Wendell Avery spoke briefly with Head Coach Tony Dungy by phone
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Assistant Wendell Avery left the team's hotel in Atlanta on Saturday evening and has since to rejoin the team or his family in Tampa. The situation has not been resolved, but Head Coach Tony Dungy has spoken very briefly with Avery on the phone.
As they have since Sunday, the Buccaneers are allowing the Atlanta Police Department to handle the situation as they see fit. However, Dungy did answer questions from the media on Wednesday concerning the matter. Dungy's statements are below.
Do you have an update on Wendell Avery's situation?
"Not really a lot new to report. The only thing I know is that he is fine, but other than that I really don't have a lot new to update you with."
Is the team concerned about Avery's safety?
"We're concerned right now. Again, to our knowledge, his well-being is okay and that's the biggest concern. Now it's just a matter of getting back and going from there. I really don't have a lot of information, so we'll wait to see what happens."
Have you spoken to Avery on the phone?
"I've just talked to him one time, personally, and again, he didn't share a lot of information with me at that point."
How is the team handling the search for Avery?
"We went through our protocol with NFL Security and the Atlanta Police Department. We let them handle it, so whatever decisions they made about who to let know or what…that's not my specialty, how to find people."
How has Avery's situation affected the team?
"I think, minimally. Obviously, we're concerned about him, but we have a job to do. Our guys have divvied up the work and set about getting the job done, which is very important. There's not a whole lot we can do at this point, and I think the coaches have done all they can as far as to try to help the situation and figure out what's going on. At this point, we've just got to focus in on the job."
How are the players and coaches handling their concern for Avery?
"It's tough. Everyone has to look at it individually. Obviously, you want to have a certain amount of empathy, and that's important. But when you go on the field or go in the meeting room, you have to focus on the job at hand. That's part of being a professional, and I think we're going to do that."