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Thread: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

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    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Players' preparation for AFC title game begins Wednesday

    By Phil Richards
    phil.richards@indystar.com
    January 16, 2007


    When the third-seeded Indianapolis Colts dismissed No. 2-seeded Baltimore from the AFC playoffs Saturday, they did more than beat the odds. They beat a fresh football team.

    The Ravens were coming off a bye week: no game, a couple of extra days off, a chance to rest the legs and renew the psyche. The Colts were playing their 18th game in 19 weeks.

    Football is a brutal enterprise and the NFL's is a brutally long season.
    "I don't care who you are, your body's going to break down," said Colts cornerback Nick Harper, who caused a fumble and intercepted a pass during the Colts' 15-6 divisional-round victory. "It doesn't matter how young or old you are, your body is going to break down.

    "The more recoup time you get, the better off you'll be."

    That's why Colts coach Tony Dungy gave his players Sunday, Monday and today off. They will begin preparations Wednesday for their AFC Championship Game showdown with New England on Sunday at the RCA Dome.

    "Three days of preparation is what you need," Dungy said. "Sometimes you can overdo the preparation and I just think at this time of year, being fresh is better."

    The record supports him. In 1990, the postseason format was altered to add a second wild-card game, and byes were accorded only to the top two seeds in each conference. From then through last season, teams with first-round byes went 51-13 (.797) in divisional games.

    Part of that is playing at home, and part is that the higher-seeded team will usually be the better team. But part of it is rest, fresh legs and clear heads.
    That's why Dungy has maintained pretty much since he arrived in 2002 that the greatest advantage afforded by earning a No. 1 or 2 seed is not home field. It's the bye week.

    Dungy's long-standing policy underpins his philosophy. When the Colts win on Sunday in November and December, they are given Monday in addition to the standard Tuesday players' day off. This November and December, they have practiced only once or twice on a Monday even after a loss.

    After the Colts beat Kansas City in a wild-card game on Jan. 6, Dungy gave the players two days off.

    "Your body, week in and week out, is getting worn down and battered. It's a task to get it back for the next game," said defensive end Robert Mathis, one of the best-conditioned Colts. "Rest helps tremendously, because the secret to playing hard is resting hard."

    The Colts matched, if not exceeded, Baltimore's energy and intensity.
    Wide receiver Brandon Stokley was an illustration of the value of a rested body in 2003. He played only six regular-season games because of injury. Then he had 11 catches for 223 yards and three touchdowns in three playoff games.

    Tight end Dallas Clark missed four games this year with a partially torn knee ligament, then came back for a shakedown during the regular-season finale.
    "That's vacation. That definitely helped me," Clark said.

    Refreshed, he caught nine passes for 103 yards against Kansas City, and then caught a 14-yard fourth-quarter pass Sunday at Baltimore for probably the game's biggest first down. It enabled the Colts to kick the clinching field goal and all but exhaust the clock.

    Running backs Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes also have benefited from fresh legs. They alternated series during the regular season. They have alternated big plays during the postseason.

    Dungy has done more than give his players time off. He has taken them out of pads during practice the past couple of weeks. The boost there is two-fold: the psychological aspect and the elimination of contact during 11-on-11 drills.

    "That's big, taking the pads off for practice," defensive tackle Raheem Brock said.

    New England matched the Colts last weekend. The Patriots beat rested, top-seeded San Diego on Sunday, but then had to fly back across the country with one fewer day than the Colts to rest and prepare for the AFC Championship Game.

    Home teams are 47-25 (.653) in conference championship games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Being at home and a little better rested assures nothing, but it can't hurt.

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  2. #2
    Banned Destined4Greatness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    I have no problem with this, although I would wager money a bunch of the guys especially Manning are all over the tape we have of the Pats.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    I would wager money a bunch of the guys especially Manning are all over the tape we have of the Pats.
    Jeff Saturday was on Bob and Tom this morning and said pretty much exactly that. That even though they are technically "resting" they are watching tape like there's no tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Shouldn't have to be too much tape watching considering how many times they have played each other the last three years.
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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    Jeff Saturday was on Bob and Tom this morning and said pretty much exactly that. That even though they are technically "resting" they are watching tape like there's no tomorrow.
    See this is why the Ravens lost, they were busy talkin trash, we were watchin tape.

    I love having true professionals on this team, I don't know how bengals fans put up with Johnson.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Destined4Greatness View Post
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    I love having true professionals on this team, I don't know how bengals fans put up with Johnson.
    Just because Johnson talks, doesn't me he doesn't watch tape and get as prepared as anyone else. What a sad misconception.

    I'd prefer players stay quiet, especially to the extent he takes it, but you're assuming a lot you don't really know.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacersfan46 View Post
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    Just because Johnson talks, doesn't me he doesn't watch tape and get as prepared as anyone else. What a sad misconception.

    I'd prefer players stay quiet, especially to the extent he takes it, but you're assuming a lot you don't really know.
    He busies himself with designing shoes, talking trash, putting up charts of all the players that haven't stopped him, and lets not forget. Getting in fights in the lockerroom.

    ^ How much time does that leave for tape. And even if he does prepare like everybody else, doesn't mean he is a pro. Thats just one quality.

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    Banned Destined4Greatness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Apparently Dominic Rhodes was on Cold Pizza and said that the Coaches aren't taking the day off.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    I know I only know about 10% as much about football/NFL as I do basketball/NBA, but this concerns me a little bit. I'd rather they have a week of sharpening the knives, so to speak. I don't want this to have a mini-effect of having a bye week.

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I know I only know about 10% as much about football/NFL as I do basketball/NBA, but this concerns me a little bit. I'd rather they have a week of sharpening the knives, so to speak. I don't want this to have a mini-effect of having a bye week.
    Its one day to rest the body, the entire coaching staff and I am sure more than half the roster has spent at least 3 hours studying film. Manning probably closer to 8.

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I know I only know about 10% as much about football/NFL as I do basketball/NBA, but this concerns me a little bit. I'd rather they have a week of sharpening the knives, so to speak. I don't want this to have a mini-effect of having a bye week.
    Well they already get two days of rest in a normal week. All this is is adding one more day to it, and they used it to study film. Now if they all went to Club Rio then I'd be worried....

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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    They played on Saturday, so there was an extra day in the schedule. I think this is standard operating procedure. (similar to giving players and extra day the week before a MNF game).
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    Default Re: Dungy chooses to give Colts 3 days of rest

    This is completely normal. The Colts often beginning doing their on-field practices on Wednesdays. Tuesday was tape day.
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