Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-21-2004 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On overall game) "I am happy with the win. It's a big win for us. We could do without the penalties and the turnovers, but that was a great win for us."

(On the health of the team) "We're not healthy if you look at our IR report. I don't know who got hurt today, but it appears that we will have everybody that we had today next week."

(On Joe Jurevicius producing well today) "I saw some cutting edge reporting in the paper about how he got after me. That didn't really happen to the extent that was reported. Jurevicius is coming back to life as a football player. He's been very frustrated with the injuries that he has had. He delivered today and hopefully that's a good sign of things to come. We would like to have him playing at a high level with a rookie and Galloway."

(On dominating the game like they should have) "Why should you dominate it? Who the hell says something like that? Why would you dominate it?"

(On being the favored team and thus winning) "This is the National Football League. They (the 49ers) are a good team playing their hearts out. There have been a lot of tight games. I am not going to minimize what the 49ers are about, traditionally, or what they are going through right now. That was a battle of two teams that have been struggling with the wrath of injuries. We beat a team that was playing hard and we deserved to win."

(On Mike Alstott being back from injury) "It's great to have him back. He is another guy who has had his share of injuries, but delivered not only some good runs, but some good blocks. I think Pittman went over 100 yards. That's a tribute to the fullback."

(On what Pittman is doing differently this year) "It's a combination of a lot of things. I think maybe we misjudged how good he was. Maybe we should have given him the ball more. He's obviously the primary guy. He split the role really with Mike [Alstott], Aaron Stecker and Thomas Jones, but I think he clearly is the go-to guy now. He's proven that maybe we should have found that out a long time ago."

FB Mike Alstott

(On how he feels after his first game back) "I am feeling good. My body is a little bit sore from being off for a month, but I felt comfortable out there and I am starting to get in the groove of things again. It was a good day. It was great to be back in there, especially for the team how we won today."

(On the win) "This is huge. This is a big game, especially after what happened last week to get us back on track. It improves our confidence with the fashion in which we did it today. Our defense played really well, they were three-and-out I think the whole first half and the offense took the opportunity of great field position and made some big plays. Joe Jurevicius and Michael Pittman came up big and Brian Griese was throwing the ball down the field. Our offensive line blocked great, too."

(On having players return from injuries) "It's huge, we have explosive weapons back. When you have the deep threat down field with Joey Galloway and Joe Jurevicius, and Michael Clayton is doing great so they have to cover him, and Michael Pittman is running great so we are starting to see everything come back together. All the guys are getting healthy again if the offensive line can do what they did today, it gives Brian and us time to let us do what we can do on the field."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On the momentum of today's victory) "You got to take it one game at a time. I know it sounds cliché, but then again, it is serious. The best team in the league, New England, preaches that and nobody does it better. You can't get too low on the losses, and that is something our team has been able to do this season."

(On the Bucs playoff chances) "We still feel we're in this hunt and we just need to keep digging."

(On Coach Gruden showing tape on past Buccaneer defenses) "He was trying to show us about tradition. The foundation has been laid and we have to do our jobs and keep putting bricks on it. He showed us where we came from, and we need to respect that tradition, and today we rebounded and showed that we are a part of that tradition now."

(On the game) "It's been a long time since we dominated on both sides, but we are still not where we need to be. We still could have created more turnovers and avoided turnovers."

(On the Bucs wide receivers) "Jurevicius had two balls he needed to catch and he did. Joey Galloway caught his passes up the middle on third down, and Clayton played crazy with the pass down field."

CB Torrie Cox

(On scoring a defensive touchdown) "We still got one planned for the kickoff return. It feels good just to be able to make a play for the team. That's what I'm about, making plays. I want to be able to help the team and put them in a position to win a game. Anytime I can do that, I love to be on the field."

(On his touchdown play) "We were in man-to-man coverage and the receiver was kind of tight to the line so I figured he was going down because we were looking at the play all week. It just so happened I was in on that play. As he was down, I just stepped in front of him. And then saw all green and one of my players (Simeon Rice) getting ready to make a big hit."

(On how it felt for his first score as a Buccaneer) "It felt good. You enjoy it and just get ready for next week. You take it and go with it."

(On what he is doing with the ball) "The ball is coming with me. I am going to send it to my mom with all my trophies. Anything I get I send home for my mom. So that will be another trophy she can put up."

(On Simeon Rice's block on his touchdown) "I did not really get to see it. But I saw him setting up for it and then I happened to see it on the big screen. It was a heck of a block and I love to see plays like that being made, especially by my teammates."

T Derrick Deese

(On the offensive line's performance) "Our offensive line coach basically said that we needed to set the tempo. After last week's performance we wanted to continue what we have been doing in the past, which is improving week after week. We had to get back on track and I think that you can see that we did a pretty good job doing that today."

(On the difference between this week's game and last week's game) "The first difference is that we were back at home. The second is that the defense we played last week was bringing a lot of stuff. We got away from our game last week and were wondering about what they were doing and not what we were doing. This week we just came out and did what we were supposed to do, and that is to just play football and make them counter what we were doing."

QB Brian Griese

(On the game) "It was a big win for us. I thought we had the tempo early on in the game. Guys were excited to play and it showed on the scoreboard."

(On Jurevicius) "We really don't feature guys in our game plan. It just comes during the game as guys make plays and get open; or defenses roll a certain way and guys get an opportunity to make plays and Joe made them today. Joe has been through a lot, trying to get through some injuries and get back into football shape. He's been out of football for a while, so I've been trying to work with him and get on the same page with Joe. Today, he made some great plays."

(On having things go the Bucs way) "It feels good. I don't think we hit on all cylinders. I know I didn't. I could have made some better throws. I think for this team it was a really good win, in that we came out and played as a team. The offense played well. The defense played well and we played well on special teams. I think it is the first game where we really combined all three aspects."

(On having two interceptions) "I didn't see the guy. I didn't see [Tony] Parrish and people will say I'm trying to send him to the Pro Bowl with all of those interceptions, but I really didn't see him."

(On Galloway's health) "He told me before the game he felt as good as he's felt up to this point. I'm excited about not only having Joe Jurevicius back, but Joey Galloway coming back and getting some more reps and confidence in his offense. You couple those guys with Mike Clayton and we have some players."

(On overall game performance) "The only way to blow out a team in the NFL is to play well in all three areas, and that is what we did."

WR Joe Jurevicius

(On the team's performance) "It felt good to get out there. The biggest thing that we needed right now was a win and I think that not only we won, but we played great in all facets of our football team, on special teams, offensively, and defensively. Martin Gramatica had three or four touchbacks and Josh Bidwell punted the heck out of the ball. Offensively, we moved the ball and defensively we stopped the ball. I think we had a great game overall."

(On his two-touchdown performance) "It's great. I never had a doubt that I would get back in there. I have always looked to be a spark on this football team. The most important thing is to give a lot of credit to the guys that are around me. The offensive line protected Brian Griese well today and opened up a lot of holes for Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott. Once again Joey Galloway and Michael Clayton, our sensational rookie, played a phenomenal game."

(On giving the ball to a military officer) "I absolutely love the military and that was my whole purpose. I don't play football, we don't play football, and you don't do reports on football if it wasn't for those guys. I have always been proud to be an American and when I saw him over there, when I see the flyovers the hair on my neck stands up every time. I figured that the least that I could do is give the man a football and say thank you to our military. That's not just for him, that's for the whole military. My way of saluting was my way of saying thank you."

(On whether giving the football to the military officer was pre-meditated) "I saw the fly over on the jumbo screen and I saw him standing there earlier in the game. For some reason, flyover's tend to give me tears and water the eyes up because you realize how awesome and how powerful those guys are. It was just a simple thing for me to do. I just want to thank all of our military all over the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. To the families who are losing sons and daughters, my hat is off to you guys, I really appreciate everything you did."

RB Michael Pittman

(On his 100-yard rushing performance) "I want to thank my offensive linemen, the guys who really don't get all the credit. They deserve all the credit, my fullbacks and everybody who was blocking for me made some nice holes. I was running hard and the yards came and we won the game."

(On T Derrick Deese playing against his former team) "It was pretty emotional for him. He wanted to come out here and do his best. I thought he did an excellent job, the whole offensive line did an excellent job. We accomplished what we wanted to do, and that was run the ball, sustain drives, and just move the ball. I think that we did that. The offensive line blocked great. Brian Griese made the throws and we won the game."

(On if this game was what the offense needed to get back on track) "We needed this win to try and get to where we want to be and that is the playoffs. This is big for us, it's a win. San Francisco is a good team, but they are just struggling right now. We wanted to control the clock by running the ball and I thought we ran the ball very well. The offensive line blocked great and this is what we wanted to do. We needed a big victory to boost our confidence and we got one."

(On having everyone contribute) "Brian Griese was making great audibles and great calls in the running game. The offensive line was blocking great up front. They stepped up to the plate. A lot of people were down on the offensive line all week, but we all believe in our offensive line as a team. They stepped up and did a great job today."

(On if the Bucs are ready to make a run for the playoffs in the last six games) "We've been ready to make a run all year. Our record is 4-6 right now and hopefully we can go on this run right now to get to where we need to be and that is the playoffs. We just want to get there and once we get there you never know what is going to happen. This team still believes that we can get there and we are going to keep fighting every week."

(On Joe Jurevicius) "He's kind of like me on the field when he makes a big play he loves to celebrate. He's confident and is aggressive in the running game, he means a lot. Just his presence in the huddles is big. A lot of guys don't want to face Joe because they know that he is a physical receiver. He did a great job today."

(On Mike Alstott) "Mike's doing a great job, just to be back two weeks after his knee injury, a sprained MCL. Those injuries are pretty painful. For him to come back this week and play the way that he did today is great. I am happy that he's back."

DE Simeon Rice

(On the game) "No sacks, but a win to show for it. It is all in a good day's work. I'll take that. That is the most important stat."

(On sending a message) "We had to send a message out, not only to ourselves, but to the rest of the league that we can play ball. We have to win games. We have to win and this is a must-win situation for us. I think all in all, it was a good showing."

(On blocking during Torrie Cox's touchdown return) "I saw my little brother running to score, so I had to go help him (Torrie Cox). I saw the big boys coming after him, so I had to go help him. I split his wig a little bit. We score a touchdown, and it sealed the victory for us."

(On whether this was the Buccaneers best performance) "I think so because we functioned together. We can go home and rest our heads and know that we did everything it took to not only get a victory, but dominate."

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Head Coach Dennis Erickson

(On the game) "Its pretty self explanatory as you watch the football game. When you have a performance like that offensively in the first half, well really the whole football game you do not have any chance to win. We played okay on defense; we got some turnovers. You can not be on the football field all day like that and expect to win. We had some opportunities early with turnovers and just did not move the football. I do not have answers for what happened. We did not execute, we did not block, we did not run, we did not protect, and you name it. Anything you want to talk offense we did it the wrong way. We just did not have a good performance."

(On what he told the team at half time) "I told them that you can not play like that offensively and expect to have a chance to way. We have got turnovers. For us to have any chance we need to come out and perform on offense. The consistency we played on offense was not very good."

(On Tim Rattay) "Tim (Rattay) was not our problem. If I thought Tim (Rattay) was our problem, then yes I would have made the move. It is a number of different things. If I could just fix it with one guy, I would fix it. That is not the case for us right now. Our football team is at a point right now where we lost a lot of close games early, and there is no question we are not playing with confidence. We are not playing like I believe we are capable of. When these things start happening to you, these things start happening to you. We did not take advantage of opportunities early in the game on turnovers, where we had a chance to stay in the football game then it is going to end up like this."

(On how much of this is due to the offensive line) "It is a number of different things. Of course, it starts on the offensive line, works to tight ends, to quarterback, to running back, it works to every place. I do not think you could take one person or one thing. We did not have a lot of success running the football and some of those things. Sure, some of it is with the offense. There is no question about it that it is other things too that go into it. What happens is you go into long yardage and now you are behind and now you have to throw it and they have good pass rushers and you saw what happened."

(On the rushing) "It is a combination of things and a combination of them bringing eight guys into the box. You have to block more. In order to do that you have to execute play-action pass fake. We did not do that today. Whether it was coverage, rush, or a number of different things but when they have eight in there you have to be able to throw the football. We did not throw with any success."

TE Eric Johnson

(On what San Francisco needs to do to win) "We are going to go home and figure it out. I know we have to stick together as a team, hold ourselves accountable and figure out what we can do better as a team and move on."

(On what the Buccaneers did to stop San Francisco) "The Buccaneers definitely did a good job. I felt guys converging quickly when I was trying to find an open spot. I felt more pressure than normal. At times it felt like there were three guys on me."

(On finding himself looking at other tight ends) "Yes, this week I watched two tight ends that played the Buccaneers, Tony Gonzalez and (Alge) Crumpler, who got past the Buccaneers cover-two a couple of times."

S Tony Parrish

(On both interceptions and whether he thinks Brian Griese saw him) "The first one, I baited him a little bit. Then the second one, he didn't see me. I kind of hid behind the offensive tackle."

(On whether there was relief in getting that first interception) "Not really. It's been a long drought on interceptions and stuff, but right now we're trying to get wins. All the other stuff is peripheral."

QB Tim Rattay

(On what was good, what was bad and what he learned today) "Obviously, there wasn't a lot of good. We just have to go in the film room and see what's wrong and try to fix it. Offensively, we didn't play well."

(On whether the eight men in the box gave them too much pressure) "They did eight man, but they also did a lot of cover two when they got ahead. We just didn't mix it up and didn't play well."

(On the offense not getting it going) "Yes. It was tough. They made some plays we just couldn't take advantage of our defense making plays. That was frustrating."

(On whether his confidence has been shaken) "No, not at all. We are confident and I am confident in my ability. I mean, they're good, they get paid, too. We obviously have to fix some things, but we're confident and we're going to get read to go next week."

(On when things started to pick up in the second half) "We got some things going and moved the ball a little bit, but we stalled a little bit and had to kick a field goal when we needed touchdowns. We just didn't execute well. We have to stick together and get better as an offensive unit."

DT Bryant Young

(On the game) "Coming into this game, we felt like offensively, we could do some pretty good things. We were really looking forward to this game. For some reason, it didn't go our way today. We couldn't catch a break."

(On the team's performance) "I know that we have the talent, it's just a matter of executing, and not making the mistakes that we made today, plays that we have given up. We shot ourselves in the foot. We could have been in this game, but we didn't make the plays that we needed to."

(On the season) "It's hard to believe. It seems like nothing has been going our way the whole year, and that's just the kind of year that it has been for us. We're not thinking, where we make mistakes and come back, it's like the minute we make a mistake, it is all downhill from there. That has been our downfall, continuously shooting ourselves in the foot, giving up big plays, and miscues here and there."

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