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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-16-2003 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening comments) "I apologize to the Tampa Bay fans. That was not good enough."

(On personnel changes) "We'll look at the health of the team, and we'll assess that at a later time. Obviously, we had numerous penalties on the offensive line today. Some (were) just a lack of concentration. We're not changing the snap count. We've had the same snap count for two years. We had some technique errors. We had some critical, critical penalties that really give you no chance to move the ball and have any kind of success."

(On what he said to the team after the game) "Not a lot. Obviously very disappointed in myself, very disappointed in the team. We've got six games left to go. We have a mandatory work tomorrow, and we expect every man to finish this season with authority."

(On the tone of the game) "Well, you're backed up, you throw a corner route to (Rickey) Dudley for, I think, 35 yards. We got a penalty there. I think we had back-to-back-to-back false starts, guys jumping off sides. Green Bay is playing for their season also. We had some long yardage third down situations. We were unable to overcome it today. We rallied to tie the game. We had good field position twice in the third quarter. We had drives mounted. Significant penalties once again knocked us backwards, and credit (goes) to Green Bay. They had a beautiful 99-yard scoring drive that determined the outcome today."

(On stopping the run) "They have extra people in there. You heard the extra offensive lineman reporting. I credit not only their scheme, but I credit the size, the strength and the will of their football team. Certainly, at the same time, they did convert some third downs on that drive. One backed up, which is also a credit to them. It was a beautiful drive on their part."

(On the will of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) "When it was 10-0 it looked like we appeared to be out of it. We looked to be in one of those funks, in one of those dazes from a horror movie. I compliment our team. We found a way to come out in the second half with a nice drive to tie it. We get the turnover. We're on the brink of cashing in and really turning the tide in this football game. Once again, critical key penalties help us lose field position. (Brett) Favre makes a couple of plays on third down, and they capitalize with a long scoring drive to really determine the outcome today."

(On Thomas Jones) "He's going to be involved. Once again, we're trying to utilize two halfbacks, sometimes three. Certainly, we're learning a lot about Thomas Jones. He was certainly a plus today. Obviously, Mike Pittman has been a guy we've used as a rusher and receiver, but we're excited about what Thomas did today."

(On the Bucs' playoff standings) "The playoffs are very important. They are a gauge as to who's competing for the World Championship and who is not. Certainly that is the primary goal we have. Right now, in all realistic views if we cannot get off the ball on time, if we are going to jump off sides and fail to do some basic fundamental things, I'm more concerned with the next football game. We're not playing the football game, particularly offensively, with the etiquette in which this game calls for. Certainly we have our work cut out for us. We're also finding out a lot about a lot of players, and we'll continue to evaluate that. I'm very disappointed, obviously."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On how this team can stop the bleeding) "The only way to stop the bleeding is come back and fight. It's been a long time since we've been in this situation. I'm not going to cry about it, not going to complain about it because that's the easiest thing to do to sit up here and tell you guys how disappointed I am, how frustrated I am, who cares? At this point you come back and fight. This football team, we won a championship together. We are 4-6 together. We are going to come back and fight, that's the only way I know how to go about my business. As you say stop the bleeding is (to) get back on the winning track, go back to work, go back to pound that rock."

WR Keyshawn Johnson

(On being a target) "I don't think we're targets. We don't have targets on our back. We just have to figure out what the hell we are doing wrong."

RB Thomas Jones

(On his performance tonight) "I just tried to do the best I could to help us win and put us in a position to score. We didn't get the win, and it just takes away from everything. We just have to see some of the mistakes we made and understand that we can't make silly penalties like jumping offside, holding and things like that to take us out of the football game."

(On the Buccaneers' mistakes on the field) "Whenever you are in a close ballgame, the little mistakes end up being big in the end. We just can't keep doing those things. If we do them, we're not going to win. It's too close. Everyone is on the same level. A lot of teams are 4-6, 4-5, and everyone is trying to get to the playoffs."

(On if the Buccaneers can make the playoffs) "We can do it. We have some great players on this team. Obviously, they won a Super Bowl last year. We just have to make plays and understand that little mistakes can cost you football games."

(On running to the left side on his big runs) "The offensive line just did a great job over there blocking. There were some seams there, and I was able to hit them and make the safety miss on one. That's pretty much it. It's the same thing we run every week, and it just opened up pretty well tonight."

DE Simeon Rice

(On the level of frustration right now) "It's really frustrating right now. All you can do at this point is just fight your way out. It's at this point that you find the people in this locker room who really want to play football versus the guys that don't. They will be the ones to step up and get us out of this. You'll be able to tell, real fast, the guys that don't want to play. Right now it comes down to discipline for us. We have to be even more disciplined now or else the game is going to discipline you in the end like it did today. We had a lot of penalties, a lot of mistakes. As the game went on they prevailed. The better team won, they played hard and played like they wanted to win. You've got to commend them. They played as if the season was on the line and took advantage of the situation."

(On what the difference is this point in time this season from last season) "It's simple, like the drive that they came down and scored on, in the past that wouldn't have happened and this year it did. In the past when the game went on we got stronger, this year we get weaker."

(On if you feel like the other teams don't fear the Buccaneer defense any longer) "All that is over and done with. Each week you come out and play and show what your made of. This is what we're made of right now, we're four and six, we're struggling, and we are just going to continue to fight."

(On what was the story of the game) "It wasn't that we couldn't get an effective pass rush, it was the fact that they decided to keep the ball on the ground and run it. They took it 99 yards for a touchdown and that was a back breaker."

S Travaris Robinson

(On his first career interception) "It feels good but we're losing so take it as it is. We need to go back to the drawing board and get this thing worked out."

DT Warren Sapp

(On how he takes steps toward correcting the Buccaneers' problems) "We built this from the ground up. Me, (Derrick) Brooks, (John) Lynch—all of us. This organization was built from the ground up. There isn't any way we are getting to this point and laying down. There are too many people with the know-how and know where we've come from to get to this point and win a World Championship. To now lay down? No. We have six more ballgames, and you're going to get our best. You're going to count on that."

(On if the luster of playing on Monday Night Football next week is taken away because of the Bucs' and Giants' struggles) "I think Monday Night ratings are up. I don't expect them to go down."

(On if the Bucs' season feels similar to 1998 when that team also was 4-6) "No. This is a much better ball club. We didn't have an offense, and now that's not the case. The story of our season all year long is penalties, turnovers and mistakes. We fire away every time. We had 13 penalties today on offense. You have to be kidding me."

(On giving Green Bay credit for its win tonight) "Green Bay won it. You have to take your hat off to a ball club whenever they come to your house, a place where they've never won, and get a hard-fought victory out of it. They executed. You go 99-and-a-half yards almost. That tells it all."

(On why Green Bay was able to run the ball successfully against the Bucs) "There's too much emotions in the game right now. I can't say that. I have to watch the film and see where everyone is supposed to fit. We shouldn't have breakdowns. We had eight-man fronts."

T Kenyatta Walker

(On the offensive line day) "It's very difficult, we've lost some tough games. As an offense we can't come out and make the penalties and mistakes that we did. It's tough."

(On his personal foul facemask penalties) "As for me and my face mask penalties, I've definitely put myself in this hole. But I feel that it was a bad call. They are watching me. To the fans out there who think that I am intentionally doing this, that's not true."

(On his performance) "To be real with you and honest, that was probably the best game I've had at left tackle. If you watch the three games, I've definitely made an improvement. But we're 4-6, so it doesn't matter.

(On the team) "This is the Super Bowl team. Nobody has left this team. It is still the same offensive line."

(On the first half) "That first half was probably the most hideous I've ever been in of all the games. There's no excuse. I've dug myself in a hole. They are watching me."

(On mistakes and his play) "Is that going to stop me? No, I have to go out there and play my game. Whatever side they put me on, I can't worry about penalties. I might get a penalty every game from here on out just because of hand placement. I don't go out there intentionally and try to grab a face mask."

Green Bay Head Coach Mike Sherman

(On the 98-yard drive) "It was 98 and-a-half, actually. It was about as long as they get. Heck of a drive. The offensive line took control of the game. Key third-down conversions, and we ran the ball effectively."

(On going for the fourth-down conversion on the 98-yard drive) "(It was a) beautiful drive, I would've hated to let it go to the kicker. I wanted our guys to finish it off. We have confidence in our guys and their abilities. I did not want to let the drive die on a field goal."

(On keys to the win) "Not turning the ball over was the key today. We made plays on third down, and ran the ball effectively versus a good defense."

(On must win situation) "There is still a lot of football left to play for both teams. This does not put us in the driver seat. There is something to play for next week and the week after. We came down here with the full intention of winning the football game, but it doesn't always turn out that way."

(On the performance of the running game) "Each year we run the ball more effectively. It came down to one drive, as the difference in this game, the time we took off the clock and the ability to score the touchdown. Tampa is a heck of a football team and a difficult team to beat."

(On the possibility of the late field goal) "We would not kick the field goal, (that) late in the game with a chance for a block."

(On the remainder of the season) "(We need to play) one game at a time. This was a good win, and (we need) good preparation for next week."

Green Bay T Chad Clifton

(On the Packers' offense) "We wound up with 189 yards rushing and no sacks, so definitely it was a good day for the offense."

(On the Packers' 98-yard drive) "Backs were running hard, and we were blocking hard. That was some good stuff out there. You don't see too many 99-yard drives, so it was sweet."

(On coming back from his season-ending injury suffered against the Bucs last year) "I was able to come back, and this is the 10th game I've played in. I haven't missed any playing time, so I look forward to putting this behind me."

Green Bay QB Brett Favre

(On the game and his injured thumb) "It was great. Winning a game like this makes everything feel a little bit better. I got it banged a little bit today. I don't know how bad. I'm checking on it again tomorrow. Like I told the guys, I think I broke it."

(On Tampa's broken sack streak) "Until you just told me that I didn't realize that. It doesn't make it any sweeter. The win itself is big. They're a great defense. I don't care what people say right now, they're a great defense. They pose a lot of problems, one of them being sacks. We ran the football extremely well, and our offensive line, as they have done all year, played lights out. We didn't have to pass that much, and what we did, according to you, they didn't get to us. A win is a win. Anytime we can get one here, which hasn't been often, we'll take it."

(On overcoming the Buccaneers defense) "Considering the defense we were playing and the circumstances, I think going into this game our back was against the wall. I think that drive was sort of an example of our season up to this point. We'll just start back. I don't know if anybody gave us a chance going in for a drive like that, but it's pretty impressive."

(On finally winning in Tampa) "I hate to lose anywhere. I hate to lose on the road. I hate to lose at home. Minnesota and Tampa Bay over the long hauls have been a thorn in our side, and in my side, whatever you want to call it. Losing to Tampa Bay here the last five or six years is tough to take, but they're a great defense. We're losing to a great team. Not that it makes it any easier, but when you beat a team like this at their place, it kind of feels good. I know we have a lot of games to play, and we're still fighting our way back. We're 5-5, and it's not where we want to be. We have won some big games. We've lost some, too, but this team is not giving up. That's the impressive thing about us."

Green Bay RB Ahman Green

(On what the Packers' goals were before the start of the game) "First and foremost, we wanted to establish the run with the guys we have in the backfield. We've got a nice group of special guys back there. Every now and then, you get a special bunch, and I think we've got that special bunch that can go out there. No matter who's out there, the offense never loses a step in terms of the running game."

(On the extra significance of the game with Chad Clifton playing) "It was just special for us for him to be able to start training camp, so that feeling is gone a long time ago. Once we saw what he could do and that he came back full-tilt in July, that feeling was gone. Nobody really knew what the recovery time was because it's never happened before, but for him to do what he's doing all season long is what keeps us going. I know it definitely keeps him going and puts a big smile on his face and a bigger smile coming back down here and winning, which we haven't done here in a while."

Green Bay CB Mike McKenzie

(On how the Packers approached their game with Tampa Bay) "You know Tampa Bay; They're a real confident bunch and a real competitive bunch. We didn't want to get in a (trash-talking) contest them. We really just wanted to come out and get the game. You can see we found a way to get it done. We wanted to play a dominant game up front on both sides of the ball, and we knew if we had a great effort on special teams that was going to be the difference."

(On the Buccaneers staying within striking distance of the Packers) "We knew they were going to stay in it. They weren't going to lay down, so we knew they were going to be scraping and clawing throughout the evening. We knew that it was going to come down to a big play made here and there, and fortunately for us we made the plays that made the difference in the game."

Green Bay G Mike Wahle

(On the Packers' running game) "That's the kind of talent that we have. If we even give a crease, we have the capability to run the football."

(On the Chad Clifton controversy) "We obviously said something about it before the game. Gilbert (Brown) made a very moving speech talking about how personal this game is. Chad has to feel more satisfaction about this game than anybody because he played his butt off."

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