INDIANAPOLIS — Back in the land where he and Peyton Manning made it work so well, former Colts head coach Tony Dungy thinks the Bengals have found enough elements of The Formula to contend for the next several seasons.
Dungy, back in town for NBC's Super Bowl broadcast Sunday (6:30 p.m., Cincinnati's Channel 5) doesn't know if Manning is done or not.
But he does know you need the quarterback and even though Andy Dalton doesn't have Manning's prototypical size or arm, Dungy said Tuesday he has enough to win.
"He's definitely legit," Dungy said during Super Bowl Media Day for players and broadcasters. "He's smart and accurate. The game wasn't too big for him and that's what you look for."
Like Manning had perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Dungy thinks Dalton has the 21st century version in A.J. Green.
A 6-0, 175-pounder, Harrison racked up Hall of Fame numbers with 1,102 catches for more than 15,000 yards. The 6-4, 208-pound Green put up strikingly similar numbers as a rookie with 65 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns. In 1996, two years before Manning, Harrison went 64 for 836 yards and eight touchdowns.
"I love A.J. Green; he looks like a big Marvin Harrison to me," Dungy said. "He's got the same wiry frame, he's got the same deceptive speed, and he's got all the hand-eye coordination and the skill Marvin had. But he's big."
Dungy said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and his staff did "a phenomenal coaching job" in making the playoffs despite rebuilding the offense with youth in a season that had no spring workouts.
"They did an outstanding job of taking their veteran guys out of the picture and building around Andy Dalton and A.J. Green and a tough defense," Dungy said. "First of all, you've got a quarterback everybody believes in and the way the game is played now with the rules you need a good passing attack and players that can rush the passer. They have that."