Tony Dungy is one of the more intelligent and reasonable NFL analysts out there, so when he speaks, you should listen.
Dungy — a former NFL head coach and current analyst on NBC’s “Football Night in America” — on Monday was a guest on ESPN 980′s “The Sports Fix” and discussed Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the team’s offense and how important wide receiver Pierre Garçon is to the team’s success.
Dungy knows a thing or two about Garçon, having been the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach in 2008 when the team drafted Garçon out of Division III Mount Union.
The full audio interview with Dungy is below, but here are some snippets from his conversation:
On if Griffin III running the ball so much should be a concern:
“Well I don’t know, he’s done that his whole college career. What you are saying is people are taking shots at him. I noticed that Cincinnati definitely went after him, even when he handed the ball off and that is the danger you’re taking putting that option game in. As he said on his interview, that’s the way he plays and he’s not ready to back down.”
On Griffin III emerging as a leader of the team:
“There’s no question. That’s what you saw in Robert Griffin when he played in college. I think that’s what the Redskins saw in him and he is, he’s taken the mantle and saying, ‘You know what, I’m gonna lead this team, I’m not gonna back down and this is part of it and they’re gonna use me on bootlegs and I’m gonna be out of the pocket, I’m gonna be running the option. OK, if you’re gonna take shots at me, bring it on, but we’ll have enough stuff to take advantage of that and we’ll have enough other players that would won’t be able to just focus in on me.’ That’s gotta be the goal.”
On fixing the Redskins’ defense:
“The back four, they’re gonna have problems in this day and age no matter who you have. I would continue concentrating on getting the front seven better and better. Unfortunately, they’ve had some injuries losing some of their pass rushers, that hurts you as well. But you’re not going to be able to fix every problem. They’ve spent a lot to get Robert and it’s paying off. They’ve just gotta kind of hunt and peck and find those guys who can get the job done in the back, but really defense in this day and age starts up front — putting pressure on the quarterback, forcing off target throws, not giving him time to take advantage of what might be a weaker link in the secondary.”
On adjustments to make during defensive struggles:
“Well we did a lot of that when I was in Indianapolis. We had an explosive offense [and] we knew we were going to score a lot of points and we just felt if we made people make a lot of throws and a lot of plays then our athleticism would play out. We played a lot of zone defense, a lot of two deep; try to jam the receivers, make the ball be thrown in front. Make a team use 12-15 plays and at some point along the way hope that your athletic guys can make a play. People seem to be going away from that now. I see a lot more blitzing and pressure and inviting people to take shots down the field. It’s just a different philosophy.”
On what the Redskins are missing in the absence of Pierre Garçon:
“Pierre is a great player; he’s explosive. He’s a guy who can catch balls, break tackles and make big plays out of short passes, so they do miss him. What you have to do is just put things together — the next guy has to step up and other guys have to come through and that’s what’ll happen, they’ll adjust, but hopefully Pierre will be back because he was off to a great start.”
Here’s the full interview with Dungy:
Tags: Pierre Garcon, Robert Griffin III, Tony Dungy, washington redskins
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