With the NFL’s two undefeated teams facing each other Sunday, you have to know that Don Shula, the league’s winningest and only coach to lead a team to a perfect season, is considering the possibility that another team might be … perfect. Shula recently weighed in on Patriots-Colts and other NFL issues.
On another team having a perfect season: “Someone asked me that the other day, they asked me what I thought was tougher going 16 and 0 or 0 and 16? And I said, there’s no question in my mind 16 and 0 is a lot tougher. When you go 0 and 16 you’re not a very good football team. To win them all, it’s only been done once. You’ve got to think 50 years before and 35 years after, it’s only been done one time that’s how tough it is. Losing them all? I don’t even want to think about that.”
On whether the Patriots or Colts will go undefeated: “They’ve got to play each other, we know one of them is going to lose there. The one that comes out of that a winner, I think has got a shot, New England they just looked so awesome, everything they do they look so much better than the competition. Brady is at the top of his game, [Patriots Coach Bill] Belichick, the whole deal, they look strong, but Peyton Manning is very good also. ... [The Colts] won the Super Bowl, so they beat [the Patriots] along the way.”
On whether he’s resigned that another team will go undefeated: “You have to think it’s certainly possible it could happen, to think about how tough it is to do. You only have to look at the history of before and after shows you how hard it is to do. Somewhere along the line somebody’s going to do it. This year, even whoever comes out of that game [Patriots-Colts]… they’ve still got to go to the playoffs. The other thing you have is if you clinch early and you go into the last part of your season, and you don’t need the games, are you going to play Peyton Manning or Tom Brady the whole ballgame, like you would if it were a regular season game that meant something? So if you take them out and give somebody else a chance a play, that’s really what you should do in order to get your team ready for the playoffs, so that’s a big decision to make, I think [Colts Coach Tony] Dungy had to make that decision a couple of years ago when they were 13-0. You’ve got to do what’s best for your team and you can’t play that somebody that should maybe rest a week or so."
Brady or Manning?: “Peyton Manning is unbelievable in what he does in the way that he manages the offense. Tom Brady is more of a drop back quarterback, throwing the football. I like to compare Peyton Manning to a combination of a [Bob] Griese and a [Dan] Marino, two Hall of Fame quarterbacks that were entirely different and Peyton manning seems to be a combination of those two. Brady is more of a Marino type of quarterback.”
On the Dolphins: "The Dolphins are just struggling right now. They’ve got a lot of questions to answer, a lot of rebuilding to do."
On competitive balance: “Everything in the league is set up for competitive balance. The weakest team gets the first draft pick, gets the first player available on waivers. It’s all designed, to help the weaker teams get strong and tougher to stay on top for that reason, because you get the worst draft pick if you win. You win the Super Bowl, you get the last pick in the draft in the first round. That’s been a great formula for the NFL, because every city thinks their team, if they’re not good this year, next year they have a chance to get back into the hunt.”
On a Super Bowl overseas: “I think that would be the last thing I would want to do or do, is to take a Super Bowl out of this country, put it in Europe or Asia or someplace like that. The fans here certainly have earned the right to have the Super Bowl in areas they’ve supported right from the beginning.”
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