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Norv Turner Fires Back at Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy has been known to get under people’s skin with his remarks as a commentator on NBC. His words inspired the Cowboys against the Saints last year, and he also upset Rex Ryan saying he wouldn’t ever hire the man. Now he’s pissed off Chargers coach Norv Turner.

Apparently Dungy must have said on Football Night in America that Norv Turner shoulders some of the blame for San Diego’s struggles this year. I was watching the show and don’t recall Dungy saying anything inflammatory, and that comment certainly doesn’t qualify. 99% of unbiased people would agree with what Dungy said, particularly considering the way the special teams problems have cost the Chargers three games.

Someone from the San Diego media took Dungy’s comments to Norv on Monday and served him up a softball. Let’s just say Norvell knocked it out of the park.

“You make a comment and see a team from (afar),” Turner said. “I can relate to him. It’s probably how he felt when his players let Darren sproles return a punt and a kick for a touchdown here on a Sunday night game or when Peyton (Manning) threw six interceptions against us. I understand we have work to do. It’s like any head coach would feel after a game like that.”

Damn, that was a pretty strong comeback from Norv. I can understand why he would be upset, but Dungy’s comments were completely fair. Then again, if you’re 2-3 and being questioned by a coach whom your team owned head-to-head, you’d probably be upset too. Keep it coming Norv, I love it.

Tony Dungy: I Would Have Deactivated Braylon Edwards After DUI

Wide receiver Braylon Edwards became the headline story for the Jets this week when he got popped for a DUI with his car full of teammates. Media members and the front office debated how the team should handle the situation, and we said the Jets should have shown him a lesson by benching him for the big Sunday night game against the Dolphins. They ultimately decided to bench Braylon for the first quarter of the game, with coach Rex Ryan explaining that Edwards had already been embarrassed enough by his teammates and media so there was no need to pile on. Fair enough.

NBC analyst and former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who met with Ryan to settle their cussing differences, says he would have acted differently. During Football Night in America on NBC, Dungy said “I think you have to discipline players. You have to let them you know what you expect. When I coached, I wasn’t worried about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I told our guys I’ve got two rules: if you’re out after 1am, if there’s drugs or alcohol involved, if you’ve got a gun, you’re not going to get the benefit of the doubt. I don’t care about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I would have [deactivated Braylon Edwards] and the players would have known about it.”

I’m glad that Dungy stands for discipline and doesn’t tolerate drugs, alcohol, or guns, but I wonder if he would have done what he said had he been in Rex Ryan’s shoes. I’m sure Ryan wants to discipline Edwards, but it’s hard to make that move when you’re 1-1 and facing a divisional opponent who’s 2-0. Moreover, it’s a lot easier to say that when Peyton Manning is your quarterback. Dungy is saying the right thing, but I honestly wonder if he would have carried out his words had he been in Rex’s situation.

Tony Dungy Will Travel to Jets Practice to Kiss and Make Up with Rex Ryan

Former Colts Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy made headlines when he said he wouldn’t hire Rex Ryan after hearing Ryan’s profanity-laced speeches on Hard Knocks. Dungy’s extreme comment unfortunately buried his message that an NFL coach can be effective without swearing. While Dungy comes across as mild mannered, it’s not the first time he’s gotten in a zing on an opponent.

Had Dungy presented his commentary without invoking Goodell’s name and without saying he wouldn’t hire Rex Ryan, then the Jets coach probably would not have been quite so upset. As it was, things got completely out of hand. Ryan is surprisingly self-deprecating and sensitive, so the criticism had to have stung. Not only did the two talk things out “man-to-man” on Wednesday, but Dungy will also visit a Jets practice at some point.

The uniting factor between Dungy and Rex apparently is an anonymous figure who knows both men and spoke highly of Rex. Because of the positive recommendation, Dungy is going to see things first hand to learn what Rex is all about. Aside from wondering who the uniting figure is, the obvious question is: will Rex cuss while Dungy’s at practice or will he be on his best behavior?

Sources:
Dungy to visit Jets after a heart-to-heart with Rex [New York Post]

Tony Dungy: I Wouldn’t Hire Rex Ryan

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the speech that Rex Ryan gave to his team on the HBO series Hard Knocks where he was absolutely raining f-bombs.  A lot of players and fans like to see and hear that kind of attitude from a head coach, but Tony Dungy thinks there’s no need for it.  Rex likes to talk a lot of crap and use a lot of profanity, and Dungy told the Dan Patrick Show on Monday that that would be enough to keep him from hiring the Jets head coach if he were in charge of a team.  Here’s what Tony Dungy had to say about how he would not hire Rex Ryan, courtesy of Pro Football Talk:

I’m disappointed with all the profanity,” Dungy said. “I think Rex can make his points without all that.”

I would not [hire Ryan]. I personally don’t want my players to be around that. I don’t want to be around that. . . . It’s hard for me to be around that, and if I were in charge, no, I wouldn’t hire someone like that. Now, I’ve been around ‘F’ bombs, so it’s not like it’s new. I just don’t think that has to be part of your every-minute, everyday vocabulary to get your point across.”

Dungy even went on to say that he thinks NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should give Rex Ryan a call to tell him to knock it off.

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Tony Dungy Cursed the Colts

If I were running an NFL team trying to rebuild (the Rams and Lions come to mind), my first item of business would be hiring Tony Dungy. I wouldn’t try to make him my head coach or even my team president, the way the Seahawks tried to. Oh no. My role for him would be much simpler: motivate my team by picking against them. That sure seems to bring out the bests in opponents. Back when the Saints were 13-0 and the Cowboys were coming off back-to-back losses, Dungy said on NBC that the Cowboys had no chance against the Saints. Dallas of course went on to hand New Orleans its first loss of the season. That brings us to Super Bowl week where Dungy’s prognostication yielded headlines once again:

“I think they’re going to be so far ahead that people are going to say, ‘Oh, ho-hum, he played a good game, they won by two scores, the Colts won their second championship,’ ” Dungy said of Manning on Thursday. “He’s going to have those rings Sunday night. I don’t think it’s going to be close.

Not to say I was flawless with my predictions (at least I had the Saints plus the points), but man, could you be further off than that? Actually, if the Saints don’t recover the onside kick to start the 3rd quarter, it could have played out the way Dungy predicted. I know Tony’s job is to take stances as an analyst, but he might have to start watching his words now that he’s seen their impact. Either that, or he’ll continue to make picks figuring he has nothing to do with the actual play on the field. This should be interesting.

Tony Dungy’s Disparaging Comments Inspired Cowboys Against Saints

For a guy who seems so reasonable and fair, former Colts coach Tony Dungy made quite an absolute statement last weekend on Sunday Night Football on NBC. When discussing the upcoming Cowboys and Saints game regarding Dallas’ chances at the playoffs, Dungy said the Cowboys didn’t stand a chance against the Saints in New Orleans, adding that the Giants were likely to jump the Cowboys for the final playoff spot in the NFC. Apparently the Cowboys coaches got a hold of the tape and played it for their team as a motivational tactic. The tactic proved to be quite effective; Tony Romo was particularly motivated by Dungy’s remarks.

In two separate occasions after the game, Romo made reference to Dungy’s disparaging comments. First, on the field after the game, Romo told Alex Flanagan of NFL Network that Dungy’s comments motivated the team. Later in the postgame press conference, Romo said the same thing and elaborated, adding that he was surprised to hear such a definitive statement coming from a former coach. Romo’s right — if anyone should understand the “Any Given Sunday” concept, it would be a former coach. But Dungy is now a television commentator and he has clearly embraced that role, making firm and polarizing statements. Even if Dungy’s trying to be controversial, I’m surprised he didn’t leave any room for the possibility of a Dallas victory. I remember being surprised to hear Dungy discredit Dallas, but I’m more surprised it got back to the Cowboys players and that they used it to their advantage. Good for them, it was a well-deserved win. So much for the December lull b.s. the media was drilling into everyone’s mind; beating the Saints proves the Cowboys can be as good as anyone in the NFL.

Here’s a taste of Dungy’s analysis of the Cowboys last weekend on NBC:

Tony Dungy Cracks on Patriots, Belichick

In case you’re unaware of where the whole Belichick/Dungy dicey relationship, you only have to go back to September when Dungy compared Spygate to Barry Bonds‘ use of performance-enhancers in baseball. That’s a pretty strong charge where I come from, and it resulted in a non-handshake between the two after they played in the season. Well anyway, Dungy was interviewed by Gametap about NFL Head Coach ’09, a videogame for which he appears on the cover. Check out the remarks he had for the Patriots:

GameTap: Are there going to be any cheat codes in the game where I can spy on my opponents?

Tony Dungy: [laughs] I don’t know about any cheat codes. They say that’s really a big secret around here, it’s like Spygate. I don’t know if they put that in there or not or what the penalty would be if you entered any cheat codes, but we’ll probably only let New England have cheat codes.

Surely he’ll say he meant it in jest, but man, has any coach ripped on the Pats harder than Dungy? Even the Rams who have players suing the Pats haven’t unloaded comments like that, and they lost in the Super Bowl. Love to see how Billy boy reacted when that comment got around to him. Next time these teams play, I’m sure the Pats will do their best to run up the score.