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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11-27-2005 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the overall game) "I would just like to say that was a tough one. Congratulate the Bears because they are a very good football team. I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of our guys. They played hard and a tremendous effort coming back putting ourselves in position to tie the game."

(On having trouble getting good field position) "In a situation like that, against a defense like that, yes. Obviously, field position is very important and I don't know how many drives started inside our 10 or 12-yard line, but there were several."

(On missed defensive opportunities) "That was the story line of the day if you ask me. We had a fumble of our own. They capitalized and we were unable to make a couple opportunities work for us. Our defense I thought played good, at times very good. It is unfortunate."

(On Matt Bryant's missed field goal to tie the game) "He had a slight hamstring on the opening kickoff and felt he could continue to kick and after we scored to make it 13-10, he kicked the ball off extremely well and he just pushed it, he pushed it. It is unfortunate, but that is the way it goes."

(On the third down play before the missed field goal) "It was a third down with a little more than two yards, I didn't feel like were going to be in four-down territory. My mindset at that point was to call the play we called. We felt we had a good play with some all-purpose answers and if we didn't make it, we would kick the ball and tie the game and put their young quarterback in a two-minute drill against our defense. That would give us a great opportunity to get the ball back or make a turnover of our own and win the game, much like we did a week ago, but we didn't make the kick today. We didn't make the kick and we lost the game. That was just one play amongst several others that could have turned the tide."

(On whether Matt Bryant's hamstring was a factor in punting at the 31-yard line) "No, I think the wind was a factor, a little bit more than that, away from the pirate ship. We had direct orders to not attempt a really long field goal. To be honest with you, the penalty in missing a field goal is severe in a game like this. You give them the ball close to midfield or the 40-yard line and we almost make a great play there, down the ball inside the five. Once again, we're inches away from making a play that ultimately cost us."

(On having some dropped passes) "We had some drops. We had some key drops. We had four or five balls batted down. We struggled with the Bears pass rush, they are very good. They are as advertised. The comeback that Chris Simms engineered in the last couple possessions was one I will be most proud of in my relationship with him. They were tremendous. He is very poised. Joey Galloway was clutch and I thought he [Chris Simms] managed the offense tremendously, running back-to-back drives."

LB Derrick Brooks

(On being a tough game to lose) "I still feel like we should still be playing, to be honest with you. They made the plays to win today down the stretch. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to see them again."

(On missed turnover opportunities for the defense) "Again, you get one of those, you never know the outcome. That's how small this game is, in terms of wins and losses. Our opportunity was there, we just didn't get them. Like I said, we give them the credit today, and hopefully we'll get our chance to see them again."

(On playing against Lovie Smith and a defense similar to Tampa's) "Like I said, we had our chances to make plays [in] all three phases of the game, [but] we didn't. We're not making excuses about that. Like I said earlier, we're going to give them credit for hanging in there, taking advantage of our missed opportunities. At the same time, they created their own opportunities, and I have no problem giving them credit for their effort and winning the game. But at the same time, I really feel we'll see them again."

(On the next three games on the road) "Start with New Orleans. As bad as I feel right now, I can't do anything about this game. All I can do is look forward to going on the road against New Orleans. Right now, that's what I'm doing, to be honest with you."

(On the Bears making a good call on the 41-yard screen pass to RB Thomas Jones on third down) "Yes, they did [make a good call]. They had a call there. As you said, [we had] one of our man-free blitzes. I was inches away from knocking that ball down. That's how small, I say again. There could've easily been a tip, interception the other way. I was so close to knocking it down, but I didn't."

K Matt Bryant

(On the field goal) "I missed it. That's it. I missed it. It was one of those days where something like that shouldn't happen, but it happened, so you have to move on."

(On if he thought it went over the goal post) "I don't know. It should've never been that close. Twenty-nine yards, it should go down the middle every time. I just missed it."

(On where he goes from here) "You can't get too high on the highs, or too low with the lows. Granted, this is pretty low. This could've been a big win for us, or helped us get a win, but it didn't happen."

(On what his teammates said to him) "'Keep your head up. You'll win a whole lot more [games] for us,' and that's what I have to do."

WR Joey Galloway

(On missing the field goal) "Sometimes it happens. That's why, offensively, you want to put points on the board in the end zone. We didn't do that [so] we came up short."

(On preparing for three straight road games) "We'll prepare like we always do. It's the most important game we have in our season coming up next week. We'll go down there and try to win it."

(On having no receptions last week) "It was okay because we won. It's tough when you go through games and you don't get catches and you lose. I've been on those sides, and that's tough but it's not tough when you win games. Today, I feel worse than I did last week and I had some catches today and [now] I feel worse because we lost the game."

CB Brian Kelly

(On making great defensive plays and having a great defensive game) "Yeah, close but no cigar. It was a tough game playing a great defense like they have. Our defense has to capitalize on every opportunity we have to give our offense the shorter side of the field. It was a field position game today, definitely, without a doubt."

(On what to say to Matt Bryant now) "I do not say anything to Matt Bryant. Last week he kicked a winning field goal. You cannot be hot and cold. You cannot ride an emotional rollercoaster with a kicker. You know how important his job is, he knows how important his job is. He will come back next time and knock it down. I have a lot of confidence in him."

QB Chris Simms

(On third-down play in the fourth quarter) "We actually had the same play called the play before that. I threw it complete to [Michael] Pittman in the flat and he got four or five yards. [On] the third-down play, I had a free guy coming in my face and it was really tight. It may have looked like he was open, but they had a safety coming down. I didn't know if I threw a good ball, I didn't know if he would have intercepted it. So, I played it safe and threw a safe ball where he could jump up and catch it, if not it goes out of bounds."

(On the offense finding a rhythm) "We were on a rhythm there in the last few drives of the game. For the third week in a row, when we had to perform, our offensive line did an unbelievable job. Cadillac ran the ball great, and we made the plays we had to down the stretch. We got a little unlucky today."

(On the Bears' defense) "They're a great defense. We put ourselves in a bad situation to start the game. They hit me as I was throwing the ball and made a recovery on the one [yard line] and got a touchdown. It's not the way you want to start off a game against a defense like that. But at the same time, we kept fighting. We battled, and we just came up on the short end."

(On the play at the one-yard line) "I was about to throw it out into the flat to Alex Smith. We would have gotten a completion [for] probably five or six yards. I don't think we would have gotten a first down, [but] we could have given ourselves a little room to punt it out of there."

(On better drives late in games compared to early in games) "Our backs are against the wall a little bit, so when your backs are against the wall, you have to fight. I think, if I had to say one other thing, defenses in this league tend to be a little more conservative when they do have a lead. They don't want to do anything risky and take a chance and let up a big play."

(On [Joey] Galloway's involvement in the game) "Joey was big today. He really was. I think he did a great job of catching the ball and getting upfield for some big yards early and then of course in the second half. He's a guy they just constantly have to respect and they don't like to get too close to him because he's going to go by them. Sometimes those intermediary routes are the best thing going for him."

(On the most fun things about throwing to Galloway) "Knowing that he can go 90, even if I throw it three yards."

(On field position) "We knew it was going to be this kind of game the whole day. We were prepared for it. Them and Carolina are definitely the two best defenses we've played all year and we kind of knew it was going to be a slugfest, field position game. Who knows what would have happened if we just don't have that first turnover, but again, they made the plays when they had to and that's why they won."

(On the Bears defense) "I'm not going to take anything away from them, they lived up to that. We played Carolina a few weeks ago and I didn't think there could be a defensive line or defense altogether that could be that good. The Bears probably proved me wrong today. They're the best tackling team I've seen since I've been in the NFL so far. Guys just don't break too many tackles against them. They've got a lot of sure tacklers out there and they've got a real good pass rush. Again, I don't want to take anything away from them but we showed some heart that we can do some things. Our offensive line kept battling all day long. 'Cadillac' had some good successful runs. We hung in there and we moved the ball on them, too. I know we scared them a little bit at the end."

DE Greg Spires

(On the game coming down to a field goal) "It came down to that. We can't say that one play messed [up] the whole game. We had a lot of opportunities during that game where we could've put ourselves in a better situation to win."

(On containing the Bears offense, but not causing many turnovers) "They did a good job holding the ball, doing what they do. Running, not turning it over [and] letting their defense win the game for them. And, that's what happened."

RB Carnell Williams

(On if this is what he expected playing against the Bears defense) "Yes [this was] pretty much what I was expecting. A grind [it] out game. Watching them all week, studying them all week, we knew coming in they had a great defense. We just didn't get it done today."

(On how it feels coming up just short) "It's tough, it's tough. That loss definitely hurts. We have to put this one behind us. We have to get ready for next week and just get on a roll and know each game gets important. We have to put this one behind us quick."

(On the Bears defense living up to the hype and being very physical) "You have to tip your hat to those guys. They're a pretty good defense, but like I said, I also felt like we did a lot of things that had helped them. You have to tip your hat. They have a good defense."

(On knowing whichever team made the fewer mistakes would win) "Yes, you can [say that]. This was kind of one of those grind [it] out games. We had a couple mistakes, a mistake early that kind of came back to haunt us. We still had our opportunities to win the game."

(On wanting to jump right back into the next game) "No doubt [about it]. I'm so eagerly anticipating this next game because I definitely have to get this bad taste out of my mouth."


Head Coach Lovie Smith

(On the defense ends) "How about our defensive ends. We knew coming in it would be a heavyweight fight, with two good defenses and teams who like to run the ball, so we felt it would be a tight game like this. Offensively, that big turnover early was huge. We were able to cash the ball in. I thought we did a decent job of running the football. We realized we needed a few more points. We said that quite a bit, but we seem to just find a way to score enough points to win the football game. Defensively, with a 10-point lead you feel pretty good with our defense. They got a little momentum going there at the end, but with the pressure we were able to get up front with Alex [Brown] and the rest of the guys. It really came through for us."

(On how this win feels) "We feel good about the win. Robbie Gould was the difference in the game, with him being able to kick those field goals. It was a big win for us; it is seven in a row. It is hard to get that many in a row, but we will enjoy this one and realize we have Green Bay next."

(On Alex Brown) "First off, he has a lot of talent. Don Johnson has done a great job coaching him. He is from Florida, as you saw when he put on his Gator cap. It is a big game for him. They have two good defensive ends and we challenge our guys to out-perform the position on the other team. That is what they have done the last couple of weeks."

(On the importance of this win) "It is all of the above that you just said. NFC win, on the road, a team we have had trouble with in the past. They beat us last year. There is a good chance we will see them again, hopefully, if we keep playing the way we are. This is huge for us; it is seven in a row. We look each week to get a win, and of course, this was a big one."

(On how far the defense can carry the team) "How far? Hopefully it can carry us all the way. If you do not let a team score you have a heck of a chance of winning. I know that is simple but that is how it is. We play good defense, we run the football, and try not to make too many mistakes. That is our formula for success."

(On Kyle Orton's progress) "We have tried to get him some big passes down the field for a few games. We have to be able to run our offense a bit and make teams get out of putting eight, nine guys in the box for us. That is something we will continue to do. Kyle, again, just managed the game and got us a win."

DE Alex Brown

(On playing close to home in front of family) "I play hard all of the time because I love football. That's it, not because my parents are at the game or my little brother is at the game or something like that. I play because I love football."

(On his performance today) "I'm really happy that we won. That's just it; I think 'Wale [Adewale Ogunleye] played well when we needed him to. We adjusted to what they were doing. I think it was a good game."

(On the Bears streak of consecutive quarters holding opponents without a touchdown ending) "We wanted to go 12 [quarters]. We just try to be disciplined. You just try to be disciplined and you just get that mindset and that attitude that they're not going to score. They are a tough team and they stuck with what they do well and [Mike] Alstott got the ball over the line."

RB Thomas Jones

(On teams that struggle in the NFL before playing Chicago) "It is a great experience to win seven in a row. It is an accomplishment in any professional sport. It is so hard to win on Sunday. Any team can beat you. [You] need to come out focused every Sunday and consistently play well and get a win."

(On emotions coming back to Tampa since playing here) "Yeah, it was emotional. I loved playing here in Tampa Bay. Being in Arizona and that organization for three years really gave me a true NFL experience. I was thankful that I had actually came here to Tampa and played for Coach Gruden and [with] the other running back [Michael Pittman]. I developed a different kind of relationship and I kind of brought it here. It was hard for me to leave, but that is the business side of this and now I am happy here in Chicago."

WR Muhsin Muhammad

(On overcoming injuries) "When Rex [Grossman] went down that was definitely a bump in the road, but it didn't stop the bus from going on. The show must go on. The thing we did was lean on each other. Our defense is definitely one of the best defenses in the NFL, our special teams are solid, and our offense, we can run the ball and our offensive line has been solid every single game."

(On the team) "I think we epitomize what the word "team" is all about. This is a team sport. This is the ultimate team sport. It's not one individual, it's not one all-star, it's not just one guy that makes a team. It's the whole team. We are playing good team ball right now."

QB Kyle Orton

(On the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense) "They're a good defense. You know, we played well on offense. We didn't play our best football on offense, but all-in-all, when you're playing a good defense like that, it's tough to come by, it really is, and you just try to play a field position game. It kind of seemed like, after our touchdown in the first half, they had the field position. We were pinned back all day it seemed like, in the first half and early in the second half, and I thought when we got good field position, we did some good things and got [a] couple field goals and a touchdown."

(On the drive that set up the game-winning field goal) "Yeah, we had a good look for the blitz, and we threw right into the blitz and just a little slip screen and you know Thomas [Jones] did a great [job]. That's a tough catch. It looks like a real easy play, but when you are throwing the ball that short and that hard, you know you got to kind of squeeze it in there because you're not blocking the defensive end, so he made a real nice catch on it and turned up field and headed 23 yards down the field [with teammates] blocking for him."

(On running screens) "Well, we've tried to run them and I think we've got good guys up front to run the screens, we just, it seems like whenever we call them, it's bad looks. Bad looks for the screens. This is like really the first screen that we've had into a blitz and a [had] good look for it."

*(More on the Buccaneers defense) * "This is the best defense that we've played, I think. They're the most athletic defense, the fastest defense that I've seen and you know, they did a good job of mixing up stuff and you know, I don't think they surprised me at all, but just [the] kind of just speed and athleticism, it's the first team I've seen like that."

(On the touchdown pass) "That was pretty easy. That was the easiest play all day. [A] good play called by Ron [Turner]. We thought we had a good look all week. That was going be our first goal-line pass down there and we got the exact look that we wanted and executed."

(On his running skills) "I don't really have any running skills. When they've got all those guys dropping to man-coverage, sometimes you get lucky and get through the line when there is a lot of room to run. That's the type of defense they are - really aggressive and playing man and if you get everyone to run off then, once you break through that line, there is a lot of room to run."

LB Brian Urlacher

(On the significance of the defense coming into Tampa and having another game like this one) "We are getting better every week. This was a big game for us. They [Tampa] are one of the best teams in the NFC. We came into their house and got a big win. We got lucky [at the end] with the missed field goal. We did not play our best game on defense, I didn't think. We gave up a few big plays, but Joey Galloway is a good receiver and that is going to happen. We made enough [plays] to win the game."

(On if this winning streak feels different than the one in 2001) "I do not remember. It's been a long time. Anytime you get a win, it feels nice. It has been fun. The best thing about it is that no one gives us a chance each week. I love it. We like playing the role of the underdog. We keep doing that and keep winning, and proving people wrong."

(On the team's situation and how everyone has played in every game this year) "We are healthy and that is the number one thing. We have had a hard time with that the last two or three years. Knock on wood, we have stayed [have] healthy this year. If we can keep that up, there is no telling what this team can accomplish. We get better every week and we know that. We go back to work on Wednesday and try and get a good game plan together for Green Bay."

(On Alex Brown's game today) "He has played good all year long. I think he has drawn 10 or 15 holding penalties. His sack numbers keep going up. 'Wale [Adewale Ogunleye] is playing well, and all the [defensive] linemen are going. The best thing about 'Wale and Alex playing well is, we can rush four and get pressure. We can play a Cover Two behind it and get pressure with those two [defensive] ends. They are doing a great job."

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