How many Super Bowls did Peyton Manning and Bob Sanders win without Tony Dungy? Make no mistake Dungy had a role in that too. I am tired of this dismissing everyone else who had a role in us going to the Super Bowl to give ALL the credit to Peyton. The ironic thing is that Peyton had to carry far less the year we won the Super Bowl than he did any other year we were in the playoffs under him. That's probably why we won the Super Bowl. Peyton didn't have to be the greatest QB in history for us to win he just needed to be good.
If you remember during the 2006 season after the loss to the Jags people were screaming for major changes and all but demanding that Meeks be fired and it was Dungy who sayed we need to stay the course and it worked out rather well. Also listen to Jeff Saturday tell the story about the AFC Title game and Dungy. That team was on the verge of panicing when they were down 21-3 and it was Dungy was saying it's still our time and staying calm. People mistake the fact that Dungy kept calm for weakness when in reality being able to stay calm in difficult situations is a plus. Look at BB that man makes Tony Dungy look exciting and yet he might go down as the greatest coach to ever coach the game.
If you ever listen to a player talk about Dungy it's clear they respected the heck out of him there are different ways to reach players without having to scream and yell. Heck while Pagano might be a little more emotional on the sidelines in terms of pumping his fists and what not how often do you see him in players faces screaming and yelling at them? If you do that too often players just stop listening to you. These guys are grown men and grown men generally don't respond too well if you are in there face screaming and yelling at them all the time. Just yesterday Reggie Wayne was talking about when he knew Jim Mora was going to be fired and he said after the 49ers game (which was the playoffs rant game) and he saw Mora come into the lockerroom and get right in Peyton's face and just start unloading and screaming at yelling at everyone else. He said he knew right then he was going to be fired because the lockerroom lost respect for him.
Also I don't recall too many times under Dungy that the law needed to be layed down. He did a great job building expectations and it was known what was acceptable and what wasn't and generally speaking our players didn't cross the line because as they would often say if you let him down you felt like you let your father down.
Also Bill Cowher's teams under performed about as much as Dungy's did in the playoffs. They lost like five AFCCG games at home under him and only went to two Super Bowls the whole time he was there. He was a total of 12-9 in the playoffs compared to Dungy who was 9-10. That's not big of a difference. Gruden took over Dungy's team and after they won the Super Bowl didn't win another playoff game as it feel apart. Not unlike how Caldwell got Dungy's team to the Super Bowl in his first year before things feel apart.
To the bolded, I'm not sure why you feel it has to be all or nothing. Dungy had his faults, Manning his, and both men needed each other. Being critical of one doesn't have to be because you're trying to prop the other one up.
Also, a side note on Meeks, it was bitter sweet that the defense turned itself around in the playoffs in 2006, because that likely saved his job. He was dead weight on our coaching staff, and our units constantly underperformed on his watch. To his credit, we had a good year in 2007, defensively, but that was also Bob Sanders best year, and when Freeney and Mathis got hurt, the defense went down the drain. Not that that's Meeks' fault, but he wasn't a good coach.
And that actually highlights what I think was Dungy's biggest drawback, is that he was loyal to a fault. I mentioned in another thread how he dragged Christensen along with him at every turn, despite underwhelming results. Meeks and Russ Purnell should have been dismissed years before Caldwell took over, and it's telling that those are the very first moves Caldwell made once he became the head man. Dungy also played his cards to get Caldwell the head job, essentially holding Irsay and Polian hostage during the offseason after 2007, until they agreed to promise the job to Caldwell. Irsay and Polian should have had the sense NOT to agree to this, as it wound up being one of the most ill-advised decisions of their partnership, and likely cost Polian his job. That's just not the way you hire a head coach. But this was Dungy's doing.
I am not questioning Dungy's motives or his character; as I said, I think he is a very good person, and I respect him for everything he did. But he had his faults as a coach and as the main decision maker for a football team, probably because the win/loss record of the football team wasn't as important to him as his relationships with his people. And maybe that's not a fault, depending on how you look at it, but it's one of the reasons I say he held the team back.
He also helped key players on this team develop into better players and people, including Manning. He was instrumental in helping us become one of the most disciplined teams in the league, on and off the field. Some might have found his cool demeanor lacking, but he took great pride in showing that you can win at the highest level without being a drill sergeant, and he said as much on the podium after the Super Bowl win. He deserves many, many accolades.
But he's not above reproach. And just because someone mentions some of his shortcomings doesn't mean that they are only interested in shielding Manning from criticism.