Head Coach Jon Gruden
(opening statement) "I've got to say that was a great win for our team and we beat a very good team."
(on if he can explain his emotions during the last two minutes) "No, not really. It was emotional. It had a lot of peaks and valleys. We had some great scoring drives on offense. We didn't get the ball much. I think we had three possessions in the second half. It was a tremendous drive to tie the football game. Then we get the sack, fumble and turnover and put ourselves in potential position for a field goal. We got it. Then obviously we got a foul of our own that gave Atlanta a chance. When you're playing a guy like [Michael] Vick, the ball game is never over. We're happy to have won. We're ready to move on."
(on starting off well on offense) "We felt like we were going to be able to run the ball today. We thought we were going to be able to get some good looks at times and we did. Carnell [Williams] got us going and got us a three-point lead. Simeon [Rice's] play when we had them backed up obviously was huge. Give some credit to the Falcons. They found a way to hang in there and get the lead back. The crowd got in it. I think us answering the score that gave them their first lead was huge in this game. It was a collective effort. We were playing without a lot of key players. Greg Spires sucked it up; I have no idea how he played. It was enough to win today but we're ready to go home."
(on Chris Simms' play) "Hopefully the people back in Austin are watching this and they'll get off his back a little bit. He's won a couple big games. He made a few throws hot when they came after him. They had a free blitzer that we didn't account for; he found the hot receiver; one time to Carnell Williams and one time to Anthony Becht. It was after an interception which obviously would have deflated a lot of young quarterbacks."
RB Cadillac Williams
(on getting a 30-yard run to start the game and get himself going) "No doubt. It had been a long time since I'd had a long run like that. Once again, those guys did a great job up front. They basically blew everybody out of the way, I saw a crack and I hit it."
(on his touchdown run) "It was a play we call 'Power King,' where we're pulling the guard. Mike [Alstott] had a heck of a block, those guys up front came off the ball and the hole was wide as daylight."
(on his third-down run before the winning field goal) "Once again, those guys up front did a heck of a job. And then Matt – what can you say about that guy. To have all that pressure on him and to go out there and kick that field goal – you've got to love that guy."
(on what the win does for the team) "It puts us in a great position right now. We've got Chicago. We've got to come out and play ball and get on top of this thing."
(on the offensive linemen) "Those offensive linemen, they played a heck of a game today. There was so much running room out there it was like I was kind of just picking and choosing my way. They man-handled them up front. I just want to thank those guys and give them the credit."
K Matt Bryant
(on his game-winning kick) "Basically, it's just another quick. I know that's hard to believe and all, but I try to approach every kick the same."
(on Carnell Williams getting some yards to get him closer for that kick) "I was kind of looking forward to kicking that 52 or 53-yarder, or whatever it was going to be. But he got us a little closer and it just made it a little bit easier. This team came out and did what we had to do when we had to do it, and that's what counts."
(on what the win means for the team) "It's huge. That's two great games, and when we've had to do it at the end, we've done it. We've got a lot of confidence knowing that when we get in that pressure situation at the end, we can do it. It's no big deal. Just go out there and do our job."
(on what goes through his mind before a kick to decide a game) "It's one of those deals where I've done this for so long. You practice the game-winning kick from the time you're five years old. The big thing I have to remind myself – I think Peyton Manning said it once – is the only time you feel pressure is when you're not prepared. That's the feeling you get when you're warming up. I've been preparing for this for a long time, so the pressure is not there because I already knew I was going to make it."
(on Head Coach Jon Gruden looking at him as a weapon) "That's big, to be able to go out there on the field and know that 52 other guys and the staff along with it, the ownership, the fans can breathe a little easier whenever I go out there. That helps build my confidence, just to know that it boosts everybody else's confidence around me."
(on how far he thought he could make it from) "It would have been over 55. We were hitting 55 in the pregame. We were well within range [before Williams' run]. It was no big deal. That's one thing we need to get out of people's head – my leg strength. My ability to kick over 53 yards is there. I wish I had a chance to let everybody see that."
(on Atlanta P Michael Koenen's 55-yard attempt at the end) "The kid's got a great leg. I think he made a 58-yarder earlier in the year. It's tough when the game's not in your hands at that point in time, but I had confidence in our defense to get a block or something."
(on the feeling of being mobbed after a big kick) "It's good to be able to get other guys' confidence up. I'm confident. I've been confident since I was seven years old. To be able to get their confidence up, to know that if we get down into a certain range we're not going to go away empty-handed, that helps the team. At least I hope it does."
QB Chris Simms
(on the game) "We kept pounding away all game long as far as the passing game goes. I'm extremely proud of our offensive line and running backs. They were on their "A" game today and it showed. It proves to our football team that we can do whatever we need to do to win a football game. I'm just happy to get out of here with a win."
(on K Matt Bryant) "He's been clutch since camp. I knew that once we were inside of a 50 yard field goal that it was automatic."
(on Carnell Williams) "It was a big boost for our team on the first play when he broke off for a long run. It gave our whole offense confidence that we would be able to run the ball today."
DE Simeon Rice
(on his sack and forced fumble) "I just play to play. That's how this game is. Great players play to play, and make plays. I got a whole host of other guys on my team who made big plays at the right moment. You could take any of those plays. You could look at it from an offensive standpoint, from a defensive standpoint. We had another sack-fumble, I think Derrick [Brooks] got it when he leaped over [Warrick Dunn]. You could look at that as a pivotal point. We had a lot of pivotal points in this game that got us to where we are."
DT Anthony McFarland
(on winning) "I say it all the time: The only stats in this game that really matter are Ws and Ls. Right now we've got a couple Ws in a row, we're 7-3, and when you can continue to put that stat right, that's big. Obviously, we don't like shootouts on this defense, but we like Ws. So if we can have a shootout and get a W, I think we'll take it every week."
(on his touchdown) "It was just good to make a play early in the game to give our team some confidence. We've got a young team and on the road it's good to get out early, get some confidence early and get the team going. Simeon with his big sack on that one, I just happened to be there to get the ball. You've got to give all the credit to him. He made an unbelievable move out there and got a sack and got the ball. That's what we have to do."
LB Derrick Brooks
(on his sack) "[Defensive Coordinator] Monte Kiffin told me before the drive to anticipate me blitzing. Maybe [Vick] had seen that some time I faked it and they didn't mind me."
(on the Bears) "Coach [Lovie] Smith is a great friend of mine from being here. We look forward to them coming to Tampa. They're probably the hottest team in the league right now. We anticipate a tough ballgame, which is how it goes. I want to thank them for beating Carolina and welcome them to Tampa."
(on the defense having troubles then making the big play at the end) "Yeah, we're playing Bucs ball in a different fashion. We knew we made some mistakes early, giving up some scrambles and long passes, but when it counted we stepped up and made a play. But we don't want to be a defense dependent on that, so we're going to address some issues this week, our third-down defense, and make sure we get back on our keys and our schemes. Again, the W is all that matters. I don't care if we gave up 80 yards and lost, it doesn't mean anything. We gave up over 400 yards but we won, and we stepped up when it counted."
T Kenyatta Walker
(on the way the game ended) "The last two weeks, for us to go out there on the last drive and have to score and to go down and score, that's a lot of confidence for this young offense, for Chris [Simms] and the offensive line. I don't think we gave up a sack today. We maybe had one offside penalty, so this was a step forward, a step forward for a young team and a young offense. It feels good, it feels real good for the last two weeks for us to go down and be the offense. This Tampa Bay team has always been known for its defense."
(on what was going on in the Bucs' huddle) "We've been there before. We knew that we were running the ball well and we should just play football and stick with the game plan. Take one snap at a time and go out there and play. We ran the ball and protected well, and good things happened."
(on Cadillac Williams bouncing back) "I asked him, 'What have you got?' He told me he was going to show me something and he did. Whenever you've got Cadillac, [Mike] Alstott and [Michael] Pittman, that's just deadly. It's a deadly combination."
(on running the ball well at the end) "We came in saying we were going to pound the rock, and we did. This is a great feeling. We went out there with a mind frame, we had a plan this week and we stuck with it, and good things happened."
ATLANTA FALCONS QUOTES
Head Coach Jim Mora
(on the tough loss to the Bucs) "It's a very disappointing loss for us today. We got behind the eight ball again. Penalties really hurt us early. We fought and we came back. We just didn't get it done in the end. No one is going to cut their wrist, no one's going to jump off a high building, or walk around like the sky is falling. We've got a game on Thursday. We have to get over this thing quickly. We have to learn from it and we have to keep pressing on. This is a little bit of un-chartered territory for this football team. In the year and a half that we have been together as a staff, we haven't lost two in a row other than the end of last year. Sometimes it's tough. In the NFL you don't win every week. Sometimes the ball bounces wrong. Sometimes you miss a field goal. Sometimes you struggle to stop the run and you have some penalties. What good teams will do, and what our team will do, is hang together and show their resilience that I know they have. They will play better and they will take care of each other. They will block out the negative. That's part of deal when you lose. There are critics out there that will play out the negatives and that's ok. That's life. We are all about trying to win each game, try to win each down, press on, stay positive and stay together. There are some crazy things that are about to happen in the National Football League over the next six weeks. It's going to be a shoot out. It's going to be wild and it's going to be fun. Thankfully, we positioned ourselves earlier in the year to withstand a little bit of a slump. We are six and four. We are still in the hunt. There are a lot of good things going on. We have to pull a little bit tighter. There is not a group of men that I would rather be in this situation with than the men in that locker room."
(on the upcoming game against Detroit) "Detroit is coming down the pike. We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. There is no time to hang our heads. We have to start fast like we typically do, but haven't in our four losses this year. We'll see what happens. It's going to be fun."
QB Michael Vick
(on his fourth-quarter fumble) "I don't know what happened; I haven't watched the film. I don't know if Warrick [Dunn] hit the ball or if [Tampa Bay linebacker] Derrick [Brooks] hit the ball. I don't know what happened."
(on starting slow) "It doesn't matter how you start, it matters how you finish."
(on what happened early on) "Things didn't go right for us early. We fought back and were able to make plays but we didn't win it in the end; which is what matters the most. Maybe we got to start a little faster."
(on how they prepare for Detroit with such a short week) "The same way. We have to just go play football. We know how to play football. We know how to win. We have enough players on this team who can make the necessary adjustments and go to Detroit and play the type of game we're supposed to play."
(on what's next for the Falcons) "We feel like we have to come back and make our next game our best game. We have to win. We have a tough situation; a situation we haven't been in for a long time which might be good for us. Now we have to fight our way back. Now we're really going to find out about our team's character."
CB DeAngelo Hall
(on the game) "We knew coming into this game that they were going to try to run the ball down our throat. I don't think that we did a great job of taking care of our assignments. It is not that the team is that much better than us. We just didn't do a great job today."
(on Tampa Bay coming back to take the lead) "Any time you spot a team points, it is rough to come back and win. Even though we fought hard to come back and win, it is still tough. That fact right there makes you that much tougher knowing that we gave them an advantage and then were able to come back and not cash in on it."
(on defending Tampa Bay receiver Joey Galloway) "We knew when you bring in new personnel, we were going to bring in another safety to get down and then I was going to match up with him. We did that pretty successfully. I don't know if he caught a ball today but they got the win and that's all that matters."
WR Roddy White
(on the game) "We all want to win. It's a bad loss. We had our opportunities to capitalize but didn't get it done."
(on talking to Juron Bolden during the game) "I was just talking to him. He's a good player and we went back and forth today. We get to see him again."
(on his success) "I just wanted to make big plays. Mike [Vick] was getting the ball to me downfield. I was just catching it and trying to get up field."
(on playing with Vick) He just told me to stay on the move. He's always looking downfield to hit somebody so he just told me to keep moving."
(on his big catch) "I just came out of the route. Mike [Vick] gave me a good throw and I just turned around and caught the ball."
(on the short week) "We have to get over it and move on with it. Even though it's a bad loss, we have to play on Thursday and move on.
LB Keith Brooking
(on the game) "It's just disappointing period. You have to give Tampa all of the credit. We just dug ourselves a hole in the beginning. We climbed out of it and never gave up but it came down to us [not being able] to stop the run. They got two-tights and two-backs and they were pounding us. We couldn't stop them. It's very disappointing. I can't explain to you how sick I feel right now. Nobody on the outside will ever feel that, but I know the type of guys we have and there is no doubt that we have to keep fighting. In tough times, when you are forced with adverse situations, you really find out what you're about. When you lose two in a row, you find out what you're made of. I know we have the right guys and we'll keep fighting."
WR Brian Finneran
(on the Falcons' offense) "We struggled a little early but we got it going for a bunch of yards. Roddy [White], [Mike] Jenkins, myself and [Alge] Crumpler did a good job of making plays on the field."
(on the short preparation time for Detroit) "We need to try to get healthy, rest, get back to it on Tuesday and prepare on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's just like every other week, just shorter."
WR Michael Jenkins
(on the Falcons' offense) "We started off kind of shaky, we had lot of penalties and wasn't on rhythm. Then we got in a groove. We just didn't make enough in the end. We came down and had a critical turnover and you've got to take your hat off to Tampa."
(on the physical nature of the game) "It's a rival game. They don't like us and we don't like them. Things were real physical out there."
K Michael Koenen
(on the last field goal attempt) "It always hurts to miss a field goal and everybody's kind of down. I hit it good. I hit it solid, but I just pushed it a little bit and it sliced off my foot a little bit. I did that same thing on my kickoff that went out of bounds. Monday and Tuesday I'm going to be in my barn trying to correct it. Coach Mora told me to be ready because it could come down to a field goal at the end. He said all great ones come back to do something better after something bad. I had that in my mind. I had the opportunity and it didn't come through for me."