Head Coach Raheem Morris
(on Josh Freemans performance) "It was a tough loss and a tough day for the young man in the Red Zone. Up until this point, hes been really great in the Red Zone. Today, he just made some bad decisions, which he knows he cant make. He was trying to squeeze some in to Bryant, or I think one was to Kellen or who ever he was trying to squeeze them into. Hes got to make better decisions in the Red Zone. Weve got to come out of there with points somehow. Today, we were not able to do that. So its back to the lab. Its all about that trust factor that you have. You stand back there. Youre the quarterback. You think that guy can make every play. Hes hot. You force some things to him. It wasnt just Antonio. He forced in some other places. Thats just the confidence the kid has in his arm. Hell get better. Hell make better decisions in some of those situations. Youve got to put a little bit on me too. Maybe I should start running the ball a little bit and not have so much confidence in him. Well get better and better at that situation. Well be good. I have a lot of confidence."
(on the team's fullbacks) "Ive got two fullbacks. Ive got one guy that goes in there and runs heavy. Hes down there in the five. It was a good move by my young personnel guy to just send in [Chris] Pressley thinking pound the rock, pound the rock. He called one run to Pressley. Thats fine. Then Pressley runs that 1-2 as a fullback. Its not a problem. Its the same run Hoover runs. Its the same run all the big-time fullbacks in this league run. Its not a big deal as far as who was in there."
(on K Connor Barth's misses) "I didnt see the actual misses. I just knew they were misses. Well go back and evaluate the tape and see what the problem was and get with him and find out what the problem was. They didnt kick the ball off well either, so well find out whats going on there."
(on Clifton Smiths injury) "Clifton obviously I believe that was a concussion at the beginning of the game. I dont have an update on him. I just know hes out for this game. Ill be able to get more information to you after we get back on Wednesday, or after we meet again as far as Sunday."
(on how much of winning is knowing how to do it) "You know, a lot of us know how to do it. A lot of us are learning how to do it. A lot of us have an opportunity to do it. Defensively in that second half, they played well enough to give us a chance to win, and we didnt. Offensively, we had some opportunities to go down there and score and we didnt. Winning is a habit."
(on if this team have to learn how to win) "This team has got to learn how to get better. Weve got to go out there and weve got to put this thing together, and give ourselves a better opportunity to win. Were in the Red Zone, and weve got that many times down there, weve got to capitalize. Weve been great down there all year. I believe we were second in the NFL. Today, weve got to give the Carolina Panthers credit for their Red Zone defense. They stepped it up and played big-time football and kept us out of the End Zone, and actually got some turnovers."
(on his conversations with Freeman after interceptions) "You know with a quarterback, its never conversations. It never goes negative with a quarterback. Its always what can you do better?; whats the look going to be here?; protect the football there. All of those conversations with the quarterbacks are done well in advance before the game. Hell get coached just like everybody else. Hes as hard on himself as anybody. And trust me, youre talking about a guy who threw for 321 yards today and threw 5 picks. Hes got to make better decisions once he gets down there."
(on if he felt like a better team although they didnt win today) "I hate that excuse. Im never going to say were a better football team when a man just beat us. Thats not my style. That was a mans victory. Ive got so much respect for Coach Fox for his program and what he has been able to do. I would never say that. We played well. We gave ourselves a chance to win, although we were not able to."
(on matching Carolinas physical style) "We matched it today. We just didnt finish. We werent able to win. Were not making the progress we want to win, obviously we didnt win. The team got better today. We got closer. We were able to go out there and man-up and play with this team. Weve got to be able to go out there and beat this team if we ever want to win this division."
QB Josh Freeman
(on the play in the red zone) "Greg Olson called a great game and we were able to drive it down, really at will. We had a big offensive game. The offensive line was doing a great job at protection verse number 90, Hollis Thomas, and all those guys. We knew what they were bringing blitz wise. A few of those plays we just didnt put the ball where it needed to be."
(on if he felt he was forcing throws) "The first one, I was going back to Sammie Stroughter and I was pulling the progression, trying to anticipate but I was a little early on my progression. I drilled it and threw it right where I thought Sammie would be. I've got to slow my foot work down. Sometimes you get rushing a little bit. The second one was Antonio Bryant was the only route, the only route in the progression. It was a full self play action. Jon Beason stepped back. I talked to him about it after the game. Man, I was so glad that I saw you. On the back sweep, you read run, stepped up and he was right behind one of their defensive tackles. Right when I popped up to let it go to Bryant, he just saw it and got his hands on it. It was a remarkable catch for how hard I threw that."
(on the other interceptions) "Once again it was just a matter of getting the ball up another foot. Full extension, Beason made a great catch and if I got that ball a foot higher and its a touchdown. We would have got the lead and we would have been doing good. Like my coach always said, its a game of inches. Today I was a few inches off."
(on his other options on the fourth-down interception) "They ended us up on that one. It was a play called progression. It went Antonio Bryant and turn over the ball to Sammie Stroughter, a little white hedge where he stonewalls at the back of the end zone. Started out and they doubled Bryant, came back to Kellen Winslow and Beason locked him up pretty good, holding on to him. I came back to Stroughter, same deal. Maurice Stovall was my last thing. I thought about running but I couldnt really see the seams. It was one of those things it you have the seams, I would of taken it in a heartbeat. But, I didnt see anything so its fourth down and weve got to put the ball into play. Result is interception."
(on how he will shake off five intercceptions) "Ill be over it by tomorrow afternoon. Im going to obviously go through the game and look at everything, find out the reason why we didnt win the game. Its blatantly obvious that we were inside their 30 yard line eight times and came away with six points the entire game. Thats completely unacceptable. Its going to be finding a way to get back to the red zone offense that we were the previous three or four games."
K Connor Barth
(on missed field goals) "The one that hit off the upright, didnt feel that bad. I knew, if it did go in, it was probably going to squeak in, but the last one I missed I just left my hips open. You can see, it just kind of shot off to the right a little bit. It was just a bad day for the offense. We just have to get back to work and keep pushing."
(on his rhythm with placeholder Sam Paulescu) "He came right in and we had a rhythm in practice all week, just stroking the ball. He did a great job holding today. Everything was fine with that; I just wasnt putting them through the uprights."
RB Earnest Graham
(on points left on the field) "I'd say that we left about 20 points on the field today. That cant happen. We all know that we cant turn the football over. You cant have penalties, and you have to capitalize on field position and we just didnt do that. It is very easy to see why we didnt come away with a victory today."
(on QB Josh Freeman's growing pains) "It is definitely painful. The talent level is there, and we all know the type of player that Josh [Freeman] is and will be when he comes through. But we are all here to go through those things with him."
(on the team's level of play) "Its felt like the team has been playing better these last couple of weeks. It actually feels good to put together a couple of drives and good starts, and using a lot of the clock. We played some physical football. Our defense came out, made some adjustments, and settled down. We had to get them off the field and try to score some points. We are starting to play some good football, but we just need to convert on some plays that will give us some points and let us win some football games. I think we could have won this game today, but we left too many points on the field today. That cant happen."
S Sabby Piscitelli
(on the overall defensive effort) "Ra(heem Morris) had a great play called for us. A couple of times we had them in the backfield, and they got us out of some wrap tackles. We just have to make those tackles. There aint no excuse for that. I think after that we just kind of huddled up and tried to play more physical and try to stop that run. Well go to the film and see what happened, but its totally unacceptable. We have to do a better job."
(on Tampa Bays turnovers) "You cant win a game with five turnovers, but at the same time, we got a big turnover ourselves. We have to get the ball back for our offense. When you dont win the turnover battle, its hard. The defense has to push back and get turnovers and make plays too, and we didnt do enough of that today."
C Jeff Faine
(on difficulty moving the ball in the red zone) "Its a part of it. Ive been around long enough to work with quarterbacks and I know this kid is going to be a good player. He needs a whole season to work with his wide receivers to know exactly how to throw in certain situations, defensive coverage, hes going to make mistakes. He has composure and hes really good mentally. Im looking forward to the future with him. Its him growing up, right in front of our eyes."
LB Barrett Ruud
(on the defensive effort in the first quarter) "The first quarter in general wasnt very good for us. We were a little sloppy with our tackling. Give some credit to Jonathan Stewart. He is a good back. Hes a strong back, but most of all, it was just us kind of missing tackles, but we did a good job after that. In the first quarter, they had 10 points and 115 yards of rushing and after that, they didnt get a whole lot else. So I thought we responded pretty well after that first quarter."
(on the play of quarterback Josh Freeman) "Its hard, but at the same time, very encouraging, because you see how many good things he does all over the field today, making phenomenal throws. But he had a couple of mistakes in the red zone. When you play quarterback, a little bit too much gets put on you when you win, and a little bit too much gets put on when you lose, too. I thought he did a good job. He just made some mistakes in the red zone, and usually those are magnified."
(on how losing affects the team) "You start thinking things are against you. You catch a bad break sometime. The good thing about our team is that we have stayed positive. Effort has never lagged, and thats the thing Im most proud of, because you see teams that are out of the playoff hunt quit, and were far from that. We play hard, we have to execute better to get these wins to start to get something positive going."
(on needing a win) "Sometimes teams win ugly, but they win a lot. Theres nothing wrong with ugly wins in the NFL. We need to win a couple of tough games. Winning sparks that confidence, too. And when you are losing, you think you are going to get bad breaks, and a couple of wins, gets you going the exact opposite way. You think, 'Were going to get a break here; were going to make that happen.'
(on if this team is finding ways to lose) "I cant say we find ways to lose. Its more were just not putting full games together. Thats our issue right now. We havent played 60 minutes of complete football. The same thing happened even when we won. I know defensively it wasnt 60 minutes of good football, and thats what good teams do. They put 60 minutes together."
DE Stylez G. White
(on adjustments made during the game) "We really didnt make too many adjustments. What we did is didnt tackle well, and that is what shows at the end of the day. We were in position, but just didnt make the tackles. We came in with a good game plan, but we just missed tackles."
(on Steve Smith's long reception) "They made a big play with Steve Smith, but we werent going to give up on it. And our team is not going to give up on each other. So we had to go out there and hold them to a field goal and give our team a chance."
(on going back to a Tampa Two type of defense) "It gives us a chance to win games. It also gives the defensive guys a chance to make plays. When coach sets us up in a eight man front because they are going to run the ball, we have to hold ourselves accountable to make plays and stop them."
(on the turnover battle) "There is really not much to say about that. We tried to overcome them, but we [the defense] still have to go out there and put our offense in a better position. Even though there were 4 or 5 turnovers, it doesnt matter. We should have played better ball."
RB Carnell Williams
(on the overall play of quarterback Josh Freeman) "We've got to continue to rally around this young guy, (Josh) Freeman. Hes going to be a good one, but he struggled today. We struggled today as a team, as an offense. All around, we struggled, so we just need to stay together... rally around this guy Freeman because hes going to be good. We have to take the good with the bad, and today was not a very good day for us."
(on his advice to Freeman after loss) "The main thing is to remember this feeling, because here soon he is going to be playing in big games where he has to come down here and hes definitely going to get the job done. I know how he is. Hes going to keep his head up. Were going to keep our head up as a team."
(on Freeman's growing pains) "The guy is 21 years old, playing the premier position in football... the face of the franchise. Hes got a lot on him, but the guy is going to be OK."
Head Coach John Fox
(on injuries) "Tyler Brayton left the game. He got hit in the head. I dont know the severity of that. Nail Diggs, ribs."
(on red zone defense) "Guys made plays. A lot of interceptions, Jon Beason had two of them. Usually turnovers are the difference in the game. Today was no different."
(on what he said to Josh Freeman) "When you are in this league for a long time, you get to know a lot of players. Hes a guy we did coming out and hes a good young player."
(on QB Matt Moore) "I thought he did pretty good. He had the one turnover. I thought it was something to build on. He hasnt been in in a long time. I thought he threw with pretty good velocity and for the most part made pretty good decisions. There are a couple of things we need to clean up, but all in all, he played good enough for us to win and that is key."
(on if this is a confidence boost for Moore) "I think any time you start off positive, whether its the season or a game or first two holes of a round, whatever you do, I think helps with your confidence. No doubt that did. He zipped a couple of out routes out there pretty good and guys were running good, clean routes and guys had good, clean protection. We were able to run it for some chunks and that was key."
(on if Moore will be the starter next week) "Id say there is a good chance of that. I thought he did fine today."
(on the Panthers' running game) "I thought we ran the ball effectively. I thought Jonathan (Stewart) did an outstanding job. He broke some tackles and ran very physical and very determined. Tyrell Sutton stuck in there and did a good job. It starts up front. I thought we blocked better than we did a week ago. I thought we executed better offensively."
(on Steve Smith's long catch) It was a great route. We had great protection and he put it out there far enough for him to get it. Believe it or not, weve tried that a few times and it hasnt worked so far. Hopefully its something we can build on.
(on K John Kasay) He got a game ball in there today. He is a remarkable guy and someone I feel very fortunate to coach. Every guy in that locker room ought to feel very fortunate to be a teammate. To have that kind of longevity and accomplish what he has accomplished doesnt happen very much in anybodys career. That is a great accomplishment for him and his family.
QB Matt Moore
(on how the game felt) "It felt good, especially after the first drive and the way we started. We were running the ball well, a lot of quick game stuff, getting the ball out fast. That makes it easy on any quarterback. That was the ideal drive and that really started the game off and got all of the nerves and jitters out. I felt good. There were some mishaps, which is going to happen in any game, but overall I felt pretty good."
(on watching the Panthers' defense in the red zone) "I was excited. It was a battle. I know it was the whole defense making plays, but Jon (Beason) is just in the right place at the right time, both times. He showed some talent running with the ball. When the defense is out there, Im almost a fan. Im screaming and yelling and hoping those guys are getting their stuff done, which they did. It was good stuff."
(on the pressure to play well) "There is already so many things I have to worry about the game. All of the other stuff I try not to think about. At the beginning of the game you try to block all of that out and focus on literally one play at a time. We got in a nice rhythm that first drive and that was my whole mindset. Pressure? I try not to feel any. I take it slow and take what they give us."
(on his interception) I thought the safety did a nice job. He came down hard and I thought he was running out o Steve (Smith) which is why I went inside to Dante (Rosario). As soon as I threw it, he put his foot in the ground and came back inside. It was a good job on their part. I could have thrown a safer ball.
S Chris Harris
(on the defense forcing five turnovers) "Thats something we really needed was turnovers. Thats one thing we harp on every week. This week we were able to produce five which is huge. Anytime you get five turnovers you should win. It was big to get our offense back the ball as many times as possible. Our goal was to get our offense extra possessions."
(on the bend-but-don't-break defensive mentality) "In this defense the key thing is red zone defense. They didnt score in the red zone which is huge for us. Its one thing that we have worked on the past few weeks is getting better in the red zone and on third downs."
(on his interception) "They ran an option route by the second receiver and a dig by the first one. The first receiver was my man and I had him on the inside. He ran six steps and I turned around and the ball was thrown and I said, 'Thank tou.' I was able to make a play."
CB Chris Gamble
(on red zone defense) "As a defense we wanted to hold them and I think we did that. We stopped them in the red zone. We played a good game, but their offense had some good plays. Overall I think we did a good job."
(on the Bucs' big plays) "They are going to make plays. We just had to keep fighting and fighting and we did that today."
LB Jon Beason
(on his big day) "Our coach did a good job of helping us make plays. When its your turn you have to make the play. I had to opportunity and I came up big."
(on his interceptions) "The first was an interception from a pop pass. I actually had coverage on my back. And when he stayed in the block I just backed up and he threw a slant and the second one was Tampa Two and I was deep middle, reading his eyes and broke on the ball."
(on displays of temper on the field) "Anytime we play Tampa its always that type of game. Professional hatred for each other. Even though you have friends on that side of the ball, a division game, you always want to go out and play physical and I think some tempers flared up. It was just good football."
(on giving up big plays) "Absolutely. You never want to give up a lot of plays or yardage, but Freeman is going to be a really good player really soon. Its definitely the franchise for the Tampa Bay Bucs for years to come. He had some really big throws all the way down the field, but we had some big plays in the end zone and thats what defenses do."
DT Damione Lewis
(on the Panthers' defense) "We had them out in the red zone. They either had to kick field goals or we caused turnovers. Thats what Ive been talking about all year, about the way we played defense today. You have to. You have to give the guys an opportunity to get rollin and I think it makes us do better, makes us do better as a team."
(on who wanted the win more) "I think we, the defense played awesome out there. They had some drives going and we either made them kick a field goal or caused turnovers and thats what you want to do. If they get in the red zone you either want to hold them to three or get a turnover. I mean, thats playin great ball up front and on the back end especially on defense. I thought we did a good job overall. Jon (Beason) getting those two picks. We played a stellar game."
(on if it was a bend-but-don't-break defense) "Yeah. Thats what this defense was designed for. It was designed for us to get up front and bend but dont break."
(on Matt Moore's play) "Matt did a great job today. He hit Smitty (Steve Smith) deep. He had an opportunity to hit Moose (Muhsin Muhammad) and he dropped it. He made some plays with his legs then Jonathan (Stewart) got in there and had some big runs today. I think he mixed it up well and did a good job."
C Ryan Kalil
(on if they're happy with the win) "Yeah definitely. Its been a frustrating season for us with some injuries and things like that but I think the most frustrating thins is having the record we do and knowing how good of a team we really are. I mean weve got some phenomenal players and some really good coaches so its been frustrating how close some of these games have been and not being able to finish them. I think though, this win kind of gives us some breathing room. Were not going to let down. Weve still got an opportunity in this whole race."
(on the running game still working without DeAngelo Williams) "Thats always nice to continue to run the ball. I think theyre a good defense. Theyre doing some new things form the last time we saw them and I saw some new stuff they were doing defensively. They got some good stops on us but its nice to know we are still able to run the ball with Dingell out, knowing hes going to come back and we can only build from that and get better. Its extremely important because youve got to be able to move forward. The show must go on when guys go down. Unfortunately for us weve had some guys dinged up and some pretty big parts of the offense so its nice to be able to get those things fixed."
RB Tyrell Sutton
(on Matt Moore) "He was very confident and comfortable. Hes a happy go lucky type of guy so hes out there managing the game very well. He took his time getting us down the field when we really needed it so he just managed the game very well."
(on the team coming together) "When our backs are against the wall it only makes us better as a team. You can either go one of two ways. You can either die or stick together and conquer so I think we did a pretty good job of staying together."
(on his play) "It was great to go out there and get my first carries as a running back. You just gotta think of the mentorship of Stew (Jonathan Stewart) and DeAngelo (Williams) and you play ball."