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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

01-07-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I would like to say I am really disappointed obviously, for our team and our fans. I am very proud of them and I tip my hat to the Redskins."

(On the Edell Shepherd play being similar to the Roddy White play a few weeks ago) "I don't remember the Roddy White play. I thought it was certainly close enough to challenge, given the magnitude of the play, and the situation of the game. It is what it is."

(On whether he agrees with the referee's call) "I agree with the final verdict whether it is for us or against us. That's all you can do. I thought it was certainly a great throw and I thought he had both hands on the ball in the end zone."

(On whether they explained the Edell Shepherd play call) "Yes, that you have to have possession of the ball. I got several different explanations, but the bottom line is it was all for naught. I thought we had a chance on the following play as well. We just didn't convert it, and we weren't able to get it done tonight."

(On how much the early turnovers set the Buccaneers back) "It really did. The first ball that is tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted was a big play. Then we put together a nice drive, I think we got first down inside their 35 (yard line). We have a fumble and before you know it you are down 14-0, and those have not been the kind of games that have really spelled out success for us, but we did fight back. We made it a 17-10 game. We had a couple of other opportunities to tie the game, and ultimately win it. Our defense played great, but there wasn't enough done tonight."

(On the decision to go for it on fourth-and-one with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter) "We went for it because we felt we had a play that would get the yard. We had a third-and-one prior to the fourth-and-one and we ran Mike Alstott setting up a fourth-down, and it was almost a full yard, just inside a yard. I didn't have my tape measure, but about 30 inches. We took a time out when the Redskins brought in an extra defensive lineman, so we obviously went with a play-action-pass with a protection we felt would have worked out better than it did there, and to try and give Chris [Simms] some options. Unfortunately, the Redskins made a great play there and we didn't handle the protection, and we were forced to give up the ball on downs."

(On Chris Simms' ability to come back) "He did some good things. There is no question, against a defense that is pretty stingy and challenging. They played a lot of different combination coverages tonight, made it tough on us to get the ball to [Joey] Galloway. They do a nice job with their four man rush, applying pressure. What can I say, Chris made some fine plays today. We just didn't get enough done."

FB Mike Alstott

(On the season) "We have to reflect on the whole season in general. When I think about it, each and every individual in this locker room, how we came together, from the offseason until now, the drive and the fight and the passion that is in each individual, and we brought this together as a unit. As a unit, we did some good things this year."

(On if he will return next season) "It's a decision that's on me. I don't know. I'll talk to my family, my wife and everybody else."

(On if it is tough to make a decision on next season after such a tough loss) "You don't want to think about it [the loss]. It's hard enough to swallow the loss, rather than think about what Mike Alstott's future is."

(On what will influence his decision to come back) "I don't know. First of all, I've had the best time this year. Going through two frustrating seasons, first in 2003, with the neck [injury] and then last year trying to re-group and get back to my normal self. I felt I played well this year and did some good things this year. It was back to the old style again, and [we] did some good things on the filed. We'll discuss it between me and my family and figure out what is best."

(On if it was an emotional moment after the game) "This is where it all started. Ten years, it's my life. It's the passion and love for this game. It's a great place to play in front of, these awesome fans for all of these years. I'd just like to thank everybody for their support for 10 great years."

(On suffering his the first playoff loss at Raymond James Stadium) "It's no fun. You have a home game in front of your fans that care so much about this team, and support this team through the years, and never give up on us especially after the Super Bowl run we made and stuck by us. They gave us a lot of support. To get a home playoff [game] in front of them, they deserved it and they deserved us to win today."

CB Ronde Barber

(On holding Washington to 120 [total] yards and still losing) "We played well. We knew we were going to play well. The game set up for us to play well. [It] just wasn't enough. We did not generate enough turnovers to match theirs, unfortunately. Give them credit. I do not have a whole bunch to say about it. We knew the effort it was going to take to beat these guys and I thought we gave ourselves plenty of chances to get back in this game. It is just unfortunate we could not get it done."

(On how long he will wonder about this game) "I don't know. I don't even know how long I asked myself after that game (in 1999). I do my best to get rid of it as quickly as possible. You know, at this point, it is never going to be the same. Things are going to change. I do not think looking back at the past will be too much pleasure for me."

(On a record-setting defensive performance, and if the defense could have done anything more) "At this point, it does not matter, does it? We are not building towards anything right now. We are stuck in 2005 and all we can do is look forward to next season. The what ifs, the 'what if game' at this point, means nothing to me."

(On CB Brian Kelly's interception) "I think most of the second half they probably felt like [momentum] was turning for us. We gave ourselves chance to win. We did everything we needed to do. We got all of those stops in the second half to give our offense a chance to put some points back on the board but, unfortunately, we did not capitalize on enough of them. Again, give Washington credit, they dug their heels in and found a way to hold on for dear life."

(On if he can look forward to next season with the turnaround the team had this year) "I do not know. I was just saying it more so, thinking that I am not going to look back on 2005. It is impossible to dissect losses like this. There are any number of plays we could have made, but we did not. That is the nature of football."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On WR Edell Shepherd's catch being called back) "Like most games in the playoffs, it comes down to some form of fashion of turnovers. They were able to get some and we were not. They scared off a turnover and defensively we played well but we just could not get one. We hate for it to end like this but thank God for the effort and for me personally I wish Washington well."

(On the defense's record-setting performance) "That is one of the positives you can take from the game. We did not win and I would give up one thousand yards to get a win. At the end of the day that is what it is about. It is really not about that, it is about the "W". And we did not make enough plays to get a "W" and to me that is the most important thin."

(On the positives of the season) "I will do that at the appropriate time during this offseason. For the next couple of days, I am going to enjoy this group here. You know the nature of this business, everybody that has a locker in here probably won't be here next year. So, I hope we get to keep as many as we can and make a run at it next year."

(On the character of the team) "We did not panic because the mistakes we made were self-inflicted."

(On QB Chris Simms) "Him stepping in at a critical time this year; he had to grow up quick and he did."

(On the first playoff loss at Raymond James Stadium) "I never thought I would be ending me season here in this locker room."

DE Simeon Rice

(On if it is tough to dig out of a hole like today) "Yes it is. You cannot turn the ball over that many times, you know. Before the season started, we put factors that determine a game. It is funny, ironic, that the thing we stressed most is the thing that we could not get over, and that was the turnover margin. [We] held them in yards. [We] had more yards than them. Everything, statistically, went our way, except for the turnover margin."

(On the two major plays) "To win a game in the playoffs, the game comes down to inches. Inches, millimeters, yards. It did us in today. We had the call on the goal line, kind of like the Falcons game. Understood that, bounced back, turned the ball over again. Kind of hurt us, but you move on, applaud the team. A good showing this year. [We] couldn't finish it like we wanted to. It is unfortunate. We have got to gather it up, find out the pieces that we are missing and move it on for the next [year], and up and coming [years]. It is sad to say this, one and done. That is the first time since I have been to the playoffs. I, at least, won a game, you know. [This game] kind of feels like the Philly situation. We will bounce back."

(On the touchdown call) "It was a good call. Like I said, we fell victim to that situation in the Falcons game and got away with it. This week, we are the offenders of it. So, you know, it is what it is and you move on."

WR Edell Shepherd

(On the incomplete pass call against him in the fourth quarter) "If I would never have touched the ground, then it would never have been reviewed and we would be celebrating right now. I'll go back in the offseason, we'll get better and we'll come back next year ready to go."

(On the pass play that was called incomplete) "I had just told Ike [Hilliard] I was about to win the game. [I] went out there and I did it, but somebody else thought otherwise. Washington played a great game and we shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place. It wouldn't have come down to that, but our hats are off to Washington, and good luck to them next week."

(On how it felt to be down 14-0) "It was tough, but it has been happening all year. The character on our team, we never stop fighting and we didn't stop fighting. This game, we came back and we had a shot, but we fell a little short. That's how it goes."

(On the explanation of his incompletion made sense to him) "No, not at all. I was just waiting for [the official] to put his hand[s] up and say touchdown, but it didn't go my way. You know that happens some time."

QB Chris Simms

(On what he was thinking after going down 14-0) "It's not the spot we wanted to be in. If there is one thing I've known about this team all year long, it is that we continue to fight, no matter what and we did today. We battled but we've got to give them some credit. They made some plays early in the game to put us down. Our defense played awesome. They were magnificent all day long. Obviously, we moved the ball, just not those first three series. But after that we moved the ball pretty well. We just didn't put enough points on the board."

(On the fourth-and-one play in the fourth quarter) "We just tried to catch them off guard with a quick snap, up the middle to [Mike] Alstott. They're big up front, they really are. They have three guys in the middle that are pretty stout guys. Fourth-and-one, they just had the right defense called in that situation. It's a play we've run a few times this year and had success with, especially the past two weeks. They were just in the right defense and we have to give their defensive coaches credit.

(On if they changed the play during the time out before the fourth-and-one) "Yes. We changed the play. It was just going to be a run up the middle to Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. They had five defensive linemen in at that point. I can totally justify the changing of the play."

T Kenyatta Walker

(On the feeling in his mind on Washington's touchdown) "Here we go again, I thought he scored. But you know, like you said, it has been kind of falling are way the whole year. It just didn't fall our way this game. So, it was tough, but we will be back next year. It is a learning experience for a lot of these young guys. We have something to look forward to next year."

(On QB Chris Simms keeping his poise when down by two touchdowns) "Chris Simms is a fighter, man. He is a fighter, this whole offense [is]. Like I said, it just did not go our way today. We tip our hats off to the Redskins and wish them well."

(On the difficulty of the loss) "It's always tough to lose a game, including a playoff game when I haven't been in this tournament since I won the Super Bowl. So, it's exciting. It's tough, but you know, we move on and it's going to be an interesting offseason."

(On the team's improvement throughout the season) This whole offense, this offensive line, I am especially proud of. I mean, it's hard to talk about what we've done, weird after losing like this, but it's exciting. If you look toward next year, and if the pieces of the puzzle stay together, we definitely are competitive and can win the NFC South and go even further next year. So, we'll just see what goes on this offseason."


Head Coach Joe Gibbs

(Opening comments) "I thought we fought extremely hard all day. I think we fought all the way across the board on special teams, offense and defense. Certainly, our defense kept us in it. The turnovers were a big deal. That's something earlier in the year, we were on the short end of turnovers all the time and it really cost us. I think since we've been down the stretch here, all six games, it has flipped around for us. I'm really thankful for that. I'm proud of our guys. I go to work with a great bunch of guys, and they have a lot of fight to them. They never give up no matter what the circumstances. I thought we were in real trouble there at the end when we threw the interception, and our defense just shows up again and did a great job. We gave the game ball to Renaldo Wynn. I think he broke his forearm. He's been a real leader for us. We had a short work week. We flew down here and played against, I think, a heck of a team that is extremely well-coached and has great fans. It's tough going into that stadium and having to play against that, and I was proud of our guys."

(On RB Clinton Portis' injury) "Clinton had to come out because of his shoulder. It cost us for a while, but he came back to his credit. He's a tough guy. He came back and slammed it up there for us, but he missed a good portion of the game."

(On the performance of the linebackers) "I want to brag on [Tampa Bay's] defense, too. You have to say a lot for their defense, too. From where I was standing and what I saw, that was a great defensive performance. I think our linebackers and our whole defense [did well]. It would be hard to single out one group. We fought hard all year. I'm really proud of Gregg Williams, Greg Blache, Dale Lindsey, Steve Jackson and DeWayne Walker. All of those guys have certainly done a good coaching job for us, too. I'm really proud of them."

(On Sean Taylor's ejection from the game) "I think, certainly, we understand that if he did what they said he did, then we can understand someone getting kicked out of the game. And, they should be. He's a dominating force. He covers the field. He's had a great year. He's been really relaxed all year. He's been a model citizen for us, and done every single thing we've asked of him. He's had a great year, and I hate to see that happen. I wish it hadn't happened."

(On the offensive battle) "Our guys on offense were giving it everything we had. We tried a little bit of everything, and we couldn't get anything to work. I thought we tried to mix it up. We tried a little bit of everything. I think you have to give [Tampa Bay] credit. They had a heck of a game plan. On the first time around here, we got quite a few yards. I was concerned coming back because I think they've got a lot of pride, and they're number one on defense because they're real good. I give them all the credit in the world. I think Coach Gruden has done a terrific job, and they have a heck of a football team."

QB Mark Brunell

(On his impression of the Bucs defense today) "They mixed it up, and there is a reason they were the best defense in the NFL. They were impressive. They had a lot of speed. [They had] a great game plan. We couldn't run it, and obviously, we didn't throw well either, but our defense was incredible. You have to give a lot of credit to the Tampa defense, they were very impressive today.

(On his defense's performance tonight) "Well, I'll tell you they won this game for us. They came up with some big plays, but Tampa got some yards on them. Chris [Simms] had a good game throwing. He made some smart decisions, a lot of underneath stuff that allowed them to keep some drives going. But our defense played real well. They didn't give up any big plays and they got the turnovers at the perfect time, early obviously, and then the last one at the end of the game."

(On his interception at the end of the game) "I felt pretty good about it, actually. I thought we had a chance, but it got tipped up and that allowed the defense back to catch it. In hindsight, I would have just pulled that in, or thrown it out of bounds, or ran, or something. Obviously, you never want to turn it over in that situation."

(On if he was told they were going to have 25 passing yards he would have believed it) "I would have told you our season was over. But I was telling someone earlier to get a [win] in the playoffs, particularly on the road, you don't really care about numbers, you don't care how pretty it is, or how effective you were on offense. To get a win is huge. You are on the road, in the playoffs, against a very good defense, we will take it, absolutely."

(On what it means to win for Joe Gibbs) "It would probably be best to ask Joe [Gibbs], but obviously it's been a long time since he's been in the playoffs. But he is used to winning in the playoffs. It's probably nothing new to him. It's just been some time since the last time he was in [the playoffs]. He's a very good coach and he is an even better person. It is really a privilege to play for him."

WR Santana Moss

(On if he feels justified with this win) "I could care less if we won by two, or three [points]. I think a win is a win and that is all that matters."

(On the offense) "We played against the number one defense. I mean, they saw what we did last time and made sure we did not do it again this time."

(On if he ever felt like he was starting to get going) "Every now and then. You, but when you are good, you are good and they played really good tonight. We capitalized on one of those plays that we needed the most and that was the turnovers, and we got a victory."

(On if they are going to need more offense against Seattle) "Of course, [do] you think you are going to go somewhere and do the same thing again? We know we can play football so it is not in our mind. We just have to win, that is all that counts and matters."

(On if the team did anything special in the secondary) "Yeah, when we threw the ball I was not singled up. I was doubled, tripled. I saw one dude had his cousin on the field, his auntie sitting in the endzone. They played well. They were hunting. They know how we made plays on them last time. They watched what we have been doing since we have played them, and they made sure to keep us in front of them. All we could do is get what we can, and when we can, try our best and do enough to win."

RB Clinton Portis

(On Tampa's number one objective) "I was kind of injured coming into this game. My shoulders were killing me. I think on the first series or two I reinjured them. So that is why I was in and out sparingly. But Tampa has a great defense and that is what great teams do. They are going to make adjustments but we walked away with the win. They didn't walk away with the win."

(On the team's record when wearing the white uniforms) "We are going all white again. That is what we are sticking with right now."

S Sean Taylor

(On the Redskin defense stepping up today) "You know, Tampa Bay, they're a very good defense. They came out ranked number one. We kind of felt like we had to bring some kind of intensity to make them feel like they're at least playing a second or third [ranked] defense. We just wanted to match their intensity and kind of bring it to them. That was it."

(On his fumble return and what he was thinking on that play) "In the previous game, they beat us on a couple of deep balls so we wanted to keep everything in front of us. On the run, there were some guys hustling to the ball. Next thing you know, Marcus Washington, he came out running with the ball and I was just running behind him. They say when you hustle around the ball good things happen. He [Carnell "Cadillac" Williams] got stripped of the ball and I just scoped it up and kept going."

(On the incident with Michael Pittman) "No comment."

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