Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-03-2002 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the game) "The key today was our ability to make some big plays on third down. We had a good balance today between the run and the pass, but we certainly would like to be able to run the ball better."

(On the game) "We were happy to win the football game. I'm proud of our team. We stayed focused and overcame some injuries."

(On performing well in the middle of the season) "It's important for a champion to be strong in the middle rounds, and I emphasized that to our guys this week."

(On the game's statistics) "I don't know how all these stats crept into the world, but all I care about is wins."

(On whether Keyshawn Johnson's two touchdown catches today will give him more confidence) "I don't think Keyshawn needs more confidence. If anything, I try to suck some of that out of him and spread it to some of the other guys on the team."

(On Brad Johnson's performance) "Overcoming the loss of a couple of key players...I think he (Brad Johnson) still had some cracks inside of him, but it was a great gut check today by Brad."

(On the importance of the bye week coming when the Buccaneers are 7-2) "I don't know. It depends on how you perform coming off the bye."

(On the team) "We're going to keep working hard and try to put together an offensive football team that is not only competitive but also hopefully excites our fans."

QB Brad Johnson

(On the game) "The biggest thing for us today was scoring on the opening drive. It really set the tone for us for the rest of the day."

(On the game) "This was a big day for us. Today we made some runs when we had to…some big runs. We did a great job today with making some long drives. The offensive line played tremendously today, especially with what I was going through with the rib thing. I really didn't get hit all day. Those guys dominated up front and helped us play the way that we did. It was a good day offensively."

(On his health) "After being out for four days with the virus, I felt like I had great practices on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and I felt sharp. In two weeks, I should be 100% for Carolina. I'm very happy with my health right now."

DT Warren Sapp

(On Minnesota's offense) "They went back to their old offense and we didn't practice for that, so we were getting different looks. We had to adjust our rushing and adjust what we were doing, but we kept them pretty well contained to get ourselves a win."

T Kenyatta Walker

(On the game) "We did what we were supposed to do. It was supposed to be like that. It feels good. It's a good win. It feels good to finally impose our strength on a team. Now I'm ready for Carolina. That's going to be a good game. We have a big stretch coming up, but we're 7-2 and it doesn't get any better than that."

CB Ronde Barber

(On the play of the defense) "It was sloppy. It was a very sloppy game. It always seems sloppy when we play Minnesota. It's not something that they do, it's things that we do. I missed a tackle and they went 50 yards. We had a breakdown in coverage, and they hit a deep ball."

(On being 7-2) "It's obviously one of our best starts we've had. Even our two losses, we had a chance to win. This is a big momentum gainer going into the bye week."

(On Brad Johnson) "He got hot early. Special teams gave him an early lift. Then our running game made it easy for him. When the offense is clicking like that, he's going to have big days."

WR Karl Williams

(On the opening drive) "I knew we would have a chance to make plays and have a big day. We needed a breakout day. We have a lot of weapons on this team and I said earlier it only takes one guy to step up and make a play. It sparks a chain reaction. I think the offensive line did a great job up front with Brad coming back. He was able to find open receivers and he threw strikes all day."

(On Brad Johnson) "With Brad you can expect anything. He's a soldier. He's going to go back there and he's going to do anything he can to help this football team, and it's contagious."

S John Lynch

(On playing hard before the bye) "I'm very proud. The credit goes to Coach Gruden. He prepared us extremely well. He said if he caught anyone talking about the bye, they were out of here. He told his wife not to talk about the bye. He told our wives not to talk about the bye. It wasn't on our minds."

WR Keyshawn Johnson

(On stepping up his play with the injuries to the wide receivers) "No, not really. I play the same way. You know, I'm not the guy who calls plays. I'm not the quarterback. I'm not an offensive lineman. The only thing I try to do is make plays anytime the ball is delivered to me."

MINNESOTA VIKINGS QUOTES

Head Coach Mike Tice

(Opening comments) "First of all, I was disappointed in the start of the game, you know. Great game, like that, to start with a turnover really set you back. I was also proud of the way we came back down the field and had a touchdown to tie it up; unfortunately taken back by a penalty from a guy that wanted to battle one of the best players in the league. Those things are going to happen."

(On his players) "I was pleased with the amount of players who left everything they had on the field, the way they battled."

(On the Vikings secondary) "I was disappointed by the play of the secondary."

(On pressure by the defense) "There was adequate, based on the type of schemes they were running. One, two, three, four, five quick throw. At times I think there was adequate pressure. We did not take them down in the back end."

(On his players stepping up) "I was pleased with some of the players that went in and battled. Like Cory Withrow, when Corbin Lacina went down. Cedric Killings got some action for the first time. Chris Walsh stepped up."

(On stopping the run) "One long play of 59 yards hurt us. There was some runs. Over aggressiveness in the hole, I believe three players overrun the play and one player was out of position. Other than that, they did a decent job of stopping the run."

(On the timeouts at the end of the game) "It was a 14-point game. We tried the onside kick."

RB Michael Bennett

(On preparation and dealing with the defeat) "It's hard. You work hard and prepare all week and get ready for a team like this. You expect to go out and play hard and you come away with a loss. Its tough."

(On if Warren Sapp talking a lot) "Yeah, he was. But he's a great player. He talks and backs it up."

(On performance) "Overall, I think it was alright. We were able to run the ball well. But, the turnovers cost us. Unfortunately, you work so hard in practice and try to do everything right. To come away from this with a loss hurts."

QB Daunte Culpepper

(On today's game) "We knew there was going to be some adversity out there. The main thing is to overcome it. We started slow, but picked up some momentum. (We) just didn't get it done."

(On being in front of family) "We didn't play well. (There was) a lot of adversity out there. We just have to try and overcome it."

(On whether it is disappointing) "It's tough. We still have to keep fighting. We don't have any guys that are going to give up."

(On interceptions) "I've been trying to do too much on those types of plays."

(On ups and downs) "(It) shows character. What your made of. (You) have to go in and get it done. It's as simple as that."

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