Tampa Bay Buccaneers

09-30-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(opening statement) "I'm happy with the win. We played very well, particularly in the first half offensively, defensively, and special teams. We came ready to roll. We had a couple of key injuries today. It's hard to swallow right now. I don't know the extent of the injury. I'm just really proud of our football team, and obviously concerned about a couple of guys who were not able to finish."

(on Cadillac Williams' injury) "I don't know anything. That's why I said I'm really concerned. We don't know. We'll let you know as soon as we know. I don't want to say anything I can't back up."

(on the team coming out to see Williams before he was taken off the field) "We've got a tight football team. These guys like each other a lot. These guys are working hard. You don't see that everyday because practices are closed. You don't sit in the meeting rooms and you don't see what we see. To potentially lose these two men is not a good thing for us, but we will show resolve as we did today, and we will complete the season."

(on how tough will it be to continue without Williams) "Well, we are going to move on. We've had injuries here before."

(on the Bucs' offense) "For three weeks in a row, we've played pretty good. Offensively, we took the opening drive and we did exactly what we came here to do. We had turnovers in the second half that took points off the board. We got denied on a fourth and inches. Other than that, I was very impressed with what we did offensively against a great Carolina team that's given us a lot of looks."

(on the Bucs' defense) "Defensively, I can't say enough. I expect more. I expect a lot more from them because I really believe their talented. You can expect more from talented people that are collectively working together. My mom was an elementary school teacher and the kids who were really smart and loved coming to school were expected to get 100% every day. And that's the standard that we are going to hold them to today."

(on last year's record) "We're not going to talk about last year. I'm so tired of talking about last year. We had a rookie quarterback; nineteen guys on IR. We're putting the train back on the tracks, and the train is on the track and rolling."

(on Sunday's win) "It was big. Earnest stepped in last week. Donald Penn stepped in today. We'll have other players step in later in the year. All I know is that we play the Indianapolis Colts next week on the road. Our schedule has been difficult: at Seattle; at Carolina; at Indianapolis. They're the defending champions. They're at home and it's the greatest show on turf, so I'm glad we finished the first quarter with authority today. That doesn't guarantee us anything, but we did finish with authority. That's a great accomplishment, and I'm proud of our players."

(on if Carolina took away Joey Galloway) "We're going to have to use some other guys. We're getting a lot of high safety looks on Joey. Ike Hilliard stepped up for us. That's a credit to Ike Hilliard and Greg Spires and the other guys. It was a question if they were even going to play. I'm really proud to have those guys on our football team, because most guys wouldn't go. It's a credit to Monty and certainly our coaches for the plan. The plan only comes to life when the players execute it and we saw that today. It was a solid pass rush for the most part. We did a good job, I thought offensively controlling, and our defense overall did a great job."

QB Jeff Garcia

(on the win) "It's exciting to come into a tough place to play, a good divisional opponent, playing on the road, and start off the game like we did. Defensively, again, it was a hard working game by our team. If we play like that every single week it certainly gives you great chance to win football games. In the first half I thought our offense played really well. It's just a matter of finding a way to close out games."

(on Cadillac Williams' injury) "It's disappointing. He was really running the ball well. It looked like this was the game that was going to get him back on track and give him opportunities to create for himself. It was tough blow on the sidelines there. It was tough to see. It was not a pretty sight. It's unfortunate because he's such a quality player for this team. He will be missed but like coach said, we need to find ways to regroup and move on. He'll be with us in spirit and support. We'll be supporting him through this rehab process. It's important that Ernest Graham and Michael Pittman do a great job, like they have been doing, of stepping up and carrying the load when they have those opportunities."

(on the team's running backs) "It's unfortunate to see us lose our tailback and then lose our left tackle but it gives other guys now an opportunity to step in and do what they have to do. The only way we're going to get better and continue to push to get better every single week is if the guys, who are now stepping in take advantage of those opportunities."

(on the injury to Luke Petitgout) "Luke was doing a great job at the left tackle position and now Donald Penn or Anthony Davis are going to have to step up and really bring some quality to the table like Luke's been doing for us. He's an experienced guy and was a great addition to this team. He will be missed but we can't look back at this time. It's just too bad. He was having a really good year and it was really comfortable for me having him on my back side. I'm not going to lose that confidence in the guys that we have."

(on the play of Ike Hilliard) "Ike did an outstanding job. Ike is just steady Ike. Here's a guy who really hasn't practiced much a lot lately because of his ankle but mentally stays involved in the game. He knows what he has to do when he gets out onto the field. He did a great job of finding openings and getting down the middle of the field on the long ball. I really enjoy playing with Ike Hilliard. I know what he brings to the table and I have great confidence in him."

WR Ike Hilliard

(on his performance) "It was just one of those things where we made the right play calls, and Jeff went through his progressions and hit the one open guy, and I was the open guy tonight. It could have easily been Joey making the plays today, but today it just happened to be me."

(on his big first half) "It felt good to be a part of it. Going out there and helping my team win games. It's good to contribute in any kind of way that I can."

(on the opening drive) "Well, we wanted to start fast. Obviously, we wanted to be able to come out and put points on the board. When you're on the road, playing a really good team, you want to be able to build momentum, and build a cushion for our defense. We were able to get a score, and I think that helped set the tone of the game."

(on his fumble) "I lost control of the ball and it almost cost our team. I screwed up. I just have to keep better control of the ball and hold on to it next time."

CB Ronde Barber

(on how losing Carnell Williams affects the team) "Carnell is a leader on this team. He's a young guy but he's a leader. Everybody roots for him. Everybody likes the guy. You really don't have words for a guy who loses the season, especially after he was getting off to a pretty good start today. It's unfortunate. We've had to do it twice with two good players. You don't like to see it. Realistically it's an opportunity for Earnest and Michael Pittman."

(on the Bucs' opening drive) "In the NFL, it's all about starting fast. We always talked about starting fast, so to come in here to Carolina and score with about seven minutes left in the first quarter it was gratifying to come in here and get a victory."

(on if it's all about momentum for this football team) "Three wins in professional football is huge. It's hard enough to get a victory, and even harder to get three, but we don't want to stop there. We'll go to practice Monday and get ready for the Indianapolis Colts."

(on Tampa Bay's play) "At the end of the day, it's really only Week Four of the NFL season. We can start evaluating ourselves over the first four weeks of the season, and we can be pretty happy with what we have on film. We say that our A game will be good enough to win. With the way we're playing now, I think it's back and it's encouraging."

DE Gaines Adams

(on expectations for this year) "I don't listen to that. I have high expectations for myself. All the outside things really don't mean much to me. Like I said, I have high expectations for myself, and that is what motivates me to play hard."

(on the game) "As a whole, we came out and did some good things. We played hard nose defense. We had a tough one this week, and we expect to have a tough one next week. We are just going to have to come out and play like we did tonight. We saw some good things, and the coaches put us in a good position to make plays. We just have to continue to play hard."

S Jermaine Phillips

(on the game) "We came out and played great on both sides of the ball. It is always a good thing to win a game to gain control of our division. The defense played well tonight, and all the credit goes to the guys up front. They were able to penetrate and give us some good opportunities to make plays. It was a good game plan, and we executed well tonight."

(on this year's Bucs team) "I don't think we are doing anything different. I think it really comes down to accountability. We are holding each other accountable and holding each other to a high standard. When you have eleven men on the field doing that, and everyone is working together, it is going to make the defense great."

(on if it was a statement game) "I definitely think so because we have to see these guys again. So they know next time it is going to still be a dog fight. It is never going to be an easy win, especially knowing that they have to come and play us at home. Today's win was big, and we are hoping to build off this as we go into next week."

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Head Coach John Fox

(on his assessment of the QB play) "Without seeing the tape, it's too early to say. You're not going to win your share of games scoring seven points in this League."

(on the game) "There wasn't one phase where we can feel good walking away from that game. I think they played well, particularly on defense. We just couldn't get much going."

(on not winning at home) "It's not as much about where you play as much as who you play and when."

(on getting the ball to Steve Smith) "The defense has a lot of do with that. You have to give them some credit. Last week he had one catch and we had 27 points. Today, I don't know how many catches he had but we didn't produce enough around him. There is no doubt we try to get him the ball. We just didn't do that very well today."

(on fumbles) "Any time we put the ball on the ground, it's a concern."

(on if Jake Delhomme will have surgery on his elbow) "It's his arm and his body. That is a possibility. It's a possibility for a lot of guys at the end of the season. It's still day to day."

(on if he's concerned about the team) "We're 2-2. It could be worse. It could be better. I think you are always concerned. We've got to get better. That was a good football team today."

(on WR Dwayne Jarrett) "He's a young player who hasn't been active in the first three games. We had some injuries today so we were able to add him up. He still has a lot to learn. I think he has a bright future."

(on injuries) "Nick Goings – concussion."

QB David Carr

(on the game) "We lost. We didn't get the ball to guys. We made a couple of plays, but we didn't make enough against this football team to win. As the quarterback I take responsibility for it. I could have made more plays to those guys and put us in a position to win."

(on the Panthers offense) "They have a good defense. We should have played better. I should have played better. We all should have done better. We had a chance to go out there and put points on the board and we didn't."

(on the first down play when he leaped over two players) "I would have been short if I slid and at that point we needed a spark, something to happen. We got a first down but after that we couldn't finish it off. I honestly didn't think I could jump that high. I was trying to get vertical enough to get over the sticks."

(on the team's preparation) "We did a great job as far as game planning. We were just a step behind. They came so fast. They did a good job of disguising."

(on if he's feeling rusty) "Definitely rust. I don't know if it was just me but going with the new group, I definitely could have felt better. That is just going to come with working with the guys and knowing which way they are going to be and knowing where they are going to be on their routes. That is something that takes time."

(on WR Dwayne Jarrett) "Dwayne came in and did what he had to do. They had a small package for him. Obviously you are not going to give him the world to try to come in and try to execute. He was there and he caught the balls. He did a fine job. I'd like to see more of him and I think everyone else would to. He's got to catch up and once he gets it all up, he'll be ready to go."

DE Mike Rucker

(on the game) "It felt like we didn't start fast and that is something that we keep talking about. We will hold them to manageable downs and we let them get something to keep the ball moving; to keep the chains moving. We've just got to find a way, early in the game, to make some stops and get off the field."

(on Jeff Garcia and the Tampa Bay offense) "They are a solid football team and when you let a team get on a roll like that and you are not getting off the field it makes for a long day. In the second half we did some things and started 'bowing' up but you can not put yourself behind the eight ball. We've got to do the things we did in the second half."

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