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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

09-08-2002 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

On quarterback Brad Johnson: "I thought he was super. I thought he hung in there in some difficult situations. He made some brilliant plays today that put us in a position to win."

On the penalties: "All those flags, those penalties, those plays may not show up on the stat sheet, but they were very costly."

On the team feeling pressure: "I don't think the pressure overwhelmed our team. I think it just came down to a few big plays today that they made and we didn't make."

On the game: "I'm disappointed. But I'm not going to be the one to let this fester for very long. We have a good football team and we're going to come back from this."

On the offense in the first half: "We didn't have the ball a lot in the first quarter. We have to make more out of our first drives. We didn't run the ball or pass the ball well in the first half."

On QB Aaron Brooks and the Saints offense: "We looked at him. We played some man-to-man and some zone coverages behind those places. The Saints have some scary people and (Deuce) McAllister is a dangerous man, as are those complementary receivers that they have. Aaron Brooks is very elusive, but we played very uncharacteristic on third downs. We didn't convert and didn't possess the ball in the first quarter. We picked it up in the second half, but it placed more pressure on us and that is something we obviously have to work on."

On the pass protection: "It was an issue. In that kind of a game, when we have a two-minute drill at the end of the first half and a couple of two-minute drills in the fourth quarter, we had no protection on the third down. In those kinds of situations, those are the vital aspects that you have to accomplish and in most times we were not as firm or stout as we should have been. That was a major issue and we have to do a better job."

FB Mike Alstott

On the Saints: "You have to give them a lot of credit. But we've got to play a lot better. It's a long road. We've got to go back to the drawing board and fix our problems. There are a lot of new guys on the o-line. As you know, the offense takes a while to gel. We will correct things and it will be better."

S John Lynch:

On the Saints: "We've got to look at the season and realize it's a marathon and we've got a long way to go. In the beginning, we let the run game go and we had a lot of sloppy tackling. They made more plays than us and they came out with the win. We didn't play our best game and now we have to make our corrections and come back."

CB Ronde Barber: "We had a chance to win it in OT, but it becomes a battle of field position and we lost it. To have a chance like that in OT and not win is difficult. It's only one game. We have Baltimore next week and we have to get ready for it. I'm not worried and I'm confident that we can come back strong."

WR Keenan McCardell:

On his third-down broken-play catch: "It was just being a pro and knowing what your team needs and what you've got to do. I broke off my route and made a play but I didn't make enough plays tonight."

On the loss to the Saints: "We had a lot of mental errors. We had a lot of chances at the end of the game. We had some very good opportunities, but we have to play better. It was one of those games. It just happens. Everybody realizes we can play better. We gave them the game with too many mistakes.

"We realize it's a division week. We realize we have a road game next week with a hostile crowd, but we have to get ready and be prepared for next week. This is a game that was in our grasp that we let go. It's a tough loss, but there a lot more games to be played."

DT Warren Sapp:

On the loss to the Saints: "We had to give ourselves a chance to win. We fought our way back and had a golden opportunity but we just didn't do it. We will learn from this."

WR Keyshawn Johnson:

On the improved offense in the second half: "We just calmed down and made up our minds to play a certain way. We needed to just relax and stop pressing. We just were able to calm down and play better in the second half. They did everything they were supposed to do and were the better team. We just didn't play our game. They played their game and they ended up winning."

WR Joe Jurevicius:

On the loss to the Saints: "The Saints played a good game. We did some things to shoot ourselves in the foot. You can't do that in a conference game, especially at home. We fought hard and we showed some character and showed what this Buccaneer team can do."

On his first game with the Buccaneers: "I want to be known as the X-factor with Keyshawn and Keenan. I want them to look at me and know that when they call my number I can come in and make some plays. I want to do what I can to help this team win and be successful."

More on the Saints game: "I'm very optimistic. Half of the NFL teams lost today, but we have to get ready for next week and be prepared to play well. We just have to so some things better to get on the winning side."

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