Post-game quotes courtesy of the Bucs public relations staff and Buccaneers.com.
Head Coach Raheem Morris
Opening Statement The obvious disappointment. You come out here to London and you would like to get a win and we didn't. Didn't play as well as we would like to. Did see some good things, some positive things, but with that, I'll open up to questions.
On the change of quarterbacks More opportunity to evaluate our people. Neutral ground, you have the interception early, any time you get an opportunity to get a pick off and score a touchdown, gets away, but the thing about it, your team kept fighting, the thing was 21 7 for a while; the defense came up with some big plays on Tom Brady with the two interceptions, two huge plays. They made some plays on us. It's tough playing against a quarterback like that. You have to make some decisions you might not necessarily want to. Some of those situations, some of those situations you have to make playing against Tom Brady, but when you have those opportunities he made, that's what great quarterbacks do.
On blitzing to start the second half You're talking about Tom Brady, moving the ball down the field, you make a decision to go after them, you go get after him and he comes out in a slot formation, did a better job of beating Geno (Hayes) there, we lost in man coverage, one of those situations when you talk about Tom Brady being special and recognizing the mismatch, you have to be able to hide it a little bit better. We can make that play and I've seen Geno make it before, and I've seen him make it on tight ends. It wasn't like a mismatch that we didn't feel very comfortable with but their guy made a better play and their guy made a better throw and they won there.
On the decision to punt from the 35 Not to give Tom Brady the deadly throw of giving him the ball right there on the 35. Tom gets the ball with the short field, he's going to put a dagger in you; try to keep him backed up. When we had him backed up a couple of times, we forced a punch on him and the one thing he's going to do is assume late first downs. You don't want to give him the ball there with two first downs and give him the opportunity to get more field goals and points. If we can hold him back and get an interception or something like that from him, we feel good about the decision, but Tom, he's the guy that changed the game, he's the guy you worry about constantly and worry about field position with. When you have a great quarterback like that, that's what he does and that's what he will do for you.
On Wes Welkers crossing routes He's a problem and he has a great quarterback that understands every defense, every situation that you're in, and you don't get lucky and go ten for ten when you target a guy ten times, you hit him ten times, you know exactly when you want to get it to him and you know exactly when he has the ability to get the ball. A lot of short passes that he has great ability to get the ball and run the game. I told him after the game, get out of the game; and he knows it, and he's a great guy and a great human and I know him personally and that's probably why he gave me more of a dagger today.
On if his players were slipping on the turf I don't know, but the Patriots, I don't get into that as an excuse really. The Patriots slipped as well. They slipped to 35 points and we slipped to 7 and gave up 35 and two interceptions. The game is what it is, and the field is what it is. Great field, great atmosphere, weird atmosphere. It's not a problem. I've seen a couple of games here where it's cold; and we have a beautiful day with beautiful atmosphere and beautiful fans and a great tempo.
On the Bucs getting better as a team You know, you've seen them get better every single week besides the one setback with the Giants which I really felt was a setback. You came out today and played a really dominant team in the Patriots, nobody blinked and everybody remained unwavered. We had guys that were very emotional guys and got guys on the sidelines that come off and they were adapting themselves very quickly; one talking to and they are good. They are back in the game and back in focus and we are doing what we can and for him to step up and play Randy Moss as well as he did was a credit to him. With the success today, from the whole play, Jackson, coming back playing very well; Ronde Barber played very well. We need to play better and we need to play better across the board. We'll get better as a team. Everybody I'm not going to say the word again, I think you guys all know that, we all know that and that's who and what we are, and there's no excuse for losing. I'm not going to use that anymore. I'm done.
QB Josh Johnson
On how he feels Honestly I feel fine. With the interception, the first one, we had a route where he gets to choose if he wants to break it or hook it and he hooked it. I kind of anticipated that he might break it out because I knew the coverage they were playing so he hooked it and I threw it. My fault. We took more shots and tried to push the ball down the field. In regards to the incompletions, we were trying to push it down the field and they were covering underneath things, and that's kind of been our thing, underneath routes, getting the ball out of my hand and we were trying to push it down the field. And then the second interception was me trying to make a play, pretty much, and not being on the same page with the receiver. The third one, it was in the half, just put the ball on the play. It never really felt out of sync. I felt like we always had a chance to move the ball. I mean, we got our running game going. Passing game, it was up and down. We had our ups and downs and it was frustrating but we kept fighting on the offensive side of the ball. We had opportunities at the end of the game to put points on the board and unfortunately we weren't able to do that. It was frustrating but I mean, I got one thing I'm most frustrated in myself about was just the turnovers. That's what hurt us. I feel like that hurt us a lot, because our defense played they played pretty well. It's going to be tough on them if we put them in bad situations to stop an offense with Tom Brady and Wes and Randy Moss over there. It's tough. We knew we had to do some things on the offensive side of the ball we weren't able to do that.
On if the speed of the game in the NFL is a problem No, the speed of the game is not the issue. The guys, they just weren't making plays. Most of my turnovers have been when I try to do too much, trying to do trying to give big plays. That has been the problem and trying to do too much on all those picks. All those picks, even the one last week, I tried to throw the one underneath. Today probably could have had an underneath route. And me being a mobile guy, that's what's most frustrating about it because I can do things with my feet but just trying to do things down the field and give guys opportunities to make plays. The speed of the issue is not the issue. We have playmakers on this team. The issue is me trying to do too much.
On what he likes about the team One thing about this team, we will fight. We will keep playing until it's 00:00 left on the scoreboard. That's always something you can learn from that. When you lose there's always positives to take out of the situation because it's a loss and we are 0 7 right now. We have to go into this bye week and we have to become a better team and do better all around. Offensively, we have to put more points on the board, because to help our defense out, we have to sustain drives so they won't be on the field as much.
On how to make the team better as the quarterback I have to eliminate turnovers. From my end one thing that we can do is not turn the ball over and that's what I did. Everyone has done things that played a part us in us losing games, but I know for me it's been turnovers, and turnovers in this league is what changed the games around, because thats all it takes, and all our losses have been maybe four or five plays that just makes the game just go get out of hand. And for me as a quarterback, that's one thing I have to grow upon is just throwing the ball away, or taking the check down here, just have to be less aggressive when it's unnecessary. I guess that's the way to put it, because all those turnovers were me trying to do too much.
On what the conversation between him and Coach Morris was when he was replaced I told him, you don't have to say anything, I understand. Just the same situation as Byron. If we don't win games, maybe Josh is going to play. I understood what was going on when I first was the starting quarterback. I knew that once these games are out of hand that I might come out of the game. And I told him, I totally understand. I understand the whole situation right now, and it's perfectly fine. I have gotten an opportunity to play four games and who knows what happens after this, but I've gotten a lot better and I appreciate the experience I've had in the past four games. I've grown a lot as an NFL quarterback in these last four games and without that opportunity, I might be behind right now. All I can do is get better from it, and whatever happens, happens, and I know that next time I get the opportunity to play on the field, I've just got to do better, because all it boils down to is consistency, wins, and that's pretty much it. No matter what you do individually, it really doesn't matter if the team isn't winning games, and it all falls on the shoulders of the quarterback and I totally understand the whole situation and whatever happens, happens. I am a player on this team, and I will do whatever I can do to help us win football games, because that's all it's about right now is us winning football games.
CB Ronde Barber
On the game starting out badly Yeah, seems like a lot of games we are starting behind the 8 ball. You know, Josh has that interception to start the game, has not played a defensive snap. It's happened a couple of times this year. But I felt like we were morale was still high. We still felt like we had time to get back in it. It's hard to answer your question. A loss is a loss no matter what it looks like. You know, if we lost that game by seven points, or what did we lose it by, 20 something, still, it feels bad. But we had some three and outs against a really good offense. Tom was sharp. We were sharp, too. We made some plays on him. We doubled his interception total to four. That's something to pat ourselves on the back for. But at the end of the day, they were just too much. He had a lot of time and he found his guys.
On how the Patriots used Wes Welker To tell you the truth, we knew they had some screens in their offense. I didn't see that many in a two season cut up. They really attacked our coverage, got those linemen out front who made some plays. I think he caught four of them today. So you know, you give them credit. They took it to their to our weaknesses and they found a way.
On Wembley Stadium It's nice. Great stadium. It's a great stadium. I think we are all pretty excited about being here for sure. The turf to me was better than it's been in the past, even though it still was a little slick. But you know, it felt really like a northeast game for us. There's some turfs up north that feels like that. But the stadium and atmosphere were great. They did their best to simulate a home game for us, and I think I was talking to Neil over here and he said it would have been easy for the fans to turn for New England but it was a pretty balanced crowd. It was good. It was a nice experience.
On Josh Freeman We practice against him every week. He's been scout team quarterback for the past three weeks or so. Josh is starting to get it. Who knows what it will be like when you put him in front of a lot of bullets, but the kid has got a strong arm, he seems to have some poise about him, which will hopefully work for him down the road whenever he gets his shot, and I'm not sure when that's going to be. But you know, he's big, he's strong, he's got all the intangibles. On paper, he should be good. Let's see what he looks like when he has to play.
C Jeff Faine
On having young quarterbacks Well, I don't think it's just limited to those guys. Even if the guys are not around the whole team, this is a very young team that has not played together for a long period of time. So those are part of the things. Those are growing pains all across the board, not just at the quarterback position. That's something we are having to deal with but I can't just peg it just on the quarterback position. That's something that we definitely just have to keep working through. It was a tremendous experience to be able to see, the little that I did see, the experience of playing in Wembley Stadium and really just experiencing the people themselves. They were very, very courteous and very, very nice. It was very refreshing to come over and to be supported so well.
On if the trip was challengin It's challenging from the standpoint of the flight. The time difference I didn't think it was too big of a difference because we play at this time anyways normally in the United States. It's basically 1 o'clock when we started the game. So the flight itself was a little taxing but the time difference was not that big of a deal.
On Josh Johnson in the huddle when the game was out of hand I thought that his character and his demeanor in the huddle was good. It was actually kind of weird. It was better than what it is in practice. You know, it was almost like he had to play under the lights to come in and really speak up. But you know, it is what it is. We are just getting them some reps and getting them a little game experience. I thought that Josh Johnson for the most part played a pretty good game. He was pressured for the most part a good bit. I think he did what he could do.