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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12-05-2004 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On overall game) "I would just like say we're very happy with the win, very respectful of our fans, they helped us out a lot. It's a great win by our team."

(On injuries) "I don't have any to report."

(On whether Jay Taylor received one of the game balls) "Yes."

(On whether the standing ovation before Jay Taylor's kick helped him with his first kick) "It makes a difference what he did today. It's a credit to him."

(On whether he changed anything at halftime to throw Atlanta off on the snap count) "We tried to do that. You know [Rod] Coleman is going to be a Pro-Bowler. He was a problem throughout the game, but we got enough done today."

(On how many yards away he intended to have Jay Taylor kick his first field goal from) "Right around 50, right around that."

(On whether this is the way he envisioned the team playing from day one) "We have a lot of new guys playing. We have a good team and we put it together today."

(On players getting better) "We're getting better. Dewayne White is getting much better. It's a credit to Josh Savage. Simeon Rice was great today, also. It's a credit to our defense. They met the challenge. They came out and played complete Buccaneer defense today."

(On whether Monte Kiffin made an effort to take Alge Crumpler out of the game) "Crumpler is a great tight end. He's going to catch some balls because of how good he is. A lot of their scheme is set up for him. We didn't have any breakdowns today and that certainly helps."

(On Derrick Brooks) "Derrick Brooks will be a Buccaneer next year. I just cannot believe how good a player he is. I want to assure, although there are some people that want to be the general manager, that Derrick Brooks will be here and he's a great player. I got a lot of questions on Derrick Brooks when I walked in here today."

(On overall game) "The players are the people who should answer the questions. We have a long way to go. We realize our status. We'll see what happens. We'll go to San Diego next week, play another great team, on the road. We've had some memories at San Diego. Hopefully, we can rekindle some of those. We'll see what happens."

G Cosey Coleman

(On Jay Taylor) "Big. I can't imagine the pressure he was under. NFL, Raymond James Stadium was jumping. Replacing Martin, to come in and fill those shoes was big."

WR Joey Galloway

(On returning to action and making plays) "I am starting to feel normal out there. I can go where I want to go instead of trying to feel my way through. It felt good to play a team like the Falcons. We have been saying all along that we are a good football team but we haven't played like it. To finally go out and play like we expect to play after all the work that we put into it, it feels good."

(On the overthrown ball) "It was a little too far. I looked up and I knew. The whole way I was hoping for a wind gust or that it would hit a bird or something."

(On the game) "It felt good to beat a team like Atlanta. In the NFC, they are right there at the top. It feels good to come out in our home stadium, and finally play the way that we know that we can play."

QB Brian Griese

(On the win) "It felt great to come out and play well against a pretty good team at home. I'm proud of our guys. I thought we came out and gave a great effort."

(On whether today was a step in the right direction) "We had to get to a point where we feel comfortable on the road playing in this offense, and mixing our audibles and checks as we do at home. Today was a great step forward for us."

(On Galloway's involvement in the offense) "We really wanted to open up our offense and give him some shots. He's an explosive player and I almost had another one to him."

(On Jay Taylor) "It was great for him. It was great for our team and hopefully, he can build on that."

(On the fast start by the offense) "That first drive was the most critical in the game in my book. We came out and converted some third downs. Joey [Galloway] made a great catch on an audible, and it was big for us to get the momentum early in the game and we never looked back."

(On the defensive performance) "They played an unbelievable game. They get the game ball today. They got the turnovers and put us in good position. They sealed it for us in the end."

(On the progression of the offense) "When we started the year with the weapons that we have, this is what you wanted to get to. It's taken us a while, but at the same time, I think we're getting better each and every week. This was a playoff game for us. We've won the first round of our playoffs and we've got to go to the second round and go on the road and play a good football team."

CB Brian Kelly

(On defensive performances) "Defensively, we had to get it going and keep the pressure on. The front four, I can't say enough about how those guys played. It makes it easy in the secondary, when they get after the quarterback like that."

RB Michael Pittman

(On the victory) "Everybody contributed to this win. The defense played great and the offense moved the ball. We knew that we were playing a good team, one of the best teams in the NFC right now, and we went out there and really played. We went out there and just ran the ball and passed the ball and the defense played great.

(On preparing for Atlanta) "We knew that it was going to be a tough game but we came out ready to play. We knew that they were going to come ready to play, being leaders of the NFC South. We just came out today. We are the Buccaneers, let's go. We went out and scored points, the defense played great, the offensive line protected great, and Brian Griese made some throws.

(On K Jay Taylor's 50-yard field goal) "When he made the 50-yard field goal, I know that says a lot. It was his first NFL kick and he put it through, everybody ran on the field. I was so excited about it. I feel that Martin Gramatica is a great kicker, but he stepped up today and made a big time kick and that was what we needed of him."

(On taking momentum from this game to San Diego) "Every time that you win, you gain momentum. We have to play on the road like we do here. It seems like when we get on the road, we have more mental breakdowns and mistakes, so we just have to put together a great game plan for San Diego next weekend. They have a top defense and are playing great against the run. We know that we will have our work cut out for us, so we have to go back to the chalkboard and put this game behind us and move on and see what we can go down and do against San Diego."

LB Shelton Quarles

(On the defensive approach for the game) "We just wanted to come in and stop the run. That was our big point of emphasis. We knew that regardless of what Michael Vick was able to do, that he was going to try and hand the ball off. The easiest way to get points is to just hand the ball off to the running back and I thought that we did a good job of containing the run."

(On Simeon Rice's performance) "He played great. He has been playing great for us all year and it was only a matter of time before he stepped up and started making some big plays in the pass defense."

(On the defense's big plays made during the game) "Dwight Smith had a great game and overall our front four played a great game. One of the things that our coach told us was that our front seven were going to have to make a lot of plays and that was going to be the only way we were going to be able to win. I thought that our front seven played great today."

DE Simeon Rice

(On how hard it is to get a sack) "It's hard, trust me. When you force doubles and triples, and you lose a guy like Warren Sapp, you become a marked man. You kind of understand what the game is like. From their scheme today, you could just see them playing with their linemen to try to bring more people to me. It's never easy. I wish it was, trust me. When it gets easy, tell me."

(On shutting out Michael Vick) "I think you have to ask me that when it is all said and done. Today you clap, not too hard, you can applaud, but not pat yourself on the back because we are playing at gunpoint. We have a little bit of hope, but game-to-game and week-to-week. The next four games are going to be the tell-all for the rest of the season, but it is a game-by-game basis. We are already in sudden death. The playoffs have already started for us."

DE Greg Spires

(On the game and the team's future) "Our first possession we got three and out, started fast, and that set the tempo. Our offense got on the field and scored, and they were moving the ball pretty well against Atlanta's defense. After that, I thought we were going to have a chance to win. We are still in it but we know that we have another game, a must-win situation against San Diego, so we have to turn our attention to them."

(On Simeon Rice and his 100th sack) "He is the best pass rusher that I have ever played with. That is all that I have to say. Let me put it in perspective, I just played my 100th game last week. He got his 100th sack. That is big-time."

(On if the defense got in Michael Vick's head) "When he got hit and took his helmet off after Derrick Brooks' hit, we were in his head by then and we knew that we got him."

(On his two fumble recoveries) "It came at a good time. Brooks got the one sack and I think that Simeon Rice got the other in. One thing about fumbles is that if you don't recover them, they don't mean anything. So, I got the two fumbles and put our team in a good position to score. It made a difference."

K Jay Taylor

(On expecting to be called in to convert the 50-yard field goal) "Yes, I was sitting there ready to be given the go (ahead) and I was really excited."

(On if he knew the 50-yard kick was good when he hit it) "I didn't get as good of a hit on it as I would have liked. I just had to watch that one to make sure that it went in but I was glad that it did."

(On what he was doing last Sunday) "Last Sunday, I was watching the games on television in Orlando. I was watching the Buccaneers game last weekend."

(On the week) "It has definitely been a good week. Playing in the NFL is something that I have always strived to achieve. I am glad that my first game went pretty well."

(On his thoughts when attempting the 50-yard kick) "Nothing. It felt the same as going out in practice and kicking. I never really feel pressure or anything out there. I had the mindset that I was going to make it and I went out there and did that. I don't really tend to see how far the kicks are especially when you get back to the 40 yard line, where I knew that it was a 50-yard field goal. I was happy with how the game went."

(On the reception from the fans) "Coming in, you are never quite sure how people will react to you so it was definitely a warm welcome."

T Kenyatta Walker

(On Tampa Bay's offense) "We had to be physical with them and stop killing ourselves, getting into long-down positions and play hard-nosed football."

(On the Bucs' playoff chances) "We hope so. Right now we are trying to take each game, one game at a time. Right now we have the Chargers who are hot."

(On Atlanta's defense) "They have improved. They are not a team that is going to go one-on-one with you. They will blitz you."

(On Atlanta) "We knew we were playing one of the best the NFC has to offer. We had to make it a physical game."

(On K Jay Taylor) "Welcome to the NFL. I love the guy already."

DT/DE Dewayne White

(On if this was the best defensive performance while he has been here) "Yes. Zero points, I think that is pretty good. Since I have been here, it's the best effort."

(On the defensive line setting the tone) "It all starts with the defensive line. If we get pressure on the quarterback, we stop the run. Everybody else's job gets much easier."


Head Coach Jim Mora

(On the game) "Okay that was a tough lost for us. A very determined effort by Tampa; they played well. We did not play our best game. I can tell you one thing about the guys in our locker room, we will come back strong. We got a lot to resolve; we are very disappointed. We will get on to the next one. That is what we do after wins that is what we do after loses. We are going to try to find something positive from this if we can; I do not know if we will be able to. I did not see a whole lot of positives, but we will try to find something positive and we will go on from here. I think Tampa played inspired football. Played very well; played Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense. It was a tough day for us. We had some things we wanted to get done and we did not get them done. We are disappointed but we are not discouraged and we will continue to fight."

(On the play call on the one-yard line) "We thought our best chance to score was a play-action right at them. If you recall the first time we played them, we just pounded it right in on them and had great success. We ran for 200 something yards and knowing Monte Kiffin as well as I do, I thought that they would have them geared up for the run. We decided early in the week that we would try to throwing it in the first time we got in there because we blasted them last time. They played it well; we thought it was open for a moment there and we did not see them quick enough. That might be disputed by film, I do not know. You make about 60 offensives, 60 defensive, and about 30 special teams plays, that is about 150 decisions a day and that was not a very good one."

(On Michael Vick being part of the game play) "No, he is a big part of the game play. I thought they did an excellent job playing their three-deep zones, playing their cover-two. They have a great linebacking corps; I think a lot of that had to do with their pass rush and coverage. They just played very well on defense. That is how Tampa is how capable of playing. They are a very talented defensive team and everyone knows that. They played very well today. They played inspired football. They did not want us to come down here and win the division on their turf and they played with that kind of enthusiasm and energy."

(On how Atlanta's defense played) "It is hard when you walk in here after a game to find positives but I was looking at the stats coming off the field and I felt like we played okay on defense considering some of the situations we were put in. We are a defense built upon taking the football away and today Tampa did an excellent job of protecting the football. We did not get the football out and we gave it away. Its simple arithmetic to tell you that when you turn the ball over as many times as we did, and you do not take it away, and you are on the road that it is going to be a tough day for you and it was a tough day for us."

RB Warrick Dunn

(On today's game) "Today they just had our number, they put a lot of pressure on us and had a lot of guys in the box and made it tough for us to run.

(On Tampa's defensive scheme) "With that type of defense you need to put that pressure on them early and we did not do that."

(On having a lot to play for today) "It's just one game, I think as a team we showed a lot of heart, guys kept fighting, kept playing and no one gave up, when you have a team that does that, your going to have bumps in the road. This is was just a bump in the road."

(On play calling on first and goal) "I'm not surprised when the back does not get the ball on every play. I can't question the play calling. I think the coach is doing a great job, just that situation we threw an interception. Had we scored a touchdown, no one would talk about it or care about it."

CB DeAngelo Hall

(On today's game) "They just came out with a great plan. They executed well, we did not execute as well as we usually do and they came away with the win."

(On the Buccaneers doing something different on offense) "We knew what they were going to do. We know they would run the ball outside and dink and dunk passes but we did not execute. We did not play Atlanta Falcon football today."

G Steve Herndon

(On the Buccaneer defense putting on pressure) "I do not know what it was. They out-schemed us it looked like and they made the plays they had to make. We could not get any momentum going, and we shot ourselves in the foot with the fumbles. They just played good."

(On what Tampa did differently this game) "Any given Sunday a team can show up and play. We out-played them last time, they out played us today. I do not know what it was this week."

(On the feelings in the locker room) "We just have to go back and make corrections and be ready to play next week. Because if we let this linger, we will not get the job done next week."

(On how the turnovers affected the offense) "When that starts happening, you must find a way to bounce back and this week we were unable to do that."

WR Peerless Price

(On what Tampa did to win today) "I think they made more plays than we did today. We had far more turnovers than we did last time against them. I don't think we turned the ball over the last time we played them."

(On whether he felt like they ever had a chance to get in this game) "I think we had a chance. There were opportunities, but we just didn't capitalize. We kept driving the ball and shooting ourselves in the foot. I don't think we executed in any phase today, rushing, passing or defense."

(On whether the Bucs surprised him by playing so well) "No. They were juiced up to play. They came out and made plays today. Last time, it was us who made plays, this time it was them. It seems like that's how things go in this game. One team makes plays and one team commits all of the turnovers."

QB Michael Vick

(On what Tampa did defensively today to stop him) "They were able to maintain a good pass rush, get their ends up the field and force us into the pocket. I've got to take my hat off to them, they played a great game. They had a great scheme and we didn't do enough offensively to win."

(On why Alge Crumpler was not a factor today) "They double-teamed Alge a lot and kept a guy high over the top. They made it tough for him to get catches in there. It was a great scheme on their part."

(On whether the Bucs surprised you with their defensive schemes) "It wasn't surprising because we've seen them before, but they played some things we didn't think they were going to play and put some different packages out there. That is part of the game and why they have coaches."

(On Simeon Rice) "He played a great game. He is one of the best defensive ends in the game. He's a freak of nature with his size and how long he is. He makes up a lot of ground and is very disruptive and I see why he reached that milestone today."

(On Tampa Bay's defensive back players) "I think they played a solid game, but we just missed some opportunities, had some protection breakdowns and I missed some things I should have seen. They played well."

(On not clinching the division today) "It's not a big lost opportunity. We're 9-3, look at our situation. Playoffs are just sitting there for us. We still have a ways to go and four more games we can win."

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