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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-07-2004 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On overall play and injuries) "I am really proud of our team. We beat a really good Kansas City team. We had a lot of guys step up; Sean Mahan, first play of the game we lose our center. I thought he did a good job coming in there and calling all of the line calls; same thing with Dewayne White, Jon Bradley. We lost [Anthony] McFarland with a strain in his arm. We don't know the severity of it yet. A lot of guys stepped up. Jermaine Phillips has a cracked bone in his wrist and makes a game-saving interception. I am really proud of our football team."

(On Brian Griese) "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but for people who have been in the league, I think they respect Griese as a really good quarterback. I realize the last couple of seasons he may not have had his best stuff, but he has been outstanding. He's a really good player."

(On the importance of having no turnovers) "It's big. If you study football, we pointed out that in the last 10 years, Kansas City leads the NFL in turnovers. Marty Schottenheimer, Dick Vermeil, Gunther Cunningham; all of those people in Kansas City have emphasized getting turnovers. That was a goal during the bye week. That was a goal today. It's not easy to do, with the nature of their defense. It's a credit to our team. We came off of the bye ready to roll and it's a big win for us."

(On Pittman) "He had a great day; three touchdowns. I think all of the credit going to Priest Holmes, all of the talk about their rushing touchdowns was well-deserved, but it fueled our energy a little bit. Let's get going ourselves. Mike Pittman, rushing and receiving, posted 200 yards again. Without Alstott, without Garner, we have had to lean on him. He's a warrior. He's a good player. I am proud of him."

(On the motivation of the team) "Every champion never dies. Once you are a champion, you're a champion forever. You are going to be behind on a scoreboard. You are going to be behind in the standings, but you are relentless and you will always rise. That's what we are going to do. We realize we have lost a lot of really good players. We'll talk about all of that in the offseason, the catastrophes we have endured, but damn it we have won three out of four. We are going to Atlanta next week. We plan on playing our best."

CB Ronde Barber

(On the defense's second half performance) "We got a fourth quarter stop, which a year ago we were not too good at. I think we came out with a little more purpose in the second half to shut down the pass and it paid dividends for us."

(On looking ahead) "Not yet, we still have Atlanta twice and Carolina twice in our division and that is all that we can anticipate dealing with."

DT Jon Bradley

(On his playing time) "I didn't expect to get that much playing time, but more playing time is better for me as far as getting comfortable and trying to improve myself to where I can rotate."

(On the pressure to perform) "It's a lot of pressure because this defensive line has a lot of great tradition. Not wanting to let the man next to you down, it's a lot of pressure but I am up to it and hopefully I can get better and help out the defense even more."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On the game) "We are going to enjoy this win. We realize we just went three and one in the second quarter and that is something to build on. Now is a big game for us up in Atlanta, the second division game, and a chance to draw closer to out leaders. If you thought today was big, next week is even bigger."

(On winning at home) "We are trying to establish a perception and a big reality of winning here at home."

WR Michael Clayton

(On the game) "At first we were back and forth with the score, but our defense wins the game. The offense is here to make plays and when we can put points up on the board like that, and have a defense like we have to make plays in crucial parts of the game, we're going to see a lot more games won by us."

(On playing calling) "We game plan everything and whatever their defense's weakness is that's what we want to attack."

(On opening up the passing game) "We knew with Michael Pittman running as hard as he does, that always establishes our passing game. We knew they had strong corners, and we had to exploit them down the middle with tight ends and running backs."

TE Ken Dilger

(On looking ahead) "I think it is still too early. There's eight games left. There's a lot of football left and somehow we have to find a way to win some games and get on a roll again."

WR Joey Galloway

(On the game) "If you're a football fan, this is a great game to watch. Offensively and defensively, we made some plays out there. The defense got the one at the end when we needed it. I think offensively we're starting to find ourselves now. We're starting to figure out what we need to do to be successful."

(On playing after the injury) "It felt good for awhile, and then it got sore, but I expect to be back next week."

QB Brian Griese

(On the chances of going to the playoffs) "We needed this game to be realistic about making the playoffs. Hopefully, it's the big turning point we needed. We will ride this wave and take it one week at a time."

(On the importance of this game) "We really needed this game to prove we were serious about making the playoffs and more importantly, making a statement about where we wanted to go as a football team."

(On the touchdown to Dilger) "It was a running play where Ken was supposed to come into motion. I think Kansas City tried to get another linebacker out there and they couldn't. I tried to get the ball snapped as fast as I could. I couldn't get the words out of my mouth fast enough to get the ball snapped. Luckily, Ken saw what I saw and we made the play."

(On the importance of the last drive in the second half) "It was a huge drive and a great feeling to hand the ball off and watch your running back take the ball 78 yards for a touchdown. We had to set the tempo for the second half and tell Kansas City that this wasn't a 30-minute fight, but a 60-minute fight."

(On completing passes to eight different receivers) "It says a lot about the guys we have offensively for as maligned as we we've been with injuries. It shows what we are capable of doing."

(On the offensive line play today) "I can't say enough about how well those guys played. This was a complicated defense we played against. Sean [Mahan] had to make the right calls and adjustments on the line and he did that. He did a great job."

WR Joe Jurevicius

(On his first catch on the day) "It was a big game and we were called out and I don't think any of us liked that. We had a challenge on our hands of getting a win against the tough Kansas City team and we did that today."

G/C Sean Mahan

(On how he feels he played today) "It felt great. I had a great supporting cast. The rest of the guys on the line did a great job and we did well communicating."

(On how he felt about the offense today) "We knew that Kansas City had a great offense and we knew that if we wanted to win, we would have to match their offense and be better. We knew that if we put our minds to it, we could hit on all cylinders and that's what we did."

RB Michael Pittman

(On the Bucs running game) "In the second half, we came out and wanted to establish the run. I have to give all the credit to the offensive line because it all starts up front. They did an excellent job in the second half in answering the challenge. We wanted to run the ball the whole game and we did that, we did good."

(On outscoring the NFL's No. 1 ranked offense) "All week no one has really talked about our offense, it has mostly been about our defense. We just kept quiet as an offense and came out here and moved the ball. We are for real, too, just like Kansas City was. They have a great offense and we have a great defense at the same time, but our offense was forgotten. We went out there, put up some points, and got the win."

(On his three touchdown performance) "It feels great. But I have to thank my offensive linemen, my fullbacks, and my tight ends. Those guys that are out there in the trenches but don't get the credit. I wouldn't have any yards without them."

(On the offensive performance) "We wanted to come out there and do what we could on offense. Coach Gruden told us to just keep quiet and go out there and play the game and that is what we did. Brian Griese played great and the offensive line did a great job up front of protecting Brian and myself when I was running the football."

DE Simeon Rice

(On turning the season around) "We can do it. We just have to take one game at a time, step by step slowly to get there. It is a progression. I think in terms of what we are doing, we are starting to conquer our situation."

(On feeling good in the fourth quarter) "During the fourth quarter, I was really feeling good. I felt like it was going to be on me to step up and make a big play. I came through and made a play and then Dwight Smith came through and made a tremendous play. We felt like we had them right where we needed them."

(On playing Atlanta next week) "We have our hands full but we have the men in here that will withstand all odds. We have been unified so far and have been to the bottom. We have been as low as you can be in this league and we are bouncing back slowly but surely."

S Dwight Smith

(On his forced fumble) "The play isn't over until it's over. I just ran and had a chance to get the ball out and that is what I did."

(On his interception) "We were playing zone coverage. We knew that they liked to run the deep-out, so we had zone defenders try to get underneath them and it just so happened that he (Trent Green) threw the ball where I could get to it."

(On making defensive adjustments at halftime) "We just wanted to focus more on Tony Gonzalez. We knew that they were trying to get the ball to Tony Gonzalez and we tried to leave our free safety help a little more on him. If Tony Gonzalez isn't the best tight end, he is one of the best, I will tell you that."

(On Chiefs RB Priest Holmes) "I think that one of the hits got him, but hopefully he isn't injured too bad. He is a great player. I would have loved to see him finish the game because you always want to measure yourself against the best, but good luck to him."

DE Greg Spires

(On the Bucs defense) "We needed these three takeaways. We just kept pounding and pounding until the last play."

(On the Bucs offense) "The offense did a great job. They put a lot of points on the board. (They) were able to keep our defense off the field and well-rested so we could come up and make some big plays."


Head Coach Dick Vermeil

(On today's game) "It was a football game that could have gone either way. They did not make their mistakes on the turnover; we did. We were minus-three in the turnovers, that's tough. Especially on the road to go ahead and win anyway. They executed some big plays on us. We executed some big plays on them, but then we had the opportunity at the end and could not get it done. I salute Jon Gruden. I have known him for a long time and I'm not surprised what a great job they have done today. We knew it would be tough. We made it tough on ourselves when you turn the ball over three times. It makes it very tough. Again, they are a good football team and we knew that coming in here and we knew it would be tough and it was tough. We made it a little easier on them by turning the ball over. They did not, so they win the ball game."

(On the last drive) "Yeah, they did a very good job and we did not."

(On Priest Holmes and other injuries during the game) "Well his knee was sore. I do not know if it was injury, just sore. It has been sore all week so we just held him out. Shawn Barber is injured and only a MRI will tell us how seriously. He is injured with a left knee."

(On Priest Holmes not playing) "He was not healthy; he was not healthy to play. When Priest Holmes says it is not ready, then you know it's not ready."

(On what he will say to his team tonight) "We have to go to New Orleans and win. Last year we won nine straight. So we know we are capable of winning nine straight, we have done it before. Right now we got to go to New Orleans and win next week."

(On being in a hurry-up mode at the end of the game) "We were in and out of red ball, but sometimes we did not have to go to the next play in the huddle because the clock was stopped and that was part of it. I know we were at times what you would call red ball and there were times we were not."

(On the defense taking a step back) "They gave up 34 points. When you give up 34 points you are not going forward. The trouble is that big run; there is no excuse for that. It happened and they executed well and we did not stop it. They tried it later and we stopped it. They had tried it early and we stopped the same run. They popped it and that is pro football. Give them credit."

QB Trent Green

(On the loss) "It's extremely disappointing, but I give them credit. They came up big at the end of the game when they needed to. We had opportunities."

(On what went wrong) "The most telling sign to me was red-zone efficiency. We had a fumble and an interception in the red-zone. Losing by three points, even if you don't do anything, you have a chance for three points."

(On his interception in the end zone) 'It looked like Tony had his guy beat and that's where I was going with the ball. Until we go back and look at the film, I don't know exactly what happened. It wasn't a big hit. It was just enough, as you're going into your throwing motion, he just tapped my elbow or arm a little bit and the pass ends up looking like a punt."

RB Priest Holmes

(On the condition of his injured knee) "It will be better. It's just a matter of it tightening back up. It will take about five to six days. Whether I play with a brace next Sunday will be determined at the end of this weekend. Usually these types of injuries take anywhere from one to two weeks to tighten up when you are out of the brace."

(On what it was like to watch the end of the game from the sidelines) "It's very frustrating because in terms of the flow of the game I think it was disruptive a little bit. With Shawn Barber leaving the game, there were a lot of things that were disruptive on our side of the ball but we are definitely going to have to bounce back."

(On what the loss does for Kansas City's playoff chances) "I am not exactly sure. I am not sure what it does in terms of what we need to do because five of our last six games are division games and we know exactly where we are in our division."

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