Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-18-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the win) "It's big. It's a very emotional game. Both teams are familiar with each other. The score by Ronde was a turning point in the game, no question about it, and we were happy to see that."

(on defensive pressure) "It's something that we're after here. I thought Gaines Adams, Kevin Carter, [Chris] Hovan, all of the guys up front made a real good contribution today in terms of the rush. We were able to set up some second-and-long situations and it's a credit to our defense. We're clearly getting better but we still have a ways to go."

(on the offensive production) "I'm never really been into the stats. We scored on three straight possessions to start the second half. We dropped a couple balls in the first quarter, early in the game. We self-destructed on a key third-and-one in good field position. I thought as a football team we played well today against a team that was hot, and at their place. Any time you can win on the road is something we're very excited about."

(on DE Greg White) "He did a great job. My brother's up in the press box, and every time he makes a play he says, 'I told you so.' He's a great story. Greg White is a great story indeed. We think he's got a real upside. He's a natural pass-rusher. He's not nearly a finished product at this point, but he has effort, he has talent and we're getting something out of him."

QB Jeff Garcia

(on the win) "It's a big win for us, obviously, coming off a bye week. You worry about complacency, you worry about sluggishness. I'm not saying everything went the way that we wanted it to in the first half, but we got a lead. We got a great score by the defense, and then in the second half we finally got it going and put the game away."

(on the touchdown pass to Joey Galloway) "It was just an opportunity where their corner bit on the slant fake, Joey went by him and I put it in a place where he could make the catch and run after it. Once he gets running, people aren't going to catch him. He did a great job."

(on the second-half drives) "It was really on the offensive line's back right there. They did a great job. We were running the football, pounding it at their defense – not anything crazy, not anything fancy, it was just hard-nosed football and our offensive line did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage and opening holes for Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman. Then when I had opportunity to throw the ball downfield I was fortunate that I put it in a place where Alex [Smith] could make a play. He made a great catch in the end zone. That was a big score for us, and then to get EG's run at the end of the game to really put the nail in the coffin, so to speak, that was huge."

(on opening up a two-game lead on Carolina and New Orleans) "That's huge. It's really on our shoulders as far as how we're going to finish things off this year and what we have to do week-in and week-out. Any time you can separate yourself in the division lead, that's a great Sunday. Today was a great Sunday for us – not only them losing ballgames but us winning on the road. We got that monkey off our back, so to speak, and it's about next week now against Washington at home. It's always great to be back at home, so we're excited about that opportunity."

DE Gaines Adams

(on his development) "I'm just trying to bring some different things to the table. In this league, you've got to have different moves. The first move that I've usually been doing hasn't been working, so I've been trying to work with the veterans to get some more moves."

(on the line coming together) "Oh, most definitely. In this league, it's not going to show the first week of the season. This time right now, crunch time, the D-line's picking it up."

(on where his game is now) "I'm definitely not there. I am not there. I've got a lot more improvement to do. The main thing is to listen to the guys around me. Kevin Carter, Chris Hovan, all those guys – they are a tremendous help to me. I owe a lot to those guys because they're helping me out right now."

WR Joey Galloway

(on his thoughts on all the division games going the Bucs' way) "My thoughts are, we get ready for Washington. We'll take it one game at a time and not worry about anybody else."

(on the Bucs' defense) "They played big today and we've come to expect that from them. They kept them out of the end zone. There were a few times when we put them in a bad position and they showed up and they made big plays."

(on if the Bucs are back on the tracks) "I don't know if we were ever off the tracks. You go through ups and downs on the season and we certainly had ours. But to get a win here on the road in our division is very important, and we'll go back home and try to get one next week."

(on the run-pass balance) "We need more passes [laughs]. Everybody knows we like to run the ball. That's the safest way to win games, running the football. It took us a little while to get going there with the running game, but they put them away there at the end. Earnest is going to keep pounding all day long and eventually he'll break one."

RB Earnest Graham

(on the return of Michael Pittman) "He's a great player. Michael Pittman and I are very different players. People see him make great players and we're a better team with him back in there. It was great to have him back."

(on the recent success of the running game) "It's great. The last two weeks we've come out and been able to run the ball. That's the way you play football in the NFL – you get ahead, play physical and make the game shorter."

(on how the success feels to him) "It feels good. We got a great win today on the road. We were able to make some big plays. I've been trying to improve every week. I felt like I was starting to see things better. What I wanted to work on is getting in the secondary and making guys miss. I was able to do that today. I'm just trying to improve every week and we'll see where it goes."

ATLANTA FALCONS

Head Coach Bobby Petrino

(opening statement) "It was a tough game for us. It was not the outcome we expected or wanted. We turned the ball over early and we were never able to get into a rhythm on offense. We had some dropped passes and we allowed a lot of pressure on our quarterback early, which contributed to the lack of rhythm. Our defense kept us in the game in the first half and gave us a chance to win the game. I felt like we were playing well, but failing to convert the fourth and short really hurt. I really felt like the players prepared hard for the game and that we took the field ready to play."

(on having a grace period for QB Byron Leftwich because he has missed time) "No, I wouldn't say that. We felt that with the way he practiced and moved around that he should start. I don't think you can always put all the blame on the quarterback. On the interception he was being pressured and we dropped some passes early, which really hurt us. We have a lot to evaluate and look at over the next few days."

(on switching quarterbacks) "I wanted to let Byron come out of the locker room and see if (Joey Harrington) could get anything going. Not converting the fourth down hurt us, but then we had the fumble and the injury to T Todd Weiner so I decided we need a little more mobility at quarterback."

(on who is going to be the starter on Thursday night) "We have to evaluate the video from today and see who gives us the best opportunity as a team to win the game. I cannot tell you when that decision is going to be made right now."

(on the morale of the team) "It is not a good feeling right now. We really had a good week of preparation and our focus and enthusiasm was as high as it had been all year long. We really felt like this game could get us back in the race, and anytime you put that much effort into something and it does not go well it hurts. It hurts when you don't win. It is going to hurt all night, but we have to get back to work because we play Thursday night. We have to regroup and come out here Thursday and do everything we can to get a win."

WR Adam Jennings

(on his first career touchdown) "I wish it had come in a winning effort, but it is a touchdown and I am happy about that."

(on being patient throughout the game) "I was just going out there and running my route and I was just a part of the read on that play. Joey (Harrington) did a great job in finding me. He found me earlier on a hot read and I was just happy to be able to go out there and play. Hopefully we can win this next ball game."

(on getting worked into the mix with the receivers) "Well, with Joe Horn out it gave me an opportunity to go in and play. Joey (Harrington) just did an excellent job and I was able to go in and get a catch today."

S Lawyer Milloy

(on the outcome of the game today) "We got our butts kicked today and that is basically the bottom line. We have the defending champs coming in here so we don't have time to dwell on the outcome of this game. The beautiful thing about this is that we get another opportunity on Thursday. It's up to the leaders on this team to have a positive outlook on next week and that is including the coaching staff. We have to focus our attention on the Colts coming to town next week."

(on whether this is a low point to this season) "No. I feel good about this and I feel good about us getting through a lot of adversity this season. We have to get the young guys to understand how to win a close game, but today, nothing worked and sometimes that is going to happen. Today, we just got our butts kicked and that's the only way to look at the outcome of this game."

RB Warrick Dunn

(on the play of the Tampa Bay defense) "They were making plays. I can't say they are better than last year's defense, but they're playing well together and making plays. Their front four, obviously their ends, caused a lot of problems today. Guys were just really flying around. To me, that's just traditional Bucs football. We have to give them a lot of credit. They played well, they played hard, they made plays, they caused turnovers and they just really got us out of our game."

(on the Falcons trying to get their running game going) "It was tough and everybody plays a part in it. It was just one of those days when we weren't on the same page with anything."

QB Joey Harrington

(opening statement) "My job is to be the back-up for this team and to be ready at any given time. I am going to be ready to play for this team and today just happened to be one of those situations. My number one priority is to be available and to help out this team in any way."

(on the short week versus Indianapolis) "We will work on the gameplan heavily this week so that we're ready in three days of preparation. It is important that we put this game behind us because this is a long season."

QB Byron Leftwich

(opening statement) "It was good to be out there and I think everybody was ready to play this game. But, from the beginning we couldn't get back on the groove of things. This was a game of huge magnitude so it will hurt for a bit. We prepared very well but we just couldn't get it done. I take a lot of the blame because I am the quarterback and my responsibility is to put points on the board. This loss should make it hard to sleep at night and motivate us to prepare harder for this Thanksgiving game. We have to move on though and study for the things we need to work on."

(on his overall performance) "My performance was poor and I will look over the things that I didn't do well. As the quarterback of this team, I have to set the precedence and put numbers on the board. I just didn't get it done, but we will be ready for next week."

CB DeAngelo Hall

(on his thoughts on the game) "It was a tough loss. Whenever we start to get rolling, we hit another bump in the road. Today was another one of those days. In spite of a terrible start, we had the opportunity to place ourselves in a great position. That's football, and that's life in general. In life, you have to play whatever cards you're dealt. You deal with it, and try to play the hand. We just didn't play well as a team. On a personal note, I gave up a touchdown pass. That's not what I do, and I don't pride myself on that. As a whole, we didn't play great."

(on his thoughts on the opponent's touchdown pass) "It was a slant and go. They've been trying to get me on that play for the past three years, and they finally got it. They know I'm an aggressive player, they know I like to jump a lot of passes, and they just caught me. They had a great situation and a great play call. My hat goes off to them, and to coach Gruden. (Jon Gruden)."

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