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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-23-2006 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the game) "I'd like to say Dallas was a great football team today. They were much better than we were. Happy Thanksgiving."

(on why Dallas receivers were getting so wide open) "There were a number of things that happened. We had a guy fall down one time, we had a number of things happen I really don't want to get into right now. [Tony] Romo escaped a couple times, he broke containment and brought time, we didn't get a lot of pressure on them, they have a lot of gifted, great receivers and put it all together they ripped us today."

(on if injuries factored into those problems) "Well, what do you think, really? I think so, yes. But I also compliment Dallas greatly and take full responsibility for the game."

(on the problems getting the ball deep) "We struggled at times. We had a wide-open look, I felt, would have been a big play to Joey [Galloway]. I thought he had a chance to score. He got hit on another occasion on one interception; the other one, I think, bounced off our player's head. Dallas is a very good defensive team. They rank at the top in just about every category. I felt Bruce [Gradkowski] was victimized a couple times today by a lot of things and certainly Dallas had a lot to do with it."

(on if having three games in 11 days was a factor) "Well, yeah, it's a big factor, given the number of players we're missing. It's never been done before. Why do you think it's never been done before? It's a hard deal, man, it's hard. But I thought our guys played hard in Carolina, they responded with a big win last week and we came out of the chute today with an impressive 80-yard drive to start things off. I credit Dallas tremendously for the outcome of today's game. They had a lot to do with it."

(on struggling on the road) "I can't comment on all of our struggles right now other than we've played some pretty good teams on the road and that has something to do with it. I don't want to get too far into it other than that."

(on his impressions of Tony Romo) "I thought it was Aikman today. I thought it was Troy Aiman out there. He's a fine quarterback. He's in his fourth year. He's seen a lot of things, I'm sure, as a backup. He's had an opportunity to play in a couple different systems, meet a lot of professional players – Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens. He's been around high-profile players. I think he's a very polished technician right now and he's got a bevy of guys to go to. And they've got a big, big offensive line. Tony's obviously got a great future."

(on Cadillac Williams' success running the ball) "We felt good today offensively, we really did. You'd like to get the ball back and keep the game somewhat normal. After we made it 14-10 I believe it was 21-10 and we started the second half and it was 28-10. I don't care who you are, those are difficult situations. But I thought we had a very good balance. We were going to run the ball today but unfortunately we gave up a big score at the end of the first half, gave up another big score to start the second half and I think we had the ball bounce off a guy's head to start our opening drive of the second half offensively. Very frustrating."

(on Bruce Gradkowski) "At times I thought he did some good things, honestly. The opening drive was magnificent. He missed a couple throws, he scrambled for a couple first downs. I'm not going to say too much until I can look at the tape, but we've got a long way to go in some areas and certainly that's obvious."

(on how tough the loss was with Pittsburgh next) "I'm not as deep and philosophical as you. We play the World Champions next on the road. You know how much we like to play in cold weather. We've been very good there. At Chicago. We have a heck of a run in cold weather. We get a chance to try it in Cleveland. I'm excited about it. Every snap that we line up is a chance for somebody to get better and we need a lot of these young players to take advantage of this playing time and never forget what they're going through right now because this is a tough way to learn, let me tell you."

(on getting some time off) "Well, we lost Dan Buenning probably for the season. Alex Smith wasn't here. Anthony Becht got a shoulder stinger. Let's be honest – you're only allowed to dress [45] men. I don't want to sound like it's all bleak, but we need a couple days to get some men healthy, hopefully enough to play."

(on if Juran Bolden was fully healthy) "Well, he's ready to play, yes. That's why he played. Is he 100 percent? I don't believe he is. Are a lot of these guys 100 percent? I don't believe they are. Short week, man. Short week. Tough business that we're in right now. That's the way it is."

(on if the Bucs can keep it together the way things are going) "Well, things have been going so great all along. Yeah, we're going to keep it together. We've got a great group of guys. It's time for some of the young players to step up, show some leadership. We need some of these young players to emerge not only as players but as leaders. They need to get a real good taste of the National Football League here as we close out the season. It's unfortunate that we didn't play better today, but Dallas was dominating, particularly offensively, and that hurt us today."

CB Ronde Barber

(on Tony Romo) "Obviously, he's mobile. He's able get to away and make plays out of the pocket. Today, he was definitely accurate. He didn't make a lot of bad throws. At least, none that I can think of…He threw five touchdown passes. Four of them were into our bread-and-butter defense. He was as prepared as anybody we played against this year. He made us look really bad."

(on 3 games in 11 days) "It is what it is. We don't have any say over the way our schedule goes. What we're called on do to, we've got to go to it. We didn't do it very well."

(on the remaining schedule) "We have five games, three on the road in some unfavorable environments. We all have a job to do. We all get paid to do that job. We've got a lot of young guys that would benefit very much from the experience…I have no idea where we are at right now. We're at 3-8. We have five games left and we have to worry about those. Obviously, they are going to benefit just because what they are having to go through. This team will still fight. Even though we played bad, the fight never comes out."

(on Dallas receivers being open) "You never feel helpless. There's always something you can do about it. I don't think they did anything that we couldn't have defended had we done our jobs the way we know how to do them."

(on injuries being a factor) "You can buy into that if you want to. I don't. We have capable guys. We just need our capable players to play like they are capable of playing. That was not the case today."

(on playing on a national stage) "It was somewhat embarrassing. I think everyone was excited to be the only game on and be in front of however many people watched this. Unfortunately, the probably turned us off in the third quarter."

S Jermaine Phillips

(on the game) "It was really what we did to ourselves. On the first one, Will fell down. Romo was making some plays out there as well. We really won't know until we look at the film. But as far as what I saw, I didn't like it. The game was plan was simple. We just didn't play the way we should have. We got outplayed today."

(on 3 games in 11 days) "Who wants to go in and practice on a Thursday, when you could be playing. They had it the same way. That's not an excuse. Nobody's making that excuse except the reporters."

(on if the loss was tough) "All losses are tough. Each one you come across after the last one makes it that much harder. You've got to keep moving on. We signed up for 16 games. We're just going to keep fighting."

RB Carnell Williams

(on the game) "You've got to credit Dallas. They came out and played really good on defense. They played excellent on offense. There were times when they were just putting points on the board and eating up the clock. The majority of our time was on the sideline."

(on running the ball) "Coming out of the half, we wanted to set the tone by holding them three-and-out and come back and grind the ball out. Once they had they long drive and went down and score, it takes you out of your whole game plan. When you get in a situation against a team that plays great defense where you have to pass every play, most times you're not going to be successful."

(on the first drive) "That was the plan coming into the game. We felt like we could attack them in the running game. I still feel like the game would have been closer had we been able to stay with the run. There were a lot of big yards to be gained out there. But it's just the nature of the game sometime."

QB Bruce Gradkowski

(on the game) "I think we saw some good things out there today. We started off fast and we were moving the ball. We have to put more points on the board against a team like this. It was a couple plays here and there. It was the outcome once again."

(on the Bucs' offense) "We went out and put a couple of good drives together early on. They drove down and scored to open up the second half. That was tough. We have to able to put more points on the board against a good football team. Overall, we did some good things. We have to score more and be more consistent."

(on playing three games in 11 days) "I don't think fatigue was a factor. I think we were pretty fresh coming into the game. There's no excuses for it. We showed signs of life during this game. We just have to be more consistent at it and do it more often."

(on his interceptions) "The first interception, I was fading away and just under threw it. I just under threw Joe a little bit and the cornerback made a good play. It's a tough play to make. I just have to put it out there. I have to be able to make that play…The second one was a tough break. When a ball gets tipped around in this league, it'll get interception."


Head Coach Bill Parcells

(opening statement) "I have to be pleased with that. Our players worked hard to get ready. We worked them pretty hard to get ready – some of my coaches were not sure that we were taking the right approach – but I did pretty the same thing as last year. I felt that we were ready to play last year against Denver and I thought by practicing hard Monday for the day after that game, I kind of got rid off of that last game and by Tuesday they were pretty perky again. I think we were really ready to go and I am pleased with the way it turned out. Now we have five games to go here and all of them will be important. I am going to bring the players in tomorrow for just a short while and then I am going to give them off Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This is a first for me, ever doing that, but I will bring them back Tuesday since we will have an extra day. I am happy with what we did. I thought we had pretty good balance once we got under way. We executed in the passing game pretty good, of course. Our defense was a little shaky there – we had told them about Joey on the backside of that slot and we had emphasized it to great degrees, but apparently we didn't emphasize it enough because he got lose down there early in the game. They always try to do that. So that was the one real negative, I thought, but other than that the guys played well and I am proud of them and we will see what we got from here."

(on Tony Romo's performance) "You guys look at him like a rookie and I'm not. I am not trying to find anything negative, I really am not, but there is a lot things going on here. He drove that first pass to Terry, that long one down the sideline, if puts a little air under that then we have a chance to score right there. There are things that happen out there that people aren't cognitive of, but his execution is good. They had a couple of their pass rushers out today so I think they were a little bit tired once the game got going and we were able to hit some plays down the field, so I am happy about that."

(on Romo's five touchdown passes) "Yeah I know, but I could have thrown those first two. I am impressed with the fact that he didn't turn the ball over and he is managing the game well and that is what he is supposed to do. I think he is a football guy and he is interested in playing well. We got a ways to go here so put the anointing oil away."

(on if he has a good read on the type of team he has now) "I think we are starting gear it up mentally, a little mental toughness."

(on if he made a point out of going after Juran Bolden because he was injured) "I looked at him closely in warm-ups and I was really kind of surprised to see him out there, but no he looked like he was functional. We didn't make a point to it. I don't know if that is how it turned out, I am not really cognitive of everything that happens."

(on being in the same position right now as last year at this time) "Yeah but it is a different position because we came out of this game winning, in first place with 10 days to go. It's little bit different. We know where the competition is, you don't have to tell me. I know where it is. We have got to play it out well. I am looking forward to the next one and I am sure the players are too. I think we are going to be in it here for a little while, the race."

(on if he's surprised about the team turnaround from one month ago – the NY blowout) "I understand. I can't debate the score. I think that my team is a little bit mentally more geared for the battle now. This confidence word is that is used ambiguously, vague and no one can really bottle up what really happens here. I have always felt like you don't really have a genuine confidence unless you demonstrate the ability to do something. You talk and think you can do it but you don't have a genuine confidence until you demonstrate the ability. Recently we are starting to demonstrate the ability. I told you last week, that I thought we were playing our best football in this last month and we are. I think we are improved team from what we were early in the season."

WR Patrick Crayton

(on the win) "We're playing with a lot more life right now. … This was a real big game. We're in a fight for first place in the division. It depends on what they [Giants] do this Sunday."

(on playing with Romo) "When the receivers run, everybody's expecting the ball; whenever I'm on the back side, I'm still expecting it."

(on the game plan) "We were able to move the ball up and down the field. We put points on the board. … We have a game plan every week. Every team has a weakness. Some teams have more weaknesses than others. Tonight we were able to exploit some weaknesses. We just played better tonight."

G Kyle Kosier

(on the game) "All of us expected to beat these guys. It's our job to protect the quarterback. Romo helps; he is able to get out and avert a sack here and there."

(on the rest of the season) "You just take them one at a time. We'll enjoy this one tonight and get ready for the next one."

TE Jason Witten

(on Romo's performance) "The guys have heaped it on my shoulders to keep him grounded. But what do you do now? … He's making so many clutch plays. … It's not going to be that easy week in and week out. It's going to be tough. He's doing a good job. He just has to continue playing that way. … I'll stay on top of him, that's for sure. … He did a good job reading the defense and getting the receivers the ball. … He's spreading the ball around. So many guys are playing well right now."

(on the team's performance) "When we don't kill ourselves with penalties and sacks, we're a tough team to beat. … We're going to rest up; play well and continue to build on this."

QB Tony Romo

(on the game) "It was good. Good win. I thought we executed pretty well.

(on throwing five touchdown passes) "I think it is just a testament to the guys we have on our team. The guys up front played great today. We just got good talent out there on both sides of the ball. We are starting to come together as a team and I think it showed out there today."

(on Parcells saying he could have thrown some of those TD passes) "I wouldn't got that far. They were some easy ones, but it's not that easy to get down there sometimes. I thought we did a good job."

(on imagining where he is now a month ago) "I don't know. I don't think about it like that. I don't try and put myself out there in some other thing and look at myself. I just look at what's going on here and what we are doing each day. I try to prepare the best that I can each week and I put forth a lot of effort and time. And it is nice to see that we are doing some great things."

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