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Dungy will coach Sunday vs. Eagles

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 5, 2002

Tony Dungy
TAMPA -- Coach Tony Dungy will be on the sideline for Sunday night's game against Philadelphia, then leave to attend funeral services for his mother, general manager Rich McKay said Friday.

Cleomae Dungy died Thursday morning at her home in Jackson, Mich. She was 81.

Dungy was at practice Friday afternoon.

"Right now, we're just trying to support Tony at a time of grief after the passing of his mother," Dungy's agent, Ray Anderson, said.

WINNING FEELING: The Bucs are trying to win at least 10 games for the third straight season and add to their 9-0 winning streak for December games at Raymond James Stadium.

"The approach is really to take care of this week, worry about this week, then worry about next week when it comes," Dungy said. "The big thing for us, we want to win the ballgame. I think you want to get momentum going into the playoffs. ... "We've played well at home. We like defending our home turf. We want to get to 10 wins. You always want to play well against teams you're going to see somewhere down the road, whether it's next week or five weeks from now. I think for a lot of those reasons we want to win and play well."

INJURIES: RB Warrick Dunn (right turf toe) and WR Keyshawn Johnson (ankle) did not practice and are doubtful for Sunday. DT Warren Sapp (shoulder), S John Lynch (shoulder) and CB Ronde Barber (hamstring) are questionable.

OLD FRIENDS: Eagles QB Donovan McNabb played in high school (Mount Carmel High near Chicago) with Bucs DE Simeon Rice, and the two are good friends. McNabb said it's sweet justice Rice is playing well lately after being criticized for his slow start.

"Simeon and I are very close. We sort have seen each other grow up, so to speak. Simeon is the guy who sort of set the tone early for me because he's a little older than me. It's good to see he's out there playing well. A lot of people talked down on him, and to see what he's doing right now I think really shows his character."

Rice's task this weekend and next will be to hound McNabb as much as possible. THE OTHER SIDE: Eagles coach Andy Reid isn't revealing his game plan.

"I have not finalized any rotations or who will play or how much they will play," Reid said. "We will go down there with winning in mind. I'll stick by that and make sure the guys who are in the game feel that way and play that way."

While Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter called the game "irrelevant," safety Damon Moore said players can benefit by studying opponents in real action.

"You can get a lot of stuff out of it -- alignment and little things," Moore said. "They might not give all the plays or formations, but you'll still be able to get a sense of what they like to do. You get a feel for them."

The Eagles listed 15 players -- 13 starters -- on the midweek injury report, including McNabb (wrist sprain), DE Hugh Douglas, WR James Thrash, TE Chad Lewis, RB Duce Staley, CB Troy Vincent and DT Corey Simon.

"What we tried to do is put a game plan together to study Tampa Bay as if we were playing them in the playoff game," Reid said. "Then from there, back off and make it vanilla."

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