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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-08-2009 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Raheem Morris

(Opening statement) Obviously a much better day today. We went out there and won. A great start to how we want to be, how we want to look, how we want to play. These guys played passionate. I dont have the official stats. Stats are for losers and this week were winners.

(On QB Josh Freeman) We still have to be patient. We still have to let him grow. He made some mistakes he can go back and look at himself that will allow him to get better and better. It was a nice start, very similar to the one I saw him do in college. Coming back, leading your team down with a two minute drive, scoring a touchdown. However you do it is impressive. His age really doesnt matter at this point. He has to be a seven year vet. He has to lead us to where we need to go.

(On going for it on fourth down late in the game) It was a no brainer for me. We were out there playing to win.

(On Josh Freeman bringing the team back) It was what we thought. It was why we brought him in here, why we brought him in to lead this franchise. I am sure you guys can feel how poised he was out there, never really rattled. Made some mistakes, which all young quarterbacks do. He wont not ever lose a game again. Thats not what Im saying, but when he goes out there you have to feel that you have a chance to win, you have the ability to win. Still we have to be patient, have to be humble, have to wait, I have to let him develop into who he is going to be and we have to find out who is going to be. Its one game. Thats a good start.

(On how he feels with getting his first win) It was fun. Obviously it is not about me. Its about us. Its about everyone thats a part of this. Its about the organization from the top to the bottom, everybodys included. Everyone worked hard for this. I got just as hard of a hand slap from Danny the grounds guy to General Manager Mark Dominik to the ownership. It doesnt matter where you are in the building. It doesnt matter what you do for us, we try to treat everybody the same. We have the same bounce in our building. We have the same swagger in our building and thats going to continue to stay. Nothing is going to tear us down. Were going to keep doing this, keep building on it.

(On wearing the throwback uniforms next week) I dont know. We have to get into some negotiations to see if we can put on our orange some more. It would be nice. Ill go talk to our ownership here in a little bit, maybe make some phone calls this weekend.

(On the play around the quarterback) Youve seen some people step up. Youve seen a lot of great play from Maurice Stovall. Like I said, I didnt get the stats. Youve seen some great play from Maurice Stovall, Kellen Winslow. Michael Clayton made a play down the field today for us. Cadillac [Carnell Williams] rushed well. Derrick Ward carried the ball well for him. We just had a couple people make some plays. We had some missed opportunities out there as well. We had a big third down and one that we missed in the flat and we had some other things that we missed. Overall you can tell that this team wants to win, this team plays hard. They play every week to win. Theyve been in every game like we talked about and today was no different. Today we ended up on the good end of the stick and get the knots out of my stomach that are usually there.

(On the play of the special teams) Theyve been doing it the whole year, blocked punts, returned kicks. Clifton Smith we talked about a bunch. He was special. They were special. Having that play from that group led by Rich Bisaccia those guys play passionate. They play hard. They define our team. Theyre our muscle. Theyre our driving force. Theyre our blood line and thats what theyve been doing.

(On what coming back from 11 points down does for the team) I guess you guys may have felt some mental weakness or you guys may have felt some guys didnt believe, but I never really felt that. Every game we felt like we could win. Every game we felt like weve been in. These guys are all tough. We have three good quarterbacks in that room, three good guys that believe in each other and they cheer for each other. Josh Johnson was on the sidelines helping Freeman out just as much as he could and so was Byron Leftwich and those guys all work together. I sat in that room with those guys last night. Byron Leftwich looked at the kid at the end and said Go out there and sling it and thats what he did.

CB Ronde Barber

(On how it feels to win) It has been a lot of weeks since weve had a win, but it feels like its been a lot of years since weve won. So its a pretty sweet feeling.

(On the special teams) Ill tell you what is good about our special teams; we have what we call known rushers so there is a lot of potential block spots out there. Geno Hayes came free and the ball came to me. I was just in the right place at the right time.

WR Michael Clayton

(On Josh Freeman) He just kept fighting. He is going to have a heck of a future. Im proud of him. He kept his composure and made things happen. He got rid of the nervousness and kept fighting.

(On when they went down and scored to take the lead) We got that look a couple times. I was pressed up the other two times. I told him quick throw and go. He had it in his mind to ad lib a little bit. Josh put it up in the air and made a great play.

QB Josh Freeman

(On the victory) We have all been putting in a lot of work and really havent been seeing a lot of results. It was just a big load off a lot of peoples shoulders with the win.

(On the clinching drive and WR Michael Claytons catch) Al Harris had been guarding him all day. I just sat back and looked at the safety, threw it up and the wind got it. The wind caught it so Al didnt really know what was going on because he thought it would be over the outside shoulder. Thats where most of them are. The ball came inside, Michael made a great adjustment, caught it. It was great.

(On the fourth down play to WR Sammie Stroughter in the back right corner of the end zone) They were in red zone. They were really kind of playing off, red quarters, the corner was kind of playing off. They are going to jump anything you do. We had Sammie run an in route because he has been running a lot of in routes and then take it to the corner. I gave him the quick pump, got him just enough. That ball, Sammie made a tremendous catch on it.

(On Freeman worrying that Stroughter wouldnt be able to make the catch because of his height) I had to get it up to get over the corner. Sammie stretched out. Hes my roommate. We talked about it and said, hey, we are going to get this tomorrow. We ended up getting it. It was just a great opportunity.

(On what he was looking for during the two point conversion) Initially I was looking to see if we had Jerramy Stevens one-on-one with a fade. Then the progression took me back to Michael Clayton on kind of a hitch and go down the middle, splitting the safeties. That wasnt there. I went back outside to Brian Clark and that wasnt there. I just started moving; maybe I would be able to run it in. Then I saw Michael wave his hand in the back of the end zone, dumped it off, two-points.

(On Tampa Bays defense) It was a tremendous effort by the entire team. Its hard to say if we would have got this thing done without Clifton Smith on the kick returns and the punt returns. He had us in good field position, basically the entire day. It was an overall team effort and was great to get the win.

(On Raheem Morris addressing the team after the game) He just said, Victory Monday! We have to come to work on Monday. He said there is a lot more of those to come. Its kind of tough because we have been putting in a lot of hard work. A lot of people have been putting in a lot of work and we havent been getting any wins. Its great to go out there and get the win.

(On winning his first start) Thats why I play football. I want to win games. Thats the mindset all the guys on the team have. It is great to come out and have the opportunity to get the ball to our playmakers and let them do what they do, score touchdowns.

LB Geno Hayes

(On the game) We played as a team and came out with a victory. Were going to go celebrate.

(On special teams) Great day by special teams. He [Clifton Smith] had a big return that got us up for a touchdown. Were really starting to come together and everyone is clicking together.

DT Chris Hovan

(On first win) I can tell you a lot of the guys from top to bottom from Roy Miller to Ronde Barber, putting the work in during the week that we need to produce and were seeing it. Were seeing our results today. If we keep working and going out there and producing when we have to then good things will happen.

(On the difference from the first half to the second half) I think as a defensive line we have to rush. Ive been telling our guys that you have to win the one on ones all year and thats what we did today. We looked forward to the opportunity. Stylez, Roy, Jimmy or even Ryan, we won the one on ones to win the game.

(On Josh Freeman) Ill tell you what, he didnt look like a rookie to me. Great, great outing for Josh, Im proud of him. The kids been working his tail off. He had a lot of pressure and a lot of hype and he came through today.

S Tanard Jackson

(On his interception) In my mind, I didnt think about sliding or going down until after the fact. It worked out for the best. I got in the end zone so I was able to not give them the ball back to the offense so its a good thing.

(On their production after halftime) Obviously we made adjustments. I think it was our will to win this game. There was nothing that we were going to do to let this game slip out of our hands. It was a winnable game and at halftime we made our adjustments just as a team. Our will to win this game and to finish this game strong took over in the second half.

(On Aaron Rodgers throwing three interceptions) It was pressure and guys handling their business on the back end; the secondary and the linebackers. Anytime you get pressure in the quarterbacks face it causes them to make bad decisions. I think we were able to work hand in hand with that.

CB Elbert Mack

(On the win) It feels great. Its a compliment to what weve done for the last two weeks. We took the bye week seriously, very seriously. When we come out, we want to play fast. Now its a nine-game season. Thats how we look at it. We have eight more.

(On trying not to stay down) I got down on myself right when I came to the sideline. I have to play better with my technique. The players came over and patted me on the back. Raheem came over and said Elbert, youll have more opportunities to make more plays and here they come. I actually went out there the next possession and got a chance to make one.

(On watching Freeman) It felt good. It felt real good. Its a compliment to the coaches. They had two weeks to get him ready. He took the coaching points and everything they taught him into the game and he got a win. It felt good and Im happy for him.

RB Clifton Smith

(On the win) Thats the type of day that we were looking for all season and we finally got it. Now we know what it feels like and we have to keep it pushing.

(On getting all the phases involved) That was the kind of day that we were looking forward to all year long. Unfortunately it happened towards the middle of the season. Now we just know we can get it done and that its possible. We can get all of the phases of the game in order.

(On his long return) I kind of saw number 38 [Tramon Williams], I cant remember who was behind me. I kind of saw him separate a little bit and said, Im not going to outrun him to the outside. I might as well try to split it back inside. They just made a good play in running me down. It definitely jumpstarted a lot in the end. From there, Josh Freeman went down there and punched the ball in the end zone with a touchdown pass to K2 (Kellen Winslow). We just did a great job today.

WR Sammie Stroughter

(On his fourth quarter catch for a touchdown) It was just a great dial-up but Coach Olson and Coach Raheem [Morris], just having faith in God and allowing us to just make plays. Josh did a great job of pumping. He threw the ball out there. It was just one of those things that is expected from us, just making the big play, playing your game and doing what you have to do.

(On if he was scared that the ball was too high) The only thing that was on my mind was catching the ball with two feet in. That was the only thing right there. I was just trying to sell out. Sell out for the guys, for Coach Raheem and for the whole organization of the Buccaneers.

(On QB Josh Freeman) He showed you the reason why he was a franchise player, right? He is a first round draft pick. Thats whats expected. Thats one thing that the Buccaneers have, Coach Raheem expects greatness. Its the same thing; its the same standard that he expects for Ronde [Barber], that he expects for Sammie Stroughter and Josh Freeman. Thats how it is. It was just one of those things where we werent getting the breaks and this time we got that chip off of our shoulder. Now we get to just go out there and have fun.

CB Aqib Talib

(On how it feels to get this win) Its just a start. We started off 0-7 so this will get the monkey off our back a little bit. We have to build on it and keep the momentum going.

(On what was the attitude like on the sidelines watching Freeman when they were down) It was we have to go score. We knew he could pull it off. I watched him play throughout his Big 12 career. I know he has heart and I know what kind of arm he has.

(On Aaron Rodgers getting picked off three times) We got good pressure on him. Our defensive line did a good job with that all day. He threw some balls into traffic that he didnt want to throw. We got our hands on the ball and we got two balls tipped. We just did a good job making plays on the ball.

RB Carnell Williams

(On the win) We got one. It feels so lovely just to get a victory because I was one of the players here last year and we were on an 11-game losing streak. Its just exciting to have that winning feeling back. Im excited to go back in and keep working and building. [Josh] Freeman came in and played lights out. Im ready for Sunday to get here so we can put more good stuff on film.

(On QB Josh Freemans performance) The guy is very poised. Even when Green Bay was bringing the blitz and had bodies all around him he remained very poised. I love the kid; the Bucs have a bright future with this guy.

(On at what point did he feel that things were going to turn in their direction) I woke up this morning just feeling different. Guys were just going out playing loose and having fun.

TE Kellen Winslow

(On Josh Freemans demeanor in the huddle) He was fine and calling plays fine. Five or six weeks ago, it was like no, hes not ready, but hes ready now. Were proud of him. We have young guys like Sammie Stroughter making plays and its fun. This is how it should feel.

(On how Freeman got ready) Just listening to coaches and really paying attention to details and being a professional.


Head Coach Mike McCarthy

(On what went wrong) We didnt win today. We are 4-4. We had a lot of ups and downs in todays contest. I think consistency. You have to first look at yourself in the preparation of the football team leading up to this game; I thought it was very good. We did not take this team lightly at all because of their record. I was very concerned coming into this game. Any time a team is coming off of a bye week, if anything we may have overworked them. Thats something that I have to look at. This is my responsibility. We were not prepared to the level that we should have been. I thought we had opportunities to get the game to a two-score lead. Time and time again we gave the momentum right back to the Buccaneers. You have to give them credit. It was a hard fought victory for them. Im disappointed in the way we played today.

(On how much of a setback it is for the season) Its not where we wanted it to be. We wanted to be 5-3 coming into this one at the halfway point. We are 4-4 and we have to make up some ground. That reality and the focus will be one game at a time. We have two out of the next three at home. Its good timing for us and we need to rebound. Ive been asking to rebound from Minnesota, hell we have to rebound from Tampa Bay. We had two tough losses in a row here. We need to handle the adversity that is in front of us. We didnt handle the adversity of the way that the game went up and down as a team. That starts with me. We have to get to work as soon as possible on Dallas.

(On if this is a low point) It doesnt feel good. It never feels good when you lose. This one definitely hurts, it will definitely rank up in there. It is still one loss. Im not trying to downplay it. Im disappointed by the way we played today. Im disappointed in the way we didnt sustain momentum in the game. Thats something we have done, now two weeks in a row. Thats something that we need to look at. Those are some of the reoccurring problems that we have that we havent cleaned up yet. Thats definitely a cause for concern as we move forward.

(On the teams confidence) Im sure they dont feel confident right now but this is pro football. We were concerned as a team coming in here. I dont care who you play or what their record is, especially coming in here on a bye. Its a little bit more of a challenge. Im not trying to make excuses. We did not play at the level we needed to play at for four quarters today and that starts with me.

(On their special teams) That bothers me. That is two weeks where we have been on the wrong side of a lopsided special teams performance. Last week was 154 yards of field position to the Vikings and now its the big plays time and time again. We really need to get that going in the right direction. The momentum swings are really holding us back.

(On Aaron Rodgers interceptions) The first one he clearly didnt see the corner. It was their base coverage on that particular play. On the other two I would consider them contested. I didnt see the one with Greg [Jennings]. Im not sure if he got his hands on it or not. The one to Donald [Driver] was a little high. If we want to classify them, one or two on a throw or a drop. He had the one minus decision.

LB Nick Barnett

(On loss being frustrating) It doesnt matter who we play, losing is number one. You get frustrated and disappointed. We had a lot of opportunities out there to win this game. We let it fall through our fingers. We gave bad field position, we had some penalties and we didnt capitalize on some big plays we had an opportunity to make. We let them make some big plays. Anytime you do that you are going to lose the game in the NFL. Its not that hard.

(On the problems) Weve got to be better all around, offense, defense and special teams. Were letting mistakes happen to us, like you said were repeating some mistakes and that has to do with each player. Weve got to be responsible and make sure that we dont do that type of stuff. Its definitely disappointing and frustrating knowing we could have won this game and it was that close. We let it slip through our fingers doing stupid mistakes like you said. We are playing hard. Its evident out there. Playing hard in the NFL is not enough. Weve got to capitalize on mistakes.

G Daryn Colledge

(On whether this was an embarrassing loss) Well I dont think its embarrassing. The fact is that they are a professional football team. I think everybody else expected them to lay down, but we didnt. We knew we were going to get a fight for four quarters and they showed up to play and we didnt.

(On how to rebound from the loss) You grind tape and you see what you did wrong. You know, we shot ourselves in the foot far too many times. Its the same story, too many things. Too many mistakes, too many sacks, and we have to make those corrections. We showed it on certain drives, that when everybody is on the same page this thing moves pretty quickly.

(On being surprised sacks were still an issue) Of course, I mean that stuff has to stop. Aaron (Rodgers) is playing far too well when hes not laying on the ground to have him get hit that many times.

RB Ryan Grant

(On how you feel after losing this game) You know, disappointed, frustrated, pissed off; all the natural emotions. Hats off to them, we respected them. We felt like we were the better team and shouldve won this game but you know, you can always say that. Were where we are at this halfway point in the season for a reason, because we have played average ball like coach has said. We have been inconsistent as a team. We havent done the things that put us in a good position. We definitely had a lull which you cant have in these types of games. I think this is going to be a big week to see where we are at as a team and if we are going to step up as a whole and whether or not guys want it.

(On if this was the best rhythm the running game had all year) We feel like that on the whole. Ahman Green had some good runs, we felt like we could run the ball on them consistently. I think we averaged over five yards a carry but a couple of negative yardage plays here and there; but for the most part I thought we could run the ball. But you know in certain positions we were inconsistent. It was just a microcosm of everything, really. Pass ball protecting has been an inconsistency throughout. One thing, we did turn the ball over which we normally dont do so that kind of put us back. As a whole we were inconsistent in all phases across the board. Its frustrating especially in this one, you know, we need these. The game is hard enough. Its hard enough to go get a win just in general, but when you beat yourself up and you do different things and guys arent playing up to their level it makes it even harder.

RB Ahman Green

(Thoughts on loss) Tomorrow Im going to shrug it off and get ready for the Cowboys. Its a quick turnover in the NFL. You know you dont have 162 games, you dont have 82 games like baseball and basketball do so its a quick turnover to the next week for us. So we just have to really watch film, look at our mistakes, correct them, and get ready for the Cowboys.

(On causes for the loss) I really cant put my finger on it. Its one of those tough things where late in the game Tampa Bay just got life, and they started playing well. Its hard on the road to do that. With a team that doesnt have any victories, so they have nothing to lose, so theyre going to give it all out every play.

LB A.J. Hawk

(Thoughts on game) Every time you lose its tough. You never want to come down here and lose to any team, but I said it all week, it doesnt matter that they havent won a game yet because they sure didnt look like it on film. They have a lot of talent on this team, and they put it together and made a lot of plays, and we didnt make enough plays to win. What can you do? We have a big one against Dallas next week. Were not laying down. Were not going anywhere. Ive said this before in the past obviously, but all you can do is focus on what you can do to get better, and try to get better for next week. Thats for sure.

(On this being the toughest loss while with the Packers) I mean every one is tough. Its tough to rate them or figure out which one is hardest. Anytime you lose its not fun you know, but youve got to move on from it. Were going to watch this tomorrow and figure out what we did and what we didnt do right, and make sure we get this thing going in the right direction, because we cant keep going the way were going right now.

DT Ryan Pickett

(On taking over the game but not being able to shut the door) Exactly, thats what makes a good team. Games like this you should close on your own. You give a team that hasnt won a game confidence in the fourth quarter; they will make some plays to beat you, to get the momentum. We had opportunities to put this team away early, later and we never did. We paid for it.

(On where the team goes from here) You cant go anywhere but up if you ask me. Its a pretty low point. Hard loss. We realize that nobody is going to be feeling bad for us. Thats the thing about the NFL; you have to play every week. If you dont, you can lose to a 0-7 team. Just like we did, it hurt to say it, it happened.

QB Aaron Rodgers

(On the loss) Its pretty frustrating. You know its a different game today. Big play, second play of the day, come back throw a pick, the offense didnt do a whole lot but I think offense and special teams put our defense in a tough position. Its a frustrating game, very frustrating. Eight games in, were 4-4. We have two home games in a row, we have to go home and get them both.

(On consistently being sacked) I dont know. Were going to have to watch the film.

(On being fired up after scoring and stretching the lead to 11) Yeah, we were. Two-score lead, thats kind of what we were going for. Felt like our defense would be able to play down hill, making them one dimensional. Unfortunately, we gave up a big kick return. They kind of stole the momentum back and then we got the ball back up five and moved the ball pretty well and werent able to convert third down and they came down and won the game.

(On the offense in the second half) It was very frustrating. I mean we feel like we should be able to move the ball on anybody. You know they played with a lot of confidence on defense. They had a good scheme. You have to give them credit. They made plays but we didnt make enough plays on offense and thats why we came up short.

(On his three interceptions) Well the first one I didnt see him and tried to kind of put it in there against the wind. I felt good about the second ball. Unfortunately had a little deflection there and then the third one, third and 17 or whatever, or maybe was it fourth down, I dont know. It was desperation and I still feel good about the throw but it may have been a little high.

(On the team losing confidence after loss) I hope not. I hope we have the resolve and the leadership to get through something like this. Its disappointing, but its one loss. Were 4-4. We still have eight games left, a lot can happen. We just need to hit our stride. I was feeling like this might be the week to hit our stride and then two home games and the Lions on Thanksgiving. It didnt happen. You have to give them credit.

(On his injured feet slowing him down) No, I mean they hurt. I dont think it really slowed me too much. I got hit in the hip which kind of took some of the pain out of my feet but no they werent an issue.

C Scott Wells

(On what went wrong today) Sacks were what went wrong. You cant keep giving up sacks. Its got to stop. For one you have to look at each individual sack to see what caused that and you need to correct those things. Sometimes its somebody getting beat. Sometimes its not picking up a line game. Sometimes its pressure. There are a lot of things that go into it. Its pass protection in its entirety that has to be improved across the board.

(On whether the Buccaneers surprised them) No they did not. They run a lot of line games. They did a lot of that. They didnt bring a lot of pressure as far as blitzes and linebacker dogs. They predominantly got their pressure with line stunts. We have to pick those up.

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