Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12-02-2007 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on the win) "I'm really proud of our team, our players, and our coaches. That was a great win for us."

(on going for it on fourth down late in the game) "I felt good about our fourth down play selection. I just changed my mind (and decided to go for it). I had confidence with (Arron) Sears pulling. I looked at a lot of things, but there is not a lot of time to ponder. You've got a 47 yard field goal, whatever it is. (You've got) a chance to push it into overtime or you have a chance to take advantage of the opportunity while you are there."

(more on the fourth-down call) "You have to make some tough calls during the course of the game. That was certainly a tough call. We had been making real good yardage off the right side throughout the game. I just as soon go home without a victory getting shut out on that play. If they could stop that play, I was willing to go home without a win."

(on the Saints' turnover late in the game) "I can't comment on that. Obviously, they are trying to seal the victory. It didn't work out for them and it worked in our favor."

(on the winning touchdown) "We had a quick shift. We brought Alex (Smith) from right to left and then we kicked Jerramy (Stevens) out. They (Saints) didn't go to their goal line defense in that situation, but we felt good about a big 6'5 or 6'6 guy that has a physical advantage down there. That was a hell of a catch by Stevens. We got a match up, a physical match up, and Jerramy took advantage of it."

(on what he told Luke McCown on the last drive) "It's hard to give him a lot of information. It's loud as hell. It's a difficult place to communicate. I just called a play and trusted the 3 or 4 years that he has been around here, listening and understanding the situation. Fortunately for us it all worked out."

(on the exchange where both teams called back to back time outs in the 3rd quarter) "I don't know what they had going on on their side. We used a lot of different personnel. We went from 3 backs to no backs to more tight ends. We tried everything. I think they took a couple of time outs. I'm not quite sure what our personnel was. We had some issue, obviously, of our own. We called a lot of plays today. We tried to not play defensive with a young quarterback playing in his first game in a long time. Luke McCown responded….For us to win in this game, we knew that we would have to score some points. The only way we were going to do it was by throwing it."

WR Joey Galloway

(on the fourth-down call) "We did not come here to not win and that's why the coach made the call he did. It was because of that that we won. It was a terrific game. With no timeouts there was no thinking going on, just playing. "

(on the victory) "This was a huge win for us. We still have a lot of football to go but I am happy with where we are in the league and in our division."

TE Jerramy Stevens (on the winning touchdown) "I think the coach made the call because he knows my height and all I had to do was see if it was over the shoulder or right at me. Luke made a nice throw and I got up and got it to seal the win."

(on how he feels) "I feel great. I've been wanting to help this team win for a while now and I've been on the sidelines waiting for this opportunity to come. So when I got that chance I made the most of it. I feel more of a part of the team especially after winning the way we did today."

RB Earnest Graham

(on players stepping up) "A lot of the guys in here have set the standard for winning. The guys just went out there and responded regardless of who was out there. If it wasn't Jeff (Garcia) it was Luke today. So Luke now has to set it up and lead us like he did today."

(on the fourth-down call) "There were a lot of emotions out there today. On that fourth-down play, it shows Coach had a lot of faith in us and I am glad he had the confidence in our line to take it to him. The call won us the division. We are in the drivers seat and now we had to take it home."

QB Luke McCown

(on the game) "I've never been in a game like that in my life. All I know is that we never quit. All the time Coach told me it wasn't over, and you saw out there today why you have to have faith."

(on the winning touchdown) "On that last pass, there was no time to think about the call when it came into the huddle. It was either a pass and then we kick the field goal, or end it right there. I saw Jerramy and his matchup and all I had to do is throw it his way and it was the game-winner."

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Head Coach Sean Payton

(opening statement) "That was a disappointing loss and probably the worst job I have done as a head coach since I have been here. We got the safety late and had the ball back at midfield with four minutes left. Obviously, I regret the play call that resulted in a fumble and cost us the game. It's disappointing for our players and our staff to lose a game like that. We had every opportunity to win it. I thought defensively we hung in there. Offensively, we sputtered with penalties. We didn't play as well as we would have liked. We still had the opportunity to win the game today, but we didn't get it done. It starts with me."

(on the reverse call) "It was a short-yardage four-minute play. We thought it gave us a chance to break one open. It was a reverse to Devery (Henderson). We just didn't handle the toss well enough. That's my fault. I shouldn't have called the play in that situation. I knew we were in a position to get a first down and possibly run out the clock. That was a mistake by me."

(on if he told his players that in the locker room) "Yes."

(on if he regretted using the timeouts earlier) "We did a poor job of handling those. We had some personnel issues like too many guys or not enough guys. We have to clean that up. That's on coaching and not on the players."

(on the penalties) "I thought it was sloppy especially on offense in terms of penalties. We were still able to hang in there. It wasn't real crisp. It was disappointing."

(on the Bucs not announcing their starting QB) "He was the guy we knew who was going. They didn't officially announce the starter, but it was obvious to us that he was going to play."

(on the Bucs' offense) "They got off to a pretty good start. I thought defensively we hung in there and battled him later in the game. It was disappointing allowing the big play to (Joey) Galloway. Those are things that we have got to clean up. This is a tough loss. It's a hard loss. We felt like we were in position to win. Like I said earlier, this one starts with me."

QB Drew Brees

(on the play that led to a fumble) "Its one where I give it to Reggie (Bush) and he flips it to Devery (Henderson), it is one of those things where if we are able to handle that exchange it is probably a big play, it gets us a first down and all we need is one more first down to seal the game. It is tough to lose on a play like that."

(on if he thought it was a bad call) "No, we talked about it and he said he was going to make that play call in a critical situation in the game. Maybe we need that play to execute to win, somewhere where they don't expect it, it was our job to execute it and we didn't."

(on letting the game slip away after getting a three-point lead late) "That was a big swing of emotion. When we got that safety I think we all thought, okay, now we get two first downs and we win this game, this is our chance this is our opportunity, it is staring us right in the face, and then when you don't, and you give the ball back in that sort of situation it reminded me of last year in the playoffs against Philly. We kind of miss handled an exchange and gave the ball back to Philly with the chance to go down and tie the game and our defense stepped up and stopped them. In this case they bring the field goal team out and then they decide to go for it on fourth and one, and our defense did as good a job as they could do in that second half, unfortunately for us to lose like that it is hard because so many guys laid it on the line."

(on the rest of the season and still having a playoff shot) "Like you said, we still do have a chance. Obviously our mind set going into this game was, this is a division opponent, and we still had the opportunity to win the division and I think that is all but gone, but we want the playoffs and I think we are a playoff team. I feel like when we play like we are capable of playing, we are most definitely a playoff team. You can't let things like what happened today happen to you, the good team the great teams they don't lose like that. We are going to have to dig deep here and realize what it is going to take to make it to the big show."

(on the penalties) "Very frustrating, one of them is a mystery, the quarterback sneak, no comment on that, I think we all know where I am going. We understand that some of them are going to be part of the game, a holding every now and the, the offside's at home especially that is hard to swallow because that is when everyone should be locked in and be able to hear very well and you shouldn't have that problem."

WR Lance Moore

(on swallowing a loss like that) "Everybody played so hard. Everybody was so into the game. It was so emotional out there and there was so much on the line. To lose like that stings. We just have to come in tomorrow, look at the film and see what we could have done better to pull the game out."

(on if the loss was due to the play call on the fumble) "No. Not one single play usually wins or loses a game for you. There's a lot of mistakes to be made. We had a couple of three and outs early that kind of hurt us a little bit. It's a whole team loss and we didn't play well enough to win today."

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