Johnson, who caught two touchdown passes in the victory, said that this was the type of game for which he was brought to Tampa
When Keyshawn Johnson, he of the two key touchdown catches Monday night, finally stepped down from the podium, it was nearly 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Johnson had followed Head Coach Tony Dungy, QB Shaun King and RB Warrick Dunn into the specified press conference room, while the rest of the team stayed in the locker room for the same purpose.
No one seemed concerned about the time, and not only because Tuesday is a day off for the Buccaneers. Monday's game was so thrilling, and the rewards so deep – Tampa Bay clinched a playoff spot with the win – that the Bucs didn't want to let go too quick.
Here are just a few of their post-game thoughts.
Head Coach Tony Dungy on the shootout: "We haven't been involved in too many games like that. You saw a championship team (in the Rams) and they played a heck of a second half. But our guys never quit. Our offense has taken a lot of criticism, but I think this game proved what we are made of. It feels good to be in the playoffs. I have a lot of confidence in our team. When we are playing good ball, we can do what it takes to win."
Dungy on Warrick Dunn: "Warrick has made big play after big play for us. It seems like the more opportunities he gets, the more he does. He can make things happen for this team."
WR Reidel Anthony on the unexpected scoring binge: "Our goal has been to go the Super Bowl. Each week it is a different part of the team that wins the game. This week it was the offense."
RB Warrick Dunn on the Bucs' offense: "This is one of the biggest games I have played in. Shaun King was just calling for the ball. We just wanted to play well and get to the playoffs. We tried to take advantage of their mistakes, we moved the football and we played together as a team. It wasn't just the defense, the offense got us on the board, too."
WR Keyshawn Johnson on the offense and his role in it: "When they scored, we had to answer the call. We weren't far behind. This is why I came here, for games like this. To get in the playoffs and help us win championships. As long as we handled the ball well, we knew we could win."
John Lynch on his massive hit on Marshall Faulk: "I got a good lick on him. He was running full speed and I just squared up on him."
DT Warren Sapp on the back and forth game: "We came into this football game with a purpose and a mindset that we had to get it done. We kept punching them and we finally got a knockout. They got loose, but we hung together as a team and we got it done. It's 'Bucball,' baby – whatever it takes."
The Rams had some thoughts on the game as well, though they were obviously less satisfied by the final result.
Head Coach Mike Martz on the narrow loss: "I thought we had the thing won. It came down to two plays. We had Dunn hemmed in there and then he made the pitch. On the third-and-five, I wanted to force them to go the distance with no timeouts, and that's why we ran the ball. We are not out of this. We have a chance to be 10-6. We are going to go down to New Orleans and get after it."
Martz on Dunn and Marshall Faulk: "Warrick is a very fine player. He is a very similar player to Marshall (Faulk). He can do the same things Marshall can. Faulk is the MVP of this league."
RB Marshall Faulk on the devastating defeat: "The loss has not set in yet. I think coming in we were even-keel from a team standpoint. We both knew what to expect from each other, we just didn't make enough plays."
Faulk on his four touchdowns: "It doesn't mean anything. I would trade them all for another Super Bowl. When we wanted to run, we were effective. We took advantage of what we did well, but it was just not enough."
QB Kurt Warner on the loss: "I am disappointed. It was right there to take and we didn't finish the deal. It is frustrating knowing going into next week, even if we win, we don't control our own destiny, and up to this point, we did. Everyone competed out there today, but it all goes to the wayside when you don't win and that is the tough part. We got 35 points on the board against this team. You try not to force things against their defense because they make plays."