Tony Dungy may have beat Lovie Smith in the Bears' last Super Bowl appearance, but that didn't damage his long-standing friendship with Smith. It's strong enough that Dungy stopped at Halas Hall on Monday to work with the Bears coaching staff.
Dungy was the head coach when Smith and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli coached at Tampa, and he had insights to share about the Bears use of the Tampa-2 defense.
“It was awesome,” Marinelli said. “We watched a lot of our tape with him. He sees a lot and makes great comments. We must have met for 10 hours. It’s just about going back to what we believe in. When we were with him in Tampa when we first started, you see the roots of everything we’ve done.”
It's a scheme that has helped the Bears perform well, as the Bears have consistently performed well on D during Smith's tenure. They were fourth in the league in points allowed in 2010. Stars like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs have excelled under this scheme.
Tampa-2 brought Dungy success. While head coach of the Colts, he won a Super Bowl, and appeared in the playoffs during every year of his career, but one of his continuing effects on the game is in the form of his former assistants. Dungy is proud of how his defense has grown.
“It was fun for me to come in and talk football again,” said Dungy, who has worked as a television analyst since retiring as Indianapolis Colts coach following the 2008 season.
“We talked a little bit of Xs and Os, but we talked more about how you do things. That I think is what makes this group as good as they are. It’s not necessarily what you do but how you do it, and sometimes we lose sight of that. It was great to talk about how we started and how this defense grew.”
The lockout means that instead of running mini-camp, the staff has to improvise. They are still working on getting the team ready, but without the team. Working on Xs and Os with Dungy is one way to do it.