BUCS HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN (Gruden on WR Michael Clayton’s play) “Mike doesn’t show up on the stat sheet today but what he does is earn some stickers for his helmet. You’re going to see more and more of Clayton, I think we only threw the football 15 or 16 times. Mike obviously made some huge assists on that big break-away play on third-and-long.”
(Gruden on the defense) “It makes a difference, you know. It’s a lot more fun to call plays when you’re in that field position. Cato June showed up and had a couple big hits today, cleaning up the piles. I was really pleased overall with the defense today. We did have some sluggish areas there with substitution. I think we took three or four defensive timeouts. Given the heat today and difficulty rotating players with the prolonged two-minute drill, there are some excuses. Sometimes that happens but overall I was pleased with the performance of our defense.”
(Gruden on running hard) “We made a big deal of it last night and it’s a credit to him; that was hard yardage. They are a team that is very capable of knocking the run out. We tried single back sets, double tight-ends, open back looks. They did a nice job of creating stalemates, congesting running lanes and every yard Cadillac got today, he earned. He did score two touchdowns, which was a big question in some people’s eyes whether he could be a good goal-line runner. I think he proved he is not only good but could be outstanding.”
(Gruden on the importance of the win) “This is a whole new team; we have seven new starters on offense. I don’t know how many new guys we have. Rookie players are contributing on special teams and winning the football games. With Brian Kelly not even performing today against a team like [the Saints] that says a lot. We needed a win, heck that’s why we work.”
(Gruden on QB Jeff Garcia and his enthusiasm) “I think you’ll find that he is a different character. He doesn’t like some of the plays I call, he’s seen that book before, he’s got great passion to complete and perform. I learned a lot about him last week. I learned a lot more about him this week. Hopefully in the coming weeks we can do a better job of collaborating on the game plan and making sure when we show up on Sunday we like every play in the plan.”
(Gruden on improved quarterback play between this year and last year) "The biggest play of the football game was Garcia's scramble on third down of the opening drive. He went in there head-first trying to get the first down and I thought he got knocked-out honestly. You just don't go in [head-first] like that as a quarterback. It just says a lot. It sends a message to the defense , 'If our quarterback is going to stick his face in there for us, we're going to stick our face in there for him,' and I think it's a healthy, exciting change honestly. Hopefully we can see a lot more of what he did today."
(Gruden on the Bucs controlling both the offense and defense) "Obviously we had some sluggish drives where we got shut out on our early down runs. We got behind a little bit in the downing distance. Fortunately the play-action-pass was a big part of the win today. I was impressed. It was extremely hot. It was hot on our fans – I saw them out there sweating in the stands. To be a 300-pound guy and play 70 or 73 snaps – that's a real physical challenge and I think for the most part we met the challenge."
(Gruden on WR Joey Galloway's performance where he caught four passes for 135 yards) "If you put [all of of his plays] on a reel and watched them, you'd say 'holy craney' this guy's a phenomenal talent. You don't do that often in pro football – to catch four passes for 135 yards. He's 36-years old. So if I get any credit today, I hope I get credit for resting him on Wednesdays and during training camp [laughs]."
(Gruden on if he's tired of seeing Galloway slow down at the ten yard line as part of his touchdown celebration) "That's a guy that truly loves that moment. I think he understands it. We've pointed it out not once, not twice, but a million times. I have to catch my breath after he crosses the goal line. I want our players to have fun. I want them to represent the city of Tampa that way, and sometimes a little show is not a bad thing as long as it doesn't bite us. Believe me, I yell and scream at him for it, but I'd like to see a lot more of that this year."
(Gruen on if today is a catalyst for better things to come this season) "I just don't like to get into that deep, philosophical, story-telling mode. No disrespect, but we played good enough to win last week. If those special teams – if those returns hold, if we make another play here or there – we're going to win a big game on the road against a great opponent. And today we made the plays. Next week it's the Saint Louis Rams and I promise you – [quarterback] Marc Bulger is as good as there is, [running back] Steven Jackson might be the best overall back in football, and [defensive end] Leonard Little was unblockable the last time we saw him. We're just going to have a short-term memory – we're going to try to play this season by quarters – and if we can hang around and continue to improve, we might have a good football team at the end of the year."
(Gruden on it being a long time since the Bucs won a division game) "Well last year when we played the Saints, we filled up the [Super] Dome and we had an opportunity to win it. We had a big play by [WR Ike] Hilliard canceled down at the 2-yard line. We had a chance to win, and [Saints running back] Reggie [Bush] made a long punt return that knocked us out. We were right in the football game with a rookie quarterback. We talked about that all summer and all spring. We knew we were going to have an opportunity to avenge those losses and we'll have another opportunity to try and get a sweep later this season. [New Orleans] is a very talented NFC football team and to get a leg-up on them in our division is something we're excited about."
(Gruden on using different coverages on defense by rotating the linebackers in and out, particularly WLB Derrick Brooks) "It'll be a front-page bigger issue when you take [linebacker] Derrick Brooks out of the game. I want to be honest with the fans, I want to be honest with you, and I want to be honest with our players – [linebacker] Cato June's a great player. It is 107-degrees heat index on the field, they're passing every down, and we're going to have a great nickel WLB on the field. That's my message to Derrick and Cato – 'between the two of you guys, we're going to have a great nickel WLB.' If we can get those two guys to work together – I know we can – that'll be a real, real improvement for us. Derrick Brooks is still a great, gifted player when he's healthy and fresh – I think that proved true today."
(Gruden on the pass-rush) "It wasn't good enough, honestly. [Quarterback Drew Brees] is standing there, throwing 50 times and every time he threw it, it was a predictable passing situation. They're behind, down 31-7 and they get 20-22 great looks with that pass rush – I wasn't happy with that aspect of our football team today. Although we got some congestion around them and we did get a couple plays, the pass rush just isn't good enough. Until it is, we're not going to win a Super Bowl. We have to win with a tremendous pass rush that you know about and that everybody in the world knows about. I think we're lacking there right now and we've got to continue to work at it."
BUCS CORNERBACK PHILLIP BUCHANON (Bucs CB Phillip Buchanon on the importance of beating the Saints) “It’s definitely a big win for us because as the Bucs have been playing last year [we] have really been struggling. Since I came here last year during the season, we have been struggling. Right now this win is going to count for us and hopefully help us with the rest of the season.”
(Buchanon on if he wants a chance to do over some third-down conversions) “I can’t rewind back the time. All I can do is just go head and deal with my plays and get ready for St. Louis. St. Louis has some great wide receivers. They have Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, [Drew] Bennett and they have a good quarterback so you have to get ready to play and they have a good defense so you have to be ready.”
BUCS WIDE RECEIVER JOEY GALLOWAY (Galloway on his success against the New Orleans Saints) “It’s really not me. They gave us some opportunities and Jeff [Garcia] made the plays today. He made great throws and when we see certain looks offensively, and we always say, take what they give us, and they gave us a chance to get on their safeties a few times, and Jeff made a nice throw.”
(Galloway on his multiple chances) “I think offensively when your defense gives you the ball back in really good field position, it changes the mindset of the offense and it also changes the mindset of the defense. The third time we stayed on the ball, which makes them then scramble around and call their defense on the run and Jeff [Garcia] made a nice throw and we made a big play.”
(Galloway on the offense feeding off the defense) “Anytime our defense goes out and plays the way they did today, anytime we get the ball back on the 40 or 50-yard line, it makes it a lot easier and it makes it more fun to play offense when it happens. Really, the game they played today, if they’re going to play that kind of defense, if that’s the way they’re going to be, then we can win a lot of games here.”
(Galloway on if he saw anything from the Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints game film) “I don’t know that you look at an offensive tape from another team and say that’s encouraging. I think you see some things and you try to fit it into your offense. We always feel like if we can get a free release and get a good run at a safety, regardless of who it is, we feel like we can find some success versus defenses. I think everyone came in talking about [CB Jason David] and I think he had a bad game versus the Colts and I think people took that as that’s the kind of guy he was, and I don’t believe that. Everyone’s a professional and it was different. I think he played a different game today, and we beat some other guys. We found some success in other places.”
(Galloway on the production of the offense) “It makes it fun. It’s good to do it at home, it’s good to do it against a team like the Saints. They’re a very good football team, everyone knew that coming in. I don’t think anyone really gave us a chance to win this game except ourselves, to go out and get a big win this early in our season, we have to build on that. We didn’t play our best game, but we played a good one.”
BUCS QUARTERBACK JEFF GARCIA (Garcia on sustaining drives and being productive on offense) “It definitely happened. It starts up front, the offensive line did a great job up front. They have a good front four from the Saints and [they] controlled the line of scrimmage. It wasn’t that we had slow methodical drives and there were a couple drives where we did pound our way down the field, but we were able to hit some big plays. Joey [Galloway] came up with some big plays today. The defense played outstanding versus a good Saints offense. It was just a matter of taking care of business in the redzone.
(Garcia on the offensive line from last week to this week) “I think the offensive line, when called upon, did a great job of protecting and it was just one of those things where things clicked today. They did an outstanding job of coming out prepared and seizing the task at hand and taking care of business. It made us feel really comfortable back in the pocket to a point of being able to find our receivers and make plays down the field,”
(Garcia on scoring the first touchdown) “It was a big step. I think it is something that we feel and realize in ourselves that it’s just a matter of execution. We found out ways to execute today and to take care of our opportunities on the field. [We found out ways] to be able to create distance from the other team by putting points on the board and not settling for field goals in the redzone. Having the big play ability and Joey [Galloway] out on the field, Joey made some tremendous plays and created some opportunities when the momentum was in our direction.”
(Garcia on creating opportunities with WR Joey Galloway) “They played us very similar to how they played the Colts last week. It was picking and choosing your time and creating opportunities down the field and that’s what the Colts did and that’s what we were able to do. We were able to find some opportunities down the field and Joey [Galloway], it’s no secret he has great speed, [and] he has great acceleration. He creates opportunities on the field. We did a great job of hitting him on the slant and giving him an opportunity to catch the ball on the run, then a great block by WR Michael Clayton sprung him for the touchdown and then finding him over the middle a couple times against a cover-two zone. It was one of those things where we felt that we take advantage of certain opportunities. We were fortunate to do that today, [and] things aren’t going to come like that all the time. When the opportunity strikes you have to be ready for it and you have to give him an opportunity to make a play and he made some great ones today.”
BUCS LINEBACKER CATO JUNE (June n the defense getting an early start which led to a touchdown) “That’s what we’re trying to do, go out there and get the ball back for our offense. Three-and-outs, turnovers and just try to do our job. Maybe we can kick start, like you said, and get a seven-point lead.”
(June on the 14-0 lead and the defense) “They have one or two things. They can stick to their game plan or they can go into a more passing mode. We feed off the offense and the offense feeds off us and that’s how we make the game go by. Everybody wants to feed off everybody. The energy levels are high and everyone wants to be the one to make that play.”
(June on the physicality that was established early by the Buccaneers) “That’s the way you want to hit and run. That’s what football is all about. You have to tackle, hit and run, block, catch and just protect the football. It’s pretty simple. When you have guys flying around and want to make that play and defensively want to hit the ball carrier with the ball or anybody, just hit and run and play fast and have a good time out there.”
(June on his interception) “When you get the opportunity to make a play you have to capitalize. The Bucs defense, we expect to make big plays. It’s not about you make a good play, no we expect you to make the plays you’re in the position to make.”
BUCS RUNNING BACK CADILLAC WILLIAMS (Williams on his injury) “The ribs did good. I was so worried about it last night. I didn’t go to bed until 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning. I was just up thinking about it. I didn’t know how I was going to react to a hit. Truth be told, it was still real sore. I had a problem breathing here and there. I just felt good. I felt like if I could come out here and move around a little bit, and it only hurt a little bit, I felt like I could give it a try and take it play by play.”
(Williams on performance in the red zone) “It is big for us to score touchdowns in the redzone instead of field goals, real big for us. This whole week we really focused on the redzone. Coach Gruden didn’t panic about our redzone. For some reason we didn’t make plays in he redzone last week, but it was big for us to get touchdowns in the red zone.”
(Williams on being surprised to get the ball in the red zone) “As long as I am healthy and I can go I am sure my number will be called. I was looking forward to it.”
(Williams on the feeling of getting the ball in the red zone) “I didn’t know how it felt. I had one last year the second game of the season. So it has been a long time since me and my buddy the end zone communicated.”
(Williams on the pain from his injury) “It was cool. I am not going to make myself some macho man.”
BUCS WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL CLAYTON (On his block for Joey Galloway in the second quarter than paved the way for a 24-yard touchdown) With [wide receiver] Joey Galloway being one of the fastest guys in the league, he can go to the house. I saw him coming across the middle and saw that I had a great opportunity to lay a block and that's just what I do.
(On the importance of winning a division game) "It's very big. We haven't had a lot of wins around here lately. The things that we put on tape last week – even though we lost – we knew we could have the opportunity to be productive. We came here and corrected and we executed tonight. Our offense came fired up, we made some big plays, and it was a very big win."
(On the difference between scoring touchdowns today versus field goals in Seattle) "Sometimes you have those days. It's going to happen and obviously that's what happened to us last week. Tonight we came out and we played a great game. We played against a great football team. We executed well and we got the job done."
BUCS CORNERBACK RONDE BARBER (Barber on today's win and the key to the defense's performance) "It's nice to score points and win football games in convincing fashion. It's been a long time since we've done that. It felt like a complete win. I think it started early with the way our defense came outt- we really hit them and we really hustled to the ball. [Safety] Jermaine [Phillips] was as physical of a presence as he's ever been. I think a key to our defense being good was just to set the tone."
(Barber on comparisons to the Bucs 'defense of old') "Well that Bucs 'defense of old' is long done. I was telling a couple of people last week that we have to let that go, man. This has got to be our new defense. This has got to be who we establish ourselves to be now. I think we got off to a fast start. During the first half against Seattle, we felt like [how we felt] the whole game today and that's what we really wanted."
(Barber on the defense starting to mesh and create its own identity) "Success will make that happen I think. It's easy to talk about it but until you go out there and do it and have something quantifiable to say 'this is how we're going to play this year' – that's where we're at right now."
(Barber on how much this team needed to win) "We needed to win at home. It's funny. We were losing last year and fans were emptying out of the stadium. We're winning big this year and fans are still emptying out of the stadium. I guess we'll take it in this manner rather than the other, but we needed to establish something here at Raymond James Stadium and it felt good."
BUCCANEERS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MONTE KIFFIN (Kiffin on how important this win was to the team) "This is what it's all about. I still think the team had a lot of confidence coming in. Our defense is feeding off of Garcia, no doubt about that. When he makes explosive plays like that, we step it up, and we've just got to keep it going. And the way it turned out – this is a division team. This isn't like Buffalo coming in here; this is the New Orleans Saints. They were the division champions last year. And then Atlanta gets beat and Carolina gets beat – this is a big, big win for us. And we're at home again next week."
(Kiffin on some of the young players stepping up) "We've got a lot of new guys in there playing – [defensive end] Gaines [Adams] is in there, [defensive tackle Greg] Peterson, a sixth-round draft pick. You know Greg was supposed to be a practice squad player where you make a team and are a practice squad player for a year – he's playing! [Linebacker]Quincy Black's in there. We've just got a lot of young players so it's all new to them. We could be better and better. We're not great yet."
Some Bucs post-game quotes courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers public relations staff.
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