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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

09-19-2004 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the game) "I'm very proud. They competed very hard today. I'm very disappointed, obviously, in the outcome. Offensively, right now, we can't find our identity. We made a quarterback change today to give our football team a lift. I thought Chris did some good things in the game. I don't have any injuries to report. I'll just say I am very proud of these guys. They played their butts off today and lost to a good football team. It's unfortunate."

(On whether Brad Johnson will return as the starter) "We're going to address that when the time is appropriate. We'll sleep on that tonight and we'll see exactly where we are headed. We love Brad Johnson. Chris Simms is an up-and-coming prospect. We'll wrestle with that decision and do what gives our team a chance."

(On whether the QB switch was decided before or during the game) "We had no intention of making a switch. We are looking for a spark. We felt Chris could come in and give us a different perspective. I thought he did. I thought he had a couple nice drives, but no, it was not premeditated."

(On why Chris was put in backup position) "Both Brian (Griese) and Chris are guys we like. Given the first game was at Washington, we knew we were preparing for a lot of different looks. We went with Brian because of his experience and the fact that he is a right hander does help us a little bit with the offensive line. A lot of the play-action passes are difficult to cover against a lot of looks both ways, for a right-hander and left-hander. We still like Brian Griese. We like Chris Simms. We just have to find some way to get it going offensively."

(On the next game quarterback) "I won't say anymore about the QB situation other than we'll take a good look at it. We'll do what we feel is right for our football team."

(On developing an offensive identity) "Obviously, right now, we are not running the ball with consistently. We're not doing anything with any kind of consistency. Running, throwing, converting third downs. A lot of it has to do with two pretty good football teams we've seen. We had a lot of mystery in terms of our lineup, which has not made it easy. We'll try to solidify that this week."

(On whether Mike Alstott will be more involved) "We'd like to get a lot of guys more involved, quite honestly. Mike is one of those guys, certainly. We need big plays. We need a big play. A 20-yard play. We need a big play somewhere along the way. We will look at it and see what we can do."

CB Ronde Barber

(On the defense's performance) "We have a lot of good players on defense that have been around along time that know this scheme. (The) West coast Offense came in here and tried to run us out, but that's what this defense is catered to stop."

(On giving up big plays in consecutive weeks) "At this point, two games into the season we've given up two big plays, and lost on those two plays, we're obviously not doing our job as good as we need to."

(On Brad Johnson being pulled) "It's a coach's decision, he felt like we had to do something to move the ball."

(On Simms providing a spark) "He brings a lot of energy, youth does that sometimes, but it also brings a lot of mistakes into the equation."

(On how Chris Simms did today) "I give him a lot of credit. It was a tough situation. (The) offense hadn't done much in two weeks. (It was) a lot of weight to put on one guy's shoulders, but Chris responded. He is a winner, he likes to compete. Once he gets the opportunity again, he'll be fine."

WR Michael Clayton

(On the game) "We have to finalize our big plays. Sometimes our confidence in this offense gets lost, but we have the guys to step up and make these plays. We just need to come together more and make these plays."

(On being the Buccaneers leading receiver this season) "At the end of the night it's all about the score on the board. I could have no catches and I would be more happy than I am right now with a victory."

(On the inconsistency of the offense) "I can't answer that. It's hard to tell right now. We have to go back and watch the film and see where we made our mistakes. It's obvious we haven't gelled yet, the way we want to, and basically we just have to go back and practice harder."

(On Chris Simms) "I think he did a hell of a job. It was his first game coming in and played well under the pressure of trying to come in at home knowing what we've preached about on not losing at home. I think he handled it very well."

(On keeping Chris Simms in the game) "It was a situation that we felt he could bring the momentum going into bringing us a victory and he did that with no hesitation. It wasn't a knock on Brad Johnson and he knows that."

LB Shelton Quarles

(On containing Seahawks' RB Shaun Alexander) "We can play defense pretty well, and I think last week we just let one run break out on us. And other than that, we held him in check. So going into the game, we knew we were playing against a good running back, and it's just a product of our defense playing well, containing him."

DE Simeon Rice

(On what's next) "We're together, but reality bites right now. We're just going to keep pounding away defensively and play together as a team. Hopefully, this thing will get turned around."

(On how he feels about the defense) "We're coming along, but we're still not hitting on all cylinders. We could still do things better. I could still do things better. Once we kick it on offense, we'll see some good things and exercise those demons, but we can't go week-to-week without scoring touchdowns. The premise of the game is touchdowns."

(On what he thinks of the QB change) "I like energy. Whatever works for us, let's ride with it. I'm all for scoring points and doing big things."

QB Chris Simms

(On moving up to second QB) "I knew to be ready. I know that we didn't play great last week, so I just knew being the second-string quarterback; they're always telling you to be ready. Anything could happen and I just wanted to approach it like I was going to play."

(On what Gruden said when he called Simms' number) "They just told me, 'Let's go, you're ready, it's all up to you.' I just warmed up and of course, was very excited. I wish I had better results."

(On first drive jitters) "I wasn't really nervous; I was probably a little more excited than anything, and just ready to go."

(On pumping up the crowd) "I just wanted to give some life to the game and try to get the fans into it."

(On starting next week) "That's not my decision. That's coach's decision. I'm just going to go back to work this week and practice hard. Coach has a lot more experience in this game than I do, like I have been telling you all along, so I trust him."

(On whether he knew he was number two in line) "They let us know early in the week that I was going to be the number two guy, so I was aware of it. They tell the number two QB every week to be ready. It wasn't anything special. I just wanted to prepare like I was going to play, and I guess the coaches weren't happy with the way the game was unfolding and they told me to get ready and I was ready to go."

(On what Brad said) "Brad is always very encouraging. He told me to go in there and be calm. Brad has always been a great help to me. He and Brian Griese have really talked to me a lot. They keep me calm on the sideline, and have given me a lot of helpful pointers."

DE Greg Spires

(On holding a good offense to only 10 points, but giving up another big play) "I think the defense as a whole did a good job keeping them off the board. They have a good offense and they have weapons over there. Sometimes it happens, and one play can hurt you."

(On the defense performing better than at the end of last year) "We're back. The defense is back. We just can't worry about what's going on, on offense, and just keep pounding. We have to believe they're going to come around."

(On the defensive performance) "Playing Washington last week, we knew coming in they were going to max protect, but this team didn't do that, that much. And we got opportunities to get one-on-one rushes."


Head Coach Mike Holmgren

(On today's win) "We beat a fine football team. It was a heck of a game. Both defenses played their hearts out. Young Chris Simms came in and scared me to death. It was just a great game. I wasn't too pleased on how we played offensively, but I'll take that on my shoulders. I didn't help them out enough today and I didn't help my offensive line. But we are 2-0. This is a tough place to play. I feel great about the win. I just wish we executed better on offensive. We didn't pass protect very well. I've been better then I was today, and I'll be better next week."

(On the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense) "Derrick Brooks, I have great respect for him and we had a couple of screens that Matt mis-fired on the ball. But most of the time he creates problems. He has played against a lot, played against the offense a lot. They did a nice job defensively, give them credit. Thank goodness our defense played a really fine football game. It was one of those and you are going to have games like those. I'm just tickled that we one."

(On having Grant Wistrom on the team) "He is a great football player and we got him for games like this. He brings a lot of energy. I'm glad he's on my team. He wasn't involved in training camp too much. He was a little rusty last week and now he's probably feeling good. Now he can just cut it lose. He has great energy and plays the game the way it should be played."

(On the last defense drive) "Gosh, that's hard. I'm yelling at the officials but really if I were Jon on the other side of the field, I am liking the calls. The rules are the rules. We have to be smart in those situations. No one was trying to do it on purpose, they were just trying to get to the quarterback and stuff happens. But that's too many in one drive for me. Fortunately, we made the interception."

(On the calls) "On the first one, he hit his facemask and that's what he called. The second one, I didn't even see. I saw the interception. I thought maybe we blocked after but it was roughing."

(On how he felt about the calls) "I look at the glass half-full. I have to stay positive on the sidelines for the players. It did get a little intense there."

(On Shaun Alexander) "He made a good effort to play today. He didn't have any practices really all week. I think he's going to play better next week. His leg is feeling better, now he's all good. We came out of the game really healthy."

(On Coach Jon Gruden) "I love Jon Gruden, I really do. I have said it a million times. I will be out of football and he's going to be coaching a lot longer. He helped me every bit as much as I helped him. He has done a great job and he is an excellent football coach. Except when we are playing one other, I cheer for those guys."

QB Matt Hasselbeck

(On Mike Holmgren taking responsibility for the lack of offense) "I think every game, no matter what the outcome, each person has to look at themselves and say what they could have done differently to help during the game. He might be doing that, but we as players have to do that individually."

(On the source of frustrations during the game) "They're a really good defense. They're fast, they're very well coached, and sometimes you have to be open. When the windows are closed, it causes you to be a little inaccurate. That happened to me today. They're just really well coached."

(On Tampa making it harder for their offense) "It wasn't necessarily reining in. I think we were just trying to get our protection down. They had some really creative and good schemes, but I thought we had answers for them. We just need to do a better job of executing."

(On Shaun Alexander coming back to play) "I think this is obviously a statement. The guys who have been hurt, who have just sucked it up to play. Last week, it was Shaun Alexander who was banged up and he sucked it up and played. He played really well. This week it was Shaun Alexander, Terreal Bierria, and Rashad Moore. Your teammates notice stuff like that. You really respect a guy that came to the training room all week. He was hurt and not able to practice and comes down and gives it everything he's got on Sunday. You admire that kind of toughness and courage."

WR Darrell Jackson

(On returning to Florida to play Tampa) "It was good. I grew up watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I see a lot of them in the offseason, so it was pretty good."

(On the offense) "We did what we had to do to win the game. We did enough by moving the ball up the field and getting enough points to win the game."

(On not compiling many points in the win) "Every time we come on the field we expect to score more than that, but every time you come on the field you're not going to score a lot of points. Sometimes these games come down to that, so that is the way it was. We are just lucky that we came out here and played great team defense, great team offense, great team special teams and get out of here with a victory."

(On Seattle P Tom Rouen and his performance in the game) "A lot of people don't know how important special teams is to a game. They will either make you win or lose. It's not like offense or defense, but it is an important part of the game. Tom Rouen is a veteran, has been in these situations before, and punted great for us. He got the job done and we were happy with that."

(On WR Alex Bannister's contribution on special teams) "Alex Bannister is a Pro Bowler and that is what Pro Bowlers do, they make plays like that. That is why he is the best in the league right now. He makes plays like that. Everyday he comes out and makes plays and so we come to expect that from him. We even expect more from him because he is Superman."

T Walter Jones

(On whether Seattle had an off day or Tampa's defense is that good) "That is a great defense. To come out with a win is great, but you have to give credit where credit is due. They gave us 10 points and didn't give us anything after that. The defense held up.

(On watching the last drive on the sidelines) "It was crazy, but you can look at it and say it was all on us (the offense). We didn't get the job done in the end. If we had gotten that first down, it probably would have ended the game. We didn't and we put it on the defense and they came through."

DE Grant Wistrom

(On the last call) "I really believe they could not turn over that call. There was not enough conclusive evidence on the field. The ruling on the field would stand."

(On the game and his personal performance) "I am more pleased with the win then my personal performance. If I play well and we win, great."

(On Chris Simms) "He did a really good job. He just needs more experience. He had trouble at times reading our blitzes. He held onto the ball a little too long. Young players make mistakes. With time he is going to be a pretty good quarterback."

(On the Buccaneers offensive line) "They have a solid offensive line. They did a good job picking up some of our blitzes that we had success with last week."

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