Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the team’s 13-10 loss to the Dolphins
“I don’t have any injuries to report at this time. We had some penalties; two on defense, one on offense in the first half. Third-down plays that hurt us in this game, turnovers; you can’t turn the ball over in the areas of the field that we did tonight and expect to win. There were some good things.”

Gruden on quarterback Bruce Gradkowski
“He’s going to be a heck of young quarterback. He is a heck of a young quarterback. He made a couple great audibles. The Dolphins do a great job, as we all know, blitzing. The next play it looks like a blitz and it isn’t. It’s tough defense to move the ball against and he made some great plays, decisions, throws. It is unfortunate the game ended the way it did, but [he] stood in there tough and really pleased with what he did tonight.”

Gruden on the starting offense and defense
“Starters, some of our guys did not play tonight, obviously, but our starting defense played two series, got off the field quickly. I though our offense did a nice job taking the first drive down for points and then once again a key third-down play, a big play, Ike Hilliard in Dolphin territory, called back for penalty. We weren’t able to take advantage of that offensively, but I was pleased with the way our offense and defense started this game tonight.”

Gruden on quarterback Chris Simms’ performance
“Well, I though the opening drive was good. I think the decision on a first-and-10 play, on their 15, on a naked bootleg, is one he wants back, but he puts points on the board in the opening possession against a heck of a defense. I think the following possession he was victimized with a great throw on third down. Once again, we had some penalties to start us on the third possession, but I though he did some good things. We don’t want to take sacks. I would like to see us get rid of the ball a bit better in some situations, but I thought he did a good job. I was pleased overall with what he did.”

Gruden on the running game
“Well, you know, Miami is a good defensive team. They have a lot of veterans in their front with [Keith] Traylor and obviously, Zach Thomas and Kevin Carter. These guys have played the run very well for a long time and we knew it was going to be a great challenge. I thought [Mike] Alstott had three our four great runs early. We’re short on [running] backs right now. It was coach’s decision not to play [Carnell] ‘Cadillac’ [Williams]. [Michael] Pittman wasn’t really ready to go tonight, [he] has a little soreness in his foot, nothing serious. Once again, we rely on Carey Davis. No disrespect to Carey, but that is a tall order in a short week against a team like Miami. A credit to Miami, they are a good run-stopping defensive team and we didn’t do a good enough job.”

Bucs wide receiver Edell Shepherd on his touchdown reception from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski
“Like I’ve said plenty of times already, we knew it was going to happen from the snap. When the safety steps up on that kind of play, I’m going to go right by him. Or any of our receivers will go right by him. So, it was a good play for us.”

Bucs linebacker Jamie Winborn on the defensive performance
“We have to keep getting better. We didn’t win. It’s a fine line. We didn’t win. We did not play as well as we needed to play to win.”

Winborn on his personal performance
“Not as good as I wanted it to be. Some people may think it was. For me, I don’t ever play good enough. I know [there is] a lot of stuff I need to get better at. I made some plays. I just feel that I have to keep working.”

Bucs quarterback Bruce Gradkowski on completing big passes and his comfort level
“I think I’m more and more comfortable each game, but you just have to go with it and just come out and execute the plays that are called. Coach called a good game. You just have to execute them. The guys did a good job tonight, made some good plays and like I said, we fell short, which stinks, but we have to learn from it.”

Gradkowski on his touchdown pass to WR Edell Shepherd
“Edell was streaking through there. It was a great call at the time for what the Dolphins were doing and with his speed down the pipe like that, he made a great play. And I just threw it out there. I said, ‘Hey, let me just put air on it, let him make a play’ and he made a great play. That kind of sparked us and we have to come back and finish at the end.”

Gradkowski on the fourth-and-1 play that he converted by throwing a pass to WR Paris Warren
“[Coach Gruden] showed great confidence. It was a great play call. They were just loading the box because it was fourth-and-one and Paris Warren made a great catch, great route, and we were fortunate enough to get it there. That’s what sparked us to get in the end zone.”

Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber on the defense
“We had four guys that didn’t start for us; Simeon [Rice], Will [Allen], Derrick [Brooks] and Shelton [Quarles]. Overall, I think I was impressed with the first group. We were in there for two drives, we had two three and outs, and I think we had two or three sacks in our drives. So we got off to a fast start and that’s what we were talking about all week.”

Barber on how he felt the replacement starters fared
“Those guys are ready to play. Monte [Kiffin] always talks about having quality depth and it definitely showed up on that drive. We know what K.P. [Kalvin Pearson] can do in there, he’s been in there for us before. And with Barrett [Ruud] getting some time, that’s good for him in the long run. Overall, I was impressed with their play.”

Bucs wide receiver Michael Clayton on the offense
“We came out aggressive as an offense. We ran the ball well. We came out aggressive in the passing game, and we were able to get a couple of first downs and completions. That’s the mode we want Chris [Simms] to be in when we come out early for out regular season.”

Bucs quarterback Chris Simms on his performance
“I felt good. My legs are definitely 100 percent back. I’m feeling a little bit more into game-mode than I was last week. We will just take it game-by-game, and I know it’s going to get better and better and better as the season goes along.”

Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker on returning to action after missing playing time in training camp
“It felt good. I’m just trying to get my legs under me and get ready for the season. But it was good, it’s always good to be back on the field.”

Walker on how he felt physically
“I felt in shape. I didn’t worry about that. I’m just trying to get better out there and be at my best once the regular season rolls around.”

Bucs defensive tackle Anthony McFarland on the defense getting off the field with a three-and-out
“We came out early, that was our emphasis, not only for out first group but for the while team, to start fast. We want to just come out and set a tempo as far as the first group and let everyone else carry it on all night. I think we did a good job with that.”

McFarland on getting his first sack of the preseason
“We were just trying to come out and start fast. We had a good training camp. Barrett [Ruud] stepped up big tonight. Shelton [Quarles] couldn’t go tonight. And he stepped up big. And it showed that if something happened to Q [Quarles] and Q [Quarles] can’t go, then Barrett [Ruud] is ready to go.”



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7 years ago

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