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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-02-2008 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the game) That was a great effort by our team, a great effort by Kansas City the biggest comeback in the history of our franchise today. A lot of guys deserve credit. Again I tip my hat to the Chiefs. Theyre going to be a good team and theyre clearly playing their heart out.

(On QB Jeff Garcias late touchdown pass to tie the ball game) He made a play. Thats the difference in this league. Sometimes guys make great plays, sometimes the other team makes them. We had a dramatic victory in Chicago, very much like this. Dramatic victory today for us. Close hard-fought losses three other times. Thats why you spend so much time working on the two-minute drill. Boy, did our guys play extremely well when we got into that phase of the offense.

(On if the game reminded him of the first game he coached at Arrowhead Stadium) Wasnt the first one, it was the next one, but we knocked the Chiefs out of the playoffs and overcame a big deficit. It was very familiar because of the number of players that we were missing that day. We were missing a lot of guys today key guys. Its a thrilling victory; I told the guys its a hard place to win. I think they believe that now.

(On the resiliency of his team) I think [RB] Clifton Smith made a big play on the kickoff return. We got a field goal at the end of the half. We just have a lot of veteran leadership, weve got a lot of guys who love the game and believe in what were doing. And they know that Kansas City made some great plays and they knew they had to make a few of their own to get right back in the game. They had a lot of poise. Weve got a long way to go, but to win six games before the bye with the amount of guys weve had play for us is a great accomplishment. Were going to build off of this.

(on fumbling in the red zone) We shouldnt do that. Those are terrible plays and theyre by us. We did it and we dont want to make a habit of doing that. Its been a problem in the Red Zone: I think we turned it over against Seattle, we turned it over against Green Bay and we turned it over twice today. Weve got to do a much better job.

(on how far a win like this can carry a team) Its a hard league to win in, you know that. To be 6-3 and alive and have a chance to re-group and get some guys back is exciting. It doesnt guarantee us anything; weve got to play better than we did today and last week. But we do have character and we are in the race, and thats significant.

(On the importance of forcing the fumble after initially giving it away) It was the play of the day really. It gave [RB] Earnest Graham a chance to throw his first touchdown pass of the day. We went deep in the playbook today and [S] Tanard Jackson allowed us to do that. Hes a great player, should be a potential Pro Bowler this year. I thought [S] Sabby [Piscitelli] stepped up and [S] Jermaine [Phillips], but that was a big play.

(On getting deep plays from the receivers today, especially on third down) [WR] Antonio [Bryant] played great. He made a touchdown catch, he made a catch earlier on our sideline, made unbelievable catches. Its a credit to our guys, Ill try to get [WR Joey] Galloway more work after the bye. Were proud of them.

(on the Chiefs' trick plays) They were great. We expected some of that from Coach [Chan] Gailey. Hes had a history of being very creative. They really had us on the ropes. They mixed it up quite well. [RB Jamaal] Charles was the quarterback. Theyve got a unique package and maybe well steal a few of those ideas next week.

(On WR Michael Claytons catch in overtime) It was a great catch and great run after the catch. Those are the kind of plays that will bring him back to life again, I think, and really allow him to explode back on the scene again in the NFL. He did some great things today.

(On the Bucs' pass defense) Well, we played a couple of quarterbacks that hadnt played a lot the last couple of weeks. We played a young guy today with life in his legs. Theyve got some good players. [TE Tony] Gonzalez and [RB Jamaal] Charles, theyve got some talent and skill. And [WR Dwayne] Bowe is a heck of a receiver. They had us mixed up a little bit. I think they did a nice job running the ball from some weird formations and some play-action passes that were just downright nasty. Weve got to learn from that.

(on what Claytons catch looked like from his angle) I was thinking about jumping in front and helping him out. He got a good block from somebody, but I cant tell you who it was. Hes just a football player. For all the things hes been through in the last few years, for him to make a signature play in a game like this is huge for him. Huge for us.

(on how big the kick return by Clifton Smith was) It was big. It gave us a chance. Right then we were struggling. It was a hot day, it was not going well. Clifton gave us a chance, gave us some life and energy. There were four or five big plays we made today that allowed this to happen.

(On Jeff Garcias ability to methodically move the team down the field in overtime) Thats what youve got to do. You saw they were playing two deep every snap. We said it week in and week out, we havent seen a lot of man-to-man. The middle linebacker was as deep as the two safeties at times. Youre going to have to do what he did today. I thought he pushed the ball carelessly early in the game with an interception. I thought he re-grouped. I thought he made really good decisions. I thought our pass protection was outstanding. I thought he was a great pass pro today. He just showed you his poise and his veteran savvy and I think he made some great adjustments.

(On the coverage on the throw to WR Antonio Bryant) It was cover-two. He stuck the ball in between the corner and the safety. Protection held up, allowed Garcia to look left, look right and shove the ball into the void. What a great throw and catch. It was a real happy day in my life today.

QB Jeff Garcia

(On coming back to rally at the end) On both sides of the ball, we were our own worst enemy in the first half, probably in three quarters and into the fourth quarter. But thank God for Clifton Smith and the kickoff return. That was a big play for us today. Maintaining composure on the sideline and knowing that there was still enough time that if we got another chance that maybe we could put something together. We got that opportunity. Antonio [Bryant] made a great play on the sideline there at the end to give us a score and then Alex [Smith] followed up with a great catch and a two-point conversion. All day long the offensive line did a pretty good job for me and it was just about eliminating unfortunate errors that we had the turnovers, the interception, the fumbles down in the Red Zone, just some tough things that we had to overcome today. But give credit to this team, give credit to Kansas City for the way they played today, too. I thought that the quarterback and their approach, how they played the game, did a good job. We just hung together as a team, the coaches hung together, the players hung together and that is how we were able to pull this out.

RB Earnest Graham (On the game) We didnt start off so great. We had some turnovers but this team has responded before. We have some tough, resilient characters on our team. We decided we werent going to lose. We came out and responded and we have to be happy with that.

(On going into halftime down 24-13) We dont like to be in the situation but we are comfortable in it, being behind. We got in a rhythm there and were able to do some things: improvising and making plays. Its a trait of this team.

CB Ronde Barber

(On playing against the Chiefs offense) We definitely changed things in the second half. We were forced to play a lot more man-to-man. Their [spread] offense, is tough to deal with, [especially] with the way we were playing in the first half. They got us; they were running the ball very effectively. It hasnt been our trait this year. You throw that in with the flea flicker, the ball that we all thought was on the ground, that (Chiefs WR Mark Bradley) threw for a touchdown to Thigpen. I cant think of a game where we started like that. We were down pretty bad in the first quarter but we found a way to get out of it.

(On the game) This was definitely a defining day. We just believed that the adjustments we made were going to start working and they did. Were fortunate the kickoff return for a touchdown was a huge play.

WR Ike Hilliard

(On going into the bye week with a win) Bye week or no bye week, you just look at our team and how weve been able to play. The talk we had all week about avenging the loss [to Dallas], to come out and play so poorly, we have to look at what weve done and re-group and figure out how to not be so flat, especially out on the road against a team we felt we should have beaten and put away. Thats no disrespect to the Chiefs. We felt we had a chance to go out and make a statement after a tough loss. Unreal, in terms of the resiliency that each guy showed. There are so many things you can say."

(on enjoying the win) "At some point, while we will enjoy this win going into the bye week, we need to re-group and look at what weve done up to this point. As a team, if we want to be great like we talk about, weve got to find a way to put people away, early and often. Thats the kind of stuff we talk about going out and jumping on a team early, making enough plays, closing it out on defense, and finish, finish, finish. We have to put one of those games together, but in the same sense, we are still a 6-3 ball club, so were in a good position, relatively healthy and weve got a chance.

(On the resiliency of his teammates) They are making my life very interesting. Thats the best I can tell you. They are allowing me to have a lot of fun. It was crazy but was a good win for us.

LB Derrick Brooks

(On the teams mindset coming into this game) Coach talked about it early, he said there would be some peaks and valleys in the game. Do it right, whatever it is, do it. I think thats what we did. We just didnt know the valleys would be so low, as long as they lasted. Somebody was going to have to step up and make a play. [RB] Clifton [Smith] did that. If youre going to be a good football team, you are going to be faced with adversity. There was nothing wrong with the adversity we faced today. Were going to be tested and were going to be tested again in some fashion. Today we responded."


Head Coach Herm Edwards

(On the game) We were kind of playing at the end with some reserve guys. But youve got to give Tampa credit. They came back and made the plays at the end to win the game. I thought we got off to a good start offensively. I thought our quarterback had another good day again. I thought the first half the defense did a pretty good job of keeping them out of the end zone. In the second half it kind of got away from us. Before the half we gave them a big kickoff return and that hurt us and then a foul and that gives them another three points for 10 points before the half. The second half I thought we moved the ball some but we couldnt get any touchdowns and we knew these guys would get momentum back. They made the plays at the end with about five minutes when the game could go either way. We didnt make enough plays similar to last week.

(On the mistakes made by the young guys) The problem was we lost our starting corner and our nickel back. We had two young guys in there and one of them was cut earlier and we brought him back this week and he had to play a lot. No fault of his, but he had to go play. [CB Maurice] Leggett had to play a lot because [CB Brandon] Flowers went down. We tried to hide him as much as we could but they found him and completed some passes that way.

(On Bucs QB Jeff Garcia getting in rhythm) He got into rhythm and tackling is the key with these guys because they run a lot of crossing routes. They put the ball inside the numbers for the most part. He did a good job of getting guys open. They made some plays. At the end of the game they got going and we didnt slow them down. Had we scored a touchdown the game might have been different but we didnt. You have to knock them out and we didnt. They got the momentum at the half, I thought.

(On Gonzalezs offensive pass interference penalty) Well look at it but its a bang-bang play and is something not for instant replay. The official made the call and Tony made a great catch. If we get that catch the game is probably over.

(On RB Jamaal Charles big day running the ball) When you draft a guy like that you know you cant give him the load of the offense. Youve got to pick your spots, but hes getting more comfortable. I thought Chan [Gailey] did a good job of getting him the ball in certain situations. Hell learn from that mistake (Charles fumble in the 4th quarter).

(On difficulties moving the ball in the second half) Didnt make some first downs on third down situations. We had a third-and-one right (near the goal line). Another one we flinched and then it was a third-and-five.

(On the pass play from WR Mark Bradley to QB Tyler Thigpen) We practiced it this week. Actually [Thigpen] dropped it in practice and then we came back the next day to make sure he wasnt going to drop it. We moved it back a little further. The one we did in practice he was standing in the end zone. And Mark threw a good ball. Hes a pro.

QB Tyler Thigpen

(On his play) We didnt win so it didnt matter if I threw three picks. We just want to win around here. We had a chance to win and we werent able to capitalize.

(On his comfort level leading the team on the field) Definitely, the more you play as a quarterback the more youre going to feel comfortable. I felt like we had a good game plan this week for me to feel comfortable in and we went out and executed. We had a chance to win and thats the biggest thing, giving yourself a chance to win.

(On the second half) Maybe we just need to stay out there on the field and not even come in the locker room. I dont know. Weve got to move the ball in the second half.

(On the opening drive) Thats just what you want to do. In the perfect world you want to be able to run the ball, that way you dont have to pass it. But we were able to do both of them in that drive. We had two nice drives there to start off and we put 14 points on the board. And the defense did a good job of getting some turnovers.

(On his touchdown catch in the 2nd quarter) Thats a play we put in this week. On the first play I split out and the guy didnt respect me (as a receiver). Then the coach came right back and called it. It was a good call by him. The coach has seen me catch the ball. I dont drop that.

(On the struggles in the fourth quarter and if they can be fixed) We want to get out there and run the ball and run the clock down. But weve just got to have the will and I think we have that. We had a good chance and Tony [Gonzalez] made a great catch but they call pass interference.

(On scoring 27 points against a good defense) It just shows what our offense can do. It really feels good going up against a tough defense and moving the ball. We need to look at that and build on it.

(On his development as a quarterback since training camp) Night and day. I came a long way.

(On building an offense) We moved the ball and we need to be able to build and put points on the board. Well come back and break down the film. We can build on that.

WR Mark Bradley

(On the game) Weve just got to stay together and finish a game. In the second half, we didnt make the plays to get us over that hump. Weve just got to keep playing throughout the game and finish in the fourth quarter.

(On getting more involved in the offense) On a personal note it feels good, but it doesnt really mean anything when you have a loss. No one person is better than the team. We came out here and played our hearts out. It doesnt matter if a guy passes for 600 yards or rushes for 300 yards, a loss is a loss.

(On the TD pass to QB Tyler Thigpen) He dropped that pass in practice, but he didnt drop it when it counted. I had confidence in Tyler that he would haul it in if I was able to throw in out there.

(On the offensive pass interference call against TE Tony Gonzalez) I just thought that the guy fell down. You would think that a Hall of Famer would get a call, but it didnt go our way. You just have to keep pushing forward when you dont get a call. Things happen in a game whether you do or dont get a call, you just have to keep pushing.

T Brandon Albert (On the Chiefs running game) We did a good job of coming out there and Jamaal [Charles] stepped up big coming into Kolbys [Smith] place and he kept pounding the rock.

(On the Bucs performance in the second half) They made plays. They did a good job holding us. Were still making progress on the field, but they did a good job not letting us score points.

RB Jamaal Charles

(On potentially starting next week) Ive got to practice better now and I got to focus.

(On his fourth quarter fumble) I tried to do too much instead of trying to run the ball. I tried to stiff-arm and I had my left arm loose. He [Tanard Jackson] tried to make a tackle, but he got his hand on the ball and it just broke loose.

(On getting his first 100-yard rushing day) It was fun out there. Our defense tried hard, our offense tried hard. We went out there with our minds focused to win the game. We came up short today and went into overtime. I think my team still played well, but we didnt come up with a win.

(On KC scoring of their first three of four drives today) We moved the ball today. We had a fast tempo. Thats the way we wanted to come out. We knew they could move up the field fast, so we wanted to do that with our offense.

(on if too many mistakes were made) I dont think we made too many mistakes today. We just didnt execute when our name was called. We just didnt step up. We played well. We played hard. We went out there and tried to give it our all, we just didnt come up (with a win).

CB Brandon Carr

(on how you correct things after the loss) Weve got to go watch film. We were just that close. Its a matter of putting a whole 60 minute ballgame together and just go out there and execute the whole way.

(on what Coach Edwards said at halftime and after the game) At halftime, he said we lost focus. We needed to try and regain that in the second half. Its unfortunate that the ball didnt bounce your way and this is one of those days where the ball didnt bounce our way.

(on what the positive outcomes were that came out of todays game) There are always positives. We just have to build on that. The chemistry around the whole team is getting better each week with each practice. Hopefully we can build upon that and come away with a victory next week.

WR Dwayne Bowe

(On the performance of Tyler Thigpen) With No. 4 at quarterback, hes making great decisions with the ball. Thats how we start playing with a lead. I think every week if we can start off like this, it would be hard for teams to beat us. At the end, we kind of broke down a little bit. But, in overtime, we were a play away. Every week its getting better, No. 4 is going to turn out to be a great guy.

(On his touchdown reception) It was a slant route. He seen they had a blitz on and he told me if you see that guy blitzing just run a slant. We had a great connection. I ran the slant and made a great catch.

(On the performance of the offense) We feel confident. We know that we can come out here next week and do it again. Were just waiting for next week to get better.

(On whats been the difference in the second half during the last couple of weeks) I dont know. In the second half, we have to be more willing to take big plays instead of running the ball. The offensive coordinator is doing a great job calling the plays. Weve just got to execute them. We didnt get too conservative. He [Chan Gailey] called some great plays. We were just one block away, one catch away. Its football, its going to be like that every week. We just have to make the plays when it counts.

DE Turk McBride

(On the game) Everyone hates losing, but you play to win the game. A loss by one point or a thousand points still hurts the same to me. We just need to prepare a little bit better and just finish. I think were coming around as a team, we just need to learn to finish a little bit better. A loss is a loss. If you dont have a W in front of your name, its a loss. It hurts. Like everyone else in this locker room.

(On if progress is being made) We just need to come around and focus a little bit harder. If we just learn how to finish and do what we have to do, including myself and everyone else on this team, we should be a team that a lot of people cant stop.

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