credibility that way.”

Romo responded by saying that Dungy wasn’t qualified to comment on his leadership since he’s not around the team. Romo pulled a Rex Ryan, inviting Dungy to practice. “He can come along if he wants to see. He can see it anytime you’re out here. That’s just part of it. If you’d ask any of my coaches you’d probably get a different answer. If Tony Dungy was in here it’d be the same way.”

This really is unbelievable. I can’t recall another commentator — aside from Charles Barkley — whose analysis and comments caused more discomfort. For coming across and having a reputation as such a nice guy, it sure seems as if Dungy has a lot of enemies in the league. To think, we still have another three months of this!