TERRE HAUTE —
“I talked to the team last night. We lost some guys last year in free agency. Edgerrin James, Larry Tripplett, David Thornton. We lost some guys during the season. Montae Reagor had a car accident. Corey Simon had an illness. Brandon Stokley had an Achilles’ tendon [injury] during the season. We lost Ryan Diem and Nick Harper in the Super Bowl. So that’s what football is all about,” Dungy said.
“You’d love to have every player, all year, no injuries, no problems. It doesn’t happen that way. We were able to overcome it last year. We have a lot of guys here in camp that will work. Last year at this time, nobody knew who Charlie Johnson was, a few people knew who Joseph Addai was. We got Anthony McFarland in midseason. So guys come from everywhere, from within the system and from without. And we’ll make do.”
• Dungy, Mudd remember Bill Walsh — The announcement Monday afternoon that former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh had died after a long battle with leukemia hit especially close to home for two members of the Indianapolis coaching staff.
Dungy played for Walsh in 1979, coming to the 49ers in a trade that sent Ray Rhodes to Pittsburgh. Offensive-line coach Howard Mudd was a longtime friend of the Hall of Fame coach.
“It was really tough for me,” Dungy said. “I played for him for one year and then certainly learned a lot. But even more than that, he was so supportive all throughout my career. He did a lot for African-American coaches, I think coaches in general. Bill was very innovative and very much a winner and somebody I learned a lot from and a very good friend.
“So I hate that it happened. It was just one of those things that really touches you. I just wish the best to his family. But somebody that I’ll definitely miss.”