09-10-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I would just like to say I am very disappointed in the game. I apologize to our fans. Baltimore is a very good, physical team. That showed today. We never got anything going offensively. That's a credit to Baltimore as well. I don't have any injuries to update you with. Obviously, we held Shelton Quarles today. He is not ready to play."

(On what Baltimore did defensively that made it so hard for the Buccaneers to get going) "Well, they have a lot of talent to start with. They are a very physical defensive team. They're a complex scheme. They had a couple of passes I thought we could have caught earlier in the game, maybe given us some momentum. We just didn't make any plays and their blitz scheme got us a few times and put us behind in down-and-distance situations. We had a couple of tipped passes that really hurt us. One intercepted by a nose guard and run back to our two-yard line. A lot of penetration up the middle today and we weren't able to do a good enough job shutting that down. That is all I can say at this time."

(On whether the Ravens had good coverage on the Buccaneer receivers) "Well, they're not playing man-to-man. They are playing a lot of rushed zone. They are bringing big people up the middle; a big nose guard; two big linebackers and there's penetration and it's a zone defense. A very deep dropping zone with zone droppers underneath and soft, secondary over the top and if you don't have time to set your feet and let some of these routes develop, it doesn't matter what route you call. We just didn't do a good enough job overall in the game, giving our quarterback a chance to step up in the pocket and find some down the field throws."

(On how much of a factor it was missing guards) "Well, it never helps, let's be honest. It's [Sean] Mahan's first game at left guard. It's [Jeb] Terry's first game at right guard. You know, you're rained out a practice on Thursday. I am not making any excuses, but it's a tough defensive football team, that is very sophisticated and very talented. They have two players on defense that are player of the year, defensive player of the year, Ed Reed and certainly Ray Lewis. I am not going to point fingers at anybody but myself and say that I am very disappointed and I apologize again to our fans."

(On Simms' performance) "Well, obviously his statistics aren't going to show up very good in the newspaper. He did have some balls batted, that again, aren't all his fault, you know, there's people in his face. He did make a couple of decisions I think he regrets. One of them late in the game where he's trying desperately to make a play to put us back in the game, give us a chance. He had a ball early that was intercepted and run back for a touchdown, probably was one decision that he would want back, but he is competing. He is a young guy and I am going to stand by my man and hopefully, we play a lot better next week versus the Falcons."

CB Ronde Barber

(On the Ravens' opening drive) "It's one drive, you know, give them credit. They made some plays. We gave ourselves opportunities to get off and we didn't. We want to start fast but we just weren't able to. But we'll bounce back for next time. Seven-nothing down in a game is nothing to be concerned about. So, no big deal."

(On if people read too much into openers) "Probably there is. There's going to be 16 teams that lose today and tomorrow. You would like to get out fast, obviously. We talk about it all the time, start fast, getting off on a positive first step. And when you don't, it doesn't mean that it's the end of the season. If you're judged on a one-game season, we would be pretty down on ourselves after that. But we have 15 more, we know that. Go back to the drawing board on Tuesday and get back to work."

(On if the Ravens' opening drive set the tone for the rest of the game) "I don't think so. I mean it's a drive. One drive doesn't make a football game. And if it does, and if you're thinking that way, then why the heck do you have 60 minutes on the clock. That's the way I look at it. Yeah, they went down and scored. So what? Go back out and try again when you get your next opportunity."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On what to say to younger players after this type of opening game) "Really, you don't tell them to do anything. You have to show them actions. We have to come back in and pound that rock. Whether we are 1-0 or 0-1, we still have to come back to work on Wednesday and the only thing that matters is Atlanta."

(On Baltimore QB Steve McNair's performance) "Steve's a tremendous athlete, tremendous leader like I said. A veteran quarterback that didn't turn the ball over."

(On Baltimore's offense) "They made plays and we didn't, simple as that. You give them credit for sustaining a long drive early and protecting the football, and when you don't turn the ball over on the road, you have a good chance of winning. That's what they did."

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(On what he saw from the offense from the sideline) "There's plays out there that we can make. Maybe tonight we didn't. But, it's the way the game goes sometimes. We had a couple of fluke things. We had a ball tipped and then they pick it. That's just tough. Sometimes the ball gets tipped and just falls on the ground and, you know, that's a tough break there."

(On taking the big hit) "They were coming in there pretty fast and I knew I had to get rid of it quick, but I have to get rid of it even faster. You know they're coming for you, I should have worked the other side on that play. But that's something you have to learn, and know that this defense was coming after you today. It was a tough break for us."

(On the benefits of having a lot of playing time in the preseason) "It definitely made a difference. Getting all the reps I had during training camp and preseason, prepared me for in case something happened. And like I said, Chris [Simms] is the man out here. The game got out of hand and it was just a different look. It was nothing big. It just makes me look at how much faster I have to play and learn the system even more and just get after it each and every week."

DE Simeon Rice

(On today's game) "[Its] just one game, the last time we lost our opener, we won the whole thing, so for myself mentally, I know we have been here before. It's how strong willed you are, it's a long journey, we can't put too much on one game but you can take something away from it some positives, you have to take something you can build on. We definitely have to establish ourselves fast."

(On whether or not you feel you are behind the eight ball with the game coming up against Carolina) "No, if you think like that and live in that zone, what it is, we lost one game. We had an opportunity. Let me call Michael Vick and see if he feels sorry for us. Let me tell Rich McKay and tell him to take it easy because we lost one game."

QB Chris Simms

(On the game) "It stinks, plain and simple. They put it to us. Our defense gave us plenty of chances to get back in the game. I made mistakes. We got a little unlucky. Plain and simple, they just whipped our butts."

(On early formations by the Ravens' defense) "I don't think they did anything too tricky. They just played good, solid defense. They rushed three, dropped eight. We threw the ball in the flats, they made tackles. We just couldn't get anything going. They're a good defense. We'll look back at it and I will be able to tell you more tomorrow. The tipped passes, even a tackle caught it and ran it back 60 yards. That hurt. We were moving the ball well and even if we get a field goal in that series, at worst, I think it's a different game."

(On the Ravens' defensive pass coverage) "They did a good job of changing it up. They were smart. Ed Reed, [Chris] McAlister, Samari Rolle, did a good job of playing deep coverage and they had a pretty good mix all day long. They didn't always drop eight. They had their variety of blitzes, which we expected. We just didn't execute. There are really no other excuses."

(On his first interception) "I dropped back, I tripped a little over 'Cadillac,' he was picking up, it might have been Ray Lewis, whoever was coming up the middle. I just didn't throw it far enough. I tried to throw a safe ball, high and outside to where our guy catches it or nobody does. Against a great defense like this, with guys like Chris McAlister and Ed Reed, they're going to capitalize. He did, and went the other way for a touchdown."

(On who the intended receiver was on the first interception) "Doug Jolley was out there."

(On the two-tight end and one-receiver formation) "We thought it was a good game plan going in, it was the game plan. They did some things we didn't quite expect. They did a good job when Joey [Galloway] was the single receiver in there, keeping two guys over the top of him the whole time. And if it wasn't Ed Reed and Chris McAlister, it was McAlister and a linebacker out there making sure Joey didn't catch anything short. They game-planned us well and I still think we had our chances, it just didn't happen today. We get down to the four-yard line and we can't score a touchdown. Who knows then? It's 20-7, it's not the end of the world. Two touchdowns down in this league is nothing."

RB Carnell Williams

(On the game) "We just fell behind and things just fell apart."

(On what the Ravens' defense did that slowed down the Buccaneers' offense) "Like I said, we got down early and I think that got us out of rhythm. We wanted to come in and establish the run, but we fell behind. You have to tip your hat to them. They came out and played an excellent game today."

(On if the Baltimore defense was that good, or was the Buccaneers' offense flat) "I would have to say a little bit of both. They have a talented defense with [Chris] McAlister, [Ed] Reed, Samari Rolle and [Ray] Lewis. They have a real good defense, but for us to get shutout and for us to perform the way we did, it's definitely not acceptable. I really don't know what went on, but I'm looking forward to the morning to watch film."

(On the disappointment of losing) "As a professional athlete, I'm very disappointed. But like I said, we have 15 more games. Carolina lost today, so we are one game out of first place. So, we are looking forward to next week and taking it to Atlanta."

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Head Coach Brian Billick

(Opening statement) "On the road against a team of this caliber, to play the way the guys did, it is just all in the players. We had IV's pumping into every orifice of the body in there and the guys fought through all circumstances. I couldn't be prouder of this team."

(On whether or not a performance like today's shocks him) "A shutout in the NFL is always shocking. That is hard to do, under the circumstances, on the road. Somebody may have noticed we haven't been real good on the road the last couple of years. So to come down under those circumstances is pretty good."

(On how good it feels to break the losing streak on the road) "What streak? We got a 1-0 winning streak on the road, that's the streak I'm worried about."

(On the play of the defense) "[We] had a great plan, give the defensive coaches great credit. They had a great idea on how to balance this up, the players executed it beautifully, the way they were communicating, it was just a great win."

(On whether or not this sets a tone for the season) "[It] does for a day, I'm going to enjoy it for a couple [hours] and I'm going to worry about it tomorrow, pick it apart tomorrow."

LB Ray Lewis

(On the game) "All week, all week, and even in the preseason, we had mindset just to come out and play our type of football, and today we did."

(On the offense) "Our offense, we have to take our hats off to them. They came out the first drive and made life easy for us. Anytime you put seven points on any ball club, that is going to be hard because you are going to go away from your gameplan. Our offense put us in perfect position."

(On the game) "We knew the type of coach Jon Gruden is. We knew he was going to try to establish the run with 24 [Carnell Williams], 40 [Mike Alstott] and 32 [Michael Pittman]. Our thing was to get 11 men around the football. Bottom line is that we don't care who is guarding who. If your man missed, somebody else better get back. And that is Raven football. We are not claiming anything else. Next week, Monday, we will watch tape and start again."

WR Derrick Mason

(On QB Steve McNair) "I saw [his confidence] when he first came out and we were able to chew up almost 10 minutes on the first drive. You knew that Steve [McNair], that old Steve was there. The way he commanded the huddle, the way he methodically drove us down the field, handing the ball off to Jamal [Lewis], throwing it to Todd [Heap], throwing the ball to myself, we were able to get big chunks of yards. When we needed to score in the red zone, he handed the ball off to the big fella in the backfield. He made them pay."

(On whether the Ravens offense looks similar to previous years, though they have different players) "[In] a lot of ways it does. We were able to run the ball very effectively. The offensive line did a great job today. You have Todd [Heap] in the middle of the field, controlling the middle and then you have [Mark] Clayton and myself on the outside, so it looks very similar, as far as personnel wise, to what we had three or four years ago, when we were 13-3, 12-4, 11-5, stuff like that. I am just looking for this team just to build on what we did today, not be satisfied, to be able to go out next week and get better. Get better at what we are doing offensively, defensively and special teams."

QB Steve McNair

(On the opening drive) "It's important. It would have been disappointing if we would have gone nine minutes and not scored. It's important to us to finish drives when we work that hard. I was telling the guys in the huddle, we don't work this hard not to score six points. The guys [offense] did a magnificent job. Even in the run game and passing game we were able to mix things and keep the defense off balance, to where they didn't know where we were coming from."

(On his own performance) "I was very comfortable. It was a matter of going out there and taking what the defense would give us. They weren't going to give up big plays down the field because of the Cover Two they play."

(On the defense and the shutout) "It makes it a lot easier, but at the same time you can't expect the lead to stay that way. You have to keep going out there offensively and keep pounding and executing to give your defense time to rest. We stalled a couple of times in the second quarter and to begin the third, when we went three-and-out and just missed first downs by inches or a foot. I think we need to get better in that and we need to go out and not go three-and-out as many times as we did today. Overall, we played well. I think we played physical and fast, and the guys made plays. The offensive line did a great job of protecting me today."

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