WR Keyshawn Johnson pleased Tony Dungy with his efforts
Like the rest of us, you've probably been waiting eagerly to see Keyshawn Johnson make his real debut in a Buccaneer uniform. He did so on Sunday in New England, catching four key passes for 64 yards and helping immeasurably with his downfield blocking.
Again, if you're like us, you probably found that effort rather pleasing. But is Tony Dungy like us?
"No, I thought Keyshawn was just okay, kind of just out there," said Dungy after the game.
Okay, we admit it, Dungy was kidding. The rest of his postgame question-and-answer session was very straightforward, however, and we've got a good portion of what he had to say below. That includes a more honest appreciation of what Johnson provided.
"Keyshawn adds a dimension to us," said Dungy. "He made some big plays off the play-action. He was into it, and he dictates some things. People do some things in coverage that help the other the guys. So he did a good job."
More from Dungy follows. After reading his thoughts, scroll a little farther to find out which Bucs are hurting after Sunday's win.
(on his feelings about the game) "In the NFL, you can never be unhappy with a road win, and we certainly aren't. Some things we did uncharacteristically today hurt us, but we were still able to come out with a win. We've got to be a little bit sharper, but I thought we played hard, played with emotion. We've just got to clean up the mistakes. New England's got a good team and we gave them some opportunities at the end, which we really can't afford to do. But we're happy with it and I think we're going to move on from here."
(on what those mistakes were) "We gave them 10 points on special teams. We've got to be able to play them even; we can't do that. Defensively, we gave up a couple long passes, and in the situation we gave them, we just can't do that.
"Offensively, we had three chances where if we just make a first down on any one of our last three drives, we pretty much close the game out. And that's how we're built. We should be able to do that. Those things we'll correct and I think get better."
(on the Bucs' mostly dominant defensive performance) We played well, other than one play. We give Terry Glenn a long pass, which you just can't do in that situation. Even if they score there, if we make them use another two minutes, the game was basically over. But I thought our defense played well. We rushed well when we got the opportunity. We didn't let Kevin Faulk break out on anything, which we did the earlier time we were up here."
(on Bucs' pass rush) "We've just got some good rushers. When you can tee off – and they were pretty much playing a one-dimensional game after the first quarter – that allows you to tee off and I thought our guys rushed well."
(on QB Shaun King) "I thought Shaun played well. This is a tough defense to play against. They give you a lot of looks, a lot of things out of 3-4, different blitzes. We had a couple people open and we hit them for the bigger gains, but he made the plays when they counted."
(on play-action) "That's something we work on. You try to get it at the right time and try to catch one guy not quite on his game, and that's what we did for the big plays."
(on Randall McDaniel in the backfield) "Until we get Rabih going – that's what we'd eventually like to do – or get Blake Spence more familiar with what we're doing, we thought that was our best group. Randall did a good job."
(on offensive line) "I thought our offensive line did well. We're disappointed, though, in the fourth quarter. That's when we usually take over and get 40 or 50 yards rushing and eat up the clock. We didn't do that today, so we'll have to get that going."
(on special teams) "We just have some young guys playing who have to understand the intensity of things in the regular season. We got the job done fairly well up here in the preseason, but in the regular season, I thought their guys just stepped it up. They blocked and ran well, and we've just got to make sure we pick it up."
(on Warrick Dunn) "Warrick was running well. We've got some good stuff in for him. Again, our running game for three quarters was very good. We just didn't close the door when we needed to in the fourth."
(on performance in the 'Green Zone') "Well, we didn't get down there as much as we would like to, but when we got down in there, we scored. That was a big part of the game. We got the turnover at the end and took it in. The two-minute drive, we scored on, which is something we didn't do a lot last year. So there were a lot of positives coming from this. As I said, we certainly aren't going to feel bad on the airplane going home with a win."
(on Johnson's effect on play selection) "We're going to do the things that we do. We feel like when they do crowd the line of scrimmage, that we can make some big plays. Keyshawn did that on some things to get us going, Jacquez made a couple of plays running after the catch. They're putting Ty Law on Keyshawn, and now they've got their second or third DB on some of our other guys. They have to come through. And that's what happens. We get a play from Reidel, we get a play from Jacquez. Keyshawn has an effect on what we're doing, but we're not changing the entire outlook of things."
(on emotions during final series) "I thought we'd be fine on the last series. I was very disappointed giving up the long pass. That was the one that really, for a defensive of our veteran-type group, you just can't have that when you're two scores behind. You're nervous and you want your guys to go out there and get the job done and close it out, but I thought we would. They didn't have a lot of time left."
Buccaneers.com caught up with the Bucs' training staff on the flight back to Tampa. The happy atmosphere of the plane wasn't dampened by any catastrophic injuries, but the Bucs do have a few worries.
CB Floyd Young is probably the most significant of the injuries. Young strained his left hamstring; the team will have a better feel for his immediate future on Monday.
G Frank Middleton suffered a left wrist sprain during the game and, for precautionary reasons, the team administered an X-ray. Team doctors examined the X-ray after the game and found no break.
RB Warrick Dunn, as you probably saw, spent a little time on the turf in the second quarter after absorbing a tough helmet-to-helmet blow from Lawyer Milloy. He strained a trapezius muscle but did return to the game. An X-ray on Dunn also showed no problem, and the training staff said he is 'doing good.'
Finally, S John Lynch sustained a right thigh contusion during the third quarter. It shouldn't keep him out of next Sunday's game, but he may be slowed over the next few days.