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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-05-2008 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening statement) Id like to congratulate Denver . They played a very good and hard fought game. We had a couple of tough injuries today. We will update you when we get further information on Brian Grieses shoulder and Barrett Ruuds knee. I thought the Broncos kicker (Matt Prater) was the big story of the game. He did an outstanding job kicking the ball, field position was a big part of this game. I think we had about five false starts on offense, which are inexcusable. We were behind on down and distance. We had a couple of sacks that compounded that and being in a position of 2nd and 13 and 2nd and 15, there is no way to win here.

(On if he thought about trying to go for the end zone and the end of the frist half) Obviously we were very pleased with the drive. We had one time out left. We played for the situation to get in field goal position.

(On how serious Brian Grieses injury appears to be) I dont know. I believe it is his throwing shoulder. I dont know the severity of it, hopefully it is not serious.

(On if he is preparing to have Jeff Garcia start next week if Brian Griese is out) As soon as we get all the information we will go from there. When we put Jeff (Garcia) in the game he made some nice plays and he got us out of some tough situations.

(On what was his plan to stop Denver s WRs) If you watch every snap, both of the defenses played 2-deep today and we tried to neutralize whatever part of the passing game they had. We saw a lot of 2-deep from their part, they saw a lot of 2-deep from our part. Therefore we had to go to complimentary receivers at that time. We also had to run the football and check it down. We had to be able to stay penalty free and we had to be able to convert on third down. I thought both teams played a lot more zone today, in order to force the offenses to execute.

(On Tampa Bay s ability to get in the proper down and distance in order to execute) We had five or six false starts and a big first down from Clayton that was called back, which put us in another third and long and we were backed up most of the day inside of the 12, 15, 20-yard line area. Denver s defense was playing hard. This is a tough place to play. But you put the negative penalties and the sacks and the fact that they are playing their butt off here at home, it makes is a tough spot for us, its unfortunate.

(On the play of Brian Griese) I thought that Brian did a pretty job in the first half. It was a 6-6 ball game. We had a pretty good drive to start off the third quarter. We didnt see that much from him after that. Im concerned about him, obviously.

(On the play of both defenses) Theyve been playing an aggressive bump and run style. We didnt see too much of that today. Theyve been playing 2-deep and mixing in zone blitzes and their guys played hard. It was kind-of the way we played defensively also. Its a credit to both defenses, they both played pretty solid football.

(On Tampa Bay s lack of take-aways) It was big for Denver , our field position was bad. I dont know what our best drive start was today but it wasnt very good.

(On decision to not go for an onside kick) We understood their deployment. They had a bunch of guys bunched up together. We decided to do a drive kick right into the pile, hoping for a ricochet. We felt good about not getting the ball from the standpoint that the ball would carry them down the field. We had that play run many times before. That is a very good onside kick against that deployment when we get the ricochet, but unfortunately, it ricocheted it down the field. But we had them backed up and their decision to come out throwing there was surprising to everybody, but Cutler is a hell of a QB and he made a play.

(On Matt Prater) Have you ever seen a kicker kick a 55-yard field goal and make it by 25-yards? Honestly, you have to work on your kickoff return when you come here. That guy was unbelievable. I cant say enough about him.

S Jermaine Phillips

(on the game) They had a good game plan. We had a lot of penalties on offense and didnt tackle very well on defense. You have to take your hats off to Denver , they played a good game.

(On Denver s touchdown) It was just a bubble screen. We had a blitz called and they hid the screen and got it in the end zone. It was a good play call on their part.

(On next weeks game) Were down but were not out. We need to go out and try to get a win next week against Carolina . Its a divisional game and important for our season.

RB Warrick Dunn

(On the game) I thought we played well. We were in the game until the end. They made some plays in the second half and won the game.

(On QB Jeff Garcia) Jeff is a veteran quarterback. He came in and made some plays. He did a great job when he got in there and thats all you can ask for.

(On late game momentum) We had some guys step up. Some receivers and backs made some plays. I think they wanted to show that they should get the ball. We just needed to be more consistent.

(On moving into 20th all-time rushing) The people on that list are great, great backs. Im honored to be on that list with these guys. They are really great guys and its an honor for me to be mentioned with them.

WR Ike Hilliard

(On Denver s defensive game plan) I dont think that matters much. This is a game of adjustments. We made good adjustments we just didnt execute very well.

(On the game) We had a chance to win the game. We just took too long to play the way we needed to play. With four minutes left in the game Coach (Jon) Gruden came up to us and told us to make plays and be productive. We just didnt execute well enough. Again you just have to tip your hat to them. They played great and I dont want to take anything away from them.

LB Cato June

(On the game) Every time you are on the field you have to get the ball back especially in that situation. Its not about knowing somebody or their tendencies because when youve been in the NFL a year or two, everyone knows everyone. Its just about going out and executing down after down.

WR Michael Clayton

(On Denver s defensive game plan) It was tough, it threw us through a loop. When you have a game plan set up for a specific defense and they run a different one, it makes your job more difficult. They did a good job of disguising their game plan. Against cover two you have to find the holes. We have a lot of cover two beaters and Coach Grudens playlist is extravagant. We just didnt make the plays we needed to make.

G Davin Joseph

(On being back on the field) It feels good to be back. Coming in I felt like I could contribute and it was tough to watch the first four games. I thought I played ok but I could have played better.

(On Denver s defense) They made some good adjustments but we killed ourselves. We kept putting ourselves in third and long and that lead to a lot of three and outs.

(On DT Marcus Thomas fumble) I saw it come out and I saw it go by me. The ball went through my legs. It was raining and the ball was slippery. I was the first guy to miss it, luckily we recovered.

QB Jeff Garcia

(on the game) I feel great. I feel extremely healthy. When I got my reps in practice this week, I felt I was sharp, crisp, accurate and I had a bounce in my step which is important for my style of play.

(On coming into the game) Its not an easy thing to do. You have to get adjusted to the situations and that was evident with out struggles my first few drives. Its not the way I want to go in and compete. We only had six points so obviously it wasnt going to be easy. Im happy the team stuck together and kept us in until the very end.

(On the game) Im not surprised by the way things happen. Ive learned you have to go with the flow or let things bounce off of you. Throughout my career Ive had to battle through adversity but I do what I can and I just want to help the team get better.

(On why he moved up the depth chart) I feel like because of my work ethic, experience and being there every day and being supportive of my teammates, I put myself in a position to be there for the coaches when they needed me.

QB Brian Griese

(On his injury) Its going to be alright. I took a helmet to the elbow and theres not a lot of room for swelling so the swelling made it tough for me to grip the ball. The doctor says its okay and Im glad its just a bruise and nothing structural. Im just going to get as much treatment as I can.

(On coming back to Denver) I was looking forward to the game. I didnt foresee it ending the way it did. It was good to be back in Denver . There were a lot of emotions and a lot of memories. I made a lot of good friends during my time here.

(On Denver s defense) We were expecting more man to man coverage. With our running game we didnt expect a lot of two deep. We had to adjust our routes because they were designed for man and not cover two.

CB Ronde Barber

(On the game) They converted some third downs on us. We missed some opportunities to get off the field and at the end of the day that beat us. Weve been living off turnovers the first four weeks and we didnt get very many today. They kept it kind of safe. They ran a lot of bootlegs and came back to plays they had success with. I would have loved to come away with a win today.

(On the final drive) They have a lot of confidence in that kid. 88 (Tony Scheffler) is as good of a receiver as they have on that team. He made a play for a first down and then they ran the ball for another. We needed to make a stop and we didnt.


Head Coach Mike Shanahan

(Opening statement) Obviously that was a nice team win. We beat a good team in Tampa Bay, theyre a team thatll be in the playoffs. Excellent defense, offense and special teams. Our guys fought hard for 60 minutes and thats what Im most proud of. We started out playing hard in the beginning, and we continued that throughout the game. We didnt turn the ball over against a team like that. When we had to we came up with a few runs to end the game, and thats the way you want to do it. We want to finish that way.

(On RB Michael Pittman) When we signed him I wasnt exactly sure what to expect. I watched him throughout his years at Tampa Bay and Arizona , but I knew we had a special guy, because I had talked to enough people to know that you want this guy in your locker room. Hes got everything you look for in a person and in an athlete and hes demonstrated that both on and off the field. He made some big plays today and had good third downs that we needed, obviously Im very happy to have him.

(On the defense) The defense played extremely well. Obviously going up against a team that moved the football very well, we came up with some key plays and made some plays when we had to.

(On the passing game) That was our game plan coming in, Im very pleased with [QB] Jay [Cutler]. You can not go down field against this team and expect to win. Thats why theyve had the turnovers and the touchdowns, as well as an excellent pass rush and disciplined secondary. You have to take what the defense gives you. We missed a couple third downs by a yard, but our defense stepped up and made some good plays. When we had to make the plays we made them and we stopped ourselves a couple times with penalties. We managed field goals instead of touchdowns, thats the way you win a game like that, you have to be disciplined and not turn the ball over.

(On team effort) The object is to win, thats the bottom line. You find guys fighting hard in the locker room, like we did, then you feel good. There are a lot of key plays as you go through the game. People remember the plays at the end of the game, or close to it. You have to keep on fighting and our defense fought. We made a couple plays, backed up on our 11 yard line, with three time outs left for Tampa Bay . We threw the football and made the play and that shows the kind of confidence that we have, and we knew that they were going to have an eight or nine man front, so we threw the football there. [TE] Tony [Scheffler] made a nice catch. We made them use their timeouts and thats how you win games. Im very pleased with the total effort of the team.

(On the pass rush) I knew it was going to come. I knew we were going to get better as time went on, because we have too many quality guys who are working extremely hard together. For a team that hasnt had a sack in a while, its nice to come up with a few big plays. We will keep on getting better defensively. Thats what its all about getting better every week. Thats what we did today.

(On K Matt Prater) It starts in practice. Since hes been here, hes been very consistent. In practice on Wednesdays we always end with a long field goal and hes made it from 70 yards consistently. So, when hes out there, you know it has nothing to do with the distance. Youre just hoping that he has the accuracy. Hes been very consistent in practice and thats why hes getting the opportunity in the games. The thing most people dont notice is his kickoffs; its nice to have a weapon and an extra guy on special teams, with his ability to kick the ball off well. Hes done a good job for a young player. Hes handled a lot of pressure and we all know what a great player Jason Elam was to this organization and how many clutch field goals hes hit through the years. Its very hard to fill those shoes, but he has stepped up and done a great job, hopefully he can keep on doing that. I dont want to take anything away from Jason, because theres nothing better than Jason Elam, both on and off the field. When someone does go, you need a guy like this to step up and get the job done.

(On wide receivers) Thats why you have to have depth. Any time you loose great players, its tough. Obviously with [WR] Brandon Stokley, we know what he can do and we dont want to overplay him, because hes such a pivotal part of our third down package. When [WR] Eddie [Royal] does go down, we have four wide receivers dressed and somebodys got to step up and obviously, we did.

QB Jay Cutler (On how Tampa Bay s defense changed the Broncos offensive plans) A lot and thats not really my thing. We are used to throwing the ball down the field a lot and getting big chunks and we really couldnt do it against this defense. Therere disciplined, really sound. They get to their jobs. You just have to be patient, take them apart and believe in the system and hopefully get a little momentum and hopefully get some big plays here and there.

(On RB Michael Pittmans running game) He was fired up about this one, theres obvious reasons. Pittmans been there all year for us. Third down, goal line, shorter yardage, hes very valuable for us.

(On the big picture) We have been in some high scoring ball games, back and forth and the defense has caught a lot of heat. We had trouble stopping some people, but we knew they were a lot better than that. We have too much talent, too much character over there. Its just good to see them lock it down this week.

(On his pass to TE Tony Scheffler) It was pretty high and Tony is a big target. I put it high and outside, it was him or nobody. Tony gets in and out of breaks pretty quick. [LB] Derrick [Brooks] is a pro bowl player, hes one of the best to play that position. You have to be careful when you deal with him.

WR Brandon Marshall

(On Tampa Bay taking away the deep ball) The win offset that. Once we got the lead, we knew we were going to hold it, so it didnt matter. As long as we got the win, and we did that today.

(On winning both ways, offensively and defensively) The guys just played together today and they were sound in their technique and within the scheme and it showed up out there today. Defense did a great job and they won a game for us.

(On whether the Denver Broncos are the best team in the AFC) Were a good one. Its still early in the season. Five games in, theres no telling, but we want to play our best football come November.

(On RB Michael Pittman) The way he ran the ball today, he didnt get a lot of opportunities, but when he did he took advantage of his opportunity and he made them pay. He wouldnt be human if he didnt.

(On the defense double teaming him all day) A little bit of what they were doing and myself, I dropped the ball out there and slipped on a route on a wide open pass; so it was a little bit of both me and what they were doing. But, we moved the ball well and we got the win.

(On two game lead over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West) This is just football, thats all it is right now, and football season starts in November. Its still early. Like I said, we want to play our best football come November. When we get to that part of the season, then well start talking.

WR Brandon Stokley

(On celebrating his touchdown) It was a little premature but I thought I was in there. It had been a while so I was excited.

(On the game) Good teams find a way to win these games. We didnt play well last week but the whole team had a good game today.

(On Tampa Bays defense) They are a very good defense. They have a good coach in (Defensive Coordinator) Monte Kiffin. We got into a little bit of a roll in the second half and that was big for us.

LB Jamie Winborn

(On the game) The win feels great. There has been a lot of talk about the defense not stepping up to the plate but we came through today.

(On bouncing back from last weeks loss to Kansas City) There was a bitter taste in our mouths from last week (33-19 loss at K.C., 9/28/08). We knew we didnt play our best ball but we came back this week and played a lot better.

DT Kenny Peterson

(On the defense) We played a pretty good game today especially in stopping the run. We gave up a couple of explosive plays but we were able to make adjustments.

(On criticism of the defense ) We have played against some pretty good offenses and we played another explosive offense today. We wanted to set our identity by stopping the run and making plays and we did that today.

(On the defensive line) We turned up the pressure a little bit up front. When our pistons are all firing it looks like we are playing with 12 men instead of 11.

TE Daniel Graham

(On the game) This win feels good. Our goal was to come out and play 60 minutes and all four quarters. We did that today and we got the victory. We cant blow teams out or put up a lot of points every game. Our defense came to play and stopped them when they had to.

(On playing Jacksonville next week) We have a tough game next week. We will enjoy this win, look at the film and get better.

LB Boss Bailey

(On the defense) We still have work to do and we can still get better. We are only satisfied because we won the game. They had plays downfield but we had coverage for them. Everybody did their job today and it worked out for us. This proves that we are a good defense and we can do it week in and week out.

DE Elvis Dumervil

(On the defense) Guys came out today and made plays. The crowd was into it the entire game and it really helped out. I think they had a few false start penalties. The defense made big plays and the offense did their part.

(More on the defenses) We knew after the loss in Kansas City that we had a lot of work to do to get ready for todays game. That is the character of this defense, we worked hard during the week and we played well today. We were excited to get the win and now we have to prepare for Jacksonville .

(On making plays) This week we were able to make plays and that was the difference from the past few weeks. This is a good start but there are 16 games this season and we are only five games in and now, like I said, we have to prepare for next weeks game against Jacksonville.

RB Michael Pittman

(On playing against his former team ) I am a very emotional player and I just wanted to come out here and win this game. It was a big win and I wanted to play hard. I just wanted to do everything I could to help my team get the win. I have all the respect in the world for their team and their coaching staff but I am a Bronco now and I did my part and I am excited to get the win.

(On the Tampa Bay defense) I know their defense really well and I know their strengths and weaknesses. They have a great defense and I give their coaching staff including Monte Kiffin a lot of credit for what they do.

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