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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

08-11-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I would like to say we're pretty happy with the performance tonight. A lot of people played. There weren't a lot of penalties. We didn't waste a lot of time. We got some things done in the running game. Our rookie class got a chance to play a lot of minutes and we're happy to win the game. We've got a lot of work to do."

(On QB Bruce Gradkowski) "He did some good things tonight and it is a great step in the right direction. You can't do much better in your debut."

(On WR Maurice Stovall) "Some of the blocks he made tonight, I realize it is a preseason game, but my God. He's a very physical guy. He is a special competitor. The guy does not quit. He has a long way to go, I think, to make a real splash here. He understands that, but he's learning, he's working. He has a physical presence. We said that when we drafted him and when you look at this tape, you will see that on tape."

(On G Davin Joseph and T Jeremy Trueblood) "I thought they did a good job. New York chose to come in here and rush three guys for the most part, early in the game; [they] made it tough on us to throw the ball, a lot of two-deep with six-man underneath and we chose to run the ball and stick with it and there was a couple great plays that those two guys made. Some really good physical play at the point of attack, some athleticism on the backside. I don't believe we had a sack tonight, although we didn't throw it a lot, but there are some real positive signs tonight. (Alan) Zemaitis made a great play in the end zone on a fade. A lot of young guys, our draft picks, stood out tonight in some ways."

(On the choice to sit Carnell "Cadillac" Williams) "Brian Kelly was excused tonight for a personal matter and (we) hope to have him back soon. We're with him. We understand his situation. Carnell Williams, Joey Galloway, some other players, Kenyatta Walker did not play tonight. Coach's decision."

(On FB Carey Davis) "How 'bout that. Derek Watson had an ankle sprain. We didn't feel it was right for him to go tonight. Earnest (Graham) took 16 or 17 carries. We wanted to see him perform as we did last season in the early preseason and he has proven again he's is a great back, a very good football player, but Carey Davis was pressed into service today as a halfback. He'd been playing fullback throughout the entire offseason into training camp, coming here and carrying 15 or 16 times, run hard, pick up blitzes and catch some passes. He gets steak and lobster in Orlando this week and that's a fact. He is going to eat steak and lobster. He gets the game ball. I know it is a preseason game, but what a gut check, grit performance by a guy who has really worked hard."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On what he liked and what needed improvement) "We got some more plays than we anticipated, working on our conditioning. We had some third downs and we didn't get off the field so we still have some areas we can improve in. But like I said we got off the field when it counted, we didn't give up any points, but obviously we would like to get off the field a little sooner."

(On getting out there personally) "It felt alright, going out there and getting someone other than your teammates so we had some fun, we got through with no major injuries so far and it's something to build on."

S Steve Cargile

(On the performance of the defense) "I think we did a good job. We came out and executed the game plan and what we wanted to get accomplished for the game. One of our sayings is 'Do your job,' and I think everybody did their job tonight."

(On his progress through camp) "For myself, I think I am at a good spot right now. I think I played pretty well and I just want to keep on improving. You always want to keep getting better and better. Hopefully, I didn't make any mistakes tonight, but if I did that's something we need to correct."

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(On his performance) "I think it went pretty well, but it's easy when you can run the football and guys are making plays. Carey Davis was running the ball so hard and the offensive line was giving me time. Everyone made plays out there and we executed well. So that's the whole reason we put together good drives."

(On his nerves prior to the game) "The nerves were running a little bit, but I was more excited and anxious. I hate sitting around waiting. But [Chris] Simms was giving me a hard time, but I used to [throw up on the sidelines] in college. Every time I did it, I knew it was going to be [a] good [game]."

(On the excitement of his first NFL game) "It was very exciting. My first debut in Tampa, and hearing these fans go nuts when I threw that first touchdown pass was amazing. Coming off the sidelines, especially with all the guys and getting the respect of the offensive line out there [was exciting]. That was the main key because you're in the huddle with those guys. They did a great job tonight. Carey Davis was able to run the football. [Jerald] Sowell did a great job. Everybody else just did a great job. We all executed pretty well and that's the reason for the good drives."

RB Earnest Graham

(On his performance) "I am just someone who is trying to play hard. We had some great blocking, great holes. We ran well tonight, which is a tribute to the guys up front."

(On translating his preseason play to the regular season) "I am having a great time playing with Mike Alstott, [Carnell] 'Cadillac' Williams, and Michael Pittman. I am having a great time."

(On if the preseason sets the tone) "Yes, I think it definitely does. You want to win. We want to be sharp. You are trying to prepare for the season. Teams give you a lot of what they got. You want to work on the chemistry."

DT Chris Hovan

(On the defense) "I liked the get off. I like the excitement, everyone running to the ball. First game getting a little rust off, we are going to get ready for the first game."

(On what needs improvement) "We can always work on fundamentals. Fundamentals are the basis of this game, hustle and being physical right now. Throw a lot of base defenses at them, just trying to play our base stuff, just trying to get better."

RB Michael Pittman

(On the offense) "We ran the ball pretty good. My main focus, for myself is, I need to hang on to the ball. I came in a little overexcited, overanxious and lost ball security trying to make big plays. Overall though, as a team, I think we did a good job running the ball for the first preseason game. But things can always get better. But like I said, I need to hold on to the football. I was just pressing and was a little nervous. That's what you get the first preseason game. I need to go back and correct that. But as a team I think we are doing well right now."

(On the play of rookies G/T Davin Joseph and T Jeremy Trueblood) "They are doing a good job. They looked liked they belonged out there. It's still hard to see. We'll have to go back and look at the film for the true answer, but they are here playing hard."

DE Simeon Rice

(On the defense) "I liked the fact that we came off of the field and didn't give up any [points]. I liked our rush, it really came on. I thought we played really fast, that always aides a defense. What we have to work on, is our coverage. It wasn't real sharp like it should be. I think it will all come together. I know we have the pieces in place. It's just the first time out, but I'm happy we didn't give up any points. That's really the main thing."

QB Chris Simms

(On being the starter in the preseason) "There is no doubting yourself anymore, like I've said. We played in some big games. We have come through in some big situations and now its just a matter of going out there and doing it again."

(On the play of QB Bruce Gradkowski) "This is four minutes into the first quarter and I'm about to go in for my first snap and I look over and he's throwing up on the sidelines. So I'd like you guys to rub that in a little. So I guess the old nerves got the best of him."

(On if his nerves have ever acted up before a game) "No, it hasn't happened to me. I've come close. I can remember my first practice my rookie year in Orlando. If I just swallowed the wrong way I probably would have thrown up. But I didn't. It was funny. [Gradkowski] had to take a knee and he was sitting there struggling for a few minutes. I was like, 'Dang, Bruce, you've got a while [until you go in] still. You can't get nervous yet.' I guess he wanted to get it out of the way."

(On the offense) "We came out and played with some intensity, of course we had some mistakes, but you expect that in the first preseason game but we did some things well, too. It is a good building block."

(On how he felt personally) "I felt good, it's good to get out here and finally play a game and get this season underway."

(On biggest difference from last year's preseason game and this year) "No jitters. I was just ready to play and ready to get it all started."

(On what the offense needs to work on) "We have a whole lot of things to work out, I can't even tell you what area. As a team we need to just keep being consistent and execute better."

WR Paris Warren

(On Bruce Gradkowski) "Bruce is a great quarterback. He came in and showed a lot of composure. He just played relaxed. [He] never really tried to force anything. He did what he had to do."

(On his touchdown catch) "We finally got them to play a little bit of man-to-man and I took advantage of it."

(On how last year's experience has helped) "Being here for one year, that really helps out. You know the system. You know a lot of the guys. You know certain plays and what you can and can't do."

(On if he felt like he had to make a statement) "For me, it isn't a competition for receivers. Then again, I am always picking at their brain, trying to get all of the knowledge that I can, and just do what I can to help the team."

(On if he felt good about the first half) "I always feel good, give credit to the offensive line."

DE Dewayne White

(What they need to work on) "You know it's the preseason, you don't really get the time to study a teams' tendencies, so you can't really come in with a game plan. Obviously, getting off on third downs, created some turnovers and a couple of missed opportunities also had a lot of turnovers so we have to work on that but for the most part I feel we did pretty good."

(On how he feels personally) "I felt good. The one long drive got me a little bit but that's part of it and that's where you suck it up and keep fighting."


Head Coach Eric Mangini

(Opening Statement) "A couple of things as far as housekeeping, we waived Bruce Thornton and claimed Jamar Martin. Jamar is a fullback and placed Sione Pouha on injured reserve. Before the game I talked to the players and said the important things were focus, communication and finish, that's what I was looking for: focus, communication and finish. I think we did a pretty good job in the first half of moving the football, but we couldn't finish the drives and they could finish the drives. That was the difference. Some of the problems they, all relate to communication. If you can't communicate there are going to be problems, if you communicate effectively, you're usually going to be okay. After the game I talked about the same points, and I think with the second half, that is just fundamental football. They blocked better than we did, they tackled better than we did, and if you don't block and tackle well, it really doesn't matter what plays you run because they are not going to be effective. I want them to go away, they are going to get some time tomorrow here, get some rest and come back and build on these mistakes and learn from these mistakes and make sure we commit and they commit to fixing them and getting them right. That was my message."

(On Chad Pennington's performance in the way he handled the huddle) "I thought Chad did a really nice job with handling the huddle, with moving the football, with his decisions. I thought he did a really good job."

(On Kellen Clemens performance at the end of the first half) "I was pleased with Kellen. We wanted to get into that two-minute situation and take a look at the mechanics of that and see how he would do with it and I thought overall he made some good decisions there and one or two that he and I would like back."

(On the last two plays of the first half) "I don't think it was confusion, it was just getting the two plays in that we wanted to and understanding that we wanted to call a timeout there and it is usually some discussion that usually happens at that point in the game."

QB Kellen Clemens

(On the game) "I thought overall there is still plenty of room for improvement. I thought it was a stepping stone for us. First chance to get out there and bang heads with someone who wasn't wearing green or white, [and] to get some different looks from the defense that we saw tonight. It's a stepping stone, there's plenty of room for improvement. Now we have got to into practice and make the necessary adjustments and improvements."

(On his drive for a field goal) "We were excited to get points out of the situation. Definitely would have liked a touchdown. But, we're excited to come out of there with a field goal. The guys around me did a great job of making plays. It was a good drive."

(On what he needed to work on) "Overall my tempo needs to be better. I was pushing the play clock a couple times. There is definitely some throws or some decisions that I would definitely like to have back. But it was my first opportunity to get into a live game, with some live bullets and I think the experience is going to be good for me."

G Pete Kendall

(On being without Curtis Martin and whether that makes him concerned about the running situation as a unit) "No. People above us as players will make that decision. And regardless of whatever decision they make, our job as an offensive line unit hasn't changed, blocking assignments haven't changed. If we're going to try and run this play, we're going to have to block these guys. It doesn't really matter who's behind them."

(On whether he felt any energy when QB Kellen Clemens came in for the two-minute drill) "Yeah. The group that was out there seemed to perform well. They seemed to establish momentum."

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