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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10-27-2002 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

General thoughts: "I'm very proud of our football team. That was very much a gut check against a very talented Carolina team. We were very fortunate to have won today, but are proud of our team. It was a costly game. We had a lot of guys get hurt. Kerry Jenkins got hurt early in the game. We don't know his status. He has an eye injury. We believe Anthony McFarland has fractured his wrist. We don't know the full severity of that, but obviously we are very concerned. Joe Jurevicius a back up to McCardell has a knee and ankle sprain. We don't know of his status for this week. There were several others. Shaun King was able to finish the game."

On Martin Gramatica's performance: "It was an amazing performance, but not just the last one. The first one, the second one and the third one. We struggled with that area of our football this season. We've had three different long snappers and we've had some protection issues there. For him to do what he did today is a sign of a real pro bowl kicker. That was a great performance."

On QB Rob Johnson: "I thought he made some plays early. I thought we a couple good drives in the first half. We have to play a lot better around him. We had some physical breakdowns in pass protection. Carolina is very talented in their front four. We really didn't give them a chance at times, particularly in this football game. I thought his legs were a positive for us. I thought he bought some time, made some plays. The bottom line is Rob Johnson as a back-up quarterback has to win football games, and I thought he did that, enough for us to win today."

On Shaun King coming into the game for the last play: "We were worried about Rob's health. We took a hit on our sideline and was a little bit groggy. My philosophy is to stay with the guy that works all week. Rob was able to continue to play. But what about Shaun King going out there in that situation and making a key play to set up the game winning field goal. It was a gut check for a lot of guys and I was really impressed by that."

On WR Keyshawn Johnson's plays on the last drive: "Keyshawn got us started. We had several things up on the script to try to get him going to be a factor in this game. We had some breakdowns in pass protection. Carolina did a nice job mixing their coverages. We weren't able to find him until late in this game. I thought Rob mad a couple of key plays on the drive; made a big scramble; got hurt and Shaun King finished it off. It was a heck of a drive today by an offensive team that had their spots today where they weren't very offensive."

S John Lynch On his thoughts on the game: "They brought it today. Our job is not to play well but to outplay the opponent. For the most part we played extremely well, at the start of the second half they started getting some drives. They have a little bit of a different running game, kind of a finesse, gadget play run game that can give you some problems. They hit us there. We got settled down and played some great defense. Someone up in the stands for Tampa Bay brought a sign that said "Pound the Rock" and that's kind of been our slogan this year, our theme. You keep pounding that rock and eventually it's gonna crack and sure enough it did."

On a game in Bucs history that the team lost while allowing very little yardage: "I remember that game, I don't know what year it was but it was the Giants at home. I think we held them to 108 yards and lost. It doesn't leave you feeling good if you lose. We came back. We won. Martin. You just know he's gonna come through for us. Rob Johnson has a rough day with people in his face all day but he stayed with it, made some plays at the end. Shaun King, you get bounced out of bounds, Shaun King comes in-no warmup, tosses, makes a big throw and that's what it takes to win in this league."

WR Keyshawn Johnson On not getting a lot of passes thrown his way: "It's one of those situations today where when the game counted, you don't always get to do everything you'd like to. I'm just satisfied and happy with the situation. We're 6-2, tied for first place in our division now it's big. You know at the end of the day you want to make sure that you're in the dance. I've got patience and I've got a coach that's learning my abilities and what I can do. There is really nothing else I can do except go out there and block."

DE Simeon Rice On the team's play: " It's a hard fought victory. We came with a lot of tenacity. We played to the whistle. It got ugly. At times it almost got brutal. We played through all those situations. We were able to play ourselves on top. That's what this game's about. To be able to win the bad times and good times, individual battles, unit battles and come out with victories and that's what we did today."

QB Shaun King

On his chance to play on the last snap: "That's what they pay me for, to be ready. I'm not sure exactly what happened when he (Johnson) went out of bounds but they said he couldn't go so I just ran in."

On coming in so late in the game: "That's why they call it a professional football league. We are professionals and we have to be ready to do our job. The toughest part is not playing but you try to stay into it because you never know when you have to go in."

DT Warren Sapp

On playing such a close game: "You can set yourself up, but this game will have a great way of humbling you. Whether you're a six sack season or a seven sack season it has a great way of humbling you about your mouth. You learn a lesson."

On Panthers QB Randy Fasani: "My cap's off to this kid. He wasn't flustered even a little bit. We got to him early. The first snap he takes he goes down, almost a safety. The kid really wasn't rattled or anything and the one time he runs, he runs and buys time to throw it like he's a twelve year vet in this league. I'm gonna find me somebody, you know instead of taking off and running for whatever he could get. You gotta take your hat off to the kid. The kid played excellent. I like him. I like this kid a lot."

On nearly getting a safety on the first play "That's what I said, from that point on he scrambled one time and broke to his left and he was going to find somebody to throw it to. You know, we don't get quarterbacks like that that will give us two shots at him. Once we get one shot they usually haul out (laughs). (Fasani) is either real bright or real brave."

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