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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-07-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the game) "On our first-down runs we had some negative plays. We didn't have the ball a lot. We only made it a 13-7 game, and I think the next time we saw the ball it was a 23-7 game. And that's a credit to John Teerlinck and their defensive coaches and players. I think they've got a pretty good idea that teams are going to run the ball on them on early downs. They jumped into some eight-man fronts, and we should have done better. We had a couple of assignment errors early in the game where we fell behind in the down and distance, and that's something we did not want to do coming in here against this pass rush."

(on defensive problems) "We weren't able to get off the field today on third down and get the ball back. I think Peyton did a great job, and he deserves credit."

(on the inability to make an offensive push) "We had a couple of breakdowns on early downs on our first two possessions running the ball. We had a nice touchdown drive to make it a 13-7 game, and I thought we dropped two balls on our next possession near the end of the half. That could've been a difference for us, forced ourselves out of that hole and maybe got something before the half. And I think we only had three offensive plays in the whole third quarter, so you do the math there. You're not going to get much going without the ball."

QB Jeff Garcia on Colts' defense ) "A lot of penetration, lot of linebackers shooting through the gap. They did a great job. They're a good defense, give them credit where credit if due, but we need to be better than that. We're capable of being better than that. It's just something that we need to continue to work on. We're a good football team and today we went up against a really good football team, obviously with what they've been able to achieve, and that's where we aim to want to be. It just is going to take some work and dedication by everybody. I think we're very capable of bouncing back and continuing in the direction that we were headed. We're very excited about what we have here. This is a bump in the road, something that we'll learn from and move past it."

(on Bucs' offense – lack of productivity) "Tough to get it going. Right from the get-go. Combination of defensive speed, loud noise, their getting off the ball faster. Obviously the distractions, those are things we're going to have to work through in these type of environments. We just weren't able to get it going."

LB Cato June (on coming back to play against Peyton Manning) "It's tough. You know, he's a great quarterback. And he puts the ballclub in a position to make plays, and they make great plays when they're called on."

(on inability to stop the Colts on third down) "They were taking what the defense was giving them. They were dumping the ball off and taking the five yards here, six yards there, and they'd stayed consistent with what they were doing. Everybody played their role and they played together, and that's what we expected, with or without the other players."

LB Derrick Brooks

(on Bucs' defense vs. Colts' offense) "We give them three yards here, five yards there, another three yards and a first down. I have to give them credit for staying patient and taking what we gave them."

(on Peyton Manning) "Their offense has been together for a long time. The few times we got pressure on him, he threw the ball out of bounds and threw it in the ground and didn't take a lot of shots. Give them credit today. He took what we gave him and he stayed patient. We didn't get off the field enough to give our offense a chance."


Head Coach Tony Dungy

(general comments) "Well, I have been proud of our team on many, many of occasions, but this is one of the best. We talked last night about really just focusing on who was going to play and not who might not play or who couldn't. We didn't want to alter things. We wanted to do what we always do by running our game plan offensively and defensively. Our backup guys stepped up. For our defense to be missing a couple of people, holding them down running the ball like that…Kenton Keith had a big day. Anthony Gonzalez hadn't even practiced on the outside that much. Aaron Moorehead came in with back spasms and couldn't really go. Anthony had to play the whole game on the outside and I thought he did an outstanding job. But everyone did stepp up and I thought the backup guys didn't try to do too much. Everybody just did their job. Tampa has been playing well. They are hot and well coached and don't make many mistakes. We had to earn it today and today we did."

(on Kenton Keith and Clifton Dawson) "Kenton (Keith) played well, but he has done that the whole time. The off-season program, the preseason when he has had to carry the ball, he has done a good job. Clifton Dawson came in and gave us some good carries. Everyone did their part and that was what was so good about it."

(on the Colts' defensive play) "We played fast and we are playing pretty smart. We had a couple of situations that we didn't execute just right. The thing is we are playing together and playing so fast that when we miss tackles we have other guys there showing up and not giving up those long plays. And when we get ahead in the game, we get a lot tougher when we do get the lead."

(on Peyton Manning controlling the game) "He did have control today. He's played against this type of defense for six years now so there aren't a lot of things that he hasn't seen. I thought he did the right things a lot of the time out there, coming down to check-downs, taking the throws where available. He forced one ball which got picked off, but calling the run plays at the right time, you really can't appreciate what a good came he called as well as how well he threw the ball."

QB Peyton Manning

(on the performance taking into account the injuries) "No question. Had a lot of young guys step up. Had a lot of different players out there playing different positions. Some guys knew they were going to play all week, some guys found out an hour-and-a-half before the game they were going to play in certain spots, and Coach Dungy often talks about that. Certainly don't like to be missing some of your main players, but when it happens, the old cliché is true, other guys have to step up and a lot of guys did that today."

(on whether the offense was limited today) "Well, you certainly try to. You certainly take it into account (having backups in) with the audibles and the checks. You double check certain times, with certain guys to be sure they are on the same page. A lot of the guys, it's their first time playing, but obviously you have a couple guys that you are going to lean on like Reggie (Wayne) and Dallas (Clark). You just try to help them a little, but you still want to be able to run your offense."

(on Gonzalez playing outside receiver and not in the slot today) "No he hasn't. He has not played outside. I haven't throw to him much outside. He was brought in here and we sort of, kind of worked him in the slot mainly which is the right thing to do because you are trying to get on the field. He is not going to get on the field at the outside positions, but so even this week we kind of worked him at the slot and had (Aaron) Moorehead outside. I didn't know Moorehead wasn't going to play until I am getting dressed to go out on the field. Gonzalez, it's a real credit to him. He has studied from the day he got here his position and also the other positions. He knew what to do. There was never a doubt there and he made some great catches today."

(on if he was curious how the defense would react with so many offensive players out) "I was pretty focused on what we (offense) were going to do without a lot of our guys there. I can't remember a game when we have had that many guys on offense, guys at some prominent positions missing; with Marvin out, Addai out and Utecht out and your backup receiver (Moorehead) out. We played the whole game in two tight ends even on third down. They got their nickel package in and we are in two tight ends and a lot of plays out there. So, great credit to all the guys who played, for their stamina, being able to step up. This is a good win, considering the circumstances it was a very special win."

WR Anthony Gonzalez

(on filling in for starters) "Coach Dungy kind of collectively challenged the guys who were filling in for the starters to make sure there was no letdown. Obviously we didn't do exactly what the starters would do, but we played pretty well. It was very rewarding to get out there and help the team win. It's just one of those things, it's part of your job and you have to be prepared. So really, the last 48 hours when I got the idea that I would get more snaps than usual, I just studied to make sure mentally I had everything down from that outside position. So it was mentally getting into it and then it's all about execution, and we did that today."

TE Dallas Clark (general comments) "Coach Dungy stresses start fast. With the maturity of this team, it all has something to do with it. He told us to last night that this was going to define what kind of team we have."

RB Kenton Keith (on playing a key role in the game) "The game, from my perspective, was hard to get into at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was a lot different from practice, and a lot of the reads are different from practice because everybody is going full speed and everybody is trying to blow my head off. But it came to me later on in the game. It took me awhile, maybe a half, but it came to me and I was comfortable in there. It's exciting. I didn't think it would turn out the way it did. I figured I was going to play good because I wasn't nervous or anything, but I didn't expect a hundred and something yards and two touchdowns."

DT Raheem Brock (on today's main focus) "Our main focus at first was to come out and control the line of scrimmage. We know everyone is going to try to run on us."

(general comments) "We have a lot of guys who can step up. That's great for us because it's a long season. Our offense went out and controlled the ball and we shut the running game down."

DE Dwight Freeney (general comments) "Defense is how you win it. A sack on the first series and then six and out."

LB Gary Brackett (general comments) "Everybody with an opportunity to make a play made it. We were able to get up the field on defense and the offense controlled the ball. We really played a complete game."

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