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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-13-2005 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I would just like to say it was a heck of a win for us. I am really proud of our team and really appreciate all of our fans. They really helped us out there at the end. It was a dramatic victory; one I'll never forget. It was a great effort."

(On kicking the extra point as opposed to the two-point conversion) "It crossed my mind, but after the second penalty I wouldn't have been able to wake up tomorrow not knowing what we would have done with (Mike) Alstott. Our goal-line offense has been pretty good and I wanted to give him a good look. We were inside the one-yard line and I just thought it was the thing to do given the fact Washington had moved the ball very well. There are no guarantees what happens in overtime."

(On Edell Shepherd's catch) "Unbelievable. 'Shep' played big for us. I have been saying to everybody all along that he is a bright prospect. He hasn't really had an opportunity, but he set up a touchdown early in the game. We knew they were going to blitz us and blitz us repeatedly especially in crunch situations, which obviously that was at the end. We had a maximum protection. It was a great route; a great throw, but the pickups, ok, the pickups, by Michael Pittman, by Alex Smith, by the offensive line. We had some unbelievable maximum blitz pickups today that allowed Chris (Simms) the time to make the throws and I thought he was outstanding most of the game today."

(On Chris Simms' development) "You know, you are going to say that there are three or four plays that leave you somewhat surprised why he did what he did, but the Washington Redskins, let's make no mistake now, their defense speaks for itself. We did it without Michael Clayton, who has been a key element of this offense. This was a great step forward for Chris (Simms), a great step forward."

(On how big it was for Simms to finish the last two minutes of the game strong) "It was huge. He tied the game at 28 and we're down by seven; he brought us back and put the winning score on the scoreboard. Those are the games that you dream about as a quarterback. His dad won many games like that; bringing those Giants from behind and this is a great start for Chris Simms. It gives our football team a real lift when we're not up to speed on defense, which we clearly weren't today and a lot of that had to do with the Redskins. It is good to know as a football player if we get the ball back to our quarterback he can do something with it. He made a great statement today in front of a lot of people."

(On Mike Alstott) "We are going to try to keep him around here for years to come. I realize his role as a ball carrier has been reduced. That could change as the season unfolds. We are working hard to get the running game going. We have seen some very good defenses. I don't see teams running at-will, honestly, against the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins, some of the teams we have seen recently, but he is a premier pro football player and one that I am just proud to be associated with and we are going to try to get a lot more out of him in the next seven games."

FB Mike Alstott

(On the decision to go for the two-point conversion) "You have to put the trust in your team and the players, and say, 'The heck with it.' You have to gamble once in a while, and when it happens and it is successful, it's always great."

(On the team getting back some confidence) "It's phenomenal. We just played hard as a team the whole game and didn't quit. The confidence has always been with these guys. We haven't played well the last two weeks, obviously, but we prepared well, and the pride and the hearts and passion of players on this team have to go out there and play snap to whistle, it is phenomenal. And, it showed tonight."

(On if this is the biggest moment for him in a Bucs uniform) "Other than the Super Bowl, yes. No question about it. We have less than a minute and he (Coach Gruden) calls my number, yes, it's up there. It's probably number two with the Super Bowl, yes. No question about it."

(On if he noticed the fans calling his name the last couple of home games) "Afterwards, yes. It's phenomenal. I can't thank the fans (enough for) the support. Over the many years of my career, the motivation they bring to me and this team, it's phenomenal how they stick behind us."

(On how it feels to have his number called on the two-point conversion) "It's a time to sit there and just grab it all in. Of all the ups and downs in my career, especially in the last three years, it's the best."

(On how important this win is for the team) "It's huge. The momentum we can take from this game, and just launch ourselves into the last half of the season. It's a momentum type. (In the) NFL you see guys up and down and a lot of teams are losing, then they're winning big, then they're losing. For us to get out of that slump was huge."

(On if he expected an increased role coming into this game) "Yes. I had the reps during practice, but it's situational football for me. I'm not going to be that every-down feature back, so if we can stay in the ballgame and we don't have to go to the passing game, then my role is going to increase. But, luckily today, we were in the ballgame the whole time. Chris (Simms), Joey (Galloway) and (Edell) Shepherd, they made some great plays to bring it down to the wire."

CB Ronde Barber

(On Chris Simms' last drive) "He approached [it] like a veteran of six or seven years, unwavered. [He] knew he had some plays to make. You know he had a great cast around him, I think today, [they] played their butts off. I think the past couple weeks they haven't been giving him a lot of help."

(On his reaction when Coach Gruden decided to go for the two-point conversion) "I was excited, you know. You can't second guess him, you know, [it would] be the worst thing for us to do as a team. He has the decisions, it's his fight. He's trying to establish a personality for us and that was it."

CB Juran Bolden

(On getting some help from the offense) "It was meant [to be]. A lot of people look at Chris [Simms] as like you're just another guy, but Chris actually, I've been very impressed with Chris. Unfortunately, we've been put in situations where we've been on the losing end of the stick. I think he showed a lot of people today that he can be that quarterback that we need and I just want him to continue doing what he is doing. Don't let everything outside of football bring him down."

(Bolden's thoughts on going for two) "He (Coach Gruden) believes in his defense; he believes in his offense and regardless of what play is called, he expects us to perfect that play and hats off to Mike (Alstott). Mike's been sitting around and everybody's been wanting to see Mike get the ball; Mike got in. He's been so quiet in the locker room and he deserved to get in there. He gets my game ball, put it like that."

(On how big it is to be 6-3 as opposed to 5-4) "It's very big. I mean, regardless of, I don't know what Atlanta or Carolina did, well basically that put us back up there in the running. I hope nobody really second guessed us as being a good team, ok, a great team. It's just a fact, I'll take 5-3 at the halfway point of the season any day. You know what I'm saying. Now we're 6-3 getting ready to go into the next game. That's big. I'm hungry for another win."

WR Joey Galloway

(On today's big win) "It's a big win for this team. A lot of guys made plays today. These are the wins that carry on and become important to teams later on, when a lot of guys have to step up and make plays. You get in a dogfight at home, and to come out on top, is important for this team's confidence."

(On the call to go for two) "[Coach Gruden] surprised me, to be honest with you. Everybody else in the building wanted to go for two, but we're at home, we have Alstott in the backfield. You couldn't ask for a better situation to go for two. Alstott had one of his better games since I've been here, so to have an opportunity to let him carry it across the goal line and win for us, you can't ask for a better situation than that."

(On winning this type of game this year vs. losing this type last year) "I was just saying that to one of the guys. These are the type of games that we would lose last year and as you grow, as you mature together, you need to have these kind of wins so that you can draw back on them later in the season. When we come to those type of situations again, you can draw back on what happened in this game and try to make it happen again."

DE Simeon Rice

(On if this is a season-changing game for the team) "You know what, it is. Now, we don't have to talk about last year anymore because we have more victories than we did last year at this point. And we have more victories than we had all of last year. So, now we can truly move forward, and now we are contenders. We grew some today in that lower region. It was a ballsy situation. Our coach, along with that play call at the end. I didn't want to come back on the field, but I was willing to. And, then we scored. Oh my God, beautiful things, beautiful thing. Now, we are 6-3 and we are looking forward. It's a good thing. We have great things ahead of us, and it's all worthwhile."

(On his performance after a couple of quiet weeks) "Not really. A couple, a couple. A little adversity. That's life. It's a beautiful thing. I'm still on deck, I'm still on deck. It's a good thing. I'm looking forward. We exorcised the early demons and (we are) reversing our situation. It's a beautiful thing right now."

(On the performance of Mike Alstott) "Mike (Alstott) came up to me during the game and said, 'Us Chicago boys go crazy today.' That's what Mike told me. I said, 'You know what Mike, we have to do that. We have to do it just for the city. (Chicago) White Sox won the championship, they won the World Series. Everybody knows that. And, then the Chicago boys came out and did their thing today. It's a beautiful thing."

(On the defense creating turnovers) "Hot. Big-time. That's a tribute to everybody. We kind of got weary at the end. It (was) definitely not a good look for us, but we fought hard, and we won the game. Chris Simms really grew up today. I'm glad he won this game today, for the simple fact that it's a confidence builder for him for the rest half of the season, for next week. Now, from a team standpoint, we have confidence in him, and he has confidence in himself. And, we know what we really have going, and it's worthwhile."

(On how big this win is) "It is huge right now, because like I said, it puts us right where we are supposed to be. It corrects the wrongs and put us right in line of what we are trying to really get accomplished this year. Victories, playoffs and things like that. So, it makes us credible again. You always want to be credible in this game."

QB Chris Simms

(On the last drive) "We had kind of seen the coverage there earlier in the game and I know we said all week people need to watch out for Edell Shepherd and he made a great little double move on a slant-go and I just put it up there for him and he made a great play in the end zone."

(On the decision to go for two) "Gutsy. I mean, unreal. I saw the blocked extra point and of course my heart went into my throat and was glad to hear it was a penalty on them. I was sitting there thinking 'overtime, overtime' and everyone frantically said, 'Let's go, we're going for two.' It's just a great call. A great run by Alstott and I think our offensive line, the way they kept fighting all game, just pounding away, pounding away and pass-protected great and just a great team win."

(On the importance of the two minute drive) "It was huge. To be quite honest with you, I've never really been a part of anything like that. Even in college, or in the NFL. In college, my only chance was the play everybody sees when Roy Williams jumps over the pile and hits me in Oklahoma; that was my only chance at a two-minute drive in college. It was big, just giving out team confidence that we can get the job done no matter what the circumstances."

(On reacting better) "I think each week I've been out there I've felt more and more comfortable. I felt good last week against Carolina. I made the one mistake and it cost us the game. So I just want to continue to get better each week and limit the mistakes and I knew we would come out with a victory if I could just hold up my end."

(On making plays vs. the blitz) "Early in the game they blitzed us a few times and we picked it up. We made a few plays down the field and I think it scared them away for a little bit. They didn't blitz much in the second and third quarter. We came out in the fourth quarter and they gave us some all-out pressure and I hit the deep one to Edell Shepherd going down the middle of the field. Those are situations when the offensive line pass-protected great, just gave me a little time to get the ball up in the air for those guys to go run under and get it."

(On the feeling in the huddle before two-point conversion) "We were jacked-up. We got in the huddle and I heard John Wade really trying to fire up the offensive linemen. With the Big Train back there; he's like Gale Sayers, give him six inches and he'll run over everybody else."


Head Coach Joe Gibbs

(On the game) "Well, from a Redskins point of view, I think anytime you lose a game like that it's that tough. I always look at it, there are probably 50 plays where we could have won it and I always look at it what could I have done to help. So I think from a Redskins standpoint, it's we're all together, we all lost the ball game and all of us together and it's going to be a real test for us because now we go back after a tough loss like this and play a couple of tough home games. I think it will be a real test for our team so I am looking forward to getting back in front of our fans. This was a hard fought deal and I hate it that we lost it, but I think the way I look at it we're all together on it, so that's kind of the way I look at it."

(On what he saw on FB Mike Alstott's touchdown) "They said all of our guys, what they saw, they felt like it was on the ground before he got in. That's what everybody told me. Obviously, I didn't get a chance to see the replays and stuff, but hey, you guys did. I mean that is what instant replay is for."

(On whether he was surprised the Buccaneers went for the two-point conversion) "No, I think it got to a point where it was so close that you certainly could see them doing it at that point."

(On whether he is concerned about the defense giving up big plays) "I think it was, I don't look at it, you know, I kind of look at it as all of us together and we play good football teams and then give up some big plays, big plays from time to time on defense. I think that offensively, there's a lot there that offensively we can do. I think to improve our football team defensively, same thing. That would be one of the things, giving up big plays. Special teams, I'm sure there are things there that we're going to see on the fence. I look at it, it's got to be a learning experience. This will be a real test for us because there's a lot of emotion there tonight and now we got to bounce back and play a great ball game next week."

(On RB Ladell Betts) "Ladell had a big night for us. That's what you hate in a game like this because I think you'll find a bunch of players that played extremely well, played great, and you hate that because it kind of gets lost because you lose the football game. We've got to look at it and point out the good things tomorrow and point out the bad things and then regroup. Like I said, it's going to be a real challenge for us."

(On whether the Buccaneer touchdown at the end of the game impressed him) "I think they've got a very good football team. They got players over there capable of making plays and when you play people up here, and I think Tampa Bay deserves a lot of credit. Now they're six and three. A very, very good football team and you got to give him credit. They're extremely well coached and they have very good football players, so they have a chance to make plays on you."

QB Mark Brunell

(On the loss) "It was really tough. We talk about turnovers all year and that's what got us today; turning it over. Two picks, a couple of fumbles, you aren't going to win football games like that against a good football team."

(On the improved second half) "We didn't make any adjustments. We just came out and played better football. We settled down after the turnovers and adversity in the first half. We did some good things in the first half, but you just can't give the ball away. In the second half, we made some plays and got some things going, but it wasn't enough."

(On the game's importance) "We find ourselves at 5-4; it would have been nice to win this one. We would have had a little cushion and been sitting pretty, but we have seven games left and we have dug a little hole and need these next two home games for us to get back in this race."

WR Santana Moss

(On the game) "It's not shocking [how we lost]. You know that when you are on someone else's home turf, everything counts. What I have learned, since I've been a Redskin, is that there is no love out there for us, so we have to take everything. We have to have that in the back of our heads and just go out there and play a flawless game, mostly, all of the time, just to prove that we are capable of winning these kinds of games. I've learned that since I've been here, and that's the only thing I can look at. Every time I go out and play from now on, I just know that every play counts and I have to do that little bit extra just to make sure that we put the nail in the coffin. You never know what is going to happen. You can't leave it up to anyone else in the game, you have to go out there and do it yourself, and as a team."


(On when he realized this game was going to be a dogfight) "Just the way the game was played, being played out. The ebbs and flows of the contest. We need to keep an even keel and execute our scheme. I thought we did not do that. I have to get better. I'm sure the other guys want to look at the film and they're going to want to try to do the same thing, but we got to grow as a team and not lose. These opportunities are rare. We can't do that. We got to get better."

(On if he was surprised with Chris Simms' play) "Teams are going to scheme their way against us, if they don't, they're going to be overwhelmed with trouble. And obviously, they did some things that weren't the norm, whatever they did against other teams. We just have to adjust and keep playing and don't press. I thought our execution wasn't quite where it should be, and it starts up front. I think we just got to help our guys in the back end by doing a lot more pressure and more opportunities."

CB Shawn Springs

(On the penalties leading to two-point conversion) "It shouldn't have even come down to a situation where a field goal was the difference. We gave up too many points."

(On whether the conversion was good) "I couldn't see during the play, just on the replay. On the replay, it didn't look to me like he got in."

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