BRADENTON, Fla. -- Don't blame Tony Dungy for the Pirates getting one-hit on Monday.
Dungy delivered an impassioned pre-workout locker room speech to the Bucs in the morning, and his inspirational and motivational message can still have a delayed effect on the club.
By all accounts, the young Pirates players hung on every one of the words of Dungy, who had begun his Super Bowl-winning coaching career as an assistant with the Steelers, for whom he'd been a defensive back and emergency quarterback in the late '70s.
Dungy, of course, visited the Bucs at the invitation of manager Clint Hurdle, who came in touch with him during his tenure in Colorado through Keli McGregor, the Rockies' president.
"We've spent a lot of time in conversation since then, talking about a number of topics," Hurdle said. "He's a very professional guy, a very powerful man, and I thought it'd be a very good opportunity to re-connect him with the city of Pittsburgh and bring him in to share some of his thoughts on leadership and about competing, and about accountability. It was a very good message to impart [to our players]."