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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

09-28-2008 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening Statement) I would just like to thank the Buccaneer fans for hanging in there with us. We won a very important game today against a very good team. I am really proud of our football team. Two weeks in a row we have shown a lot of grit coming from behind in the fourth quarter against a very good team. There are plenty of things that we can talk about and clean up, but at the end of the day, to beat the Green Bay Packers at home is a huge win for our football team. I cant say enough about Matt Bryant; what he has been though and what he did today. I think we all need to sit back and put ourselves in his shoes and recognize what a great performance he did under the circumstances.

(On what he said to Matt Bryant) We gave him the game ball. There is not a lot to say. It has been a very, very difficult week for our team, and obviously for Matt. All I can say is God bless him and were praying for him. Everybody out there, I appreciate your support. It has been unbelievable.

(On if Matt Bryant said anything prior to the game) No. He is a man of very few words. He always has been, and always will be. This was very important for him to play. I think he needed the game today; he needed football today. Boy, did he deliver for us.

(On the play of the Defense today) We needed everybody, lets be honest. This was a strange game. They take the opening kickoff, moved the ball; it appeared to be easily for a score. Our defense played tremendously after that. Then, we had them in a 3rd down and 17 and they get a touchdown out of that. We give away the ball and its an unbelievable turn of events. Third and 18 for a touchdown Green Bay, interception, interception down in the red zone; another interception. Woodson, I have always liked Woodson until today. Charles, I do not like you today, man. That was a big play. But again, we are down 21-20 and we ran the ball effectively. I really have to tip my hat to our team. Our defense, as you say, really did a great job down the stretch.

(On the play of Brian Griese) Green Bay is good. Anybody who tries to throw the ball against Green Bay is going to struggle. I thought the first interception at the start of the second half, we had a great drive. We took the opening kickoff, moved it right down the field. It was a tight play, ball was tipped and intercepted. Not a lot I can say about that. I thought the ball was thrown fairly accurately. The second one, Nick Collins makes an unbelievable play. We got an open receiver, a tight end on a corner route. I dont think Brian Griese in his career has seen a middle safety break like Collins did in that particular situation. I am not making any excuses.

(On the play of Derrick Brooks) Unbelievable. We had a long discussion this week with Derrick and knew he has been nursing and working through a tough injury. What he played like today was the Derrick Brooks that everybody recognizes. He made plays sideline to sideline; caused a couple turnovers, in my opinion. There is a lot of strength left in Derrick Brooks, and we need him in the final 12 weeks.

(On the play of Earnest Graham) I hope somebody recognizes-maybe one of these fancy cable channels- we got one hell of a back here. I know they have all these other backs they have to cover, but this guy has had 100 yards in almost every game he has played here, period. Somebody will step up to the plate recognize he is a big-time back. He makes some explosive runs. He had a 60-yard run, a 50-yard run and a 47-yarder today. I just hope Earnest Graham gets the respect he deserves. I think he is very, very overshadowed in the world of backs.

DE Gaines Adams

(On back-to-back weeks with interceptions) Youve got to give that to the pressure that we had up front. I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time again. The three down linemen got pressure, hit the quarterback, and fortunately, like I said, I was in the right place at the right time.

(On the defense forcing turnovers lately) Its just staying focused, thats the main thing. Weve got a tough schedule and weve got some great teams coming in here. Green Bay, we knew they were going to give us a hard time, but we just had to stay focused and make key plays at the right time.

(On Aaron Rodgers being rattled) In the heat of the game you dont really think about that, you just try to get to the quarterback. But like I said, we had good pressure all game. Weve just got to stay focused and get better.

(On if being 3-1 feels good) Most definitely. Weve just got to stay focused and get better.

LB Derrick Brooks

(On how he played) I just thank God I was in the position to make some great plays today. Our defense as a whole playing a better second half than we have in the previous weeks was a real big emphasis. We knew we needed a complete game to beat the Green Bay Packers today because they are explosive on offense.

(On the progress of the younger guys on defense) We dont look at guys as being old or young, when youre in the game, youre in the game. Youre expected to play well no matter who you are, being myself or Aqib. It doesnt matter because that is just the standard. When you are in there you are expected to do a job. Today it was a complete effort on defense.

(On his big plays) I just try to be as humble as I can. Im just thankful to be in the position to make the play. Ive probably felt the best Ive felt in weeks, with the hamstring. Today I felt as close to one hundred percent as possible. Thank God it showed with me be being able to make some plays. Anytime time the defense scores, we have a goal we are trying to get to and again another score today. So hopefully we can keep it going.

K Matt Bryant

(On if considered not playing) Did it cross my mind? Yes. I wanted to go out and honor Trysons name. I didnt think that it was very fair that his life was so short. This is the best way I believed I could get out and honor him. I miss him and I wish he was here. He was here and he helped out.

(On the gesture he made after making field goals) Today is his day. It was all about him for me. I talked with him personally, in my head throughout the game. I just wanted to remind him that he is my baby boy and that he is with me at all times.

(On the support from fans) It was greatly appreciated, and thats another thing. I need to thank the Glazers, they helped out tremendously with my transition from here back to Texas and back here for the game. All the fans, we got a ton of letters, e-mails. Some players wives went down and helped, Doug Gilcrease our team chaplain, Josh Bidwell, Joshs wife, Bethany. I am probably going to forget people, Coach Gruden. Anybody that has anything to do with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, fans, they all helped out tremendously, just being there for me and my wife and my family. They made it as easy as it could be to get through this.

RB Earnest Graham

(On being 3-1) To end the first quarter, what you call the first four games, 3-1 is a big deal. We have some wins against some division teams and some very good teams in our conference. It was a big deal for us.

(On grinding out a win) It wasnt pretty. The defense played fantastic. They got some turnovers off of Green Bay, and they got them for the second week in a row. We just had to make some plays to get away with a W and we did that, so you have to be happy with that in this league.

(On his long run to seal the game) I was just trying to be patient. Those are really the best times to break long runs, when you are in that situation because they need to stop man and the offensive line did their job, gave me a cutback lane and just got off to the races. I wish I would have finished it but we ended up sticking it in the next play. We have to be happy as an offense with that last drive.

QB Brian Griese

(On K Matt Bryant) Thats really the story of the day. I am really happy for him. Im not too philosophical, but having a two-year old daughter myself, I just dont know how you progress through something like that. I guess everybody is different and I think it may have been therapeutic today for Matt, Im not sure. I couldnt be happier for a guy that has meant so much to our team. I just think its a big day for him and a big day for us.

(On his interceptions) Charles [Woodson] made a good play. I threw the ball and thought I had a completion, but Charles made a great play on it and I give him credit. The other ball I tried to get to Jerramy Stevens and it was just not good recognition by me. I was not expecting Nick Collins to be in that position based on the defense I saw, he made a good play on it. I cant make those mistakes and I have to eliminate those things for us to continue to win. Thankfully, we were able to win the past two weeks, but I have to fix that.

(On winning despite having seven turnovers the past two weeks) It says we have a good football team. I just want to find out how good we are if we dont turn the ball over. Thats what I want to find out.

(On the defense) They have gotten turnovers as well. I think thats the key to us winning the past two weeks. They are playing great football. They are pressing the issue and forcing offenses to turn the football over and its really made a huge difference.

S Jermaine Phillips

(On his fumble recovery for a TD) It was good. We were in a zone coverage, and we were talking about hustling and hitting all day. Just keep hitting and good things are going to happen. I think it was [Derrick] Brooks who caused the fumble and I was just coming up there just to cap off, like were taught to do, like Monte Kiffin preaches, and I saw the ball on the ground and I scooped and scored. Thats something that weve been harping on in practice is when we get a fumble or an interception to take it the distance. We practice scoring, and then it happened in a game.

(On causing turnovers in bunches the last three weeks) They do come in bunches. Right now its just our mentality its the way that we practice. They say that youll play the way that you practice, and we practice on getting turnovers every day. Thats what we talk about scoring and getting the ball back.

(On three consecutive wins) Its still early. We got out of this first quarter at 3-1. Wed love to be 4-0, but were 3-1, were in first place, and were just going to try to keep it rolling and keep the momentum where it is.

LB Barrett Ruud

(On if there were any defensive changes when Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn came in at quarterback) No, he was only in there for a series and Rodgers tried to come back out, then they put him (Flynn) back in. We knew they were going to try to run the ball a little bit because they had an eight point lead when he came in. So it didnt change much.

(On overall performances of the defense) It was good. We got a lot of our goals accomplished. I think we got four of five turnovers and we scored. Thats the biggest thing. So we accomplished a couple of our goals. We gave up a couple of big plays and thats really all we gave them. We just have to look at about two plays. Other than that, it was pretty good overall.

(On his interceptions) This one was more of the result of everybody else. I was back there playing in deep in cover two and thats usually a spot you dont make a lot of picks in. So credit the defensive line and Ronde (Barber) for blanketing his guy and he made a little bit of a bad throw and I was there.


Head Coach Mike McCarthy

(Opening Statement on injuries) Ill start with injuries here. Will Blackmon had a quad, he did return. Jason Hunter had a hamstring injury, did not return. Aaron Rodgers had a shoulder bruise. Were looking at him right now, dont know the extent of that. (Cullen) Jenkins had a shoulder, he did not return. Aaron Rouse had a knee, he did not return and Nick Collins reinjured his lower back, he did not return.

(On A.J. Hawk leaving the game) I dont have anything on Hawk.

(On Aaron Rodgers return next week) I have no idea. Its too early to tell. Maybe he was able to go back in and play the one series. I think tomorrow morning, like a lot of cases, will have a lot to do. Pat McKenzie really hasnt had the chance to put him through a thorough examination.

(On holding Aaron Rodgers for the one series) I think they were still checking him out and it was clearly a medical decision to hold him that one series and then it was ok to go back in. Then they felt it wasnt ok for him to go back out after the interception.

(On their struggles) I couldnt tell you specifically an exact breakdown. Ill just go through. Offensively, we were poor today, didnt run the ball very well. I thought they got after us upfront, the running back and the run blocking unit is not in sync. We need to get that corrected, thats two weeks in a row. We need to do a better job there. Pass protection, as a whole, the down and distance, particularly in the second quarter, we were playing up hill with the field position and the penalties. We just made a number of the same mistakes that weve made the first three weeks. Thats four weeks now where we have penalties, turnovers. Its very difficult to win a football game like that. Youre playing a good football team, theyre a good defense and a tough environment. I just felt offensively we clearly didnt do enough to win the game. Not that our defense played outstanding. Time and time again they gave us a number of opportunities to win this football game and we didnt take advantage of it.

(On their tackling) I thought the tackling was something we probably could have done a better job of in space. As it looked on the field, I mean on the film well ultimately tell, but the gap control looked like it was better than it was a week ago. But, I thought we could have done a better job in spots as far as our tackling.

(On play calling) Im confident that we have plenty of ammunition for our play selection as far as things we felt comfortable with, and as far as what Matt Flynn and Paul Cummings, the quarterback coach, felt comfortable with. We had opportunities to win the game, and excellent field position there at the end. Its disappointing that, once again, our defense gave us the opportunities on offense and we didnt take advantage of it.

(On their mistakes) Were making the same mistakes which really bothers me. You know mistakes are going to happen. Im not nave to that. The fundamentals of football or the things you practice every single day and when they dont show up on Sunday, I definitely have a problem. That starts with me. I need to get it out of them. Thats exactly what I told the football team. Its unacceptable for us to do the fundamental things wrong week in and week out. We need to get it fixed.

(On going for it on fourth-and-one in their first drive) We actually quarterback sneaked it. It was fourth-and-inches. To start the game, like I stated earlier, we wanted to start fast. It was important to get up on this team. To answer your question, yes I was confident that we were going to be able to run the ball on the defense.

WR Greg Jennings

(On his take on the game today) Its tough. We hurt ourselves, especially on offense. The defense gave us opportunity after opportunity and we just didnt come through. It hurts. Its one of those things that you can take from this game and you can grow from a game like this. We fought back, but yet we didnt fight hard enough because we didnt finish all the way through. It comes down to penalties and execution. At times we executed and at times we failed to execute, but more so than anything, I think we shot ourselves in the foot too many times and you cant do that in the National Football League.

(On the consistency of the offense) Its tough, but you got to find a way to be consistent. I think the thing about it is if you can start to sustain drives and hold the ball you start to get into a rhythm and you start to develop that consistency, simply because you are on the field. You got everything going but you cant do it for one possession and not do it for the rest of the game. You have to at least have a constant flow every so often. Three-and-outs are going to happen. You are not going to just beat up on a team the entire game and everything go your way. There are going to be some negative plays that happen, some negative things that come out of it but in order to have a consistency, we have to be able to move the chains. You have to be able to execute number one first off and we at times were able to and at times in crucial moments in the game we werent able to.

RB Ryan Grant

(On todays game) Not very good, plain and simple. I started off pretty good, we started off moving the ball and doing some things, and then we didnt play well. My fumble in the second half is inexcusable, plain and simple. I have to perform at a higher level.

(On his individual performance) Not good, not to my standard. Anytime you put the ball on the ground, its a bad performance. Like I said its inexcusable. Its not something we take, not something we allow. Putting the ball on the ground is not a part of what we do.

(On the team wanting to win) Absolutely, we wanted to come down here and get a win. Its the next game on the schedule. We knew it was a big game against a good team, but we felt like if we came down here, played our game and played smart, we would be able to come out with a win. We still feel that way. No disrespect to Tampa Bay, they deserve it, they won the game, but we feel like we did some things to kind of give it away when we still had a shot. Like I said, my performance individually in the clutch, the backfield in general, is inexcusable and to put the ball on the ground and to give up turnovers like that.

QB Aaron Rodgers

(On why he was pulled in the first series) I hurt my shoulder on the possession in the third quarter. The possession right before, I threw the touchdown pass. I was not sure if I dislocated it or what. It hurt pretty bad. I was getting diagnosed on the sidelines and we got the interception so I went back out there and threw the touchdown pass to (Greg) Jennings. I was in some pretty intense pain. We got the lead back and I tried to throw on the sidelines, but I just couldnt do it. The doctor sat me down but, as bad as it hurt I wanted to try and give it one more go.

(On which play he hurt his shoulder) I hurt it on that third down scramble.

(On being able to play next week) Im not sure. We will take a look at it tomorrow and if there is any way that I can go, Ill go.

(On not being able to get in sync) Turnovers, we had too many turnovers today that led directly to points. I think they scored off every one of our turnovers. They had 24 points off those turnovers. Our defense did a good job keeping us in the game and gave us great field position in the second half. We didnt execute at all on offense. You got to give the credit, they had a good game plan, but I think it was more about us not executing than them executing. We didnt make any plays.

(On whether they should have won the game) Youre not going to win in this league when you turn the ball over four times like that. Its disappointing; we have to be very critical of ourselves. We are 2-2 and have a tough stretch coming up. We have three games before the bye week and we need to get back to playing the kind of football we feel we are capable of playing. We havent put together a whole game yet; four quarters where we are playing our style, which is executing and keeping drives alive. Today we didnt do that and Tampa Bay did and made the big plays when they needed to.

(On the running game being a problem again this year) Well have to watch the film to see what the biggest problem is but obviously we need to get that phase of our offense going. We are not able to put ourselves in a second-and-manageable and third-and-manageable situations than convert on third and one. Thats been a big problem here the past couple of years. Weve got to keep drives going by converting those third and short situations. Im not worried about the line or getting the guys going, we just need to execute.

CB Charles Woodson

(On his interception and taking the lead and feeling as though the game was over) Wish it was, but you have to keep playing. You might get a big play but you have to keep playing.

(On the teams performance) Not playing good football, thats what it boils down to.

(On the interference call) I have been a part of worse calls. All you can do is keep playing, I had good position there is no question about that but he made the call. You have to line up and keep playing.

(On his interception) Nothing was open for him down field, he was going for the check down and we were in a zone, so I was able to sit there and read. He went through his progressions, he tried to go to the running back and I just broke.

(On making big plays) You try to prepare yourself. The things you see on film, you have to trust that those are the things that are going to happen in the game. You just have to trust your instincts and go out there and try to make a play.

(On the physical and mental aspect of the team) It has been a tough couple of weeks really; tough game. We had opportunities today nonetheless; we didnt come up with the win. We are beat up but there are no excuses, everybody in the league is beat up. That is not an excuse.

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