Tony Dungy! We will miss you!!!!
Dungy stepping down as Colts coach
Sunday, January 12, 2009
Dungy walked around the team's complex saying goodbye to players and team employees and informing them that the transition should be a smooth one for new coach Jim Caldwell.
According to one source, Dungy explained that he has talked it over with his family and they believed this was the proper time to step down, while the Colts' nucleus was still intact.
Dungy is perhaps the most respected head coach among peers and players of this era. He won a Super Bowl two seasons ago and at that time many thought he would step down. Again last year it was predicted by some he would step down, but he decided instead to pick his successor and stay on for one more year.
Dungy's Indianapolis tenure will finish after seven seasons with a record of 92-33, and a postseason berth in all seven years with the club.
He was competitive but still maintained sportsmanship. He was a straight shooter but one that was classy. Dungy was pro team but was devoted to his family. Most people are skeptical of people who are labeled a good guy.
Well, it's pretty obvious with Tony Dungy being gone it's going to hurt the Colts. He has led his team to playoff appearance after playoff appearance.
Yes I think this really does hurt the Colts, but also I think they will still be the exact same team next season. The reason it hurts the Colts is because they lose the type of person that Dungy was off the field. He was amazing for the community and was just a good person all around.
This comes from me, and I'm sure I'm speaking for the entire Colts fan base. We wish you well in whatever you move on to Tony, and you are always going to be welcome in Indiana, and if you ever want to, to coach our Indianapolis Colts.
With Dungy out the Colts will have to find another coach that can fill the left by Tony Dungy. It will be very hard for them, but they already have the guy who will be their next head coach on their coaching staff.
Jim Caldwell will be the new Indianapolis Colts head coach. This makes it a much easier transition for the Colts, because Caldwell will more than likely run the same kind of system Dungy ran.
While he will run the same system, it still will not be the same. The players will have to learn to respect Caldwell just as much as they did Tony Dungy, and Caldwell will have to have just as good of control and not let go of it.
In a realm where the majority of the media attention is placed on the negative actions of thugs, Dungy made headlines for all the right reasons. Frankly, it wouldn't have bothered him if the press never batted an eye at him.
In a profession where being loud, demonstrative, and forceful is considered to be the foundation for a successful coach, Dungy showed an ability to motivate and find success by relying on the same "quiet strength" which provided the title of his best-selling book.
In a setting that can cause even the most noble to become selfish, Dungy resisted and instead used his platform as a football coach to better the lives of others through charitable works.
In a society where the successful are almost exclusively expected to trumpet their accomplishments, Dungy let his record on the field do the talking.
In a culture where "nice guys finish last", Dungy won a Super Bowl ring being "nice"-and in doing so, he broke down a racial barrier that preceded him, becoming the first title-winning black head coach.
And in a time where free agency and impatience creates an inferno of instability in so many franchises, Dungy showed-and was showed-a great deal of loyalty, both to his coaches and to his players. In return, Colts GM Bill Polian and owner Jim Irsay respected Dungy enough and wanted him around enough that they arranged for him to fly Irsay's private jet down to Tampa, where his family resides, to watch his son Eric-who is a senior in high school-play football on Friday nights.
It says a lot about Dungy that when he met with Irsay to discuss his future, the Colts owner begged him to stay. Fans have been touched in innumerable ways by him on and off the field. He is universally admired by those in the coaching profession.
Oh, and by the way, he was a pretty good football coach. He racked up 148 wins in his 13 years as a head coach, seven with Tampa Bay and six in Indy. His Colts teams won the AFC South five straight times, and he led his squads to the postseason in ten consecutive seasons, making him the only man since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to accomplish that feat.
Granted, it helps to have perhaps the greatest quarterback to ever play the game on your roster. It is also beneficial to have a stable organization committed to winning the right way from the top down.
But Dungy took a horrible defense and turned it into a productive one. Despite its inability to stop the run on many occasions, Dungy's "Tampa 2" defensive scheme has found its way into many locker rooms due to its effectiveness in covering the field in pass coverage.
Dungy inherited a robust collection of offensive talent and refused to make drastic changes. He and Polian showed an ability to draft talented players in all rounds of the draft that is second to none.
He dealt with injuries as well, if not better, than any other coach in the NFL. His mantra, "Do what we do", extended from Peyton Manning down to the practice squad, and if your number was called, you were expected to perform at a high level.
Football didn't make Tony Dungy. His leaving on his own terms affirms this. Football benefited from him being around.
He will be missed.