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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

09-21-2008 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening Statement) Im really proud of our football team. That was a team win, and one of the great gut checks Ive ever been associated with. We beat a heck of a football team. We made a lot of offensive plays in the fourth quarter and I give credit to a lot of guys. Were very proud that we won. We were a little sluggish offensively early in the game. The Bears are tremendous on defense.

(On the character of the team) We have a lot of character. We have a chance. It doesnt guarantee you anything. We are a tight football team. We have a long way to go, but Im really proud of our players. A lot of players stepped up Antonio Bryant, Jerramy Stevens in his first game back, Brian Griese having three interceptions and down 10 points, to bring us back speaks volumes about the type of football player he is.

(On the last few drives of the game) We made some plays. We missed some throws and opportunities. We wanted to come in throwing the football today. We didnt expect to throw it 70 times, but you have to do what you have to do to win. We did miss a few opportunities. I cant say enough about our offensive line, backs, tight ends and pass protection today. To protect that many times against an opponent like the Bears in their place and in this noise is a great accomplishment. Although we didnt run the ball very well, I give them credit for winning.

(On being able to beat the Bears without much of a running game and one of the best receivers) We are missing players, but thats football. Were a pretty good football team. We won the division last year, and for good reason weve got some talent. Again, its a great victory and we have a lot of respect for Chicago.

TE Jerramy Stevens

(On his touchdown) It just feels great to have an impact on the game when you can get back in. So, I was just happy to be involved, and obviously a touchdown in huge . . . Hopefully, this can give us the momentum that we need to keep going in this season. So, Im just glad to be back on this team.

(On the momentum switch) Thats kind of the game of football. Momentum isnt quite as big a deal in the NFL as it is in college, but it is still a momentum game. Like this game, the season is kind of like that, so were hoping that the momentum we got from this win will kind of carry us through this season. It was an up-and-down game, but thats kind of what you have to deal with.

C Jeff Faine

(on how Brian Griese was on that last drive) Very composed. He has a lot of character. He believes in himself the whole way and believes in us to make plays. It actually felt good after all of the backward steps he took, hes still stepping forward and making plays.

(On the play of the offense) I think there is still room for improvement. I think we definitely put together a good game, but there is still room for improvement; there are still some plays we left out there, especially up front. So, hopefully, we just keep improving.

WR Michael Clayton

(on what QB Brian Griese was like at the end of regulation) Very calm. You know, hes always calm. The guy knows every check. He alerts the huddle what to be aware of. Hes just an awesome guy, man. Under pressure, nothing gets to him. He just did a great job today . . . Not even the three interceptions get to him. If you see his emotions, hes a calm guy and hes a positive guy. And, hes one of the reasons if not the reason why we won this football game. He put us in a great position to win. Coach (Jon) Gruden made some excellent calls down the stretch, and (Brian) Griese was able to execute them as well as the offense.

(on if the two-minute offense got him in rhythm) We were able to take advantage of their defense getting tired. By our rotations of keeping fresh legs in there, we were able to get a little rhythm. We still left a lot out there. To go out and get the win in this fashion is a great memory; it is great to play in games like this and be a part of it.

LB Barrett Ruud

(On his interception in the end zone) I usually have too many man coverage responsibilities, and usually that route is used as a decoy route, but once he turned and his eyes got big, I figured it was the real deal. It was one of those things, I tried to just play it to go up when he went up and try to put my hands between the ball. I was able to get it out of there; luckily, it kind of just bounced on my leg, and I was able to make the grab.

(On the momentum of the game) It was a roller coaster. We went from thinking that we were defeated to having the momentum off of one phenomenal drive. Credit our offense. They never gave up, and they battled the entire time.

QB Brian Griese

(On comeback victories) This ranks up there. This is a huge win for our team. I think we made it a little harder than it needed to be, myself included. But at the end of the day, it was an opportunity for all of us to show what we had inside. I feel really proud of all the guys in the room who didnt give up and each person gave everything they had to make it a win today.

(On preparing for having so many pass attempts in one game) I had no idea how many passes I threw until after the game. I know its not a recipe for success in the long run. But today, it was a necessity for the style of defense that the Bears have. In the NFL today, you have to be able to adapt and find ways to win, and thats what we did.

(On the process he went through playing today) You cant lose confidence, thats the main thing. You cant lose the ability to make plays. You cant be tentative and play quarterback in this league. The first interception was a tip, and that happens. The second two were my fault. You cant worry about the next play or interception, or else you wont be effective. Thats the attitude that I took. The guys made plays today, which was a big help. They gave me the opportunity to get them the ball by getting open.

(On what it was like playing in Chicago again) It was great. I have so much respect for those Chicago guys and the defense. I had lots of fun and I loved playing against them. They played really hard. Theyre a great defense, and they gave us everything we can handle today. I think theyre high character guys. I know there were some skirmishes, but thats part of the game. Each and every one is a friend of mine, and I have a lot of respect for them.

(On how he adapting to changes when things werent going well) We got into the 2-minute drill, and it was good tempo for us. We didnt get into the huddle, and the tempo helped us. We also did it a little in overtime. It tired out the Bears, kept them off-guard and limited their blitzes. At that point, we needed to get plays done. We knew going into the situation that either a touchdown or field goal would be helpful, because we needed both. I played conservatively on the third down towards the end of the game because I knew we had a field goal.

(On having zero sacks in the game) Its a credit to our offensive line. I try to pride myself on getting rid of the football because sacks kill drives, so Id rather throw the ball away. Our guys did a great job holding off the pressure on me all day long.


Head Coach Lovie Smith

(Opening Statement) Tough loss two weeks back-to-back. [We had] leads in the fourth quarter and werent able to handle it. A lot will be said about the last penalty there we cant have that, we cant get a penalty in that situation. We had a lot of opportunities in all three phases to win the football game. When youre at home and you get opportunities to score touchdowns first - we settled for a lot of field goals early. Whenever you get four turnovers or four takeaways you should be in decent shape with the game but they scored with their defense. Its just too many things we did wrong in the end. We had some guys that really stepped up. Brandon Lloyd had a great game to keep us in there. We were able to run the football at times. You have to give Tampa a lot of credit, they hung in there, kept fighting and in the end when the momentum shifted they were able to get the win.

(On his comments to the team at half time) It was a one touchdown game. We were getting the ball to start out with. Giving them that field goal at the end of course was big. We felt like we were in a position to make a run which we were able to do.

(On pressuring Brian Griese) They max protect some. To give a reason why, I dont really know right now. We blitzed at times, got a little bit of pressure. But if you let them throw that many times, guys normally guys will get tires after a while. You have to keep them off the field a little bit more. Whether thats converting third downs or [the] offense staying on the field a little bit longer, when you have that many snaps normally defensive lineman will tire a little bit

(On any advantage Brian Griese might have had being a former Bears QB) I dont know how much that really helped. Their guys made some plays at the end of the game. We had opportunities. If you let a team hang around that long, if you play like that in the end - weather its Brian Griese or some other quarterback - if you dont make plays like that in the end its going to be a long day.

(On Charles Tillmans penalty in overtime) I didnt see enough but the official did. In that situation, you have to come off the field. Were off the field. Its pretty simple, doesnt matter whats going on, everyone comes off, were getting the football. Its just something you cant do, its an elementary mistake, you cant do that.

(On the effect of a loss after leading most of the game) A loss is a loss but it does hurt a little when you have control of the football game. If you were never in the football game and you lose youve been miserable the entire football game, but that wasnt the case. We had control. In those situations you just have to have the killer instinct at the end to make a couple plays. Normally youre just one play from all things being OK.

CB Charles Tillman

(On the personal foul penalty in overtime) It was a costly mistake on my part. It shouldnt have happened. The saying is, They always see the second push. Obviously, it was a costly mistake. I shouldnt have put myself in that situation. I was just trying to swing him off me. I was trying to pull guys off my teammate, and one thing led to another. Ive got to be smarter than that.

(On the defenses inability to hold a fourth quarter lead) Its definitely frustrating when you have the lead and you cant sustain it. That part is definitely frustrating.

(On Brian Grieses play) Hes a good quarterback. He belongs in this league. Im not surprised at how he played. Hes a good quarterback, a veteran quarterback. Hes a smart guy. He knows how to find receivers.

CB Nathan Vasher

(On the loss) Were all disappointed right now. This definitely hurt us. This is one of the most physical games weve probably been in in a long time. It was long, it was hot, but this is the kind of atmosphere we want to be in. We want to try and make this a playoff atmosphere. We had a lot of opportunities to try and close it out and we didnt get it done.

WR Brandon Lloyd

(On the loss) It hurts. Again, we keep saying the same things, its not about what the other teams doing. Were putting it in the hands of the other team. This is the NFL, teams are going to take advantage of it. If you give them space to put their foot in the door, theyre going to kick it in. Thats exactly what happened to us today.

(On how long this loss can affect the team) Im taking it a game at a time. All this means to me is that were playing Philadelphia next week and were a 1-2 football team. Thats what it means to me.

(On how the offense played in the second half) There are two different philosophies in the NFL. One is run the ball to set up the pass and the other is pass the ball to set up the run. Everybody knows we want to run the ball and run it a lot. In the second half I think we switched that around. The passes were there. We were making the pass plays, getting big time yards on that and then we started hitting them with the running game.

QB Kyle Orton

(On closing out a game) The theme every week is to finish, that is how you win football games. We havent done it the past couple of weeks and we have to go back to practice to find a way to do it.

(On the offenses second-half adjustments) It just comes down to execution. We didnt execute in the first half and did in the second half. I made too many mistakes in the first half.

(On his connection with Brandon Lloyd) Brandon played well. He made some big plays for us when we really needed it. Im glad to see Brandon step up.

(On what plays he wishes the offense could have back) I dont want to point any one out. When this happens, you have to look at yourself I know I had two picks [interceptions] and a couple of pass plays I should have hit.

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