S John Lynch says the Bucs have a lot of respect for their South Florida opponents
The prelude to Tampa Bay's trip to Miami fell just short of a war of words. Neither team, it seemed, was sure the other was showing proper respect.
On the field Sunday, it was a war, a constant exchange of hard hits and, at times, harsh words. Tampa Bay emerged on top, but by the slimmest of margins, a fourth-quarter field goal in the rain that gave the Bucs a 16-13 win.
Afterwards, S John Lynch, who played despite a recently-dislocated shoulder that threatened to come out of the socket again on Sunday, made it clear that the Bucs did indeed respect their counterparts.
"We were out there playing today to see who was the better defense," said Lynch. "I think there was a lot of stuff said prior to this game about how we didn't respect them. It's not true at all. We have a lot of respect for them. They're a great team and they have a great defense. We had a challenge today and, to our credit, we stepped up."
There were a number of other issues on the Bucs' minds following the big win, including near-safeties, turnovers, injuries and the lousy weather. Let's see what they had to say about such pithy topics.
CB Ronde Barber on how the Bucs feel about the victory:
"Warrick (Dunn) made a huge play for us there at the end by getting out of that end zone, but really he has been big a lot of these past few weeks. This is a big and very emotional victory for us. Everyone is on cloud nine right now. We came into hostile territory and played against a very good team and won. It doesn't get better than that."
Warrick Dunn on that play, a brilliant spin and run to avoid a safety late in the game:
"It was big. We thought we could get on the outside a little bit and try to get away from our end zone. Trace (Armstrong) made a good play. He was actually rushing and then he fell off, so Shaun (King) had to lob it a little bit, and out of somewhere some guy just came at me. I turned my back to him and he pushed me back. I had a sense of urgency to get out of the end zone. I was running for my life and was trying to get out."
WR Keyshawn Johnson on the steady rain that fell before and during the game, sometimes growing rather heavy:
"It's a little difficult to throw the football in the rain, a little difficult to cut and a little difficult to catch footballs in the rain. The weather played a factor, but we were still won the football game and that's all that really matters. The 'W' is the most important thing."
LB Derrick Brooks on the Bucs' 'mindset':
"This was a win against a playoff team, probably the best team in the AFC. We asked ourselves, 'Can we go on the road against a championship-caliber team and get the win?' and I think we answered that today. The key was our mindset. We didn't want to go on the road and make it a 'good' game. We wanted to come here for one thing and one thing only, and that's a win. The bottom line is, this team did what it took to win a game today."
S Damien Robinson on his game-saving interception:
"When I started to drift back and I saw the play coming my way, I said to myself, 'This guy will not come down with the ball.' I wasn't sure if I was going to get it but I knew I had to keep him from catching it, and I did. Luckily, I was able to get the ball in the process."
LB Shelton Quarles, on his interception, which set up a field goal late in the first half:
"When I got injured on the second play of the game, I felt bad because I didn't want to let my team down when they needed me. I was hoping I could just help out in any way possible. On the interception, I was just dropping back in zone coverage and Derrick made a great play by tipping the ball and I was in the right place. I thought to myself, 'I can not drop this ball.' Luckily, I didn't. As I said, I'm just thankful I got the opportunity to contribute and make a play."
Robinson with a final thought on that Bucs-Dolphins rivalry:
"There was a lot of talk out there, but it's an in-state rivalry, so you expect that. It was fun, a lot more fun when we win."