Dungy delays start of hype week
The Colts coach gave his players an extra day off.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Tony Dungy was ready to get to work in South Florida, even if Indianapolis had one less day to do it.
Arriving a day after the Chicago Bears, and later than most recent Super Bowl teams, Dungy explained Indianapolis' delayed arrival as wanting to make this as normal a week as possible.
Good luck doing that during Super Bowl week.
"There have been times when there's only been one week between the Super Bowl, and we've also had three really emotional games, so I wanted to give the guys an extra day off," Dungy said. "We want to keep it as normal as possible, and this seemed like the best way to do that."
The craziness began Monday night as the Colts made Dungy and six players available an hour after landing in Fort Lauderdale. Today, more players, including two-time MVP Peyton Manning and quiet receiver Marvin Harrison, will address questions from podiums.
Manning was not among the players who spoke Monday, even though the last week has been filled with questions about his injured right thumb. Manning hurt it when his throwing hand hit the helmet of left tackle Tarik Glenn late in the AFC championship game.
Teammates and coaches said last week the thumb was fine, and Dungy reiterated that Manning would make his 157th career start, including playoffs, on Sunday.
Manning has never missed a start in his nine-year career and ranks second all-time among quarterbacks in consecutive starts behind only three-time MVP Brett Favre of Green Bay.
Harper has boot
Instead, the biggest injury question concerns starting cornerback Nick Harper, who sprained his left ankle last week. He got off the bus with his foot in a walking boot.
"Everybody practiced today, except Nick," Dungy said.
He did not update Harper's status.
Before departing, the Colts held their final practice of the season at their indoor facility, again closing it to reporters. Dungy has generally held open practices, but closed all except the stretching portion to the media during the playoffs.
These Colts came to Florida ready to work.
"I'm excited, I'm excited we're here," safety Bob Sanders said. "It's awesome, I just love it. It's a feeling you can't explain."
For the Colts, the long-awaited trip has come after a 36-year absence from the NFL's biggest game. They had been to the playoffs seven times in eight years and reached the AFC championship three years ago without making it to the Super Bowl.
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