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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12-07-2003 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(on if this is the way he expected the Bucs defense to play all year long) "In the second half, yes. In the first half, we gave up a lot of third downs…we gave up a lot of field position. In the second half, absolutely (we played well). I thought the pressure was very, very intense. I thought a lot of guys contributed and made some big plays getting turnovers and shutting the door on third downs with big plays, often times sacks."

(on keeping Deuce McAllister under 100 yards) "It's a great accomplishment based on how well he's been running and what kind of back he is. He had plenty of opportunities. He carried it over 20 times. We gang tackled. We tackled well…at times two and three men to the football. We knew it was going to need that kind of an effort to try and contain him, let alone keeping him under 100 yards. Certainly, that helped us win the football game putting them in second and mediums and third and longs."

(on how the momentum of the game changed after Joe Horn dropped a potential touchdown in the second quarter) "That was a big turn of events. Obviously, getting the ball there right before the half (was big). Brad Johnson to (Ken) Dilger makes a big play and then we get the blocked punt, which certainly made for one of the more interesting plays today of the diving tipped pass to Warren Sapp to really give us some juice and momentum going into the locker room."

(on the recent kicking struggles of Martin Gramatica) "I don't know what it is. When we look hard (at the film), I think there was some protection leakage. A free dark jersey was in position to make a play. All I can say is that we expect him to dominate and make those kicks. Both of those (misses) were big momentum plays and certainly strategy plays to give you a 10 point lead."

Saints Head Coach Jim Haslett

(on the game) "The game came down to four turnovers and a blocked punt."

(on the change of momentum) "In a minute forty we had a dropped touchdown, two fumbles, a blocked punt, two penalties, and missed tackles for a touchdown. Twenty-eight minutes before that we played pretty good football."

(on Aaron Brooks' fumbles) "It is something we have to research; Brett Favre has the same problem. Based on the weather conditions in the dome it should not be a problem."

(on the blocked punt) "One guy missed his assignment."

(on Tampa Bay's defense) "Well they are a good defense. That's why they are the number one defense and hold teams to the least points. Today they put eight or nine guys up front and its hard to get a lot of yards on them. They did a nice job."

(on Aaron Brooks' performance) "I am disappointed in the fumbles. That's what cost us the game. Our defense hung in there and we should have won the game. I thought the defense played at a high level the whole game and the turnovers on offense really hurt us."

Saints RB Deuce McAllister

(On how were the Bucs able to stop him) "They were putting eight and nine in the box. Their linebackers stayed a little deeper to take away the cut back runs. They had a pretty good scheme. We still have to make plays and keep hammering away."

(on his consecutive 100-yard game streak ending)

A: "Streaks are made and they are going to happen. It's unfortunate that it ended."

(on what the Bucs did differently from the first meeting) "The yards were out there for the taking. We just didn't take them. It's hard to win a game anytime that you turn the ball over. We had our opportunities to win the game and we only lost by seven. We just didn't make the plays."

Saints TE Boo Williams

(on how the offense played) "We made a lot of big plays, but a lot of times we shot ourselves in the foot. You can't win when you turn the ball over a bunch of times."

(on if it's frustrating to know that this game could possibly cost them the playoffs) "Yes, it is real frustrating when you have a bunch of turnovers and still lose 14-7. We just have to go back to the drawing board and not worry about anything else and get ready to play next week."

Saints CB Ashley Ambrose

(on the way the game turned in the last 90 seconds of the first half) "It is difficult. You never know what is going to happen in a game. We had an opportunity to go up by two touchdowns. It's difficult. We just have to try to stop that run. We needed to take the momentum away from them, but we just couldn't punch it in. I was hoping defensively that we could score. We just needed anything to get that spark."

Saints S Jay Bellamy

(on the way the game turned in the last 90 seconds of the first half) "We were rolling along and then a few plays later we were down seven. It's just the ebb and flow of the game. Unfortunately, we came up on the short end of the stick."

(on possibly being on the outside of the playoff picture) "We were in that position before we even came out and played today. We didn't do any good helping our cause by going out there and killing ourselves."

Saints QB Aaron Brooks

(on if this game was particularly frustrating) "It's frustrating. It's a team that we should have beaten. Once they had the momentum. They seized that moment. They did a good job of sustaining that lead. We just didn't make enough plays to tie the ball game up. There is still hope. We will keep moving on. We will keep pushing forward. It's part of the game. We have to look past this."

(on his ball-handling problems) "The first one slipped out of my hand. It's part of the game. The NFL has the new balls out there. We can't use our home balls. We have to use what is given to us. I am not making excuses. The ball slipped out of my hand. We had an opportunity to score once again, but their defense made a good play. On top of that, I was trying to be the playmaker that I am. Derrick Brooks had a great play in the open field and the ball popped out. On the other ones, their guys hit me on the arm and the ball came out. It's part of the game. I was trying to make some plays, but we lost that battle."

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