ANDERSON, Ind. —
Still, it was clear he likes the look of Indianapolis’ young roster — especially Luck, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL draft.
“He looked like a third- or fourth-year guy in this first practice,” Dungy said. “I’ve seen him play twice, Oregon against Stanford, and so I saw it from that perspective. And you feel like, ‘Well, he’s been running this offense that he’s been comfortable with.’ But to see it here, and knowing that he’s had a condensed offseason program too because of the school’s set up there, it was very impressive. And, you know, I guess I know now what those guys, (general manager) Ryan (Grigson) and Jim Irsay and Chuck (Pagano), knew (after the draft) that they are going to be in good hands.”
Irsay also addressed the media during Sunday’s afternoon practice, and he spoke about the similarities between Dungy and Pagano.
Both men came up on the defensive side of the ball, and Irsay said he’s impressed with both men’s ability to inspire respect in their players.
“You talk to those guys in Baltimore (where Pagano coached from 2008-11), and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and those guys, the trust and the admiration that they have in Chuck was tremendous,” Irsay said. “That’s something that they both have and bring into the room when they get with the players because a leader is followed a lot of the times from the heart and from the deep belief. You can’t force someone to follow you even though their contract says it, you must. It comes more from a deeper place, and I think the players have a great respect for Chuck as they did for Tony.”
No one in the media could remember the last time they’d seen the owner attend practice on the first day of training camp, and Irsay repeatedly told the media he liked what he was seeing.