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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-02-2005 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "It was a very great win for us. We beat a team that we have a lot of respect for. Coming off of a bye week, we knew Steve [Mariucci] would have his team prepared and they were indeed very well-prepared and physical. A credit to our team, we lost "Cadillac" [Carnell Williams] to a hamstring; [Joey] Galloway and [Michael] Clayton both missed time. Anthony Davis got a stinger in the shoulder and [Brian] Griese was obviously woozy early in the game and though he made some mistakes, he made some big plays today and when it came right down to it, our defense got off the field. Thank God for instant replay."

(On Carnell "Cadillac" Williams' health) "Everything is Ok. He had a mild hamstring and having missed a number of practices and the fact that [Michael] Pittman was playing pretty well with Earnest Graham we chose to go another route today."

(On the offense playing well and what that means) "It just says that we can score quick. That 90-yard drive right before the half was a downer in this stadium for me. It was a downer. I felt the rain clouds moving in. I felt down after the interception when the Lions captured the lead. [Michael] Pittman makes the big play on third down, [Joey] Galloway makes another and I think the touchdown right before the half put us right back into a lively mode. Those we're big plays and they gave us hope as the season unfolds.

(On whether he had reservations putting Joey Galloway back in after injury) "No. Heck, no. As soon as he got back, I said, let's go. Unfortunately, we threw an aggressive ball after the penalty and Brian [Griese] tried to force it in, uncharacteristically. It was an IV (Galloway). It wasn't a serious injury. It was a cramping issue and he has been a victim of that throughout his career."

(On being 4-0 the first quarter of the season) "I told our team, yesterday, I am just one person, but having been in the NFL for 15 years and having been on some pretty good teams, the 49ers, Oakland and Green Bay, I have never been 4-0 to start a season. That is a heck of a start for our team. Granted, we have a long way to go. It wasn't pretty at times today, but winning in this league is a great accomplishment because there are a lot of good football teams out there."

(On the importance of the team being multi-dimensional when "Cadillac" is out) "We feel like if we can build the team around some of these young players [Michael] Clayton, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, Alex Smith and others, we will become a balanced team. If we need to run it 40 times in a game to win, we feel like we can do that. Unfortunately, today we were unable to get it going and we had to throw the ball. It was the big plays in the passing game from an offensive standpoint that helped us win today."

(On his impression of Brian Griese today) "I have been in a lot of these games where the quarterback is under siege by different blitzes. These bye weeks in football are sometimes, oh it's a bye week, but when you play a team the next week after a bye. . . last year, I saw Detroit lose horribly to Philadelphia, and then go on the road to Atlanta, come off their bye, play impressively and win. It is a real challenge, but when you play a team like this, that is breaking you with corner blitzes and safety blitzes and doing some things, maybe, out of character from your studies, you are going to have some negative plays, but if you can pick up a blitz and if you can make a key play in a key situation, you can hurt the blitz. I am not saying that is what is happening, but that is how his day was today. He had a couple birdies. He had an eagle and he had a couple double bogeys, but he put us in a position to win."

CB Ronde Barber

(On winning a game like this) "It wasn't pretty. It definitely wasn't how we would like to win a football game at home, but in the long run, it's a win at home. We found a way to get it done with a lot of pressure in the last couple of minutes."

(On the many players stepping up today) "I think everybody was telling themselves not to panic and just play ball. It's nice to have a superstar in the mitts, but there's 11 other guys and backups that have to play. Tip your hat to Michael Pittman. He's been sitting around. He knew this transition was coming for him, and (he was) just waiting for his opportunity. He got it today."

(On being 4-0 this year after being 0-4 last year) "It's nice to start fast. We talk about it, we preach about it. We didn't feel like we were an 0-4 football team last year. We're finding ways to win those close games this year, and it's going to help us in the long run."

(On if they are having more fun now) "Oh yes. Winning is a cure for all ills. We're getting a lot out of a lot of people and finding ways to win ball games."

(On if they got away with one today) "We always get away with one. Just about every game in the NFL comes down to the last two possessions or so. We had a couple of opportunities to get off the field and we didn't on the last drive. You get lucky sometimes and find a way to step up which we did and go from there."

(On if there is a nice taste going into next week) "Absolutely. 4-0 is a lot better than 3-1. We put forth a heck of an effort and it would've been a shame to overcome what we overcame on the field today and lose that game at the end."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On the game) "I feel grateful, to be honest with you. Thank God for the effort out there, on both sides of the ball. Detroit gave us everything we could handle. Thank God we made enough plays down the stretch to win. Thank God the replay official saw it as we did in our locker room and changed that call. Things like that go your way, you have a ballgame sometimes. We have been pretty fortunate this year, at the end of games to make plays to win games."

(On what was going through his mind the last few minutes) "Just the situation of the game. One, don't panic, we have two time outs. If anything was unsure, I would call a time out. Secondly, everybody keep the ball in front. They need a touchdown to beat us. So, don't give up anything cheap and make sure we communicate. At home, when the crowd is loud, a lot (of communication is) hand signals. So, every snap I'm looking at guys making sure they get the signals because that was a problem last year. Late in ballgames a guy would miss a call and they would hit us for a big score and we'd lose. So, today things went our way and thank God for a win."

(On his excitement after the game) "Again, I'm like a kid at this game. People can tell you if you play in the league as long as I have, or even longer, at the end of the day we are just like rookies. We get very excited about this game, it's an emotional game. Again, I've only had five of these last year and that's wins. And to get number four, that's just real special for us. We're 4-0, now just enjoy it for the next 12 hours, and look forward to going to New York."

WR Joey Galloway

(On if it was his day) "I don't know if I can say it was my day. Offensively, we did enough to win. There were some opportunities that I was able to make plays. As far as being my day, I wouldn't say that. Offensively, we did enough to get it done."

(On if he knew he could exploit the Lions' defense) "No. They are a very tough defense. Offensively, we have to take whatever they give us. Like I said, there were a couple chances we got and we capitalized and came away with a win."

(On his 80-yard touchdown reception) "Really more than anything, it was a nice play call and a nice throw by (Brian) Griese. My job was easy – just run through, catch it and run to the end zone."

(On him and Brian Griese) "We work extremely hard everyday in practice. Today, we hooked up some. We know we have to get a lot better – me and him, the rest of the receivers and him and the rest of the offense. We know we have to get a lot better. We know we did enough to win today, but I don't know how good we feel about how we played."

(On winning the game despite four turnovers) "We talk a lot about turnovers. Tomorrow, we'll cover it again. We'll talk about the turnovers. We were lucky to come away with the win today. Hats off to our defense to hold us up like that. It's rare that a team has four turnovers and gets a win, but when our defense is playing the way they are, they make it possible."

QB Brian Griese

(On the Lions' defense) "They neutralized our running game, initially, I made a mistake early in the game going head first on a scramble, and took a pretty good shot on my head. I don't remember a little bit of the first half, so I was kind of off there for a little while. But I figured I had to come back and help the team."

(On if the focus on RB Carnell 'Cadillac' Williams created opportunities for WR Joey Galloway) "Anytime we go into a game, Joey is a big part of our offense. When they started to stack the line of scrimmage and take away the running game, Joey became more of a part of the offense."

(On the 80-yard touchdown pass to Galloway) "I didn't get to see what happened. I just let the ball go and I don't know how close of a play it was, but I know if he gets the ball in his hands, that no one is going to catch him."

(On the Lions) "I thought they played really well. I thought their front seven played really well and stopped our running game, and forced us into some more difficult situations."

(On being 4-0) "4-0 is great. It's a testament to every guy in this locker room that worked hard throughout the offseason and in training camp. The key for us is not to get a big head, and I know, from our standpoint, we have a lot of hungry guys in this locker room, myself included, that will continue to work hard to get better each and every week."

(On the last three minutes of the game) "(The defense) played their hearts out. I give credit to the Lions. They had a chance to win in the end, but our defense was up to the task."

CB Brian Kelly

(On the Lions' receivers) "You got Roy Williams, Mike Williams. Those guys are big targets out there. They will get big on you even when you have good coverage. I had situations out there and they just used their bodies to shield me off and make the play. It was a good challenge for us in the secondary."

(On the Lions' touchdown being called back) "You need those calls to have the type of season we want to have. You have to get calls like that."

(On the last drive of the game) "We focused on keeping them in front of us. It was a crucial part of the game. We love it and thrive on it. You have to win those situations. It's something we didn't do last year."

RB Michael Pittman

(On what goes through his mind when he hears 'Cadillac' is hurt) "Really, that is my opportunity to step up and make plays and to prepare myself as I'm going to be the starter every single week, even though I'm the back-up running back. During the game, they kind of shut us down and I just tried to be a spark for this team the best way I can. I told coach, every third-down they were running man coverage, and I kept telling him that every third-down I could beat them. I could beat the linebacker."

(On how important it is to show that Tampa Bay has other weapons) "It's big. We have all kinds of weapons. 'Cadillac' started off great the first three games. He was hurt today and really wasn't 100 percent, but still went out there and tried to play. Just to show all the weapons that we have, a whole arsenal of players, is big. I got my opportunity today and I need to make the most of it when I can."

DE Simeon Rice

(On being 4-0) "Today was a right of passage. We grew up and that is what this game's about, definitely growing up. Defensively, our backs against the wall, plenty of times we came out very stout and very dominant."

(On the play that was reversed late in the game) "I knew it. I knew the whole deal. I saw when he caught it and I saw when he kind of slid out. I had a birds-eye view. Fortunately, I knew the deal and barely came off the field."

(On the game coming down to a defensive stop again) "We know each other and we understand each other. We continue to grow and that's the beauty of it. We continue to grow. It's a right of passage game. This is what we need. We need to be tested like this. We need to be grinded like this. These games make us stronger."

C John Wade

(On if the Buccaneers are a good enough club to overcome the unfortunate penalties) "I don't think anybody is that kind of club. We were just fortunate today to come out and end up with a victory after turning the ball over. It's something we have been trying to stress. We didn't do a good job of not turning it over today. Fortunately, like I said, we came out with a victory. I don't know what happened, if (QB Brian Griese) was getting pressures on the interceptions. There's a lot of things going on, it's not just the receiver and the quarterback, there's a lot of factors involved."

T Kenyatta Walker

(On how big this win is) "It's good to be winning games instead of being blamed for losing them now. That's always a good feeling, but we move on to New York now. We've got a special team here and if I have to make tackles all year, then that's what I've got to do."

(On if the offensive line practices tackling drills) "There is something special about being 4-0 right now and whatever I've got to do, offensively or defensively, I will. I saw the ball and I knew I just had to go get it. I knew there was nobody over there but me, and I just had to make a play."

(On how important it is to get big plays from [Joey] Galloway, [Michael] Pittman and [Brian] Griese) "Sometimes you're not going to be able to run the ball. They're (opposing teams) gearing up the whole season to stop the run with 'Cadillac' and we knew it was coming. It was good to see [Joey] Galloway."


(On when he felt the injury) "Early in the second half when I carried the ball, I felt something tweak. I don't know if it was maybe compensation for my ankles."

(On going back into the game) "Actually, I wanted to, but the coaches called it. I couldn't force my will on them."

(On Michael Pittman's success today) "I was very happy. I know as a player it can get tough sometimes. It's a long season and he knows he will get his chances. He showed what he can do today."

(On his performance today) "Tough yards. Every Sunday won't be perfect. You can't go there and break records. You have to accept the good with the bad. Detroit, you have to tip your hats to those guys. They did a great job."


Head Coach Steve Mariucci

(On the game) "That was a tough one. What a game, a physical game. That's the kind of game that we prepared for. That's the kind of game we wanted to make it. We wanted to be physical, in the trenches, at the line of scrimmage, and I thought we were. I thought, for the most part, we won that battle quite a bit of the time today. I thought we played hard, start to finish. I thought we played smart, very aggressively. I thought we had our chances, maybe even before it came down to the last drive. We had the interception with 'Goody' (CB Andre' Goodman), the penalty on 'Goody' after the interception. We were up 10-3 going in and that was not to be. So, I'm anxious and curious to see the film closer, see how those sort of things went. We know half of the games in this league are decided by eight points or less, a touchdown or less, half the games. And this was no exception. It came down to the wire with two real good football teams. Who knows, it's a long season for all of us, but that very well may be a playoff team in Tampa. And I thought we played well enough to beat them. So, in a friendly way, when I saw Jon [Gruden] after the game, as you know he's a good friend of mine, we just kind of visited quickly. Then I said, 'hey we'll see you in the playoffs.' That's the determined attitude that this team has, to get back into, to play a team like that again in the playoffs, because they're a good football team, a very good football team. They deserve to be on top of their division and we're going to be fighting to be on top of our division. The season's going to go a little bit like this. And the teams that stick together, keep fighting in the NFC North, that's the team that's going to walk out of the desert in December. The way these guys work, I feel good about our chances. I'm proud of these guys. There's no moral victories. That's not going to happen. They feel sick in that locker room because we thought we had it. We thought we won it, but it was not to be. So, on we go. We swallow hard, keep fighting and get ready for the next game. And we'll do that."

(On if the defense kept giving the offense opportunity after opportunity) "Took the ball away over four times and one that got called back, that was huge in the game, huge. We've got to be able to score points, obviously. We ran the ball better. I didn't think we threw the ball. The passing game was a little bit out of sink until the last drive. That's got to improve. As our run-game improves, our defenses are going to be playing, run-pass a lot more often. We'll be able to throw the ball better. We've got to capitalize on those takeaways."

(On why the offense has been out of synch) "We've just got to keep working at it. There's no one thing. It's a little bit of this, a little bit of that. The difference in the passing game between incomplete and catching it for a first down is this much. Whether that's the throw, the catch, the projection, the call, the defense, all of that put together. So, we keep working at it and that's got to improve."

QB Joey Harrington

(On the last play of the game) "We had a play and we liked our mach-up. We had a chance to throw to the corner route. I slid out and gave Roy (Williams) a chance to make a play. We came up short."

(On the game) "We knew we were going to be in a battle - we didn't expect to got out and score 50 points. Our whole game plan was to pound them until they broke – we came up short.'

(On the loss) "I'm tired of (losing). We work too hard to lose like that. We did everything we should have. We put such a great last drive together to come up short. I feel like we did everything right on that last drive. We had a chance to win. I'm tired of moral victories and tired of coming close."

WR Kevin Jones

(On whether he learned a lot from losing this game) "I'm not looking at it that way. I look at it as we need to make more of the plays we made at the end, a little earlier in the game so we get more points on the board to help our defense out. We have to do better on offense."

(On whether this loss hurt) "It hurts a lot. We gave it our all and came up short."

WR Charles Rogers

(On what he took away from this game) "We have to correct our mistakes, go back home and get ready for next week."

(On how he rates the Lions play for today) "I think we played pretty well here on the road, but we came up a little short."

WR Mike Williams

(On today's game) "I think we played pretty well. We came out strong and hit them in the mouth early and often. I think we just came up short and there were a couple of calls that didn't go our way. We grew as a team and as an offense especially. There were one or two breakdowns that cost us, but we game-planned well. We were able to stop their running game and that was our top priority."

(On his touchdown catch that was ruled out of bounds) "I was trying to make that play, but it didn't work out. Joey (Harrington) made a good throw, but it just didn't work."

(On his disappointment with losing this game) "Losing is always tough. We moved the ball almost 95 yards and got our shots, then came up short because of a call. It's tough. Hats off to the Bucs though, they were a better team than we were, but we made some good steps today."

WR Roy Williams

(On the overall game) "I put that game on me. If I made that catch, third play, fourth play of the game, that's a touchdown, we win the game 20-17. Our defense played their butts off for us with four or five turnovers and we couldn't convert anything."

(On this loss being painful) "We went out there and fought hard. We might not have moved the ball on offense, but when we needed to move the football, we moved the football. We had a big catch from (Marcus) Pollard that got overturned. We had an almost great catch by Mike (Williams), and that's the ball game."

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