Tony Dungy: I was a third choice, that worked out OK

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The Colts had to settle for Frank Reich after their first choice, Josh McDaniels, turned down their head-coaching job. But one Hall of Fame coach thinks it might turn out all right in the end.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said this morning on PFT Live that he got his first head coaching job, with the Buccaneers in 1996, only after Jimmy Johnson turned it down to coach the Dolphins, and Steve Spurrier turned it down to stay at Florida.

“Jimmy Johnson turned it down. Steve Spurrier turned it down. Now, they didn’t take as long as Josh McDaniels did, but I was the third choice and that worked out OK,” Dungy said.

It worked out more than OK for Dungy. He took over a Buccaneers team coming off 14 consecutive losing seasons and got them to the playoffs in four of his five seasons. And then he moved on to Indianapolis and won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Now the Colts can only hope Reich reminds them of Dungy.

44 responses to “Tony Dungy: I was a third choice, that worked out OK

  1. I feel like the fans would be getting over it by now if the team and it’s alumni weren’t trying so hard to convince us this is really a good thing. If the Colts play well, this story will be milked all year.

  2. Dungy won nothing in Tampa…Gruden did

    same can be said in Indy…Peyton won that

    hes a mediocre coach with a huge opinion about everything, except his own problems.

  3. .
    It’s really not a feather in one’s cap to say you had Peyton Manning for a decade and won only a single Super Bowl.
    .

  4. He took over a Buccaneers team coming off 14 consecutive losing seasons and got them to the playoffs in four of his five seasons. And then he moved on to Indianapolis and won a Super Bowl with the Colts
    —-

    And based upon this slightly above average resume, Dungy somehow made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, unseating Joe Namath as least deserving inductee in history.

  5. bigmikeskinsfan says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Dungy won nothing in Tampa…Gruden did
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You wouldn’t say that if you lived in Tampa at the time. The Bucs were a laughing stock. He created one the best defenses in the history of the NFL and took the team to an NFC Championship game – nearly beating the Ram’s Greatest Show on Turf – who only scored 11 points.

  6. bigmikeskinsfan says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Dungy won nothing in Tampa…Gruden did
    same can be said in Indy…Peyton won that
    hes a mediocre coach with a huge opinion about everything, except his own problems.

    ——————

    He is definitely the reason that the Bucs went from a sad franchise to a Super Bowl contender. Yes, Gruden won, but Dungy was a big part of why Gruden had a great team to work with.

    Also, while he was in Indy they had many great seasons and won a Super Bowl. He gets credit for that regardless of how much Peyton had to do with it. The defense played well in 2006. That was all him.

    I’m someone that thinks Dungy can be a bitter fool when it comes to the Patriots, but you can’t take credit away from someone that won a Super Bowl.

  7. Um, he was their third choice and did OK but they had to move on from him to finally win a SB. So your example for the Colts is a very poor one.

  8. When the University of Minnesota hired Jerry Kill to be their football coach, he was about their fifth choice. When asked about it at his opening press conference, he said, “Hey, I wasn’t my wife’s first choice either and that turned out okay.” The whole state loved him after that.

  9. Just finishing the Chuck Noll biography His Life’s Work and a lot about Dungy late in the book as a 25 year old indecisive DC which actually made me feel a little sympathetic for Josh McDaniel.

  10. I think the Colts have hired the best of this year’s head coach hires. Don’t know much about the rest of the current Colt’s management. But given the time I believe Frank Reich will produce a championship.

  11. One of the FIRST things that John Gruden did after winning the Super Bowl was to thank Tony Dungy for putting that roster together. If I recall correctly, Dungy’s last season in Tampa was Dan Marino’s first season of retirement. Marino had expressed interest in going to Tampa for a fraction of his earning potential because he wanted a ring and he saw Tampa as a chance of getting it. Marino had other offers but he decided to retire. Dungy’s loyalty to Sean King is what cost him a Super Bowl title in Tampa. Dungy saw potential in King that just wasn’t there. He initially brought him to Indy but had to cut him because he couldn’t beat out Jim Sorgee to be Peyton Manning’s backup. If he had signed Marino instead of sticking with King, he had a GREAT chance of beating the Rams and then the Raiders in the Super Bowl. Knowing that they could’ve had Marino and passed on him, I don’t blame the owner for firing Dungy.

  12. eatitfanboy says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:47 am
    .
    .
    .
    —-

    And based upon this slightly above average resume, Dungy somehow made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, unseating Joe Namath as least deserving inductee in history.
    —-

    Dingy turned around an entire franchise that had been perennial losers for generations, made them a consistent playoff team, took the Tampa 2 to a whole new level, achieved a 139-69 coaching record with a superbowl and you think that’s SLIGHTLY above average?

  13. They always say ” Gruden won with Dungy’s team.”
    How come they never say “Dungy won with Mora’s team”?
    That whole offense was in place when Dungy arrived .

  14. scoops1 says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:50 am
    How Tom Flores is still not in the HOF yet Dungy is…is beyond me
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Flores is not the preferred minority. I think Dungy was decent but not HoF worthy. Give Dungy’s body of work to Steve Mariucci. Does anyone think he gets a gold jacket?

  15. bystanderhere says:
    February 16, 2018 at 10:12 am
    Colts will remain a mediocre organisation for a foreseeable future. Rivalry? What Rivalry?

    ———————-
    One of the most important factors of a rivalry is that both sides have to be aware of it.

  16. bigmikeskinsfan says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Dungy won nothing in Tampa…Gruden did

    same can be said in Indy…Peyton won that

    hes a mediocre coach with a huge opinion about everything, except his own problems.
    ————————

    Based on this rationale Bill Belichick is mediocre because he’s had Brady. I think not!

  17. wow…..a lot if hate for Dungy in this thread. Question whether or not Dungy is a HOF coach….fine. But he is certainly better than all but a few head coaches of teams today

  18. Correction to the individual saying Dungy won it, no he didn’t. The GM won it! Those guys were drafted by him, Monte Kiffin installed that defense. Dungy definitely helped but even the players said Dungy had to go because he didn’t hold the offense accountable. Gruden didn’t win with Dungy’s players either because of the first statement as well as a lot of the roster was altered that off season. 40% were new players.

    Not to hate on Dungy but he gets entirely to much credit for my Bucs team, the GM and Kiffin deserve way more credit and him less then the credit he gets now.

  19. yeah you’re right old duke, because dungy drafted those guys right? Funny Dungy couldn’t win with them……Funny too that Gruden was able to win without the guys too, took the Bucs to the playoffs with a below average team! But Dungy is a great guy, amazing in fact and was at the helm when they turned it around. So opinions differ here but facts remain that Dungy never could win and he never drafted those guys…..

  20. Case in point for people with horrible memories
    Dungy 9-7 in 2001, Gruden 12-4.
    Starting Roster
    QB Brad Johnson; not drafted by Dungy.
    RB Michael Pittman; brought in by Gruden
    WR Keyshawn Johnson; Dungy traded 2 first round picks for him. (he account for 17 TDs in Tampa and one in Dungy’s last year)
    WR Keenan McCardell; Gruden brought in.
    WR Joe Jurevicius; Gruden brought in, was a big hero in the playoffs.
    TE Ken Dilger; Gruden brought in.
    LT Roman Oben; Gruden brought in.
    LG Kerry Jenkins; Gruden brought in.
    C Jeff Christy; Picked up in FA 2000 from Minnesota.
    RG Cosey Coleman; Drafted 2000
    RT Kenyatta Walker; Drafted

    So out of the offensive guys 4 of the 12 were Dungy guys…..Yeah that is Dungy’s team huh? And all of them just had got there right before with Dungy….

    DE Greg Spires; Brought in by Gruden
    DT Warren Sapp; drafted by the coach before dungy
    LB Shelton Quarles; Dungy guy
    LB Derrick Brooks; drafted by the coach before Dungy
    LB Alshermond Singleton; a Gruden guy.
    CB Brian Kelly; Dungy drafted, never a full time starter until Gruden (take it how you want)
    CB Ronde Barber; Dungy drafted.
    S John Lynch; drafted by coaches before Dungy

    So out of the big time names people remember from the Bucs team Brooks, Barber, Lynch, Sapp….only one was drafted during Dungy’s regime.

    So please remember the facts about Dungy!

  21. Dungy has been done an incredible job giving jobs to minority coaches and helping them become head coaches. He’s been so tremendous with this that people overlook that he was a highly mediocre head coach who had to face Lovie Smith, one of his former minions, to win a Super Bowl.

  22. scoops1 says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:50 am
    How Tom Flores is still not in the HOF yet Dungy is…is beyond me
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Flores is not the preferred minority. I think Dungy was decent but not HoF worthy. Give Dungy’s body of work to Steve Mariucci. Does anyone think he gets a gold jacket?
    ———————–

    But…Tom Flores is the FIRST Minority head coach to win a Super Bowl. 2 total SB wins

  23. scoops1 says:
    February 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    scoops1 says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:50 am
    How Tom Flores is still not in the HOF yet Dungy is…is beyond me
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Flores is not the preferred minority. I think Dungy was decent but not HoF worthy. Give Dungy’s body of work to Steve Mariucci. Does anyone think he gets a gold jacket?
    ———————–

    But…Tom Flores is the FIRST Minority head coach to win a Super Bowl. 2 total SB wins
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I wasn’t discounting Flores. Of the two I would vote Flores over Dungy every single time

  24. Dungy won nothing in Tampa…Gruden did
    same can be said in Indy…Peyton won that
    hes a mediocre coach with a huge opinion about everything, except his own problems.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Gruden, is just as big a winner as Barry Switzer. They both rode in with a winning team and didn5 have to build from a losing culture.
    And if Peyton won in Indy why didn’t he win more? No player does it all.
    Lastly he’s not in the HOF because he simply won a Super Bowl as a coach. He created and developed a style of defense that all teams employ still today.. Walsh = West Coast offense and Dungy = Tampa 2 or cover 2 defense.

  25. No offense but this guy whines about everything. You had Peyton Manning to work with and you act like you hit a home run with a stick.

  26. Dungy……..another talking head that thinks he knows everything. Always judging everybody but himself.

  27. If I recall correctly, Dungy’s last season in Tampa was Dan Marino’s first season of retirement. Marino had expressed interest in going to Tampa for a fraction of his earning potential because he wanted a ring and he saw Tampa as a chance of getting it. Marino had other offers but he decided to retire. Dungy’s loyalty to Sean King is what cost him a Super Bowl title in Tampa. Dungy saw potential in King that just wasn’t there. He initially brought him to Indy but had to cut him because he couldn’t beat out Jim Sorgee to be Peyton Manning’s backup. If he had signed Marino instead of sticking with King, he had a GREAT chance of beating the Rams and then the Raiders in the Super Bowl. Knowing that they could’ve had Marino and passed on him, I don’t blame the owner for firing Dungy.

    Would be a great story if it were only true. Marino. whose last season was 1999, strongly considered taking over in Minnesota as a bridge QB for Daunte Culpepper before deciding to call it a career.

    Also, the year the Bucs played the Rams was 1999. So, A) Marino was still playing for the Dolphins and B) If they had beat the Rams, they would’ve played the Titans, not the Raiders.

    Dungy was fired after the 2001 season.

  28. Neither Jimmy Johnson nor Steve Spurrier coached the Cowboys or Steelers in the Superbowl that year. Dallas ended up winning it. Jimmy had been gone for two years and Spurrier was coaching at Florida. Just had to get one more shot in on the Patriots. He def has a thing for them. I get a kick out of him and Harrison on TNF baiting each other. I’ve always liked Tony. Such a mild-mannered gentleman. I always felt he was a great representative for the Indianapolis fans of that region. He’s the Jimmy Carter of NFL coaches. As a Pat’s fan I’m okay with him in the HOF. It has always been subjective as to who deserves entry and when. Hey, he was voted in by his peers. That should be all that matters. He did okay for himself as a player and as a coach, so street cred for being a two letter guy.

  29. whodat5150 says:
    February 16, 2018 at 10:53 am
    One of the FIRST things that John Gruden did after winning the Super Bowl was to thank Tony Dungy for putting that roster together. If I recall correctly, Dungy’s last season in Tampa was Dan Marino’s first season of retirement. Marino had expressed interest in going to Tampa for a fraction of his earning potential because he wanted a ring and he saw Tampa as a chance of getting it. Marino had other offers but he decided to retire. Dungy’s loyalty to Sean King is what cost him a Super Bowl title in Tampa. Dungy saw potential in King that just wasn’t there. He initially brought him to Indy but had to cut him because he couldn’t beat out Jim Sorgee to be Peyton Manning’s backup. If he had signed Marino instead of sticking with King, he had a GREAT chance of beating the Rams and then the Raiders in the Super Bowl. Knowing that they could’ve had Marino and passed on him, I don’t blame the owner for firing Dungy.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I don’t believe you have recalled that correctly. I remember rumblings about Marino and the Vikings but never Tampa. Ultimately, Marino decided he wanted a single team career after that beatdown by Jacksonville in the playoffs.

  30. I’m ambivalent about Dungy, he seems like a good enough person. But I never understood how winning one super bowl gets him into the HOF, someone please tell me what I’m missing here.

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