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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-20-2002 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

Opening Remarks "Philadelphia is a fine football team and that showed today. Very physical, very talented and they were well prepared. Congratulations to them. Brad Johnson was taken out of the game because he had sore ribs. He was unable to continue. Obviously, we are very disappointed. We fought hard. We made some critical errors in some key situations that hurt us."

On the Bucs' offense "It was an ineffective offense to say the least today, especially on third down, or the real effective Philadelphia defense. They are really good on defense physically and structurally they give you a lot of looks. But we have to do a lot better; to ever beat the Philadelphia Eagles, we have to make some plays on offense."

On picking up the Eagles' blitzes "At times we picked up the blitz. At times we did not handle it very well. Run blitzes, blitzes against the pass…. Picking up blitzes is one thing, but getting people open and being able to see throws is another. I wouldn't say we did a particularly sparkling job."

On Al Harris' fourth-quarter interception: "I was on the far sideline honestly. I didn't really see exactly. But sometimes they make plays. Bobby Taylor, I know Taylor and [Troy] Vincent well. They are being paid a high salary to cover guys, and they are hard guys to go after. But we just have to keep going, keep going."

On how he feels after the loss "I am very disappointed. I don't even know if that's a good word. You know losing is gut wrenching. It is a horrendous feeling. So yeah, I feel horrendous right now."

On if he was disappointed in the Bucs' defense "One big play honestly: The touchdown pass [Donovan McNabb to Todd Pinkston]. I thought they played very good, and I thought they did some very good things. Again, it wasn't enough as a team to win. I don't to talk about the defense or the offense. It's about the Buccaneers and we did not play as a team well enough to win. We got hurt in special teams. Brian Mitchell did it to us like he's done to a lot of people in football. He still is a great return man, and he changed field position dramatically today."

On the Bucs' offense "We executed some of the things. Some of the things we felt good about. We felt good about [them] at halftime. They are really a good defensive team. The physical one-on-one matchups they are pretty strong. But [Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson] did a good job I'm sure with the bye week. He [did] give us a couple of different looks that we expected. I'm not going to make a bunch of excuses. They just came in today and played better than we did."

DE Simeon Rice

On the game "The momentum carried over to them. It was a hard fought game until the end. Kudos to that team and to Donovan. We know that we will see them again. They capitalized on some things and that was the game. But we are in it for the long haul. There will be some tough times and some good times. But we will stand tall through it. It's the nature of the game."

On the early turnovers " It was a momentum builder at the beginning of the game. But they came back and neutralized what we did and got the victory. We didn't win today. It just wasn't our day."

On the feeling after the Eagles' long touchdown pass "We knew we could overcome it. But it was a gamebreaker for them. It was a struggle and a good struggle. But the best team won. The details matter in the end. We played hard. It was a character builder. We needed this to find out what we need to work on. Our best is yet to come. Sometimes we have to improve in the dark times. You have to work on things when it looks kind of foggy and kind of cold outside. It's a learning situation. You have to walk away with your chin up. We have 9 more to go."

WR Keyshawn Johnson

On the game "It was a physical game. I had a lot of people tying me up the whole game. But we will get our time. We have to walk away from this with all the positives. We're 5-2 and we have a long way to go. Philly is a very good club and I'm sure we'll see them again."

CB Ronde Barber

On the game "We're 5-2 and we have won some big game. We wanted to come in here and win a big game on the road."

On their chances to force some turnovers "You win some, you lose some. We managed to get another defensive touchdown. We caused some fumbles. I think we are playing well."

On Donovan McNabb " We wanted to get the ball out of his hands. If you can keep the ball out of his hands, you are doing yourself a favor. We got after them on defense, but we had to keep the pressure on them for four quarters."

On how physical the game was "Every game is physical. When you have two pretty good defenses, you will have a more physical game. Big plays can dictate the outcome of a game and they had more than we did."


On the offense "You are always making adjustments. We can be making adjustments the whole year. We have some new players. The adjustment period might take five years. You just don't know. We can't make excuses. We have to be better."

On the Eagles bringing 8 or 9 guys "It would have been nice to block 2 of them. But we have to develop a running game. We weren't able to do that early. We were just trying to keep them honest."

DT Warren Sapp

On Veterans Stadium "It's always been a special place for me. When I got in the league they compared me to [former Eagle] Jerome [Brown]. This is where I started my first game as a matter of fact. It has always been a special place for me."

On the Eagle 42-yard touchdown play "I looked up and saw that he [QB Donovan McNabb] found his man. We still have to come back from that. One play shouldn't beat a championship ball club and that is what we want to be. You have to tip your hat off to them, they made the plays to win the game."

On Donovan McNabb's scrambling ability "We had a good game plan going in. We were hopeful to keep him in the pocket, keep him in front of us and make him beat us. He found his play and they scored the points to beat us."

On special preparation for Donovan McNabb "We came with our same intensity, our same five and our same rush. We got to him at times and put a little pressure on him. He didn't kill us today, but he found his man when he had to find him and that's what this game is about - making big plays."

QB Rob Johnson

On getting a chance to play "I'm really fired up; not that Brad [Johnson] got hurt, but that I have an opportunity to play."

On the goal-line plays in the fourth quarter "The first play was a hot read, we had a double move on it so it was kind of tough and I basically threw it away. The second play we had the perfect call but they were playing inside on my man and the last play they faked the blitz and you saw what happened."

On not scoring after a first-and-goal "It's pretty deflating. You go down there and don't even get three out of it. But that is what happens. You line up in shotgun, first-and-goal at the 11 and the next thing you know the game is over."

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