Go Back   Sports Central Message Boards > Professional Sports Discussion > National Football League

View Poll Results: Should the Colts fire Tony Dungy if they don't make the Super Bowl next season?
Yes 1 14.29%
No 6 85.71%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-07-2003, 04:00 AM   #1
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Exclamation in defense of Tony Dungy

I don't think Tony Dungy is the NFL's best head coach by any means, but I do think the criticism of him has gotten a little out of control. He turned a perennial loser into a constant contender and took the Colts back to the playoffs in his first year as coach there.

Dungy's playoff record is 2-5. In 1997, Dungy's second season as head coach, the Bucs beat Detroit before losing to the Packers, who were the best team in the NFL that season. Two years later, they beat the Redskins and lost to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. No shame there.

In 2000, Tampa lost a wild-card game at Lambeau Field, 17-14. A year later, after a 9-7 regular season, the Bucs lost a wild-card game to Philadelphia, 17-13. That made Dungy 2-4 in the postseason, and he was fired.

During his time in Tampa, Dungy tripled the team's postseason victory total and was the first coach to leave town with a winning percentage higher than .360. His was .579, higher than the career marks of Hall of Famers Jimmy Conzelman, Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman, Marv Levy, Chuck Noll, and Hank Stram.

In his first season with the Colts, Dungy brought the team back from 6-10 to 10-6, including a radical improvement for the defense (29th to 8th), but the team was blasted by the Jets in the playoffs. The Jets were the better team, but no one should ever lose 41-0.

Despite that one game, I don't see how you can justify calling Dungy a bad coach. His career winning percentage is now .580, he's established himself as a great defensive coach, and his teams have made the playoffs in five of his seven seasons as a head coach.

Tom Landry didn't post a winning record during his first six years as coach of the Cowboys. He lost his first playoff game and started 1-4 in the postseason. 15 years after his retirement, he still holds the NFL record for most postseason victories by a head coach.

Don Shula lost his first two playoff games and his first two Super Bowls, including Super Bowl III, when his heavily favored Colts, who went 13-1 during the regular season, were upset by the Jets. Shula's undefeated 1972 Dolphins were actually underdogs when they met the Redskins in Super Bowl VII, probably due in part to the coach's track record. Shula retired as the winningest coach in league history, trails only Landry in postseason victories, and has two Super Bowl rings to go with his five AFC Championship rings and a pre-merger NFL title.

Bill Walsh's 49ers lost their first playoff game three years in a row (85-87) before Walsh collected his 3rd Super Bowl ring. These days, any coach who takes a team to the playoffs three times without winning a Super Bowl is labeled a choaker. I don't think Dungy will ever be Landry, Shula, or Walsh, but give the man a chance. Joe Gibbs was mild-mannered and reserved, but he went 16-5 in the postseason, won 3 Super Bowls, and was named to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Give Dungy a chance.

Last edited by Brad O.; 02-07-2003 at 04:07 AM.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:37 AM   #2
Alex
#1 Student Section
 
Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: State College, PA/Newtown, CT
Posts: 7,158
Alex will become famous soon enough
Default

no he shouldn't be fired. i think its unrealistic that they would make it they got blown out in the first round this year i think they need to steadily improve and Peyton needs to learn to win big games because that is killing them
__________________
Penn State '12
Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 09:20 AM   #3
#47
Sports Virtuoso
 
#47's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 2,017
#47 is on a distinguished road
Default

I'm not a fan of Dungy but he certainly should NOT be fired if he doesnt get to the SB next year.

On another note, nice run down Brad, but comparing Tom Landry's early years with Dungy is ignoring the fact that NFL was radically different in those days. Landry took over a Expansion franchise in an era when players did not move from team to team. He had to build his Cowboys thru the draft and/or older castoffs from teams. There was no signing big free agents and teams(because the salary stucture was so different) did not release capable players like they do now for salary cap reasons.

The coaches back during that time, had it far tougher on them then coaches do today, trying to build teams.
__________________
USC Football.........
22 in a row!
2003 and '04 NC's in Football.
33-1, the last 34 gms.
Heisman #6.
#47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 10:22 AM   #4
I OWN THIS
The True Titan
 
I OWN THIS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Southaven, Mississippi
Posts: 2,634
I OWN THIS is on a distinguished road
Default

Brad a few corrections here.....

In the season of 2000, Tampa Bay lost to Philly 21-3, not Green Bay 17-14 in the first round of the playoffs.

In the season of 2001, Tampa Bay lost to Philly again 31-9, not 17-13....and then Dungy was fired.

My final comment is that I like Dungy as a defensive coordinator, but not a head coach.

Joey
__________________
Tennesse Titans Superbowl Champs 2003...Steve Mcnair for NFL MVP...Hopefully the Gators can compete in the SEC
I OWN THIS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 04:03 PM   #5
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default

Two things. First of all, Joey, thanks for the corrections. I thought the Green Bay thing seemed wrong, but I pulled those numbers off the Bucs official website, so either they screwed up, or -- probably more likely -- I misread something. In my defense, I re-checked the website today and the entire format has been changed. The losses I originally cited are now clearly labeled as the last games of the respective seasons.

#47, I see your point regarding Landry. I guess I'd say that taking over the Bucs in 1996 was a lot like taking over an expansion team. They'd had a better winning percentage than .375 once in the previous 15 seasons. The free agency point is a very good one, though.

Either way, though, Landry lost 4 of his first 5 playoff games, and Dungy has been criticized primarily for his postseason performance. So I guess I concede that Landry's mark in his first six years is fairly irrelevant to this argument, but I'd say his playoff record is extremely relevant.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:12 PM   #6
buckeyefan78
Happy Land
 
buckeyefan78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 12,864
buckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the rough
Default

I just don't know about Dungy. I was certain of his defensive mind coming to Indy, and then I thought to myself, wow, the Colts have a heck of an offense. Remember, the Colts suffered through a lot of injuries on the offensive side of the ball in 2001, so I thought they would be the favorites to win the AFC in 2002. I don't think he should be fired, atleast not yet. Give him time here. I'd say if they don't atleast go to the AFC Title Game in one of the next two years, you can give him the ax then.

It's hard comparing Landry to Dungy, based on the eras. Free agency makes it a whole new ball game. I think there is a greater urgency to win NOW by teams more than ever, which really wasn't the case back then. Remember, the Steelers were drafting guys in the late 60s who would form their dynasty in the mid to late 70s. In fact, one of those Super Bowl teams is the only one in history to have all it's players having played for only one team, the Steelers of course. Teams took 6,7, and upwards numbers of years to form into a power back then. And these coaches were given alot of flexibility to develop their team. Today, you get a bunch of guys one year, and the next, you might not have more than a few holdovers.

Although, we have seen master coaches in the free agency era emerge. Look at Parcels and Brian Billick. After almost getting torn to the ground after their Super Bowl year, I think Billick is primed at a run with the Ravens again this upcoming year. When coaches like these two show it's possible to win relatively quick in the new era of football, that puts the pressure on guys like Dungy to get the job done even quicker.
buckeyefan78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:18 PM   #7
MountaineerDave
Where am I?
 
MountaineerDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 5,661
MountaineerDave is on a distinguished road
Default

No, he shouldn't be fired. His team, barring some free agency and draft moves that would signicantly change the talent-level of the team, is simply not Super Bowl worthy.

That's the problem with his tenure in Tampa, though, Brad. His teams from '98 on were deemed at least competitively SB-worthy. I don't know ANYONE who thinks the Colts are SB-worthy yet. They're at least an '04 possibility, but unlikely to be deemed thus next year.

Not that means much. No one thought the Pats were SB-worthy in 2001, either. But, it means something, and I for one, would be super-shocked if they won their division next year, much less vy for a home-field playoff game.

Which raises a point, Brad: were Landry's early postseason foibles away squanders as well? If we're comparing coaches from entirely different eras, we can at least go to the one commonality that they share, i.e., away-playoff games are hard to win, and Dungy has yet to win one. (This indicates a bit of a deficiency during the regular season, especially with his Tampa teams. Blame that on offense if you like, I always have).

Dave
__________________
mountaineerdave on twitter
mountaineerdavem on AIM
MountaineerDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 10:15 PM   #8
Marc
Administrator
 
Marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lake Wylie, SC
Posts: 26,498
Marc will become famous soon enough
Default

I think Dungy is better suited to be a Defensive Coordinator, but he can be a successful and effective head coach when given the right situation. He is not a big motivator or emotional guy, and that hurts some teams who need a fiery guy to pump them up (i.e. Bucs).

It's all about situations. In Oakland, the Raiders were just fine without Gruden and his in-your-face style because that is the nature of their veteran team. On the contrary, Gruden's style did wonders in leading Tampa to a Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, considering Manning, Harrison, and others aren't real outgoing and emotional, Dungy may be the wrong type of coach for this team. I think they need someone to light a flame under their butt and motivate them. As I said earlier, Dungy isn't that type of guy. But he shouldn't be fired -- especially when he only has had one year to develop a struggling defense and his star RB has had injury problems.
__________________
Marc James - SCMB Administrator | Sports Central Managing Editor & Founder
Teams: [Kentucky Wildcats] [Green Bay Packers] [Charlotte Hornets]
Follow on Twitter: @mnjames | @sportcentral
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 01:38 AM   #9
Cowboy22
All-Star Player
 
Cowboy22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 259
Cowboy22 is on a distinguished road
Default

No, Dungy should not be fired. He needs players. I mean, damn, fire a coach in his second season just because he doesn't make the Super Bowl? Give Dungy another year or two and the assess what the Colts franchise needs in a head coach.

His career in Tampa Bay was a good one...constantly leading the Bucs to the playoffs. Yet, remember that he couldn't beat the Eagles. He played it close with St. Louis and his coaching was not the outcome of that game. It was just who had the better players on the field. Unfortunately, Rams got a prayer in that game. As a Colt, Dungy needs more players to help out. He's already strengthening the defense, but it needs a little more work. There is difference within the players (Vanderjagt-Manning mostly). I don't really trust the running game. They seem to have three good running backs. Edgerrin James, a constant injury risk....Dominic Rhodes, hey, he gave the Colts a good running game for one year...and James Mungro, he gave the Colts one good game...not sure if it was a flash in the pan or not. But that's a little risky. Keep one solid TB...that seems to be the success.

I guess that's all I got to say.....oh yeah, I forgot! LANDRY--GREATEST COACH OF ALL-TIME!!! J/k...but he's one of the greatest.
__________________
Dallas Cowboys
NFC Champs (1970, 1975, 1978)
Super Bowl Champs (1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1995)
Home of Emmitt Smith---All-Time Rushing Leader (17,162 Yards)
Cowboy22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 03:53 AM   #10
Anthony
Moderator
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,377
Anthony is on a distinguished road
Default

Yes, under Dungy the Colts did go from 6-10 in 2001 to 10-6 in 2002, but their schedule was so easy that virtually anybody would have finished with a better record in '02 than the Colts had in '01. He definitely understands the psychological aspect of the game, seeing the importance of getting the Colts' defense to believe in themselves again after allowing the fourth most points in NFL history the year before - even at the cost of running a scheme that was so soft that Mr. Whipple of Charmin fame would have had a field day with it, as ESPN's Sean Salisbury kept saying throughout the season.

The big question is where do the Colts go from here? They haven't finished ahead of the Titans in any regular season since 1996, and this is a hurdle they must surmount if they hope to give Peyton Manning a decent chance of getting the postseason monkey off his back.

Except for the Bengals and Texans, almost anyone in the AFC could realistically make it to Super Bowl XXXVIII, so saying that Dungy should be fired if his team doesn't emerge from such a crowded field of contenders is a bit harsh to say the least.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 01:27 PM   #11
buckeyefan78
Happy Land
 
buckeyefan78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 12,864
buckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the rough
Default

You say that except for the Bengals and Texans almost anyone in the AFC could make it to the Super Bowl Anthony. But that's the point. If I was a Colts fan, I would say to myself, hey, why not us ?

And look at this, while I agree with you that everyone except those two teams could make it, not all of those contenders have had the players and have had been on the " verge" like the Colts have. Do you think anyone in Cleveland ( and I'm talking about the normal fans, cause I grew up going to Browns games...LOL) would be terribly disappointed if they won 10+ games and went to the second round? Hell no, they would say, "hey, we're gettin there".
buckeyefan78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 03:20 PM   #12
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by MountaineerDave
Which raises a point, Brad: were Landry's early postseason foibles away squanders as well? If we're comparing coaches from entirely different eras, we can at least go to the one commonality that they share, i.e., away-playoff games are hard to win, and Dungy has yet to win one. (This indicates a bit of a deficiency during the regular season, especially with his Tampa teams. Blame that on offense if you like, I always have).
You make the call, it's not 100%. Home team in capital letters.

1966 Green Bay 34, DALLAS 27
1967 DALLAS 52, Cleveland 14
1967 GREEN BAY 21, Dallas 17
1968 CLEVELAND 31, Dallas 20
1969 Cleveland 38, DALLAS 14

That's 1-2 at home, 0-2 on the road. Dungy is (I think) 2-1 at home and 0-4 on the road.

...............Home.......Away......Total
Landry.......333.........000........200
Dungy.......667..........000........286

Against teams with a better regular season record, Landry started 0-2. Against teams with a worse regular season record, also 0-2. The Cowboys and Browns were both 9-5 in 1967.

Dungy's teams are 2-1 when they had a better record and 0-4 when they did not.

Those records make it appear that Dungy generally wins the playoff games he should (at home and when his team was better during the regular season) and loses the ones the other team should win. Not particularly impressive, but not damning, either.

What is potentially damning is that -- as Dave alluded to -- the 2000 and 2001 Bucs were loaded with talent. In 2000 in particular, I felt they had the personnel to sweep the NFC.

Dungy's fault? Probably at least in part, but I'm always reluctant to slam coaches who have early success and are then punished for it. I love buckeyefan's reference to the Browns, because if Dungy hadn't made the playoffs until his fourth season in Tampa, no one would have complained. If they lost in the first round, then in the second, and then the NFC Championship Game, he'd still be in Tampa.

But he took the Bucs to the playoffs in his second season, winning a wild card game, to the NFC CG in his fourth season, and wild-card losses the next two years. He was punished for his early success. Same thing, actually, with the man he replaced in Indianapolis, Jim Mora.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 05:28 PM   #13
buckeyefan78
Happy Land
 
buckeyefan78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 12,864
buckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the rough
Default

I like your take on the early success theory Brad. This is pretty true for Dungy if you look at it, but I think it only goes so far. There was no presssure on this guy to win in Tampa, cause,well, no one ever won in Tampa (outside of the late 70s success). Then, in his second season, they go to the playoffs, and everyone is like..." WOW". And this is where the pressure begins. Now, Dungy is expected to make the playoffs and eventually go to the Super Bowl. This is where he fell short though. Did he have enough time to get there though? My answer to that would be yes. Like you said Brad, since 2000, the Bucs have had all the pieces to ATLEAST go to the Super Bowl.

With every passing day, the nostalgia of the Rams is wearing off on even the most pro-Rams rooters. That team wasn't as strong as everyone likes to think they were. And the Giants of a few years back...PLEASE ! The Bucs should have found a way to get in. And what about this year against the Eagles? The Eagles have owned the Bucs for 3 years, and now the Bucs beat them handily. Credit Gruden, discredit Dungy, and put some of Dungy's blame though on Reid, who had a terrible game plan in my opinion. But, the fact that Reid's game plan was bad isn't going to change the fact that the Bucs essentially beat the Eagles with one change...Gruden instead of Dungy.

And once again I have to call out my old friend Bill Cowher. He took the Steelers over in the early 90s when this team was a shell of it's former self and turned them into winners. He's had long enough...CERTAINTLY...to get the Steelers a ring. Maybe that's what Bucs management was in fear of in Dungy, another Cowher, a coach who wins consistantly, but loses in the playoffs. In all fairness to Dungy in this comparison though, Cowher loses regularly at home in the playoffs, where Dungy loses on the road. In todays NFL, you never know how long you'll have a Sapp, a Brooks, a Lynch, and a Rice on your team and playing the best ball of their lives. And now for Dungy, how long will Indy's brass let Harrison and Manning's best years go by without a ring? That's the question of Dungy's fate.
buckeyefan78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2003, 03:49 AM   #14
Anthony
Moderator
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8,377
Anthony is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by buckeyefan78
You say that except for the Bengals and Texans almost anyone in the AFC could make it to the Super Bowl Anthony. But that's the point. If I was a Colts fan, I would say to myself, hey, why not us ?

And look at this, while I agree with you that everyone except those two teams could make it, not all of those contenders have had the players and have had been on the " verge" like the Colts have. Do you think anyone in Cleveland ( and I'm talking about the normal fans, cause I grew up going to Browns games...LOL) would be terribly disappointed if they won 10+ games and went to the second round? Hell no, they would say, "hey, we're gettin there".


The basic point is this: If there was much less balance in the AFC and you're one of only four or five teams that have a realistic shot, there's more reason to be disappointed if you don't make it than if there are 12 or 14 teams that are in serious contention. A one out of 14 chance is a lot less than one out of four or five.

Of course the big thing is to win your division, since under the new playoff format that accompanied the realignment, the top wild card team can no longer get home field in the first round, where before 2002 they did. So beating out the Titans is paramount; if the Colts are fortunate they'll get the second meeting with Tennessee at home next year, instead of the first as was the case in '02.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2003, 03:09 PM   #15
NFLinsider
Sports Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Redondo Beach CA
Posts: 29
NFLinsider is on a distinguished road
Default

Firing a coach because they dont make the Superbowl is ridiculous!

Onlytwo teams out of 32 get to make it every year, anything can happen if you make the playoffs, it almost a a crap shoot to see who wins nowdays
NFLinsider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:26 AM.