Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12-15-2002 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Jon Gruden

On the game: "We did not play our best game. Hand it to the Lions – they played extremely hard and made some big plays. At 10-0, Mike McMahon came in and takes them down with some great throws. This was a great win for our team but costly because of some of the injuries. We are thrilled to have qualified for the playoffs. It is a great accomplishment to win eleven games in the NFL. This is a hard place to play. The Lions beat the 3-0 Saints here and came from behind to almost knock Green Bay off here. They are a very physical team on defense and have a unique scheme on offense. We expected a great dogfight. There were inexcusable and crazy penalties on the first two drives of the second half. The guys rallied and made some key drives when they had to and with that said I'm glad to get out of here with a victory."

On Lions' QB Mike McMahon "We know McMahon from playing him in the past. This is a real mobile guy who can generate some offense with his legs. Obviously the bootleg that they emphasized today we didn't expect but I tip my hat to Mike (Mc Mahon) he played really well."

QB Brad Johnson

On the game "This is a big win for us. For us to win our division we needed these last three games. They beat some good teams like the Saints and they have had some other games that they should have won. We didn't play our best but that says something about the team when you don't play your best and still win. We are happy to get the win and get out of here.

On moving the ball "I felt like we were running the ball well today. In the first half we were moving the ball very well – scoring on three of the first four possessions. In the fourth quarter then we had two crucial drives that iced the game. As bad as things were going for us we didn't give in and stayed within the system."

On the Lions "I have played against Detroit for years – when I was with Minnesota and Washington. Those guys beat you up. A lot of times they don't have to blitz to get to you. Our guys did a good job up front. I had to throw the ball away eight-to-ten times today. I felt like I just had to do that."

WR Keyshawn Johnson

On the game "If I know that I'm going to get hit I can still hold onto the ball. If I tried to run through it and not be aware of the secondary then chances are I wouldn't have caught it. It was very important, that catch, we got a touchdown on that drive. Anytime you have the opportunity to make a play that will put your team in the position to score some points you always feel good about that."

On escaping Detroit with a victory: "No one ever said that this game would be easy. We've played them (Lions) four times since I've been here (Tampa Bay) and they have beaten us once but none of them have been easy. We know this is the kind of team that you cannot put away when you're on the road. The fact that you are playing on the road against a team that has a lot of pride – they showed character and heart and played tough."

On the remainder of the season "We need to look at Pittsburgh next week. You know it's going to be hard. They are a good team and fighting for a playoff spot. We need to just worry about them. We want to keep fighting for the playoff games at home. The less games you have to play the quicker you get to the Super Bowl. We've controlled out own destiny so far and we have the tiebreaker against Green Bay. Hopefully Philadelphia will drop one here soon."


Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg

On QB Joey Harrington: "It appeared that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Joey (Harrington) on the field. The doctors caught it and did a heck of a job with that and took all of the necessary precautions. He wanted to go back in very badly. He's going through some tests right now - I'm not going to jump to any conclusions on him."

On the game: "There's no consolation in losing a football game - period. We had our chances. We had multiple chances to come up with a play to win that football game. The players are devastated much like the coaches and we should be. The effort was so high. We did just about everything that we planned on doing in that football game but we came out on the bottom end. We have to keep working. We'll come in next week and continue to get better. We had players that had not played very much at all that went in and played very well and that were well prepared."

On starting Kalimba Edwards and André Goodman on defense: "James Hall is nicked up and Kalimba has played very well so there really wasn't much of decision to be made there. As far as Goodman starting - it was a while back that we were talking about the timing of him starting for us and then he broke his thumb. So I certainly did not want to start him within a week or two of breaking a thumb with a cast on. He was playing well so it was time for him to start for us."

On how much the game plan changed with Harrington coming out of the game: "It didn't (change) much. On offense it was a must that we ran the football. We did an admirable job of that early. They adjusted a little bit and almost forced us to throw the football. We had plays down the field to be made and we have to make those plays."

On players that stepped up: "We found a few players out there today. Eddie Drummond had another heck of a game. He got a concussion at the end. Rafael Cooper looks like he can play - he made some good runs. He made a mistake on special teams but other than that I think he was mistake free."

QB Mike McMahon

On the game: "I felt good, the offensive line did a great job up front against the best defensive line up front in the league. We had a few opportunities and Bill Schroeder made some plays down the field. As the back up quarterback your job is to know the game plan. You might get a few reps or you might not get any during the week - you work the other teams plays and try to keep your skills sharp. I knew the game plan, we added a few things after I went in there but it really was the basic stuff in our regular game plan. I just went in there and did what I've been doing everyday in practice, just letting the players make the plays."

On the difference between today and the first two games of the season: "As a whole everything is developing more and clicking more that it was at the beginning of the season. I got a lot of work in practice and the offensive line has played real well the last couple of weeks. They gave me time to throw the ball today.

On whether watching from the sideline has helped this season: "When you watch you try to pick up things and learn. No experience is as good as game experience. You try to make practice experience like a game but its not as quick - the games are so much faster. It is just basically try to watch and reflect on the decisions you might make."

On playing one of the best teams in the league: "We had plenty of opportunities through out this game. The defense made some good stops in the second half and we just went three and out. You need to move the ball in this league. We had some opportunities after that to step up but just fell a little short. You go back and work hard and keep playing the game because you love it."

RB Rafael Cooper

On the game: "We try to go out there and do what we can do. Cason and I took the lack of confidence people had (in us) and took that like a slap in the face. All three of us can run the ball. When you get the chance, you go out there and do what you can do."

On the success the Lions had running the ball: "We wanted to go right at them - that was the plan. That's what we did and we were successful. I want to move-on and keep getting better each week and hope good things happen in the future. This was a very hard one to take. We are not a bad team. Things just are not going our way at times."

Chris Cash

On the loss: "It has been like this all year, We've been playing hard all year and have a couple of wins but its the little things. In the NFL you cannot make the mistakes and expect to win."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Latest Headlines