DT Warren Sapp said the Bucs were confident that QB Shaun King could lead a last-minute rally
A grinder of a game at FedEx Field on Sunday turned into a roller-coaster of Buccaneer emotions during the last ten minutes of play. Elation, tension, despair…the Bucs ran through the gamut as they rallied spectacularly from a ten-point deficit but then lost in overtime thanks.
In the locker room afterward, the atmosphere was one of quiet anger, a sort of remorse over an opportunity lost. In that atmosphere, the coaches and players took stock of where they stood after their second consecutive loss. Here are some of their thoughts from Sunday.
Following the quotes, you'll find an update of the Bucs' injury situation, as reported by the team's training staff during the plane flight home.
Tony Dungy on the loss: "We played with effort and played a good team, but not well enough to win. They played well on offense and held us back until the last two minutes. I thought we ran the ball well enough in the first half. We had a chance to come back and probably had our best drive of the night."
Dungy on scoring just 17 points: "The whole day we were close but not close enough. We've got to be sharper all the way around, have less penalties and make the big plays. We just have to play better. You've got to be able to move the ball, and we will. When you play a good team, you have to play 60 minutes hard and smart. We have to be a little more consistent. We will have some growing pains."
Dungy on Washington's defense: They have a very good defense. They have lots of Pro Bowlers and number-one draft picks and they play very well."
Ronde Barber on the Bucs' run defense: "Last week, Curtis Martin got 90 yards on us. I'm not sure how much Stephen Davis got. I mean, that's the key to our defense and we're not doing too well right now."
**Barber on the feelings about the last-minute loss: "We played hard. It hurts to lose when you play hard, but that's the NFL. You don't usually blow teams out in this league. I don't know. We were in position to win at the end, but give them credit. They got it done."
Barber on Deion Sanders' return:We had kept him in check pretty much all day. I don't know what happened. We'll see it on film tomorrow and evaluate. He made some great, great plays. He makes big plays in big games, and he's done it many times before."
Barber on the Bucs' 3-2 record: "It's still early. It's still early. You can't fault our effort. We played hard. We need to get back to playing Buc ball and we'll win some ballgames."
Warren Sapp on Stephen Davis' TD run: "It was just one play. We didn't spill it right. We didn't play it right and he cut back on us. We still can't let him go all the way down the field on us. We've got to get him on the ground. He's a good running back. He found the hole and went all the way to the house."
Sapp on the near-comeback: "We were never out of it. You're never too far ahead and never too far behind in this league. We found that out last week and we got in a position to win it this week, but we just couldn't get it done."
Sapp on Shaun King's calm leadership in the comeback: "That's just our quarterback. We knew he wasn't going to waver in any situation we had. He's been out there in games that were more chaotic than that and he's come through for us. So we knew we had a shot in this ballgame. We just had to make the plays down the stretch, and we didn't."
Keyshawn Johnson on the Bucs' problem getting passes downfield: "We're just not getting it done. That's the problem. Right now we're just trying to get a win under our belt. Maybe we're just not executing properly."
Johnson on solving those problems: "Keep working. Keep working on it. It's still early. There are a lot of games left and we have a tough one next week. The ride home will be said now and you think about it. Once you got off the plane, you forget about it and concentrate on next week. We'll figure it out. Don't start to panic, because I'm not."
Johnson on King's confidence: "I don't think Shaun's panicking at all. He'll get in his rhythm. He needs to. He had a couple of drives there where he threw the ball well when we started to do it. I think that will carry over. We're a good football team."
The Bucs left the locker room a few minutes later, boarding buses for the airport. On the flight back, most of the team relaxed, watched the movie 'Boiler Room' or had dinner. The training staff attended to the various players who had incurred injuries, treating the pains and making preliminary diagnoses.
There were five players on the trainers' postgame injury report:
· WR Karl Williams suffered a left knee sprain while returning a punt in the third quarter; · LB Jamie Duncan sustained a concussion during a collision with another player; · CB Ronde Barber has a contusion on his right arm; · DT Anthony McFarland incurred a left arm contusion; and · G Frank Middleton was the victim of a right knee sprain.
No long-range outlook was available on any of the injured players. Dungy will address each player's status on Monday during his day-after-the-game press conference. **