Tony Dungy stands a year removed from retiring after seven seasons as coach of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
In 12 months -- during which he's served as an NFL analyst for NBC and a mentor for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, among other roles -- his allegiance hasn't budged.
Dungy, speaking to The New York Times in Miami, said the Saints couldn't do enough to force the Colts into needing a final, last-minute drive to win the Super Bowl.
"I think they're going to be so far ahead that people are going to say, 'Oh, ho-hum, he played a good game, they won by two scores, the Colts won their second championship,' " Dungy said of Manning on Thursday. "He's going to have those rings Sunday night. I don't think it's going to be close."
Dungy, who led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl XLI victory in 2007, said the Saints' difficulty in closing out the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC title game was evidence the Colts will have a convincing upper hand come Sunday.
"Minnesota is playing in New Orleans, they turn the ball over five times, have two or three stupid penalties and still lose in overtime," Dungy told The Times. "I don't see how it's going to be close. The Colts aren't going to turn it over seven times."
Dungy also weighed in on whether Manning was a better clutch quarterback than the Patriots' Tom Brady.
"Your coach wouldn't punt the ball to Peyton," Dungy said in referring to Patriots coach Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 deep in his own territory rather than give the ball back to Manning late in the Colts' Week 10, 35-34 victory.
"I would punt the ball to Tom Brady with one minute left," Dungy said. "Your coach is the best coach in the world and wouldn't punt it to [Manning]. What does that say?"
[ Edited by jrg on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:52 AM ]