TAMPA — It wasn't the kind of game you might expect from Warrick Dunn, who has made an impressive career as a swift, scatback runner. Instead, the diminutive 12-year veteran was busy slamming into the line Sunday, churning out bruising, inside yardage that helped keep the offense moving during its 30-21 win over Green Bay.
Call it just another day at the office for the 5-foot-9, 187-pound Dunn, who carried the ball 16 times for 63 yards and added two catches for 23 yards. Since rejoining his old team this season, the 33-year-old running back has made a consistent contribution — 42 carries for 197 yards, 10 receptions for 82 yards — while sharing the load with Earnest Graham.
Dunn, whose book — Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond — comes out Nov. 11, shared his thoughts on his play and the victory.
How do you assess your performance Sunday?
It was a good day. We had to run for some tough yards today, and the guys were doing a good job blocking up front.
You were running the ball well inside. Does your height help, in that defenders can lose track of where you are?
I think that sometimes that does help. But I'm just trying to be patient and let things happen and develop and just trying to take advantage of my opportunities. How about your fellow running back, Earnest Graham, breaking that 47-yard run to help put the game away?
I tell him that he's "Four Minute" Graham, because for some reason in the last four minutes of a game, he's always coming up with these long runs. … But I'm just happy we were able to put something together to win the game.
How good does it feel to have come back here and continue to make a contribution?
That's one of the reasons I wanted to come back. I wanted to be a part of the offense, get involved, get out there on the football field and make plays. The last few weeks, I've been able to do that.
What do you recall about the fourth-quarter play where Charles Woodson picked off the pass intended for you and returned it for the touchdown?
The ball was just behind me a little bit. Woodson was playing a zone, and he just broke on it and made a great play.
There have been ups and downs on offense, but you guys seem to find a way to get it done.
We are up and down, but we're finding ways to make plays in the end. But defensively, they're keeping us in the game and giving us opportunities. Offensively, we're coming up with ways to make plays at the right time. And that's a good thing. We just have to try to be consistent.
How do you feel overall about the team?
We still have some things we need to improve on. We can't turn the football over. We can't do stupid things at the wrong time. It's still a work in progress, but we're progressing.
Dave Scheiber can be reached at email@example.com.