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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

08-10-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the game) "We looked at a lot of players. I don't believe we have any injuries at this point to report, and we won a football game. That was our goal obviously. We would finish the drive. You've got to be able to do that in this league to win. We had a couple of breakdowns in pass protection that are inexcusable. We fumbled the football. We did some things that are uncharacteristic of a championship team. But it's a good start. Obviously, it was an emotional beginning to the game with Mike Alstott's introduction. It's been a tough week. A tough 10 days, really, with losing Mike [Alstott] and Bill Walsh dying, but we are proud of our football team."

(On QB Luke McCown) "The thing we like about Luke is his mobility. He has been on the rise since he's returned from the knee injury. He missed all of last season. Had he performed like this last year he would have been our starting quarterback, no question about it. He's been very good in training camp with the ball, making decisions, and creating plays. If you aren't mobile, you better be one heck of a passer and have one great quick release. Luke McCown can throw the ball, and he can run, and he's playing good football right now, which is a good start, going seven-for-seven, regardless of who he was playing against. It's something that we like. He's got to be tough."

(On QB Jeff Garcia) "He came out and threw the ball a little bit. Our goal was to get Jeff a lengthy series and to get him out of there. He had a completion on the first play of the game. He blitzed the linebacker on the second play of the game and then he scrambled to keep it alive. Missed Hilliard on a third-down play, which I believe Jeff normally gets. He missed Galloway on a short pass over the middle. He was open, but I think the ball dropped or he wasn't in position to make the play. You have got to be in position to make the play. But it was a good beginning. He is a heck of a quarterback, great competitor, and we are excited about Jeff Garcia, but realize we have a long way to go."

(On DE Gaines Adams) "I saw him bat a ball down. I thought he showed some energy and life. He's got a long way to go. He is not a finished product. He is playing right end, left tail. He has got some creativity as a rusher. He got close a couple of times tonight. I think he found out that the backs will chip you, too, and knock you sideways. That's legal. I think he learned some things tonight. He is a great kid. He has a long ways to go but he does have talent."

(On specific players who impressed him with their play tonight) "[Luke] McCown opened my eyes tonight. It's easy to see how a quarterback plays. We can all see that. I thought Ken Darby did some things. I thought Aaron Sears did some good things, from what I could see. I thought Paris Warren sure played well. He's a football player. All he needs is a chance. Somebody's going to give him a chance, either me or somebody else. Whenever he gets out there and plays, he plays well."

(On the competition at different positions) "We are open in a lot of places right now. Pittman started the game at fullback. Earnest Graham has that capability. B.J. Askew did some good things, picking up some blitzes and blocking at the point of attack, shortening out the second look. We are still working to find out which network of backs are going to be with us. Earnest Graham had another real good game. Had we kept him in I think he would have played extremely well. We have competition, but we also have to overcome the loss of our leader and great player. That's something we are going to continue to work through."

(On the defensive line) "Our pressure is not good enough. I'm not going to come out here being negative, but if that is good enough then let's just give them a lollipop sucker. It just isn't good enough. We have got to get better pressure. I don't want to have to rely on blitzes. I want to use the four-man rush, like we historically do, that's the nature of the business. It's just not good enough yet. I want all those guys to roll their fists up and fight and get better next week. We are going to have to."

(On QB Chris Simms) "He has got to play better. We can all talk about the elbow and the arm, but he isn't playing very well right now. When he starts playing better, he will get a chance to play. [Luke] McCown is outplaying him, and Bruce [Gradkowski] is outplaying him. I want him to play better. I want to move the ball and make yards, and I want to score points. When we start seeing that on the practice field, we will start playing him. That isn't happening now, and that's one of the reasons we aren't playing him."

(Reaction to losing FB Mike Alstott) "There are a lot of people that think I have no emotion. I'm one of the more emotional guys that unfortunately are in this business. I take it real hard. It crushes me. It crushes me because this guy loves football and he loves the Bucs. It's tough to get over it and it's tough to say 'good-bye' to guys that have helped you win championship."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On his near interception) "I broke on the play and I thought I had it, but when I broke on it I ended up hitting my own teammate. Hopefully, I'll be ready to catch the next one."

(On the defense) "I'm not happy we gave up a score. But we will go back to the drawing board and see what we did wrong. We will watch the tape, make our corrections and just get ready for Jacksonville."

(On how it felt to get back on the field) "It's always good. Right now we see the wrinkles in our game and get to see where we are at. Like I said, I can't wait to watch the film and get ready, and get better next week."

WR Joey Galloway

(On first game back at Raymond James Stadium) "It's great. It was fun for the short amount of time I was out there. It was a really good crowd for a preseason game. It's always great to come into the stadium and play in front of our fans."

(On the offense) "We want to run around a little bit. We didn't move the ball like we wanted to. We let a couple of drives stall, but it's just the beginning. That's why we are out here, to work out the kinks. Hopefully we will be better next week."

QB Jeff Garcia

(On first game here in Tampa) "It's a great atmosphere, great fans. Obviously, we want to come out here and perform well. I think it's just one of those things, preseason, we are here to iron some things out. It's good being out there on the field. We want to get first downs, get some points on the board. But for our first day, in Raymond James, it's just great to be out here. It's great to be out here to experience the feeling playing in front of these fans."

(On first two drives of the game) "I think we were just a little bit off on a couple of throws. I think when you come into a situation like this, it's a new place for me, you're excited, you want to do well. You are probably moving through reads and progressions a little faster than normal because you want to get the ball into your receivers' hands and allow them to make some plays. It was just one of those things where the timing wasn't right tonight, and the location of the ball wasn't where it needed to be. Those are things that will be ironed out and we will get much better. There is only one way to go and that's in a positive direction."

RB Earnest Graham

(On his performance) "It felt good, being in camp and our first game against the Patriots, being able to go out and hit another team, and go out and make some plays. Pat the defense, and all the offensive players on the back for making the plays. It was a good time. We've been working hard all camp. We had some great holes and guys coming off the ball, we just went out and made plays."

(On the drive at the end of the first half) "It's definitely what you look for. You want to be able to put together drives, be able to put together good consecutive plays, and we did it that drive. We came out and we ran the ball, Luke [McCown] gave me a forward pass down in the flat, we converted on two third downs, and that's what you're looking for. You want to get on the field, eat some clock up, score at the end of the drive and have a fresh defense come on the field. That's definitely something that we're looking to build upon, and to be a successful team, you need that."

(On his running style) "You just try to go out and rush strong. It's not even me just fighting, just working hard, trying to have good balance, and sometimes take a hit and keep going. It's definitely one of my traits that I'm pretty proud of and I'm going to try to keep building on it."

LB Cato June

(On his first game with the Buccaneers) "It felt good just to go against someone else. I got to put on the new colors, new teammates, new stadium, and just everything is new. It was good just to get a feel for things."

(On the defense) "We were flying to the ball. We have people who are hungry. We were hitting, running and we seemed ready to take what we learned on the practice field and translate it to a game situation."

(On what he would like to improve on for next week) "I think communication is a big thing we can improve on. We need to get everybody on the same page, get everybody lined up so we can go out there and be on one page and have everybody doing the same thing."

T Jeremy Trueblood

(On his performance) "Pretty good, we have to build on that."

(On protection of Jeff Garcia) "Yes, he is a good quarterback, no question. We have to help him as much as we can."

(On chemistry of the offensive line) "We have gelled really fast since the beginning of camp. We did a pretty good job and one day down the road we will be pretty dominant."

RB Carnell Williams

(On starting the preseason) "It feels good. Last year was a tough year and it has been a long training camp, so to get out here in front of the home crowd is a great feeling."

(On his performance) "I like what I saw, but it is preseason. Our time was real limited, but overall I like what I saw."

(On QB Jeff Garcia) "He looked comfortable and confident. He is a veteran quarterback and he had control of the offense. I thought he looked good."


Head Coach Bill Belichick

(Opening comments) "We are under way. We played a lot of people tonight and got a look at a lot of people. I thought there were some positive things. In the end it came down to the last series of downs. There are a lot of things we have got to work on, but I think there are some things we can build from. Hopefully, we'll play better next week and have a good week of practice and keep moving in the right direction. That's one step, we've got a long way to go. There are a lot of things we can learn from tonight."

(On the three wide receivers and available personnel) "We got Marcellus [Rivers] in here a couple of days ago and he learned a few things and did a respectable job. We are going to work with the personnel groups that we had the most available tonight."

(On the team) "Probably like everyone else, there were some things that were okay and some other things that weren't okay. I'm sure you could say that about everybody that played tonight and coached. It's the first game; we've got a long way to go. There were some good things and there were some other things that weren't so good."

QB Matt Cassel

(On any comparisons between last year and this year) "You feel a little bit more comfortable in the system. You evolve after being in the system for three years and hopefully that continues."

(On how he would assess his performance) "I don't really know as of yet. It's one of those things where you have to go into the film room and see how you did, and go from there."

(On what happened on the touchdown drive) "The goal for the offense is to go out there and score touchdowns. It was a good feeling to get some points on the board."

RB Sammy Morris

(On his first game with the Patriots) "Well, it went okay. We have a lot of expected things we need to work on with it being our first preseason game. We need to get some consistency going. I think I need to make better reads on second-and-short, things like that. We have a long way to go, but I think we did okay."

(On if it is part of the first preseason game to get the "rust off") "Yes, I think it's part of it. Everyone's goal is to go out and execute. Obviously, we are trying to play well. I think it's a lot of mistakes that we had today, that we can get corrected with practice and a few more games."

(On if he played harder as a starter tonight) "Well, it's the NFL. We all understand that at any point, that any of us can be the starter. I think that all of us feel good about our abilities and we feel comfortable to help out the team."

LB Adalius Thomas

(On defensive play) "I'll have to watch the film and see. We made some mistakes and have to go back to the drawing board."

(On fitting into the defensive scheme) "It's just like practice, you practice hard and come out here to do the same thing, make plays and make tackles."

DL Vince Wilfork

(On first half assessment) "We've got a lot of things to work on, obviously. We've got to get back to work and look at this film and take everything in stride. Take the criticism and basically just keep going. [There are] a lot of things we need to do a lot better."

(On likes and dislikes of the game) "Being a defensive player, I really didn't like the way we played the run. We had two three-and-outs, but that third drive they came out and basically did what they wanted to do to us running the football, and that's one thing we pride ourselves on around here, to stop the run, and that third series didn't sit well with a lot of us."

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