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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-08-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the game) "It was a great game today, a very exciting crowd. I tip my hat to Reggie Bush. He made a great play. He lived up to his expectations today. Shame on us."

(on the penalty called against the Bucs on the completion to Joey Galloway) "They're in double bump and run on the slot. We've got some plays that we work periodically. I don't know if it was a pick or not. I couldn't see it from where I was. It's a play that we've used a lot in certain situations. We'll see the tape. All I can say is that it's unfortunate. That could have won us the football game."

(on if they did anything special defensively to stop Reggie Bush) "No. We realize that he's a fast guy. He plays like a wide receiver sometimes. I'm not going to get into all of that."

(on the Saints' offensive production) "The story, really, was Reggie Bush's punt return and (Deuce)McAllister's running in the first half, as far as their offense went, in my opinion. McAllister was awesome in the first half. They were able to get the running game going. I thought we responded in the second half with some pretty good defensive stops. It's a credit to our young quarterback. He did a heck of a job bringing our team from behind, not once, maybe twice if we can have the Hilliard play stand."

(on if he was happy with the play of Bruce Gradkowski) "I saw what you saw. He is off to a very good start. This is hard to lose, man. There is a lot of promise in that young guy. He played his brains out. He really did. He played one hell of a football game. I liked everything. I liked everything about him. He made some great audibles. We used the no huddle. We used just about every vehicle possible personnel grouping wise to try and win this football game. For his first start to make that kind of impression on people that understand football is quite impressive against a good football team."

(on the officiating) "I don't want to get into the officiating. We lost our quarterback last week on a questionable call. We had some calls today that went against us. There were a couple of calls that went our way."

(on being 0-4) "We're 0-4. I'm very, very sad and distraught for our football players. All I can say is that the first quarter is over and it was a miserable quarter. I'm very encouraged by some of the play of our young players. Jeremy Trueblood stepped up today against a great defensive end. I thought he handles his own. (Maurice) Stovall made a big play when we asked him to. We dropped a couple of balls in the first half that really hurt us, in terms of scoring points. It is what it is. It's not good. People will continue to take their shots at us and that's well understood."

(on the Tampa running game) "We tried some other things to get the running game going. We tried to get the ball on the perimeter sometimes. The double reverse worked. We tossed the ball repeatedly today trying to make the defense a little bit more accountable…We did have some good perimeter running today. Carnell Williams is just a great back and a great competitor."

(on Deuce McAllister) "I don't want to undermine what #26 does this franchise. I can remember when we had the championship season. He punched us a couple of times. He's a hell of a football player. They've got great runners here. It would be a fun job to have, running backs coach of the Saints."

RB Carnell Williams

(on the game) "It was a real tough loss. The guys went out there with total effort, but we just fell a little short. It just takes one play in NFL football to decide a game. That happened to us today."

(on the running game) "The offensive line got great push up front today. They gave myself and (Michael) Pittman nice holes for us to do something."

WR Joey Galloway

(on Bruce Gradkowski's play) "I don't think we could have asked any more from him today. He handled the huddle well. He handled the game well. He dealt well with the noise and made some plays for us."

(on the pass interference call against him in the fourth quarter) "I will have to take a look at it on film. I was coming inside and Ike was going outside. I bumped into the corner and he called it. We will see it on film."

(on where the team goes from here) "We will try to be 1-4 by next Sunday. We will correct our mistakes tomorrow and carry on with our business. The only thing we can do is work harder. No one would have expected us to be 0-4, but that is where we are and we will try to fight our way out of it."

CB Brian Kelly

(on the missed tackles) "There were situations where we had to wrap up and hit them. We didn't do a good a job. They had a big 57-yard run, but a lot of it is tackling. We need to be in the position to make a tackle."

(on Bruce Gradkowski's play) "We knew what Bruce could do. We knew he had the ability after watching him in training camp. He is very calm and poised back there. He did enough for us to win. We just didn't do what we had to do."

(on Deuce McAllister's play) "Everyone focuses on Reggie, but at the end of the day #26 is a hell of a football player. He had a solid game and us missing some tackles didn't help much either.

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(on his performance) "I think it went pretty well. I had a lot of help out there today. The offensive line was blocking their butts off today. The receivers made some great plays. Cadillac was running hard. The tight ends made some great plays. I had a lot of help out there today. I think they were trying to make things easy on my part. I was just trying to make some plays."

(on how hard it was to take this game) "It is a hard one to swallow. We have a lot of great things to build from. We have to bounce back. We have to keep pushing. The people outside this locker room might not see it, but we know what we have. We know what we can build on. We just have to keep pushing week to week.

(on if he was surprised by anything in his first start) "I think I was pretty well prepared coming in. I had two weeks to prepare. Coach Gruden coaches hard. He had me well prepared. I came out here and wasn't surprised by a lot of things. The defensive line is pretty fast. Things are a lot faster out there. It's football. You just have to go out there and play hard. I had a lot of help from the guys out there, so it makes my job out there easy."


Head Coach Sean Payton

(opening statement) "This was a big win obviously. It was exciting. The punt return was a huge play for us. Defensively last in the game we bowed up. Offensively we played better in the second quarter then we did in the second half. This was a big win for us, we beat a team that won this division. We have a lot of respect for those people and it was a big win."

(on what got it started) "Well there was an ebb and flow in that game. The momentum in the first quarter was clearly on their side. We struggled with two three and outs then they had a early touchdown. I thought we battled back in the second quarter and played better. We got the lead back. The third quarter was a little bit of a back and fourth game and they made some plays. I felt that they had the momentum late in the game. We were struggling on offense. I am fired up about this win and this team, we kept fighting and we don't have to answer anymore questions about Reggie's first touchdown."

(on the officiating) "As long as the call is right… I think they were very meticulous with what they were trying to do. I thought they did a good job but of course when your on the winning end of things your happy. Obviously every call didn't go the way we would have liked but I thought they did a good job and spent time making sure they got it right."

(on the crowd) "By in large, I thought the crowd was decent but I think it can be a lot better. The crowd made the third downs very difficult for them. There are a lot of things we need to correct as a team and from the crowds point of view the expectation level is high. I think our crowd will continue to help us generate momentum."

(on Reggie Bush's return) "Our guys did a great job getting hats on hats and Reggie made a great play when we needed it. Its about winning games and style points aren't important. We are 4 and 1 right now."

(on Reggie Bush) "When you see him on tape in college and you make a decision to draft a guy like that he can change games and today he changed one."

(on being 4-1) "Well your looking for the perfect game each week. I am excited for this team and I am excited for the city. Obviously we have a lot of room to improve and we have a lot of things we need to correct. It is a lot better then being 1 and 4. So I am excited about where we are headed but we still have a lot of work to do."

LB Scott Fujita

(on the game) "It was a tough ballgame. That first half, they came out offensively and threw every possible situation in the book at us, every trick play, every formation, every shift and motion, every reverse and screen, so they brought it all out. For us to fight through it and come back and put it together at the end of the game is pretty exciting. They're a good football team. They have a lot of pride. I've been talking about that all week. They have a lot of good veteran leaders on their team and a young quarterback, who played really, really well. All week long we didn't know what he would bring to the table. We thought he was a good athlete, but that was all we had on him and he played pretty well."

(on Bruce Gradkowski) "We had preseason games of him (Bruce Gradkowski) and that was about it. He played some in the game against Carolina, but other than that, we didn't know a whole lot about him at all. I really expected them to come out and run the ball a little bit and throw short passes to try to get into a groove, but he came out throwing the ball deep and throwing it on the money. He was composed, he had good game management skills and I think he's got a bright future in this league. He's a great athlete. We got our work cut out for us. He's a good player."

(on Bush's punt return) "I was on the sideline and I'm not lying to you. Mark Simoneau said Reggie's going to run this back for a touchdown. I had no idea what he knew, but he knew something and then when it happened, I saw that flag go down. I was dog cussing everybody on the sidelines. That was exciting for the whole city. It's got to be a monkey off the back of Reggie (Bush). It was a big play."

(on the defense) "There's a lot of things we can correct on the game film, but that's part of what they do offensively. They came out and they just wear you out with all that, the shifting and motion stuff like I said earlier. You got to give them credit. They did a great job running the ball and Cadillac Williams, he's a great back. It's the first time I played against him and he's highly skilled. He does a great job. He runs hard. He runs strong."

(on the Saints' 4-1 record) "We're just trying to build week in and week out. I don't want to sound like a broken record. I've said that a couple of times, but it's such a young group that's new in this process. Week in and week out we're trying to build and take steps in the right direction and we have. We're had a couple of setbacks today, but we fought through adversity and got a win there at the end. That's good for the confidence of a defense like this. We're just trying to build and come together. We just got to keep staying on the same page and grow as a unit as the season goes along.

QB Drew Brees

(on Reggie Bush's 11 receptions) "He's a first option, but he's also a check down. You're taking a shot and then you check down to him. Obviously you call a lot of plays for him to get the ball in his hands and get it to him in space and let him make it happen."

(on being 4-1) "Obviously we felt like we had the team, the makeup in terms of character guys on our team to be able to put something together. Obviously we knew that it wasn't going to be easy and we looked at those first five games and then obviously Philly coming up next week. So obviously those six games before the bye week. We have some tough opponents. This is a tough division, but if we stick together and obviously it's not always going to be easy. We had to fight through adversity."

(on it taking five games for Bush to get his first TD) "I don't think his first touchdown could have come at a bigger time. In the manner of which it did and the situation of the game and once again, the place just erupted. I think we've had a big play on special teams in each of the last home games that have really gotten us going as a team and gotten the crowd back into it. It's huge."

(on the offense's struggles) "We weren't very good on third down. We were three of 12. We take pride in being one of the best in that regard and we have been. The last two games, we haven't been up to par and we need to improve that, especially getting ready for next week. The fact is we keep grinding away. It's not always going to be perfect and just continue to try to spread the ball around to all your guys, all your playmakers and put drives together. We definitely didn't do as good a job today as we need to do in the future to win."

(more on Bush's first TD) "He should have had one in the first game. The first touchdown of the season should have been to him. I could have made a better throw. I'm sure he thought he'd be scoring more than that like everybody. Every one of the guys have that mentality in the game where you're going to be the guy that day. I think it's good that everybody has that mentality."

DE Charles Grant

(on the sack-forced fumble) "That was a team sack. There were three other defensive linemen that had great pressure up the middle. They made an outstanding push. The quarterback just stepped back. I got the ball out of his hands and caused a forced fumble."

(on the defense stepping up) "We talked about that a lot. We still have a lot to go in being a great defense. I think the last two weeks we have not played to our standards. I think you have to go back and evaluate. It's great to have a win like this, but we will have to step our game up, me first and everybody else on the defense. We got to play big time like we did on Monday Night Football against the Falcons."

RB Deuce McAllister

(on the running game) "It's just opportunities, opportunities for us as a team to go out there and run the ball. I think we were physical, with some of the things Tampa was going in terms of slanting the line, blitzing the backside as well as the frontside to stop the run, so there's opportunities and when they're there, you got to take advantage of them."

(on being healthy) "It doesn't matter. I just try to go out there and play, whether I'm 100 percent or 85 percent, it doesn't really matter. People are going to make their opinion and comments in the way they choose to be. It's something I can't control."

(on his knee) "The trainers and our strength coaches and the doctors did an excellent job of just trying to get the knee prepared. Some days and some weeks it's going to feel better than others. Today it felt pretty good. It was a huge opportunity to go out there and make some plays and we had success to do so."

RB Reggie Bush

(on the return touchdown) "I was just trying to get the crowed hyped. It wasn't the moment. I guess they were in the moment. It was getting them into the game. Obviously it was a big play and I just wanted to get the people on their feet. Fortunately I was able to return the punt for a touchdown and it was huge. A lot of credit out there goes to my teammates who were blocking. Really all I had to do was make one guy miss."

(on how he ranks that touchdown) "It's up there with some of the biggest ones, some of the biggest touchdowns I've scored and obviously this touchdown was more special, because it was the game-winning touchdown for us and like I said, it was a blessing to be able to do that and to win in such dramatic fashion. It was huge for us."

(on getting his first TD) "I was getting tired of that question. I was getting tired of the questions. Me, I think the most important thing to remember was to not press so much. I think in the previous couple of games I was trying to press too much. I needed to take what the defense was giving me and let it flow and get into the rhythm of the game and not press too much."

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