FORMER COACH, CURRENT NFL SAVANT
Dungy went from winning a Super Bowl with the Colts to analyzing the game on NBC's Football Night in America.
DAN PATRICK:Do you think Peyton Manning will be the Colts' quarterback next season?
TONY DUNGY: If Peyton is healthy and can play, he's going to be the quarterback of the Colts. I know that's how [owner] Jim Irsay feels, and that's what they're hoping. It all depends on how Peyton comes along these next few weeks.
DP:Say Peyton is cleared to play, what is the Colts' draft strategy?
TD: It will be just like the Aaron Rodgers deal [in Green Bay]. They'll pick the best quarterback for them—whether that means taking Andrew Luck or [trading] down, getting some extra picks and taking another quarterback. Everybody's hung up on the Number 1 pick. [But] right now, who's dominating the NFL? Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady. None of them were the first pick in the draft.
DP:But how can the Colts draft another QB if they keep Manning? Don't they need more offensive weapons?
TD: That's true, but you have to look at the long term. Maybe [drafting another quarterback] doesn't help you win this year. But it helps you continue to be competitive for a long time. Look at Brady's weaponry [on the Patriots]. It's not high-priced guys or big-name guys—other than maybe Rob Gronkowski.
DP:How much would Manning help Andrew Luck, if they were on the same roster?
TD: I think he'd help him a lot. He's helped everybody who's been there, whatever position they play on offense.
DP:But do great quarterbacks really help their successors? Look at Brett Favre and Rodgers. Or Joe Montana and Steve Young.
TD: Joe Montana didn't know when his successor was going to [take over]. Peyton will know he's going to be the quarterback as long as he can play. He doesn't have to worry about the timetable.
DP:Will Colts coach Jim Caldwell keep his job?
TD: I know Jim Irsay likes Jim Caldwell and the job he's done. The Colts had a tough year. But [Caldwell] took [them] to the Super Bowl in 2009. Those guys aren't easy to find. I think Jim Caldwell is going to be the head coach next year.
DP:Were you surprised the Chargers kept Norv Turner?
TD: Not overly surprised. Everybody [thinks] the best thing to do is get rid of people. But when you stop to think about it, who gives us a better chance of going to the Super Bowl next year: the coach who knows these guys and has an offense in place, or someone new? Sometimes [changing the coach] works. [When I was fired] in Tampa, they got Jon Gruden and won the Super Bowl the next year. But it's rare.
DP:If you ran the Colts and wanted a quarterback, who would you take at Number 1?
TD: I like those mobile guys. I saw Andrew Luck play twice against Oregon, and he's a great player. But I'd take Aaron Rodgers over Brady and Brees for the pressure he puts on the defenses with his running ability. I see these guys like Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, and they're intriguing.
DP:So who would it be?
TD: I'd have to study it, but I like Griffin.
"We'll find out if voters distinguish between guys like Clemens and Bonds, who would have been near-unanimous inductees on merit, and Sosa, whom they believe would never have had those numbers without steroids."
—Bob Costas, MLB Network host, on next year's Baseball Hall of Fame voting
The Vikings have the No. 3 pick in the draft, but Christian Ponder told me he's been assured they won't take another quarterback. New G.M. Rick Spielman even consulted with Ponder on their strategy. "We had some conversations, and I have an idea," Ponder said, "but a lot changes between now and then." ... Westwood One's James Lofton was one of the few NFL analysts not taken aback by reserve QB Greg McElroy's speaking out about the Jets' dysfunctional locker room. "I'm surprised equipment men haven't been quoted in the paper as to what's going on with the Jets," Lofton said... . As a hometown boy, NBC's Al Michaels has closely followed Los Angeles's efforts to woo an NFL team and says it hinges on a new stadium. "California is a crazy place," Michaels told me. "We have the worst three stadiums in America [San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego]. We can't get anything done." ... Fox's Brian Billick has no question Andrew Luck should be the No. 1 pick: "He is the most dynamic quarterback prospect since John Elway."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES (DUNGY)
KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT/US PRESSWIRE (BILLICK)
KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT/US PRESSWIRE (LOFTON)
MARC BRYAN-BROWN/WIREIMAGE (MICHAELS)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (PONDER)