Tony Dungy’s greatest coaching moment may not have been his eventual Super Bowl victory but rather a moment of defeat in the 1999 NFC Championship Game.
That game pitted the highest scoring offense in football against one of the league’s stingiest defenses, Dungy’s Tampa 2. Dungy was playing with a backup quarterback and facing a team with a Cinderella quarterback in Kurt Warner, who had been thrust under center after a preseason injury to Trent Green. Warner led the Rams to 13 victories and over 500 points, creating an offense known as The Greatest Show on Turf.
Facing the Rams that day was Dungy’s underdog Buccaneers. But they were a team with a smothering defense that was allowing only 15 points per game. Who would prevail, Dungy’s defense or a Rams’ offense that was averaging 33 points a game?
How did the Bucs intercept Warner a season-high three times that day while holding The Greatest Show on Turf to a single field goal through three quarters? In the fourth installment of this week’s Talk of Fame Network podcast, Dungy explains why his plan worked but also why a defensive performance for the ages came up a little short.
“No one gave us a chance,’’ Dungy recalls. “But we felt we had the perfect system to beat them. We were very confident.’’
To learn why and also why it wasn’t quite enough that day listen to our free podcasts. Today’s show and all our podcasts are available for free download on iTunes & Vokal. Subscribe and receive them daily. They are short, usually 7-10 minutes. Here’s where you can find us: