Tampa Bay Buccaneers

08-31-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the game)

"I'm very proud of our football team and our coaches tonight they did a great job at the very end."

(on Bruce Gradkowski being the number two quarterback) "For a young guy to come in here and complete 75 percent of the passes in a preseason game, I do not care who he is playing against. His mobility, his creativity, and his understanding of what we are doing are very impressive. He has a great future ahead of himself. I want to learn about the two quarterbacks that we have that are healthy and I think we did and we'll make that determination as we move ahead."

(on David Boston's involvement) "He's real committed and serious on making a comeback and the conversations that we had before we got started I wanted to see if he was serious about making a comeback. When I'm talking about a comeback I'm talking about getting it all back. He's a fierce, reckless, and great football player I don't know if it's all back, but some of its back anyway it's good. I'm really proud of him."

(on starting defense) "If you're the head or I'm the head coach and you want Simeon Rice (DE) in the game you want (Anthony DT) McFarland, (Greg DE) Spires, and (Derrick LB) Brooks and these guys out there. They've made the team their on the football team and they need play and the need the work I'm telling that tonight when you go and talk to them. We need to see who's going to be backing them who's going to be the future here 10 years down the road. We have some tough decisions to make."

(on the guys having options to come to Houston) "We had a specific plan we realized it was a very short week and a long trip. We have these beautiful facilities and I wanted some of our veteran players to stay behind to train, lift, run, and get acclimated to the new facility."

WR David Boston

(On 40-yard 1st half reception) "The line did a good job of blocking and Tim [Rattay] threw me a great ball over the middle and I was able to make a run after the catch.

(On his ability to work the middle of the field) "Our coaches told us all week that some of the in-breaking routes would be open and we just did a good job of staying at home and we knew the middle of the field would be open. We were able to call plays where I was able to get open and it worked out."

(On his training camp) "It's been a long camp. I've just been trying to pick up the offense and learn every day. I've just taken it one day at a time and one week at a time and continue to get better."

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(On his development this pre-season) "We have some great guys around me like some veteran leaders like Tim Rattay and Chris Simms doing a great job that really help me. So, it is going really well and I am fortunate to be around this people and Coach Gruden and Coach Hackett and get to pick up this much stuff."

(on his ability to run out of the pocket) "A couple of times it just opened up. I was just reacting out there. They have to cover our guys and the middle just opens up. We have some guys out there making some great plays. We had some good drives. We were able to mix some things up and that is hard for defenses to stop."

(on playing this well) "I can not say that I wouldn't imagine it because I set high standards for myself. I just try to take one day at a time and not really look back at it. Maybe I will look back at the pre-season to see how I did. You just have to ready each and every day in this league. I just try to get better everyday."

RB Earnest Graham

(On tonight's performance) "I was kind of sluggish in the first half. In the second half, give credit to Bruce [Gradkowski], he came in and started to get some things going. He made some nice plays scrambling and we were able to get some scoring drives together. I wish I would have had a better first half, I fumbled the ball trying to stretch it out for a first down and I wish I could have that back."

QB Chris Simms

(on coming back to Texas) "It was definitely good to come back. I got to see some old friends. Right now, especially this year, it is more fun then ever to be a Longhorn than ever. We have a lot more bragging rights."

(on how his arm feels) "I felt really good, I really did. We had a 3rd and short but did not really make anything happen. We've had a strong preseason and a strong camp. Next week it will be for real and we'll have Cadillac [Carnell Williams] and Joey Galloway out there, Mike Clayton, so we'll be ready to go."

(on his thoughts on WR David Boston) "David Boston is a heck of a player. One of those rare guys in this league you can call a true freak and he is just physically gifted. He works extremely hard and he will do some great things for our team."

(On how different things will look in the regular season) "We are going to be a strong unit. I don't think we are going to do anything crazy but we are very capable of winning games in a lot of different ways. Whether it is the running game with [Mike] Alstott or Cadillac [Carnell Williams], we have got two great tight ends, we got a whole hoard of receivers, so we are definitely going to be something to reckon with."

HOUSTON TEXANS QUOTES

Head Coach Gary Kubiak

(on what's ahead in the next few days) "We have a lot of tough decisions to make. You have an idea of where you're headed and then you have to take into account everything that happened tonight. When you give young guys an opportunity to play, you give them confidence to play their hearts out. They're playing for jobs and a chance to play in the National Football League, and that's impressive."

(on the play of Antowain Smith and Chris Taylor) "I thought they both did some good things for us. Antowain is a veteran guy who pounds the ball and had a big run. Taylor I thought had exceptional speed, but he needs more vision and needs to grow as a runner. They're different types of players who are going to perform for us."

(on the play of quarterback Sage Rosenfels) "I expected him to play well. He practices that way, he knows what's going on and he's a great leader. He's very poised in what he does and I'm really not surprised. That's why we went and got him this off season. He's going to make our team better."

(on whether or not he'll keep three quarterbacks on the roster) "We'll make that decision in the next few days. It's possible. I've been around two for a long time, and I've been around three. I think a lot of it has to do with what you think about your third, whether or not he has a chance to eventually be a one or a two. Both of our guys tonight did some good stuff tonight."

(on the play of the wide receivers) "I liked some of the things Derrick Lewis did tonight. We have to make a tough decision on some young guys, they could be a practice squad decision or a fifth roster spot. We'll look hard at what's going on around the league and go from there."

(on the play of Steve McKinney) "He looked good tonight. He needed the action. He got better as the day went on. We've got three guys who I think are all starters, and we'll rotate those guys. We're going to do things to keep us competitive."

QB David Carr

(on the young running backs' role in pass protection) "Yeah, whoever it is will have to step up, but that's going to be the same with whoever you put back there. I'm confident that they can get in there and step up and make some plays. It's not going to be all on their shoulders just like it's not all on mine or the line's. We're all in this together."

(on his comfort level with the new offense) "I feel really comfortable. There's some things we've had to work through in the preseason, but it's nice to see it happen these last couple weeks instead of the couple weeks coming ahead, so we'll get those things worked out, and there were a couple of things that we had last week early on in the game. If we get those cleaned up, we'll be pretty salty on offense."

(on if he's ready for the regular season) "Yeah, I'm ready to go. I've been kind of waiting for this for a long time—to get a chance to go out there with an offensive scheme that I believe in and have faith in the guys that are out there with me. We're going to get some weapons out there and we're going to be exciting. We're ready to go."

RB Domanick Davis

(on how his knee feels) "It gets better, then it'll swell up for a couple more weeks. The only thing I need to do is let it heal up, let it get right and get back out there."

(on what is wrong with his knee) "It's the meniscus—the lateral meniscus—and I have a little bit of arthritis on my knee joint. It's kind of rough; it's a rough joint. I've had it since college, but I just need to let it heal up and I'll be just fine."

(on whether he'll need more surgery on the knee "No more surgery. I'm not cutting myself again. I'm going to just heal up and take it from there."

(on if he's prepared for the possibility of being placed on Injured Reserve) "I'm ready for whatever. Like I said, it is what it is. I can only worry about the things I can control, and that's making sure I get myself healthy—100 percent."

TE Bennie Joppru

(on his touchdown catch) "It was nice. I was just thinking, don't drop it the whole was there. It was a nice way to finish the preseason."

(on possibly dropping the ball) "When you are that open, and right when I came across I knew how open I was, it definitely goes through your head. It was a good feeling, but I will feel better when I am still here tomorrow."

(on being a long time coming for a touchdown catch) "It has been a while, but I tried to act like I've been there before and just flipped the ball to the referee. It felt good inside."

(on the roster cuts tomorrow) "Once the news happens tomorrow, I will be a happy person, as long as I'm still here."

(on what his gut feelings are about the roster cuts) "I don't have a clue. You have to expect the worst. That is all you can really do. You will always be happy then."

(On the past couple years coming down to tomorrow's cuts) "I worked my hardest. It is all that I could have done. I have no control over what happens now. I worked my butt off the last 3 years and whatever happens I won't be disappointed."

OL Steve McKinney

(on playing today) "It is always great to get out there and hit come different color jerseys. It was good, I was glad to get out there and feel comfortable that I can play through the injuries that I have and that I am going to be ok. If you go out there in the first regular season game without having tested it at all, you are definitely going to be wondering in the back of your mind if it's going to act up. Being able to play tonight and not having any problems was very positive."

DT Seth Payne

(on the team's preseason play) "It's just the preseason, but we haven't been able to put together four solid efforts in the last five years like we did this year, so it's encouraging."

(on the upcoming game against the Eagles) "The Eagles have been the winningest franchise in football over the last five years, so whatever we did in the preseason really doesn't mean anything. We have a huge, huge challenge this week."

(on the defense's improvement) "We're playing the run better than we have in the past. We're getting better pressure on the pass rush, but we're not getting the guy down as much as we'd like.

(on the team's depth) "We've never had depth like this before. I was looking around in the first quarter, and it was mostly backups, but every single one of those guys could be a starter in the NFL."

QB Sage Rosenfels

(on the second and third team players) "There are some real good players in that second group, and unfortunately some of them aren't going to make this football team. And, I tell you what, they can play in this league."

(on his preseason play) "I'm sort of a perfectionist, and I could definitely have played better. There's always plays in any game you wish you could have back. For the most part I did a good job of moving the ball and scoring points and executing the offense. And, preseason games are all about execution.

(on being the backup quarterback) "David Carr is the starting quarterback of this football team, and I'm his biggest supporter. I'm going to support his as much as I can and give him as much help as I can. If the team needs me, I'm going to go in there and do the best job I can to move the ball and help the team win."

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