09-01-2005 - Post Game Quotes

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN

(On overall performance) "I am very happy, obviously, with a lot of the plays tonight, particularly early in the game, outside of the penalties. We had a couple of sluggish plays offensively with miscommunication, but we came out ready to play. I don't have any news with regards to injuries."

(On whether he feels the running game has improved) "Yes, I feel better about it. It doesn't guarantee us anything, but we have been committed to it. We like to be committed to it, but we need to get results."

(On the significance of fast starts on both the defense and offense) "It is big. We felt good coming in here tonight. We had two third-down plays where Mike Clayton and Brian Griese weren't on the same page, which hurt us, disappointed us, but our defense started extremely fast. They were dominant early.

(On this game being a momentum builder) "It really is. You feel a little better tonight. You feel, obviously, not as good last week and the week before. Preseason is what it is; spring training, an opportunity to evaluate certain phases of your scheme and certain players within your scheme and try to keep the right guys. I will say this about the game tonight, it really puts a lot of things in perspective. We are just lucky to have a chance to play the game, given the hurricane and what is going on in this country. Who really cares about football at a time like this? It was a great way to end the preseason. We are just pulling for everyone who has been hit as hard as they have been."

(On the kicker position) "We have two NFL kickers here. We have two guys who can kick the ball. They have proven that. I realize it is the preseason, but I have never been around two guys who have had more head games played with them - my wife maybe, but not these guys. We have tried everything we can to try to confuse them, to keep them off balance, to put pressure on them, but every day they have come out there and responded, but unfortunately we can't keep them both. Somebody is going to get a guy that we don't keep that is going to be a heck of a kicker."

CB RONDE BARBER

(On offensive production) "If you look at the way they moved the ball today, I think you can be encouraged. Both offenses, first and second, had control of what they were doing. It's something we can take as a positive going into next week."

LB RYAN NECE

(On what the Bucs need to do to accomplish their goals against Minnesota) "We have to play our game. We need to do our job and take care of our business. We haven't had a lot of time to look at them, but we know that they will have a re-vamped offense to prove to themselves that they can win games without Randy Moss. We have to combat that with our defense."

(On how it felt to win tonight) "It felt great. Our defense ran simple, but effective formations. We were able to be in the right positions to make plays. It is fun to be out there with that type of atmosphere."

S JERMAINE PHILLIPS

(On how ready he is for the season) "I am ready for the season to get under way. Everybody is hungry and ready to get back to where we were in 2002."

(On the offensive momentum and good defense) "It is a team game. You need both to win. We do our part and we were very successful tonight."

(On having a good game before going into the regular season) "We gained momentum today and I think it will carry over into the regular season. It will give us something to look forward to."

(On next week) "We're going to be prepared, we're excited. We're ready for the (regular) season to get underway. Everybody is hungry; everybody is ready to get back to where we were in 2002."

(On offensive and defensive production) "It's a team game; you need both to win. We gained a little momentum today. We're playing well."

QB CHRIS SIMMS

(On the team's performance) "It was real good. From the offensive line to the skill positions, everybody looked good tonight. It was a good end to the preseason, and a good place to start going into the regular season."

(On the win giving the team a good attitude going into Minnesota) "Definitely. Going to Minnesota, to come off a win like this, it gets everybody into a positive frame of mind. Now we can just kind of block this out of our mind and focus on the Vikings."

(On what was different for him tonight from the previous three games) "Not a whole lot. Just having some opportunities to make some plays and capitalizing on them. Last week I thought we made some plays offensively, and really, we have all preseason. Tonight we took advantage of just about each and every one of them, and that's what a good team has to do."

(On if he saw the field differently tonight than the other games) "I'm not going to say I was seeing it better. We just got some chances to do some things down the field, and receivers made some great plays for me. J.R. Russell, on just a little hitch route, breaking a tackle and going 25 yards, and Paris Warren's touchdown catch. It was just a good way to end the preseason tonight."

(On some difficult roster cuts at wide receiver) "Very tough. It's the best group of receivers we've had here since I've been here, I can say that. I don't know what to tell you. DeAndrew Rubin is a great player, J.R. Russell is a great player and Larry Brackins has a lot of talent. And, you guys saw Paris Warren tonight, too. Those are all guys that can play in this league. The coaches, I'm glad I'm not them this weekend."

(On how the preseason went overall for the Bucs) "I thought it was a pretty strong preseason for us. We got what we wanted to accomplish. No major injuries. The one thing I can say that I was proudest about our preseason was the offensive line. I thought they had a great preseason. From really the start of camp until now, they had a really impressive preseason and impressive practices in the running game and the passing game, both."

(On him playing two good football games back-to-back) "I had two good games in a row. But, I'm not going to say that I didn't have really four good games in a row, either. I know I wasn't quite as sharp as I could've been those first two games, but I didn't play bad by any means either. So, I'm not going to say that. But, these last two, definitely, I was pretty strong."

(On what this type of performance does for him in terms of confidence) "It calms you down, that's probably the best way to describe it. Knowing that you got out there and you made a few big throws. And, if you do get your number called here in the regular season you know you did it, and you know you can just go out and play."

GREG SPIRES

(On what went well tonight) "We did a really good job of stopping the run; jumping on them early and getting third-and-outs. We have to carry this attitude to Minnesota."

C JOHN WADE

(On his rehabbed knee) "It is feeling great, happy to be back on the field. The knee feels wonderful. I am just happy to get back out here with my teammates and really happy with the win tonight."

(On what goes through his mind the first few preseason games after a knee injury) "At training camp and the first time going live, I can't say it wasn't going through my mind, but my knee has done nothing to make me think about it. I have just been really lucky. Surgery went well and the trainers did a good job of rehabbing me. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones."

(On the offensive line) "Coming together with the new guys in May, going over the offense and communicating, communication has been the big thing, as long as everybody knows what to do. Most people can play football, but when you understand what you're doing, you're going to be successful. So, I think it's great to see everyone coming around."

**

HOUSTON TEXANS

HEAD COACH DOM CAPERS

(On the game as a whole) "I am disappointed with our execution tonight, especially in the first half. This is the second week in a row that we have turned the ball over. We had too many penalties on special teams and on offense, but now preseason is over and we have four practices ahead before we go to Buffalo. We have lots of work to do. I definitely do not feel good about the way we played."

(On QB David Carr) "David hasn't played well. We need to be on the top of our game before we go to Buffalo. David knows we have work to do and I am convinced we will watch tapes, go back to work and get things squared away."

(On his concern about penalties) "I am concerned. I know we can take care of it, but I would feel a lot better if we had done that tonight. It is hard to be confident when you don't see that out on the field. I need to see a prepared team with higher standards than I saw tonight."

(On whether there was a lack of competitiveness tonight) "I don't think so. In the second half, I challenged the guys to fight since we had such a bad first half. They fought until the last play on the goal line. Our execution just wasn't very good. I am confident that it can be turned around."

QB DAVE RAGONE

(On what he accomplished tonight) "I just went out there and tried to make plays. In the first half we didn't make as many plays as we had liked, and in the second half coach (Dom Capers) challenged us to come out here and do something, and knowing that preseason is my real time to play, I kind of try to make the most of it and get the ball down field a little more because that's what I feel I do best, throwing down the field."

(Going into the regular season) "Preseason is tricky because I feel that too many people give too much credit. Your trying different substitutions in there and it's one of those things where the starters never play the full game. There are up adjustments made and you go off of what you do in practice, and I feel that I practiced really well."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising