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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Super Bowl Media Day: Interview With Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith

Super Bowl XLI – Tuesday, January 30, 2007
(on any opportunities to visit with Tony Dungy and their relationship) “We got a chance to spend some time together last
night and this morning. I am just thankful for the opportunity Tony gave me. I was the defensive backs coach at Ohio State
and Tony hired me on his first staff as the linebackers coach and put me in charge of coaching Hardy Nickerson, Derrick
Brooks and guys like that. I’ll always be grateful and thankful for that opportunity. To compete against him on a national
stage like this is a dream come true.”
(on what he learned from Tony Dungy) “One of the early things I got from Tony was that he brought different personalities
in on his coaching staff and told all of us to just be ourselves. That was my philosophy coming in. I’ve always tried to be
myself. As a young coach, it is good to see someone at the top level handle themselves that way. Hopefully, guys out there
right now that aren’t screamers and yellers will realize that players want you to teach them as much as anything. They want
you to help them with their trade. They will not turn you off as much if you reason with them as a real man.”
(on his relationship with his mother) “Like all sons, I loved my mother dearly. At a young age, she let me know that I could
do whatever I wanted to do, not to use being poor or where I came from as an excuse for what happens to me in life., to not
feel sorry for yourself and she preached to me about hard work. To not set your dreams too low, but shoot for the sky and
I’ve had a chance to see her persevere. I’ve had a chance to see her fight diabetes that has taken her sight, but she doesn’t
complain. Every day her glass is half full. I get a lot of advice each week from quite a few people and she’s definitely one of
them. I’m trying to figure out how my mom who can’t see can give me this kind of advice and try to tell me exactly who I
should start and all that. She’s a football lady and I’m just glad she will get a chance to hear the game here at Dolphin
(on if his calm attitude has helped Rex Grossman) “I hope so. Rex isn’t looking over his shoulder. None of our players are.
They know it’s a game of production and you have to produce, but they know at the same time, there is a reason why we
have chosen them to be in this position. Rex knows that there is a reason he is leading our team. We believe in him. He is a
good football player and all Rex has to do is look at his record. He has been a winner throughout his life and he has been that
way with us since he has been our quarterback. He’s fought through a lot, too. The only thing I have seen that has hurt him
has been injuries and this year he has been injury-free and we are excited about that.”
(on his thoughts about making history as an African-American coach in the Super Bowl) “I have had a chance to reflect on
what we are doing. I know that we are taking a step in the right direction. I know about the guys that have come before me
that did not get an opportunity, and some of the guys that did. I’m going to talk about winning. I know about John
Thompson being the first black coach to win in the NCAA basketball tournament. I had a chance to communicate with Bill
Russell a little bit this week and he is the first Afro-American basketball coach to win an NBA title. I know about all of that.
One of our teams will win so we will have a black coach that has led his team to the Super Bowl and hopefully, young
coaches out there will see that and know that you can achieve whatever you like.”
(on how he sees the Super Bowl as a platform for his religious faith) “My relationship, first, is with Jesus Christ and he is the
center of my life. I try to live a Christian life. I would like for guys to know my faith based on what they see on a day-to-day
basis. I had a chance to see that on a daily basis with Tony Dungy. I had a chance to see Tony through a lot of storms and he
has been the same guy all the way. This is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge our belief in Jesus Christ, which we do,
and hopefully more people with come around to him based on that.”
(on if it is special to be one of the first Afro-Americans to coach in the Super Bowl) “Yes, it is very special to both of us.
We would like to open doors for others coming through the ranks and I think we are doing that, being on an international
stage like this. At the same time, both of us would like to be the first black coach to hold up that world championship

Super Bowl Media Day: Interview With Colts Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore

Super Bowl XLI – Tuesday, January 30, 2007

(on how much Peyton Manning is involved in the game planning) “We talk about it and there are things he likes and some
things he doesn’t feel comfortable with, but we go over it and hash it out and make sure we’re on the same page and make
sure we’re doing things that are sound and things he feels comfortable with. It’s important that he feels comfortable with it
and the chances of him being successful go up. I don’t want to put a guy in there and have him do something that says Tom
Moore says you got to do this. Well, he’s the guy that has to take the snap and there are lots of things you can do so let’s do
good things. I take my hat off to him, he comes up with a lot of great suggestions.”

(on play of the offensive line) “They are doing excellent and it’s evidenced by being able to run the football. One of the big
things is pass protection. In other words, we take big pride in pass protection and we take big pride in not getting the
quarterback hit. We want to keep the quarterback clean and the offensive line has done a great job.”

(on if the offensive line is overlooked) “I don’t know of any offensive line that truly gets the recognition that they deserve
because it’s the toughest position to play and the toughest position to coach. We who coach them and are around them, we
know how good they are.”

(on how the offense has changed over the last three decades) “I think the biggest change that goes on continually and that’s
why you have to keep up to date, are all the substitution packages. Defensively, they are running substitutes in the game all
the time. Substitution pattern and getting your blocking and protections squared away, that’s a constant thing that keeps

(on if his coaching philosophy has changed) “No, my philosophy has not changed. My philosophy is to get your best 11
players on the field and get your offense designed that takes advantage of their abilities.”

(on the toughness of the Bears front four) “They are great athletes and they are very well coached. Their coaching staff is
excellent. Lovie (Smith) does a great job with the coordinators – they are very well coached. You watch them execute and
you have so much respect for them and their ability. They are excellent.”

(on play calling during the game) “I give him (Manning) an idea of what we’re thinking. We have a set game plan and I give
him certain ideas and he goes from there. He makes a lot of great calls, any of the bad ones are mine.”

(on not being a head coach) “I don’t worry about that stuff. I have to be me. I have not been cheated because I haven’t been a
head coach. Nobody owes me anything. I haven’t been cheated. I’ve been 30 years in this League and it’s a privilege to coach
in the National Football League. The way I’ve been able to raise my family, the things I’ve done and the biggest thing, 30
years to do exactly what you want to do and have fun. You can’t buy that with money. “


From NFLMedia.com

*Wild Card Games:

Divisional Playoff Games:

Conference Championship Games:

Super Bowl Winning Players:

Losing Players:

Pro Bowl Game Winning Players:

Losing Players:


NFL Super Bowl Hotel and Media Center Information - NFLMedia.com

For anyone in the media who may not have access to the website

NFL HEADQUARTERS — Marriott Biscayne Bay,
1633 North Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33132,
(305) 374-3900; FAX: (305) 536-6411.

NFL Office: (212) 450-2000.

MEDIA CENTER — Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL (305) 673-7311;

FAX: (305) 673-7435. Registration Desk will open at 2:00 P.M., Sunday, January 28, and each day thereafter from
8:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. Media Lounge will open at 2:00 P.M., Sunday, January 28, and each day thereafter at 8:00
A.M. Week of game credentials can be picked up beginning Sunday, January 28 at 2:00 P.M. Gameday credentials can be picked up beginning at 10:00 A.M., Friday, February 2.

Any credentials not picked up by 6:00 P.M., Saturday, February 3, will be available at the Media Center beginning at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, February 4. There will be no willcall at Dolphin Stadium on gameday.

ESPN's Len Pasquarelli Points To Offense's Running Game As Key To Colts Success

Colts' running game key to Super Bowl run

By Len Pasquarelli

Overlooked amid the Indianapolis defense's suddenly stout performance against the run in the postseason is that the Colts' offense has taken care of the other half of football's most basic formula for playoff success.

Run the ball and stop the run. That's the simple equation, most NFL purists contend, for winning in the postseason.

And in advancing to the first Super Bowl appearance since the franchise relocated to Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts have surprised almost as many skeptics by achieving the first of those goals as they have by allowing just 76.7 yards rushing per game in their three postseason contests after surrendering a league-worst 173.0 yards per game rushing during the regular season.

Indianapolis has outrushed all three playoff opponents by a whopping average of 61.0 yards per game. The Colts, who averaged 110.1 rushing yards during the regular season, have averaged 137.7 yards in the postseason. Their rushing attempts have risen, from 27.4 per outing to 35.0. And the offensive split has changed, as well. During the season, the Colts ran the ball on 43.4 percent of their snaps. The quota is up to 46.5 percent in the playoffs.

"That might not seem like a lot," tailback Dominic Rhodes said. "But it's made a difference. Teams, I think, have been a little surprised by how we've stuck with the run. The good part is, we've run when we had to and run when we wanted to. We've used the run to dictate to people, and that's a good feeling."

Count the New England Patriots among those stunned by the Indianapolis offense's unusual reliance on the running game. The Patriots allowed 32 second-half points to the Colts in a 38-34 AFC Championship Game loss.

"With them being down like they were at halftime by so much [a 21-6 score], I think we felt like they might come out desperate and just throw every down in the second half," said New England defensive end Ty Warren. "But they didn't panic and just go one-dimensional. They stayed with the run, and it kind of kept us off-balance, definitely."

In fact, in the second half, the Colts were surprisingly balanced for a team playing from so far in arrears. On its 45 second-half snaps, Indianapolis had 21 rushing plays and 24 pass plays. On the first two possessions of the second half, both of which culminated in touchdowns that lifted the Colts into a 21-21 tie, the offensive mix was 11 passes and 11 runs.

That the Colts didn't panic, and didn't abandon the run, had another ancillary benefit: It resulted in an incredibly lopsided snap-count, one that, combined with Indianapolis' no-huddle "quick" offense, physically drained the Patriots' defensive front seven.

Beginning with 3:06 left in the second quarter, until there were just four minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Colts ripped off 34 offensive snaps, compared to only four by New England. For the game, the Colts had 80 snaps, while New England managed only 59 plays.

"It's probably the most ignored or underrated part of our offense," said Indianapolis Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday. "For whatever reason, people keep hanging that finesse label on us. But we've shown that we can run the ball, that we can stay in the game running it and close out games running it."

That has certainly been the case in the playoffs, where offensive coordinator Tom Moore and QB Peyton Manning -- who has more freedom to audible than any quarterback in the league and makes most of his calls at the line of scrimmage -- have blended the run brilliantly with the team's explosive passing game.

Against the Kansas City Chiefs, who were supposed to have the more dangerous rushing attack, the Colts ran for 188 yards and established tempo early. Their offensive mix defined balance, with 40 passes and 40 runs.

In the divisional-round victory at Baltimore, which featured the NFL's top-rated defense overall, and second-ranked unit versus the run, Indianapolis had more rushes (35) than passes (31). And the defining moment of that game came in the final half of the fourth quarter, when the Colts just jammed the ball down the throats of the smack-talkin' Ravens. Leading 12-6 with 7:36 to play, the Colts put together a 12-play drive that included 11 runs, ended in Adam Vinatieri's game-clinching field goal and bled all but 23 seconds from the clock.

"Peyton has really handled the run well," Saturday said. "His instincts have been tremendous."

Although it isn't a hard-and-fast rule of the Indianapolis offense, the Colts characteristically key off the alignment of the opponent's safeties to determine when they run. If the safeties are in a Cover 2 or split look, backed 10 to 12 yards off the line of scrimmage and essentially unable to play run support, Indianapolis will usually run. When there is just a single high safety, Manning will throw.

The formula has been a successful one for the Colts. All they need is for it to work one more time and they'll have run themselves to a Super Bowl title.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

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