Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the decision to rest some players
“[Cornerback] Brian Kelly was excused tonight for a personal matter. We hope to have him back soon. We’re with him and we understand his situation. [Running back] Carnell Williams and [wide receiver] Joey Galloway and some other players – [tackle] Kenyatta Walker – did not play tonight. It was a coach’s decision.”

Gruden on rookie wide receiver Maurice Stovall
“You should see some of the blocks he made. I realize it was only a preseason game, but my God. He’s a very physical guy and is a special competitor. The guy does not quit.”

Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice on the starting defense’s effort
“I liked the fact that we came off of the field and didn’t give up any [points]. I like our rush, it really came on. I thought we played really fast, that always aides a defense. What we have to work on is our coverage. It wasn’t real sharp like it should be. I think it will all come together. I know we have the pieces in place. It’s just the first time out, but I’m happy we didn’t give up any points. That’s really the main thing.”

Bucs running back Michael Pittman on his two fumbles
“We ran the ball pretty good. I need to hang on to the ball. I came in a little overexcited, overanxious and lost ball security trying to make big plays. Overall though, as a team, I think we did a good job running the ball for the first preseason game. But things can always get better. But like I said, I need to hold on to the football. I was just pressing and was a little nervous. That’s what you get the first preseason game. I need to go back and correct that. But as a team I think we are doing well right now.”

Bucs defensive tackle Chris Hovan on the defense’s outing vs. the Jets
“I liked the get off. I like the excitement, everyone running to the ball. First game getting a little rust off, we are going to get ready for the first game.”

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks on what he liked and what needed improvement
“We got some more plays than we anticipated, working on our conditioning. We had some third downs and we didn’t get off the field so we still have some areas we can improve in. But like I said we got off the field when it counted, we didn’t give up any points, but obviously we would like to get off the field a little sooner.”

Bucs DE Dewayne White on what the defense needs to work on
“You know it’s the preseason, you don’t really get the time to study a teams’ tendencies, so you can’t really come in with a game plan. Obviously, getting off on third downs, creating some turnovers and a couple of missed opportunities also had a lot of turnovers so we have to work on that, but for the most part I feel we did pretty good.”

Bucs quarterback Chris Simms on the offense’s effort
“We came out and played with some intensity. Of course we had some mistakes, but you expect that in the first preseason game but we did some things well, too. It is a good building block.”

Simms on what the offense needs to work on
“We have a whole lot of things to work out, I can’t even tell you what area. As a team we need to just keep being consistent and execute better.”

Simms on the play of rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski
“This is four minutes into the first quarter and I’m about to go in for my first snap and I look over and he’s throwing up on the sidelines. So I’d like you guys to rub that in a little. So I guess the old nerves got the best of him.”

Bucs rookie guard Davin Joseph on his debut
“It was intense. It was a great feeling to get out on the field with the fans going crazy. The guys were really pumped. It was amazing. I had a lot of fun out there.”

Bucs WR Maurice Stovall on his first touchdown
“It was very exciting. It was just a fade pattern. It’s something we do every day in practice in the 1-on-1’s. We work on our release and work on going up top and getting the ball, and that’s what I did.”

Gradkowski on his performance
“I think it went pretty well, but it’s easy when you can run the football and guys are making plays. Carey Davis was running the ball so hard and the offensive line was giving me time. Everyone made plays out there and we executed well. So that’s the whole reason we put together good drives.”

Gradkowski on his nerves before the game
“The nerves were running a little bit, but I was more excited and anxious. I hate sitting around waiting. But [Chris] Simms was giving me a hard time, but I used to [throw up on the sidelines] in college. Every time I did it, I knew it was going to be a good game.”

Gradkowski on the excitement of his first NFL game
“It was very exciting. My first debut in Tampa, and hearing these fans go nuts when I threw that first touchdown pass was amazing. Coming off the sidelines, especially with all the guys and getting the respect of the offensive line out there [was exciting]. That was the main key because you’re in the huddle with those guys. They did a great job tonight. Carey Davis was able to run the football. [Jerald] Sowell did a great job. Everybody else just did a great job. We all executed pretty well and that’s the reason for the good drives.”



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