The NFL has shown almost a complete unwillingness to overturn any pass interference call or non-call this year despite making such plays reviewable, and Tony Dungy is among those who believe the league is wasting everyone’s time.
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur challenged a pass interference non-call on tight end Evan Engram during Monday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and almost everyone would agree there was a clear and obvious penalty. Like we have seen so many other times this season, the officials still decided not to drop a flag upon reviewing the play.
What do you guys think?
Pass interference or no pass interference pic.twitter.com/opTjHuW7JY
— BettorIQ (@BettorIQ) November 5, 2019
After Shurmur lost that challenge, the success rate of coaches challenging pass interference calls and non-calls this season dropped to less than 10 percent. Of the 52 pass interference plays that have been challenged, the call on the field has been overturned just five times. Dungy ripped the NFL over that on Tuesday.
Please NFL do us a favor and don’t let coaches challenge any more Pass Interference calls. You’re causing teams to lose time outs, making your officiating department look inept, and making us fans feel stupid—like we don’t know the meaning of clear, obvious and significant! pic.twitter.com/A6tBXcYoWU
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) November 5, 2019
It has become clear that the NFL only made pass interference plays reviewable to avoid a complete disaster like the one we saw during the NFC Championship Game last year. We could tell by the way reviews of those plays were being handled in the preseason that the success rate for having them overturned was going to be incredibly low. In certain situations, Dungy is right that it is an insult to fans.
Tony Dungy only needed to see 10 minutes of the incredible “Monday Night Football” game to know where it was heading.
After seeing a couple of early penalties called on the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense, Dungy knew that the game was setting up to be high-scoring. He said that with the way the refs were calling the game, there would be 100 points scored.
This NFL officiating is hard to watch. If those two calls are penalties the secondaries will have no chance. There will be 100 points scored tonight.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) November 20, 2018
Fast forward a few hours, and Dungy’s prediction came true. 105 points were scored in the Los Angeles Rams’ 54-51 win — the most in “Monday Night Football” history. 13 penalties were called on the Chiefs for 135 yards and 8 on the Rams for 60 yards. The defenses created some turnovers but struggled overall to slow down the opposing offenses.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 478 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, while Jared Goff went for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns. What a game.
Like Tony Dungy, Nick Foles is a devout Christian who has never been shy with speaking publicly about the importance of religion in his life. And while it wasn’t surprising that Dungy mentioned Foles’ faith on numerous occasions during NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl, many fans felt the discussion was inappropriate.
Dungy made reference to Foles’ religious beliefs on the air and with a tweet following the game. The former NFL coach also noted how important it was for his son, Justin, to see the Eagles quarterbacks praying together after their win over the Patriots.
Congratulations to the Eagles. Nick Foles told me last week that he felt the Lord had him in Philadelphia for a special moment and he played like it tonight. pic.twitter.com/BgYvucnK6Q
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 5, 2018
After all the celebrations and confetti Justin caught up with the 3 Eagles QBs Nick Foles, Carson Wentz & Nate Sudfeld along with Zach Ertz who scored the winning TD. They were in a room by themselves—praying and thanking God. It was great for him to see that. pic.twitter.com/wDWgg2u01X
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 5, 2018
The tweets and Dungy’s comments on air led to a lot of backlash, and he addressed some of it on Tuesday.
NBC pays me to express my opinion. And it was my opinion that Nick Foles would play well because his Christian faith would allow him to to play with confidence. And that he’s a good QB. I think I was right on both counts. https://t.co/4HOfXt78UZ
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 6, 2018
Dungy was also asked what this says about players of faith whose teams lose.
“Why would you find it hard to believe that the Holy Spirit could speak to Nick Foles just as much as a coach could speak to him? If he credited a coach for saying “Stay calm and be confident” that’s good. But if he tells me Christ says that to him I shouldn’t report it???”, he responded.
Dungy angered fans earlier in the week with his thoughts about where the Patriots’ dynasty ranks among the NFL’s best, but New England did end up losing the game.
The New England Patriots are one victory away from winning their sixth Super Bowl with the same head coach and quarterback — an impressive feat, no doubt, but Tony Dungy has seen better.
Earlier this week, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy was asked if he believes the Patriots are the greatest dynasty in the history of pro football. Dungy admits that the run Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have led the team on is “amazing,” but he feels the 1950s Cleveland Browns have them beat.
“Well, you’d have to look at the longevity,” Dungy said, via Kevin Duffy of MLive.com. “In the 50s it was Otto Graham and the Browns and they did it for a decade, and the Packers did it for a decade, and then Dallas, and the 49ers were close in terms of doing it with two different groups — coach (Bill) Walsh passed it along to George Seifert. But to stay from 2001 to 2017, to maintain the excellence for 17 years, it’s pretty amazing. Would you say it’s better than the Browns in the 50s? Probably not, but to do it for that long period of time, it’s pretty incredible.”
The Patriots have been to eight Super Bowls in the last 18 years and reached the AFC Championship Game in seven straight seasons. The Browns that Dungy is referring to won three titles in six years after the AAFC merged with the NFL. They reached the NFL title game six straight years, and there were no playoffs in five of those seasons. That Cleveland team also played in an era where there was no draft and no salary cap.
We often hear that you can’t compare teams from different eras, but it would be tough to argue that winning three championships in six years in a league with 14 teams is a tougher task than winning five — and possibly a sixth on Sunday — in a 32-team league that is supposed to be designed to maintain parity. If you want to count the four straight championships the Browns won in the AAFC in the late 1940s before the merger, you’d still have a tough time giving them the nod over Belichick’s Patriots.
Of course, this is the same Tony Dungy who recently said there have been five NFL quarterbacks better than Brady since 1978. Brady and Belichick routinely beat Dungy and his Peyton Manning-led Colts in New England’s early days of NFL domination. You don’t suppose that has anything to do with Dungy’s takes, do you?
When Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl, a large portion of the sports fan population felt he cemented himself as the greatest quarterback of all time. Those who didn’t likely still place Joe Montana ahead of Brady because of the former’s undefeated record in the Super Bowl, but how could you argue that Brady is lower than No. 2?
Just ask Tony Dungy.
Dungy was one of 10 Super Bowl-winning current and former NFL coaches and executives who were asked to rank their top 10 quarterbacks since 1978 — the modern era with regard to pass coverage rules — for a recent feature from ESPN’s Mike Sando. While Sando did not reveal exactly how every panelist voted, he did share some interesting details.
Not surprisingly, Brady took the top spot with Montana behind him at No. 2. What is somewhat shocking is that there was one panelist who ranked Brady sixth out of 10. Through the use of deductive reasoning, Michael Hurley of CBS Boston concluded that it was Dungy who ranked five QBs higher than Brady.
According to Sando, only one panelist left Brady out of the top two. Sando also revealed that Dungy listed John Elway, Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers as his top three, so we have our answer to the question, “Who snubbed Tom Terrific?”
Dungy did offer somewhat of an explanation, and he hinted that he is giving Bill Belichick more credit than Brady for the Patriots’ incredible run of success.
“It can be tough to separate the great quarterback from the great coach,” Dungy explained. “We have seen this in every era: Otto Graham and Paul Brown, Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi, Johnny Unitas and Don Shula/Weeb Ewbank, Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll, Joe Montana/Steve Young and Bill Walsh. I don’t think Bill Belichick would be Bill Belichick without Tom Brady, and Brady would not have the same success without Belichick and the way they have put that team together. But the one common thread through 15 years was Brady. When they had him, they won big — won championships. The quarterback has so much to do with it.”
That’s certainly a valid point, but Brady as the sixth-best NFL quarterback since in the past 40 years? Come on, Tony. Apparently Dungy would have plenty to say about our recent list of the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy believes Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest the national anthem last season is a factor in why the quarterback remains a free agent, but he does not believe it tells the entire story.
When asked about the situation on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday, Dungy said he believes team’s would overlook Kaepernick’s political stances if they thought he was a good enough quarterback.
“Yes, it all stems back to not [standing] for the national anthem and the reaction that that’s going to get from fans. But if people perceived Colin Kaepernick as a difference maker, as a guy who could be their starting quarterback and help them win games, he would be signed now and people would deal with the repercussions,” Dungy said, as transcribed by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “I think everybody sees him maybe as a backup. Is he a guy who can really help us? Am I just going to get three or four games a year? If that’s the case, it’s not worth the headache, it’s not worth the distraction, it’s not worth the number of fans we would turn off.”
Dungy was then asked if he would sign Kaepernick if he was still coaching, and he said that would depend on the type of offensive system his team had. Teams whose starting quarterbacks are pocket passers might be hesitant to sign a dual-threat like Kaepernick, which is something one current NFL coach touched on earlier this offseason.
We’ve said the same thing all along that Dungy is saying. Teams weigh everything when it comes to signing a player. Even if you believe in and support what Kaepernick is standing up for, it’s hard to argue that he would not bring extra media attention and potential distractions to a team. If he was a better player, teams would be willing to totally overlook all of that.
One team reportedly has legitimate interest in Kaepernick, and it makes sense given that team’s system.
Tony Dungy continues to make it clear that he is still retired.
Dungy, who retired from the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, has been linked in league circles to the Jacksonville Jaguars job. The Hall of Famer made unequivocally clear, however, that his coaching career is finished.
“I am done with that for sure,” Dungy told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk when asked about coaching again.
And there you have it. Dungy’s name doesn’t come up a lot in coaching vacancies, and it probably has to do with the fact that he’s been very firm in his desire to stay retired for quite a while now. If you ever hear Dungy’s name linked to an opening, you’re probably pretty safe in dismissing it as a bad rumor.