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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-04-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening statement) "I guess I can say that was a big win for our football team. We made it a little interesting; I really felt there were obviously some plays we needed to make and some we shouldn't have made down the stretch. I was very pleased with the way our team stepped up. A number of guys went in and out of the lineup today. It was a big win for us."

(On putting this win in perspective) "It's a big win to be in the race. It's important that you win when you play. It doesn't matter how you win sometimes; it's important that you win. It's a big reason that we're happy we won because we're hanging around still and that's exciting."

(On RB Earnest Graham rushing for over 100 yards) "We had a great drive to start the game and they were blitzing and we hurt them. After that we didn't see a lot of blitz, we saw some three-man rushes, multiple maximum zones. We felt at halftime we have to run the football and Earnest, you got to do it. And do it, he did. He made some great traffic runs, he didn't fumble, he had a couple of really good receptions, one on third down. It's a credit to him. He's exhausted. Michael Pittman wasn't quite ready today. Michael Bennett is still a work in progress but he did assist in a couple of ways. I thought the second half, the opening drive was superb. The next series was as good a drive as I've ever been associated with. But you've got to make the plays and finish he drive; that's ridiculous."

(On dropped passes) "Well, we had a guy wide open last week and we didn't convert it. To be a great team we're going to have to make all the plays all the time. I'm not going to be negative or anything like that, but this is the National Football League and to win games you have to make the plays when they're there to be made. That's something we have to keep working at. We have to play better, we have to play better, we have to play, better in all three phases."

(On making it tough on Cardinals QB Kurt Warner) "We had Deacon Jones come in, he delivered a fire and brimstone speech. He was still giving the brimstone at about 9:30 last night. We challenged our defensive line; we were missing Greg Spires, and it was Gaines Adams' first start today. I don't know how it all went but there were some flashes there, certainly. We knew we had to get pressure on him otherwise it was going to be a long day with the bevy of receivers they have here. We're really pleased with the way we rushed. We played defense in a total effort today, I felt."

WR Joey Galloway

(On a win going into the bye) "We would have liked it to be a little easier at the end. Offensively, we didn't score in the second half like we should have. We hate for it to come down to a one score game, but to get away with a win versus a tough defense is important for us."

(On if this game was a must win) "We felt like it was our last game going into the bye weekend; it's a home game for us and we are in a battle in our division right now, so it feels pretty good to get this one."

(On having a bye week with the team being banged up) "Definitely a good time, hopefully when we come back, we will have three or four of our guys back [and] ready to go, ready for the stretch run."

(On getting momentum early on) "Our defense played well and we got some points early in the game and then our defense held them down for such a long time. It gave the offense a chance to get a few more points to win the game."

(On his touchdown catch) "I have to look at it on film, everything happened so fast. I saw the guy go by and then the next thing I know, touchdown."

QB Jeff Garcia

(On how it feels to get a win headed into the bye week) "It felt very important just to get our momentum turned around, to get it headed back in a positive direction. It was a tough game today, but a great way to finish off this little stretch right before our bye. I think it will leave everybody with good spirits, positive spirits and hopefully guys will take advantage of the week off and some rest, do what they have to do for their bodies and get back ready to just do the right things and come back to play."

(On the difficulty of facing an unorthodox defense) "It's somewhat difficult. They are very unorthodox with how they move around when they bring in their three-down front. They basically move guys all over the field, disguising coverages. I really give credit to John Wade, our center, for the calls that he makes during the game, for the recognition that he was able to have on the field to get into the right protection. He is really controlling that offensive line. We have a young offensive line around him and he does a great job of getting guys going where they need to go. It is a difficult defense to play against, some good athletes on that side of the ball, some good pass rushers. They definitely come after the quarterback and they got to us a few times today, but I give credit to our offensive line and how they played. We were able to run the football and make the plays when we needed to make them."

(On RB Earnest Graham) "Earnest is just a guy who is taking advantage of an opportunity. He is player who has paid his dues. He has the ability to be a very solid running back. He does a great job, not only running the football, but catching the ball out of the backfield when he has opportunities. He is just one of those guys that is so steady. He always falls forward. He never seems to take a tackle for a loss. He finds ways to eek out extra yardage and he's just doing a great job for this team. His is battling through some physical difficulties and he is playing as tough as anybody."

(On what is says about the team to be in first place despite all of the injuries on offense) "It definitely says a lot about this team and what we are fighting through. Defensively, they have been doing an outstanding job for us. Offensively, we have definitely had to battle through some injuries. It's not like we're looking at what we've lost and hanging our heads. Everybody gets paid to play this game. We are very fortunate to be here playing this game. When new players get opportunities to play, that's really when they are able to show what they are all about. We have had a lot of resolve this year. I think the resiliency of this team is spectacular and we just keep fighting and finding ways to do it. It doesn't look pretty. I wish that this game could have been more dominant on our behalf, but this is the NFL and nothing comes easy. We are going to take excitement out of this win. We are going to appreciate it. We are going to realize what has gone on in the first nine weeks of the season. We are going to appreciate the break that we have. We are going to come back hungry and fighting for the next seven weeks of this season."

RB Earnest Graham

(On the win before the bye week) "That was a big deal. We dropped the last two, and we felt like we should have won those games. Good teams don't lose three games in a row and we wanted to come out here before the off week, get this victory, get everybody back healthy and finish the season off strong."

(On having more than 43 minutes in time of possession) "That's a lot. Heck, that's the way you have to play in the NFL. The ground game got in there and took time off the clock, let the defense stay fresh and you usually get a victory when you do that. With 43 minutes, it's hard not to win, so we were able to do that tonight and it was a good victory for us."

(On the opening drives for touchdowns) "It's all about the way you start at the beginning of the game and how you come out at halftime. That first series at the beginning of the game where we first got the ball we scored, and in the second half we were able to put a long drive together and score a touchdown there so that was big at two very crucial points in the game. But we're not happy, we left a lot out on the field, we missed a field goal there, some drives were halted that we felt like we should have been able to finish, but ultimately we got the W and that's hard to come by in the NFL, and we got one."

WR Ike Hilliard

(On the momentum going into the bye week) "That's definitely what we wanted to do, come out and win a ball game after the last couple weeks and not playing as well as we wanted to play. The only thing that is disheartening is that we got sloppy late, but we still found a way to get a win."

(On having success on third down) "I just happened to be in the situation where I wasn't a primary guy. Jeff [Garcia] is just going through his progressions or he's running for his life and I happened to find a soft spot and he felt comfortable throwing it, so it's good to be a part of a few plays and keep some drives going."

S Tanard Jackson

(On making hard hits during the game) "Anytime you're playing against a great group of receivers like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, you have to play physical to match their intensity. That's basically what we tried to come out here and do today."

(On Arizona's receivers running in the middle of the field) "Definitely, no one wants to run down the middle of the field and get hit by two safeties. Especially with the reputation that [Jermaine] Phillips has and that's what we have been trying to do. Force our will on our opponent. That's what we did today."

(On his interception) "I knew coming in that Warner liked to stare down his receivers. That particular play he did stare down his receivers; I just read his eyes exactly."

S Jermaine Phillips

(On today's win) "It was definitely a big win for us. Especially losing the past two weeks, especially in games that we thought we should have won. So we just wanted to come out here and get away with a win going into the bye week."

(On finding the running game today) "The offense today was definitely our best defensive player today. We stayed off the field, stayed fresh, while Arizona's defense was tired and worn down. We thank our offense for the ball control and helping the defense."

T Jeremy Trueblood

(On if it was tough developing a rhythm) "Not at all. We ran the ball enough so where as an offensive lineman, it's really easy to get into a rhythm."

(On the 5-4 record going into the bye week) "It's really big to have a winning record going into the bye week and that's what we shot for and so far we've done it and we'll continue to build on this."


Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

(Opening statement) "It goes without saying, very disappointed, especially coming off a bye week that we didn't play better than that. We just didn't get it done today. We had opportunities to make plays especially early, didn't get it done. Had the same the second half, starting off we didn't do a good job defensively getting off the field. We have a lot of things to work on, and we will get back to work this week."

(On the team's readiness) "I felt like we were ready to play, right up to the point where obviously, we dropped the football. We had a chance down there going into the first drive, we had a chance to make a play and we didn't make a play. It just seemed to go from there."

(On the long pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald) "I didn't see it. I saw Kurt [Warner] throw it and then I didn't see where he stepped out of bounds or anything. Obviously, a good play early in the game, and we didn't capitalize the way we would like to."

(On not having a timeout at the end of the game) "Yes I would like to have a timeout right there so I could challenge the one play but I didn't. We were down there on the three-yard line in a situation where we wanted to make sure we had a good play call. That was a critical time for us. We wanted to talk about it, if we didn't make it on third we were going to go for it on fourth, wanted to make sure we had two good plays. Obviously, we were successful on the first play and got the touchdown. Don't think it was a factor because we got a possession back with enough time, and we went three and out which we can't do."

(On if he thought the interception in the fourth quarter was out of bounds) "I saw it on the replay. It looked like it to me on the field. One official called it out; one official came in and overruled him. At that point, I was well aware that I couldn't challenge the play because I didn't have a timeout."

(On his frustration level) "Very frustrated; we worked hard, had a great week of practice. I felt like our team was in a good mental state, they were ready to play. We get a play early in the game, offensively moved it down the field. We scored on the first possession, three points, even though we rather would have had seven. I felt like we were in good position, we just went flat."

WR Larry Fitzgerald

(On the biggest problem of the offense) "I'm just disappointed right now. I mean, you fight so hard during the week to put yourself in good position and then you come up short. It's just frustrating, so I really can't put my finger on anything."

(On the feeling heading into the game) "I think we had good practices all week. We were real crisp. Offensively, defensively, we were flying around. We've just got to find a way to make it translate to game day."

(On the mood in the locker room) "You know another first half, offensively we just wanted to get the ball moving down the field and that's frustrating and I know offensively we got to be able to pick it up, and our defense played well again this week, they've been playing well all season for us and we have to, pick up our play on the offensive side."

RB Edgerrin James

(On the struggles offensively) "We just couldn't get anything going. It's weird, with all the talent we have you would think we could find a groove or find something. We couldn't find anything."

(On not playing well in front of family) "Anytime you play you want to play well, and you want to also go out and get a victory. For some reason we didn't get that; it didn't happen. We just have to stick together and figure out what it is going to take to get us back on track. We practiced well this week, everybody practiced well. For some reason, it didn't come over to the game."

(On the struggles running the ball) "No lanes, there were no lanes. Once you get behind you really are not going to run the ball. We never had a chance to get into a run mode. It was always, you run one here. We were playing from behind and never got into a groove."

QB Kurt Warner

(On the lack of offense) "I'm disgusted, I'm embarrassed. I mean, I'm way too good of a football player to be a part of something that we just did out there on the field. You know, I hope we have a bunch of other guys that feel the same way, because that was just ridiculous the way we played offensively. You know, there's not much else to say about it, it was embarrassing."

(On if the loss hurts more coming off a bye week) "I don't care about all that stuff. I don't care if we play them one day after we played. There's just no excuse to play that way. You know, we gotta prepare better, we gotta be ready to play and we gotta show up when the gun goes off on Sunday. I mean, I got no excuses, I got no explanations, but you know, we weren't anywhere close to being good enough."

(On the fast start and the outcome of the game) "I'm surprised by the way we played, yeah. I mean, whatever calculates into that I was amazed at how bad we played today. There are a bunch of things that you can point to, but that did amaze me. We did come out and make some plays early on and again, we didn't finish and, that's something we didn't do the rest of the game either. It was too bad because we did have a couple big plays where we could have shifted momentum early in this game and got up, and, done some big things on a couple of those plays, but we didn't get it done, but we were not able to get it going again until late in the second half. By then it was way too late, even as well as our defense played, we just feel like the offense let the defense down. It's not the first time and it's disappointing today."

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