Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-23-2008 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(Opening statement) We are happy with the win. We did not play particularly well early. A lot of that is reflective of the Lions. They were fired up and ready to go. We fell down 17-0, and Ronde Barber gets a big interception. I think Clifton Smith had a big return and (Jeff) Garcia got hot and made a couple great throws. It was a heck of a win for us. It is a hard place to win here and we have struggled in the past, but I will answer any questions I can.

(On CB Ronde Barbers performance) It was huge. He is a great player and is a clutch performer. I dont know where the whispers are coming from, but we have said all along that he is a big reason we are here. He is a big reason we have a chance. To get your playmakers to make the big plays when you need them the most, that is good for your football team and that is healthy for us. We are really happy for Ronde and he played great today. He showed some speed on the return.

(On RB Clifton Smiths special teams play) The return game was almost laughed at here for years. We werent able to take a kick back, and this guy comes out of nowhere and is taking a punt and a kickoff back. The ball security still, we want to take better care of the ball but what a talented guy. He has breakaway speed and he has really made a big impact here in a couple big wins.

(On starting to play at more of a playoff level) I dont know about that. We have played a different kind of second half when we had the turnovers and had the lead. We didnt throw the ball much. Some of the offensive guys are probably irritated with me right now but the bottom line is you have got to win. We were able to get Carnell (Williams) 14 or 15 carries. I know a lot of them were late, but he needed that. We need to get him hit, and he needs to get up and do it again. I thought that was good for us but we needed to win. We have got eight victories before Thanksgiving and that is something that we are really excited about. It hasnt happened a lot in Tampa.

(On QB Jeff Garcias fumble that led to the first quarter touchdown) That is my bad we had a double move. Antonio Bryant, I think he had a really good look. There was a free safety blitz and I think Jeff, he will tell you himself that he has got to reset and try and clear the congestion, but he was so excited to make the throw that I think the push got near him. It wasnt Carnells (Williams) fault; it wasnt really Jeffs fault. I think we had a big opportunity there and we got a little anxious.

(On having a few slow starts playing on the road) The key thing is winning on the road. We have got a two-game winning-streak on the road and we have won three games on the road. We leveled our record today to 3-3 on the road and it gives you a chance to stick around the playoff race. Youre right. We cant fall behind 24-3 or 17-0 and expect to beat an NFL football team, and that is something that we got to take a look at. Sometimes fate just hits you on any given moment, but what a real credit to our team and their ability to block that out and keep playing.

QB Jeff Garcia

(On the offensive performance) In the second quarter, I think there was some efficiency, but the rest of the game was really sloppy. It kind of reminded me of last years game with the fumbles and just the sacks that took place. I feel like we do a pretty good job, especially on the offensive line. They have done a great job throughout the season of keeping guys off of my back, and I have been doing good about getting the ball out of my hands. Today like last season, it seemed like they got to us a little bit more. We had the two fumbles between me, and those are things that dont usually happy with me. This time we can walk out of here with a win and that is the positive thing and that is really what it is all about.

(On WR Ike Hilliards touchdown reception) I had basically Ike (Hilliard) going down the middle in a cover-two zone. It looked like I had Antonio (Bryant) on an under-route and probably could have popped it on him, but I just felt like I could push up in the pocket. When I did, Ike just flashed in front of me and I was able to get the ball out and get it to a place where he could make a play. He was in the right place at the right time and created a big play for us to allow us to somewhat climb back into the ballgame.

(On the score following the second quarter interception) That was the next touchdown to Jerramy Stevens after the turnover. We came into a quick shift with our offensive group, and when we shifted into the new formation, they were confused. They didnt really know where to lineup and that is how I found Jerramy wide open in the seam.

(On his fumble that led to the Lions defensive touchdown) Unfortunate situation. I was looking to go to Antonio (Bryant) on the right side, and I think he had a chance if I get the ball out. I started to move a little bit to the right and Cadillac (Williams) was coming into the right side, and we just ran into each other. The ball came loose. They jumped on it and made a big play. It is one of those things where I could help that play out. I could be better and stay maybe more vertical in the pocket or whatever it may need to be. It is unfortunate because I think that was maybe Cadillacs first play in the game, too. It is just one of those things that we will look at and iron out, and hopefully not have a repeat of that in the future.

(On what led to the fumble on the Lions defensive touchdown) I think it was a man-to-man situation and Antonio (Bryant) ran a slant-and-go. It looked like the corner was jumping the slant. I saw that happening and I somewhat got excited about getting the ball out of my hands. In that sort of situation, Cadillac (Williams) we call a play-action type play and he was really trying to sell the play-action, which on this pass, unfortunately, doesnt require as much of a play action. I really need him to get out of the way. That is just one of those things with him that repetitions and with us working together, we could have probably talked about that earlier in the week in practice. I think Warrick (Dunn) had more of those reps and it was something that Warrick and I had talked about, but if he is not the guy in there then, unfortunately, it worked against us. In hindsight with that happening and with the outcome of the game, we can learn from a situation like that and grow from it.

RB Warrick Dunn

(On how much this one meant to you) I think this win is important. Now we have a tough stretch coming down the road. Now to be 8-3, it gives us a chance to make a run and be successful hopefully. This team is just grinding it out right now and just coming together. So I feel good about it.

(On being able to dig themselves out of a huge hole two straight weeks) Well this team is very resilient. I think we showed a lot of poise and we hadnt started well, but weve regrouped on the sideline and came out and made plays. I think guys just keep fighting I mean we believe in each other. I think weve proved to ourselves that we can come from behind and win games, but I think people are going to take notice that this team is always going to fight.

(On whether or not the Chiefs comeback was mentioned at all on the sidelines) No, nobody had even thought about that. We just felt like we hadnt come out and started playing our type of game. Once we settled in a little bit, guys just started making plays.

(On the touchdown run) I dont even remember it. I dont know if it was a draw or run or something like that, but I just pretty much read the blocks. I ran it for daylight.

(On whether or not the spin move is instinct) Everything I do is instincts, Im pretty much running for my life. Its the reality of how I run.

(On RB Cadillac Williams performance) I was happy for him. Hes a guy who has come a long way, and to have an opportunity to watch him run and just get a feel. I think its great its positive. Cadillac is a great guy, but to see a guy who has paid the price to get back to where he is at today is huge. Im happy for him.

LB Derrick Brooks

(On if it was an expected win) No. Again, the game could have easily went in the other direction. No matter who our opponent is, it says a lot about the resilience of this football team. At the same time, we realized we cant keep digging ourselves in the hole in these situations. So were not going to let a win cover those things up. So the answer, again, is going to be we cant go down on the road. At the same time, recognizing were a very resilient team and we can come back.

(On CB Ronde Barbers game changing plays) Thats good to see, manreally good to see. Hes been faced with some criticism, but today for him to step up and provide the spark plays for us on defense is, again, an attribute to him and I cant be any prouder. Ronde (Barber) is a standup man and answering the critics.

(On how he looks beyond the critics himself) Its the old disease man, like I said early on, when youre not use to seeing those plays not happen, you look for why they havent happened and criticism is the first thing that comes to mind. So Ronde (Barber) stayed the path. I gave him the advice I could give him. I went through it (and) just stay the path and keep making the plays and the big plays have started to come for us.

(On if great players use doubt as fuel) Thats individual, but at the same time, realizing that youve been blessed to be in that conversation. Youre going to get criticized. Some of the smallest of things are going to be big issues because again, its a catch-22. So once you realize that thats going to happen, you just deal with it and the only way you can deal with it is by putting it on tape. You cant go out there and answer all of the questions, because some of the questions cant be answered unless its in a game and again, he (Barber) stayed solid, man. Again, (theres) no better way to answer critics than today.

CB Ronde Barber (On being successful on the road) Theyve all been ugly starts but, one thing that Monte (Kiffin) and Jon (Gruden) have consistently told us, especially on the road is: Dont worry about how you start the game. Weve proved to be a gritty team. Weve proved that we can show a lot of character and come back when were down, especially on the road. I dont know why it happens like this on the road. It did on these three big wins, but weve just got to be proud of our ability to stay in games; not get down and not let it affect us, and just go out and do what our job requires. Today it required 20 unanswered points.

(On him being able to be a playmaker) Its been a part of my career. Fortunately its to my benefit and probably to my detriment. (Its) what people expect out of me, so when it doesnt happen, everything else that Im doing gets magnified in probably a negative light, but thats just the case, man. Nothing will ever affect the way that I do my job. Whether Im unsuccessful or whether Im not successful. I understand what Jon (Gruden) wants from me. I understand what Monty (Kiffin) wants from me.

(On if people saying his time is up ever gets old) Its common banter. It is what it is. Its convenient to say, but its not necessarily always the case. There comes a time in everybodys career when they just cant do it anymore. Its not that time for Derrick (Brooks) either. Where as, our situation is going to change here, we still know we can do our job and as long as we make plays like I made today, like Derrick made last week. Those questions go away.

(On his key interceptions during the game) The first one was third and long, third and fifteen and Daunte (Culpepper) tried to throw a blind option out and I was playing a spot 2, so I was outside. He just kind of threw it right to me. I just had to catch it. I almost thought we could score on that one too. I just kept my feet. The second one was just a brief step out. I got a great read off him. I saw (Shaun) McDonald put his foot in the ground and I just grabbed it faster than he did. All I had to do is stand down and make the play.

DETROIT LIONS

Head Coach Rod Marinelli

(Opening statement) Just some of the injuries, in game: Kevin Smith, shoulder and I dont know how bad that is; (Jared) DeVries, re-broke his hand; Drew (Stanton), concussion, I dont know what level it is; Ernie Sims kind of banged his need and he couldnt get it re-warmed so we kept him down and Alex Lewis, maybe with a (pectoral) and well have to see that tomorrow a little bit more. As you look at it, 10 penalties were brutal and 299 yards of return yardage and its tought to win a game like that.

(On if QB Drew Stanton will be able to play on Thursday) I dont know that.

(On his gut decision regarding Stantons concussion) Ill tell you tomorrow. I dont know.

(On if hell have to bring QB Drew Henson up if both QB Dan Orlovsky and QB Drew Stanton cant play Thursday) If Dan (Orlovsky) cant go? If Drew (Stanton) cant then, yeah, thats the only other option.

(On if QB Dan Orlovsky is close to getting better) No.

(On why he made the decision to bring Stanton in the game) I thought it would give us a spark at that point and then bring him in (and give him) a great chance to get him some work too.

(On if that was just a game-day decision or is Stanton going to potentially be the starter) No, Dauntes (Culpepper) our guy.

(On how frustrating it is to be up 17-0 and lose like that) Its just details. We gave up a couple big plays. We came out of coverage one time, and I give great respect for (Jeff) Garcia. Hes really one of the best quarterbacks in this league. He really is. A competitor, mobile, understands the system and we knew. We just couldnt come out of coverage. One time we came out of coverage and you cant do that, especially if youve got a lead and then we kind of blew a coverage on the other one in 4-under, 3-deep.

(On who made the mistakes in coverage) Im not going to name names. We just blew coverage.

(On not finishing games) We had a lead and then we had some very basic breakdowns. We gave up two big plays and you just cant do that. It is just some basic things. You get a lead like that and you have got to play smart. Penalties were brutal on us today. Return yardage against us was brutal, and that is kind of the tale of the game.

(On correcting problems and having unexpected issues arise) I take my hat of to Jeff Garcia. He is a heck of a quarterback and he hurt us a couple times. When he starts scrambling around he made big plays on us. We have got to stay in coverage. We hammered that all week, but we broke down as a staff and players, and you cant do that.

(On changing personnel at quarterback) I just thought we needed it was an opportunity and we were down at that point, and I thought it was a good chance to maybe give us a spark and bring Drew (Stanton) in.

(On quarterback QB Drew Stantons status) I dont know what type of concussion. I dont want to say that or what level it is. I dont know that, so we just have to wait and see.

(On approaching the team about losing despite building a 17-0 lead) I am just adamant that we get ready tomorrow. We have got walkthroughs tomorrow for our next opponent and I want to be on every detail. I am going to walkthrough with the same intensity if not more and just demand that we do things right, and that is what we are going to do.

(On improving against a scrambling quarterback and penalties) Something new comes up and you have to correct it. I dont know how much the quarterback at Tennessee will scramble and do some of those things, but you have to clean it up. If I have to get officials now at walkthroughs, then I will do that. Whatever it takes, and that is all that I am going to do.

QB Daunte Culpepper

(On what happened today) The game of footballyou always have ups and downs. Everybody knows that. Weve just got to be able to play out when we get out in front of somebody; know what it takes to go ahead and bury them; and just continue to move forward. Obviously we didnt do that today. We had some setbacks and it ultimately hurt us in the long run the whole game.

(On what he saw on the interceptions) Ronde (Barber), both times he made a decision and he jumped both of the routes and made plays. I wish I could have them back; I cant. I just have to learn from those and I got to give that defense some credit. Those guys were all over the field and they were making plays.

(On if he sensed the team did not have the confidence to move forward with an early lead) Well I mean yeah. To have that swagger, to have that type of attitude, we just got to continue to say it and ultimately do it. You cant just get a lead and think the game is over. Im not saying we did that, but thats not whats swagger. Swagger is no matter what the score is, youre the same way. Thats what winning teams do, and so thats what weve just got to get everybody thinking.. Obviously, me personally, turning the ball over on that side of the fieldturning the ball over anywhere is tough. You dont want to do that, and I think it hurt our momentum and it hurt our chances of being successful.

(On if some guys were playing not to lose) I dont know if I sensed it like that. I dont know if I see that. I think guys arebecause the effort is there, weve just got to play smarter. As a team, offensively, we definitely got to play smarter. Continue to put ourselves in good positions to be successful. And turning the ball over like those two interceptions, thats unacceptable. I got to make sure that doesnt happen.

(On why WR Calvin Johnson was not more involved in the offense) Well definitely they were crowding. When I say crowding, they were double-covering him and triple-covering him the rest of the game. Like I said, I got to give that defense some credit. Those guys studied us; they knew the things that we like to do to get him the ball. We just got to figure out different ways to get him the ball. I want to get him the ball as much as possible, but it just doesnt happen that way. I can say that were going to figure out ways to get the ball to him more. I can tell you that.

(On the Tennessee Titans coming into the next game with a loss) Well I kind of wanted them to be undefeated, but hey we got a tough game this week. Theyre one of the best teams in the NFL. Im very excited about it to have a national television stage. I think that in itself should get this team fired up. And the short week is like we have one practice basically to get ready so we just got to go out there, let it all hang out and play a winning game of football for four quarters. We do it at spurts, but we got to do it for four quarters, and thats when were going to get our first win.

(On if sometimes its nicer to get on the field with short rest after a loss) Oh its definitely. After you lose a game, you definitely wantyou wish you could play the next day. For us to have a chance to play on Thanksgiving, its an honor, and we just got to take advantage of the opportunity.

K Jason Hanson

(On becoming the sixth player in NFL history with 400 field goals) It feels good to be consistent over the years, to play long enough, to put up those numbers. Theyre kind of old man awards when you play long enough they come. So that feels good. I wish they were helping us more to win, as far as getting a win at the end of the day.

(On how frustrating it is to have a 17-0 lead and get outscored 38-3 down the stretch) Thats worse than frustrating. Its embarrassing, and I know that all the players feel like that. Im not saying that about my teammates, its hard as a kicker Im going to do my thing and its different from what the other guys are doing. When the other team turns it up, were just not. Its happened time after time. Were not competing at the best moments and thats how you get beat.

(On whether there is enough time to get things corrected in order to beat the Tennessee Titans) Hopefully. Again, Ive said this; weve played so bad that we actually have something to play for now. Its not like a couple wins whatever happens the rest of the season doesnt affect much. We havent won. So weve got to play like were playing for the playoffs just to get a win. There should be a sense of urgency and preparation, whether were 11-0 or 0-11. We got the same four days and we got to get ready. So I hope everybody is scared and comes out fighting.

(On whether it has ever entered his mind that the team could finish 0-16) Sure, why not? I mean were 0-11 and were not doing what were supposed to do. So I hope everybody in the locker room is looking at it and saying we cant be those guys. Everybody should be nervous about it and angry about what weve done and take that fire to come out there is no way we can come out flat. I mean whatever it takes. We should look like a playoff team just trying to get a win.

S Daniel Bullocks

(On the fumble recovery for a touchdown) Actually, I was blitzing off the edge and they hadnt seen that blitz before. We had been running that play all practice off the edge and I dont think Garcia was expecting me to come off the edge and he rolled out to my way. He fumbled the ball and I just picked it up and ran with it.

(On if he was surprised to find that open field in front of him) I was surprised. I was surprised to see him fumble the ball. He fumbled the ball and I just made the play.

(On the loss after leading 17-0 and what caused the Buccaneers to gain control) The main thing was the turnovers. We turned the ball over and gave them good position with the ball. Special teams, breakdown, we got a return back for a touchdown, so just in between special teams and we turned the ball over. We didnt make any turnovers.

(On if it was frustrating that they did it to themselves) Yes, Id say we beat ourselves today. Weve got to be consistent. When were up 17-0 weve got to keep that lead and weve got to stay consistent in all phases of the game: special teams, defense and offense and we didnt.

(On if this team can turn things around enough to beat the Tennessee Titans) Oh yeah. Yes, we can. Tampa Bay, they didnt come out and beat us, we beat ourselves. So we cant come out and allow the same mistakes coming into Thursday, even though its a short week.

WR Shaun McDonald

(Opening statement) Weve got to learn to play with the lead. Its like almost three weeks in a row that weve had a two-score lead, so weve definitely got to learn to do that.

(On how frustrating it is to not be able to come on the field and score after a big play on defense) Its real frustrating. We dont move the ball or we get the ball inside the red zone and all weve got to do is set up the field goal, its frustrating. Weve got to get better. Weve got to get better scheme-wise and execution-wise on offense.

(On time of possession not being an issue) Yeah, every once in awhile we were able to move the ball, but weve just got to be able to be more consistent and just be able to move the ball.

(On Tennessee coming in without a perfect record) I havent seen too much of them, but obviously theyre good since they got that record. Well start up on them tomorrow and see what theyve got.

(On if the offense is holding up its end of the bargain) No, I dont think so. I dont think we put enough points on the board and we dont get enough first downs. We had too many three-and-outs and when we get put in position on turnovers we dont get seven points, we get three points.

(On what happened on the routes that led to both of Barbers interceptions) He just ran them. I could see it in his eye, he knew exactly where it was coming so weve just got to get more creative on offense. An old guy like that who knows everything, hes going to be able to read our offense like that.

(On if he felt that he and QB Daunte Culpepper were in sync) I mean, we were in sync. I dont know exactly what one youre talking about; it might have been the scramble one where he might of sometimes you think hes going deep and sometimes you think he wants you to come back. So the scramble drill is hard. I dont think we had any other miscommunications like as far as keeping the play that we had on.

(On if he feels Culpepper is in sync with the offense) Hes picking it up a lot better. Hes getting the ball out on time a lot better. I dont know if he had a lot of pressure or what, but he seemed like he was running around a lot. Weve just got to keep him in the pocket and it will be a lot better.

(On how they turn it around so quickly) Forget about it. Well be in there Monday. We just turn our attention to Tennessee on Monday.

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