Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-05-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I feel comfortable in black here. I feel like it was a good selection of clothes. That's about all I did well today was wear black. I'd like to congratulate the Saints. They came in today and played a heck of a football game. Drew Brees had a tremendous performance and I really tip my hat to their football team. They had an impressive victory. We battled back into the football game. We had a tremendous effort to make it a 17-14 game. Unfortunately, it got away from us again to start the third quarter, much as it did to start the football game."

(On why the slow starts) "Right now, we are not the juggernaut, offensively, that I think we want to be or we're going to be. I really have confidence that we are going to continue to get better. We've got some young guys playing obviously, and we have to do a better job certainly as coaches. Defensively, we gave up way too many big plays. I don't understand it, I really don't, but we have to make the corrections and all I can say is, to fall behind against a team that leads the division at home, 17-0, is not what we are about here."

*(On why the team is struggling to get the run game going) * "We're trying, you know. Obviously, first down is a premier run down in this league. We're trying running the ball from a one-back set, a two-back set, with two tight ends, three tight ends and no tight ends. We didn't have any sustained success at all and part of that, obviously, is that they're going to make us do some things maybe that we wouldn't like to do. It is a credit to New Orleans. They did a good job defensively as they have done throughout the season."

*(On the offense) * "We had a couple of opportunities. We had some negative plays on first down that put us way behind in the down and distance. We missed a couple opportunities, I think, in the passing game on first and second down to keep us in some normal third-down situations. But Bruce [Gradkowski] I think will be the first to tell you that he was a little quick to get rid of the ball early in the football game. It is something that he has to learn from a little bit. I am not going to put it all on him. I will put it all on myself. It is hard to get guys wide open in this league and certainly it's hard to run the ball. That's the hardest thing to do. You can ask New Orleans today; they didn't have much success either. We have to do a better job certainly, game-planning and executing."

CB Ronde Barber

(On the game) "I don't have a lot to say about this one. It was ugly. Everybody needs to point to themselves and say, 'It's their fault.'"

(On if the Buccaneers did anything different in coverage) "I'll have to look at it, but I don't know. I'm struggling to find perspective of what happened today. I don't have a lot of words for it. It's obviously not what we want. We all have to be accountable."

(On the rest of the season) "At the beginning of the year we sign up for 16 games. Last time I checked we have eight more games and I'm still signed up, and we'll go back to work. It's what we do. It's what we have to do."

(On the Saints wide receivers) "They get open and they can catch the ball. I give them credit for catching the ball when they are wide open. That's football."

(On QB Drew Brees) "He threw the ball pretty quick. He's a rhythm thrower and he's smart. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. We said that going into this game. I don't know. I'm shocked the way that we played."

LB Derrick Brooks

On the Saints' passing attack) "A couple times [we were in] man-to-man coverage and they threw the ball up, we have to make a play and we didn't. Other times, against our blitz, where we expected to come free, [we gave them] too much time, and they just made more plays this time around. It's like we took away their vertical passing game the first time we played them and we let a couple of runs get out. Today, we played the run better but we didn't take away the big plays. It's like all their drives came off of big passing plays, either them making a play or us not making a play. They did a good job of that today."

(On being 2-6 halfway through the season) "You think about the rest of the season, then you are doing too much. All we can do right now is take a couple of days here and let this first half soak in and soak out of you. Come back the second half, three of our four games on the road. So we definitely have to be cohesive and we have to come together even tighter now, because we are playing away games. I think you'll see a very united football team that's, again, going to go out and play better than we played today."

(On the impact of the early offensive struggles on the defense) "We have to make our plays for them. Like I said, whether its getting three-and-outs of our own or getting turnovers. We can't go out there and give up long plays. We have to stop helping people out. When our offense takes a while to get it going, we as a defense have to step up and provide a turnover or provide a splash play to get them going."

WR Joey Galloway

(On the game) "We didn't make enough plays. They did what they wanted to on offense and they stopped us when we had the ball. It's going to be tough to win like that."

(On the slow offensive start) "Our goal was to start fast and we didn't do that today, especially offensively. We did not get off to a good start. They got up and got the lead on us. Any time you get behind to a good team like they are, a team that offensively can control the time of possession, then it's going to be tough to come back and win."

(On his first touchdown) "Really a nice throw by Bruce [Gradkowski]. We had bump-and-run coverage; right play call at the right time. And then a nice throw by Bruce."

(On his second touchdown) "It's a play to go over the middle. I think it's the linebacker's responsibility to get back and Bruce just beat him with the ball."

(On the adjustment the Saints made in the second half) "It's going to be easier once we watch film to figure that out. I do know that we just didn't play well. Offensively, in the second half, we didn't do anything. We didn't do anything well. When you're behind and you're not playing well offensively, it's always going to be tough."

(On the upcoming schedule) "We're going to take them one at a time starting with Carolina. We're going to go, try to get that win, and go from there."

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(On the team's first six possessions) "We started off slow. You can't do that against a good football team and it's just little things here and there, little mistakes. I missed a throw here, we jump offsides there, so it's just little things here and there. It's good to know, that we can correct it and get through it. We have to correct it and we have to get through it. We have to keep pushing and we will."

(On the shift of the momentum at the end of the first half) "Definitely, I felt like we had the momentum going at halftime. We put together two nice drives in the second quarter and it gave us some momentum. We just needed to come out in the second half. Our defense had a good hold and we just needed to put together another drive in that third quarter and we'll be just fine. We have spurts here and there; we just need to find it and put together a full game and a full 60 minutes."

(More on the game) "We just have to execute better. There are some times where I'm missing throws here and there and I have to correct that. That is something that I have to get better with and be more poised in the pocket and make those plays. I think this experience is helping me get better. We are going through some tough times right now, but we'll push through, we'll be alright and we have a long road ahead of us."

(On how frustrating it has been for him) "It is definitely frustrating. Especially when you see the good things you can do, especially an offense. In that second quarter that's the way we look, that's how we can play. We can do that a lot more often and that's what we need to do."

(On the two touchdown passes to Galloway) "Joey [Galloway], any time you see him matched up man-to-man, you have to take a shot. He ran a great route, he went and got the ball and it was a great play to get us started and get points on the board. Then the second play, it was a take-a-shot play. We were so many seconds left in the second quarter, we knew we were in field goal range and I thought, 'Let me take a shot where only he can catch it.' He made a great play on it; fortunately enough we were able to score before the half."

G Davin Joseph

(On the Bucs offense) "You get a good running game going and you can really create a lot of opportunities for your big-play receivers, and create opportunities for your running backs. You can really get into a groove, so you're really on the offensive. When you really get the running game going and you set in a really good physical rhythm, all that, while taking time off the clock. There's a lot of benefits to having a strong [running game], but when you look at the other side, it's great to have a good passing game. You have quick scores, big plays and momentum shifts, so it kind of goes hand-in-hand. It adds balance to an offense."

(On having a versatile offense) "I say you've got to be versatile as an offense. If you are going to pass the ball, you have to pass the ball. You have to make the big plays, and that's just what it is. If you are going to run it, you are just going to have to keep it consistent. Whether it's a lack of balance, or what not, it's still about making plays. Whether you are a run dominant, or pass dominant team, it's all about capitalizing on your opportunities, making quick scores and making plays."

(On RB Carnell Williams) "He's a team player. He catches a lot of passes out of the backfield, too. He picks up the blitz [pretty] good. He's a very versatile back. He's not one dimensional at all. He really adds to the offense by being able to come out of the backfield and make big plays. I don't really sense that he is just itching to run the ball, because he is an offensive weapon."

RB Cadillac Williams

(On his performance) "It's tough. Once again, we just fell behind, and the carries I was getting, it wasn't like I was doing a great job [with them]. I definitely need to put it on myself, also."

(On teams focusing on stopping the run) "Basically, that is what it comes down to. They are crowding the ball. Teams are trying to make us pass the ball. All that said, there is no way we should be doing as poorly as we are running the ball."

(On the offense) "You have to tip your hat off to [the Saints]. They are a really good defense. They play sound football. They stay in their gaps. Also, it was a lot of us. We are just not getting the job done on offense. It's as simple as that."

(On why the offense started slow) "It's hard to put a finger on it. It's hard. I definitely want to say that we were flat. Something just wasn't right."

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Head Coach Sean Payton

(On players stepping up) "We talked about the practice squad players, the backup players. Everyone has these injuries now, not just us. When you carry a roster of 53, and on gameday 46, there's going to be some guys that you're going to have to play that haven't been playing. That's normal. I was proud of the way they handled that. It's a credit to the players. [Our] staff did a great job of putting a great plan together. Special teams wise, and offense and defense, I'm proud of the coaching staff for what they did. Again, it was another win. We have to go on the road again next week against the Super Bowl champion from a year ago. I was real pleased with their effort today."

(On how Drew Brees managed the game) "I thought outstanding. He had a couple throws he mentioned to me at the end. He's always looking for that perfect game. [He] threw three touchdown passes. [He] made great decisions. [He] avoided some sacks at times. He played extremely well."

QB Drew Brees

(On having a fast start) "Seventeen points in the first three possessions is, I think we take that just about every time. Then we hit that lull in the second quarter, four straight three-and-outs which obviously can not happen. Because it kind of left our defense vulnerable, kept putting them out there, putting them out there and then Tampa was able to kind of fight back and make it interesting. You know, at halftime we just kind of regrouped and said, 'Let's just establish what we had going in the first quarter and to maintain it this time, not let up at all.' We were able to do that in the second half, defense played great, just a team effort."

(On players stepping up) "With [Marques] Colston kind of getting dinged up on that first touchdown, that was a situation where you get a guy like [Terrance] Copper, or get a guy like Devery [Henderson] playing a lot and really doing a fantastic job. I mean I think, not only in the pass game, but also the run game. Everything we ask those receivers to do, we ask a lot of them and they did a great job."

(On being 6-2) "We're right where we want to be. Forgetting what's happened in the past, we know we have a great challenge ahead of us. Then we got a big game on the road this week against Pittsburgh and they're a lot better team than their record, and obviously they're the former champs. If you want to be a champ, you got to be able to knock off the defending champs. So, we'll continue to have great challenges for us, we got some tough games on the road coming up. This is a tough stretch, but from our standpoint, we want to get on a roll, we want to get a streak going. We want to get into one of these situations where we're winning and it continues to breed more winning and you just, all of sudden you've won two in a row, won three in a row, four in a row, and I think that's the kind of momentum that you can just continue to carry into December and obviously into the playoffs and beyond."

WR Devery Henderson

(On guys stepping on the road) "That's a mark of a good team. You're going to have times where guys go down. Guys get hurt during the game or in practice, guys have to step up. I think we do a good job of getting guys to step in and make plays and make things happen."

(On coming back after being injured for a few weeks) "I was off for three weeks, I got back out last week and didn't do too much. I knew I could make plays. I just had to get the confidence back from Drew [Brees] and back from the coaches and let them know I was ready. I went out there and tried to do that today."

(On what's special about WR Marques Colston) "His attitude and his work ethic. He works hard and he is very humble. He goes out there week-in, week-out, works hard in practice, and when the games comes, he just makes plays. That's all you can ask from him. He has great size. He's a good receiver. He has a bright future if he keeps it up and keeps up his work ethic."

RB Deuce McAllister

(On how coach talked about young guys stepping up on offense) "All year long, he's preached whenever your opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of it. Those guys have worked hard. They've been in the film room. They put in the time to go out and learn the offense and do things of that nature. Those guys played great for us and they're going to have continue to do so until we are 100 percent healthy."

(On having a 6-2 record halfway through the season) "We came out and we expected to get a win. The total record overall is great but it's really just a 'W' for us."

(On the performance of T Zach Strief) "We tried to make it as easy as possible for him just to go out out there and make plays. Just do what he had to do to help this team to be successful. He did a good job. Simeon [Rice] made some plays, but it wasn't like he dominated the game. We tried to give him as much help as possible and just try to keep Simeon at bay. Zach is a big kid. If he gets his hands on you, you're going to have trouble. We wanted to let him establish himself as far as run blocking or pass blocking and he was able to move him and make some plays."

DE Will Smith

(On why the New Orleans Saints were able to get to Gradkowski more in the second half) "Things change. The coaching staff said they were going to be a little bit more aggressive in the pass rush. They were going to let the defensive line pass rush."

(On whether he envisioned the team's success) "Yeah, I envisioned it. We knew what we were up against last year and we knew what we were up against this year. We felt strong we were going to have a successful season."

(On what the win does for the team's confidence after last week's loss) "Each week is a different challenge; different goals. Last week, we didn't play so well and we had a hard week of practice. We wanted to get focused. We wanted to get back on our paths defensively and we wanted to come out early and set the tone. I think we did that this week."

(On whether this win was one of the more important statements from the defense this season) "I think so, I think so. Being that we played them a couple weeks ago and we know they had a great game against us. We wanted to come out and show everybody we could stop them and that we made a lot of mistakes in the first game. So we wanted to come out and capitalize on those mistakes. We had to change up a little coverage, blitz them a bit more, give them a bunch of different looks we didn't give them the first game and get some pressure on them. Coach told us earlier in the week that it was going to be crucial for the defensive line to get some pressure on them because we were going to have to set the tempo."

(On the difference playing with a lead) "It's a huge difference knowing we have the lead going in at halftime and knowing they have to throw the ball, which also limits them, so we know they are one-dimensional and they have to throw the ball. We know that's what we specialize in, getting the pass rush."

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