Tony Dungy has been around winning teams before.
He was on the roster when the Steelers won Super Bowl XIII to conclude the 1978 season. As the head coach of the Buccaneers, he made the playoffs four times in six seasons. In Indianapolis, he won the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLI.
Now that he is in the broadcast studio, he gets to talk to a lot of player and coaches around the league. The last time his network broadcast the Super Bowl, the Eagles ended up defeating Tom Brady with their backup quarterback.
Now, Dungy has been around the Cincinnati Bengals as they prepare for Super Bowl LVI, and he likes what he sees.
“I was there Wednesday doing interviews in Cincinnati with Bengals players and coaches for our pregame show, and I sensed it,” said Dungy, via the Bengals Booth Podcast. “I felt it. I felt the same thing four years ago when we had the Eagles.
“I was at the Eagles for four days and I said ‘man, these guys. This is a different vibe. And I really came away impressed with Philadelphia and I had the same impression with these young men.”
The Eagles took the underdog narrative in 2017 and ran with it, despite the fact that they were one of the best teams in football from top-to-bottom. The Bengals are even more of an underdog than the Eagles were, but the Bengals are actively rejecting the underdog label under Zac Taylor.
“All they talked about was Coach Taylor and how he’d brought winners in...how he brought unselfish guys in, and I’ll tell you what, in that day, I really, really felt in that day that there is a strong winning culture in Cincinnati.”
This contradicts the message the media has been throwing out since Taylor was hired, but it’s true. The Bengals don’t feel lucky to be in the Super Bowl. They feel that they belong there.