Blog Entry

The Dungy Myth?

Posted on: January 14, 2009 4:46 pm

It is now old news, but Tony Dungy is leaving the NFL, Probably never to return.  At least, not as a coach.  He leaves behind an impressive 139 and 69 record (.668%) and that most coveted of prizes, The Vince Lombardi Trophy.  But behind the numbers is a myth of Dungy, the great and powerful OZ  coach.  A further examination of the numbers reveals some rather disturbing trends. 

We start back in Tampa.  Dungy, along with GM Rich McKay put together a solid team, turning the once embarrassing Bucs into formidable foes.  But behind the ferocious defense, was a team that seemed unable to  get over the hump.  The end result was a team with 6 season record of 54 and 42 (.556%).  Worse, only one division title, and a dismal 2 and 4 playoff record (.333%).  Dungy was subsequently handed his hat and the man who built the team watched the unbelievable.  A young coach named Jon Gruden, fresh from his escape from the depths of Oakland, lead his Bucs to a dominate Super Bowl Victory.  In his first season, behind an aged and forgotten about QB named Brad Johnson.

Meanwhile Dungy, humble and classy as he always was, quietly packed his bags and headed off to his new job,  Head Coach of the up and coming Indianapolis Colts.  We all know the story from here.  Dungy and Peyton Manning for the better part of a decade go on to dominate the AFC South, along the way becoming the 2006 NFL champions.  But again, there is more behind the numbers than first meats the eye.  Despite 5 straight AFC South division titles, is a team that struggled to win the big game.  While amassing an impressive 85 and 27 regular season record (.759%), the team was barely able to break 500 in the post season, finishing just 7 and 6 (.538%).  A huge disparity for a team that dominated it's opponents for 8 regular seasons.  5 times in 8 years the Colts lost their first playoff game, and only once, in 2006 when they won the Super Bowl, did they win more than two. 

The final verdict most will come to, much like another departing coaches this year named Shanahan, is that he was a class act, a great coach, and brought his fans the ultimate bragging platform.  The title of World Champions.  I know I am opening a can of worms with many who see Dungy as a heavenly saint, but I can't help but ask what if?  What if Peyton Manning and the Colts had Bill Belichick, or Bill Parcells.  How many titles could Indianapolis have amassed if Dungy was not the coach, and someone else was?  These are the kinds of questions that cannot be answered, but should be asked.  Should Dungy be classified with coaches like Parcells, Bellichick, Cohwer and Shanahan.  Or, perhaps, is he just another Marty Schottenheimer who carried the wings of Peyton Manning to a single title.

Category: NFL

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2009 8:32 am

The Dungy Myth?

Actually, Parcells is 2-1 in the Super Bowl. His 1996 Patriots lost to the Packers.

Thanks for the correction, I typed it backwards.  Again, my point is not that Dungy was not a good coach, but that he was too conservative in the post season and was unable to cash in on more opportunities with a great team.  It will be interesting to see how Manning and the Colts move forward from here. 

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 10:02 am

The Dungy Myth?

Only Parcells has a history of greatness that exceeds Dungy's. Cowher only has one ring himself, Shanahan despite all of the regular season success with Elway only won when he got a solid RB, and Bellichick was a failure as a head coach prior to New England.

Lets pick this item by item.

Parcells: Post season winning percentage .578  Superbowl wins 3, Super Bowl Apearances 3

Cowher:  Post season winning percentage .572  Superbowl won 1, Super Bowl apearances 2

Belichick:  Post season winning percentage .789 Super bowls won 3, Superbowl apearances 4

Shanahan: Post season winning percentage .615 Superbowl wins 2, Super Bowl apearances 2

Dungy: Post season winning percentage .474 (only one on the list below 500).  Super Bowl apearances 1(only one on the list with less than 2).  And Dungy had Peyton Manning and the Colts offense, one of the best in history.  1 Super Bowl appearance. 

The inditement of Dungy is not his character, or football knowledge, but his ability to coach and win a big game.  The stats are pretty clear.  Indy



Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 12:53 am

The Dungy Myth?

You have some very valid points, and as a non-Colts fan living in Indy I can say that you wuold not be welcomed here. However, I think it is fair to point out that Gruden has not done anything with Tampa since that Super Bowl. As far as being clasified with the likes of Parcells, Bellichick, Cowher and Shanahan I think you have a mixed bag there. Only Parcells has a history of greatness that exceeds Dungy's. Cowher only has one ring himself, Shanahan despite all of the regular season success with Elway only won when he got a solid RB, and Bellichick was a failure as a head coach prior to New England. Nobody can dispute his success there but can you truly dismiss the allegations of wrong doing? Ultimately I think Dungy should be known as a GOOD coach that understood his role as a human being. He pushed hard to promote other black coaches, and I have even heard it said that his efforts may eventually make the Rooney Rule obsolete. He rebuilt two franchises into contenders (TB and Indy). He did things differently than expected in the coaching fraternity. It would have been interesting to see the Colts bring in a fiery personality to see if the Tampa results were duplicated here. Namely another coach taking Dungy's players to the Super Bowl only because it was a new voice. If the Colts falter in the next year or two it may even improve Dungy's legacy.

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2009 11:47 pm

The Dungy Myth?

Although not all will agree, you have some valid points my man.  As a Browns fan growing up in the 80's, your Scottenheimer reference is right on.  When they fired Crennel, and the rumor mill was spinning about the Browns bringing back Marty....oy, I cringed.  Love the regualr season success, but locking up mentally in the big games is a problem.  That is what sets the Grudens and the Belichicks apart from the rest of the coaching fraternity...they coach the same, no matter the game, and they always seem to be prepared for whatever twists are thrown their way.

Mangini forever!....(for now, at least)

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