Colts struggle to stay in hunt more 'normal'

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Nov 12, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning have been trying to sell a message to the young members of the Colts who are used to being at the top of the AFC South at this stage of the season.

    The coach and the quarterback are telling those players that 5-4 and fighting to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth is real life in the NFL, that 7-2 or 9-0 as they've been at this point the last couple years is the rare thing.

    "Well, it's different than it has been the last four years for sure, but this is the real world, the NFL and a lot of times it's like this and you have to fight and play your best ball in November and December," Dungy said in his conference call with Houston reporters. "So, it's actually probably more realistic than maybe what's happened the last couple of years."

    Like Manning, the more experienced Colts are used to success too. Indianapolis hasn't been as bad as 5-4 nine games into the season since 2002.

    "It's pretty much what normal football teams have to deal with," he said of Indy's current situation. "I'm trying to remind our young players, our third and fourth year players, that the way we've started the last three seasons really is not normal. This is what the NFL is really all about; just fighting and scratching and trying to hang in there in the fourth quarter and make a play. Sometimes we make the play and sometimes they make the play and you get beat by a field goal.

    "So, this is kind of what it's been like this season and we're sort of just trying to fight our way through it. We've had some injuries and some young guys that have had to play but we're just still kind of fighting our way. So, that's what we're having to deal with and it's important to hopefully try to be playing good football in the months of November and December, and hopefully we can be doing that."

    Perhaps the Colts will look back and say the route they took this season turned out to be a good thing, a path that forged some key components of a team that went on to great success.

    Even if it does, Dungy said he doesn't particularly care for the alternate route his team is taking.

    "I'd rather it be that we were 8-0 or 9-0 and everybody looking at you, that's fun," he said. "This part is a different kind of challenge and it's having to win games and having to get yourself back in the race and having to get up after you've played poorly; those kinds of things. So, it's all part of it. But no, I think, ideally, you'd rather be on top looking down at everyone else."



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