BUCS LOCKERROOM POST-GAME QUOTES

(On Buccaneers Radio Network)

MLB BARRETT RUUD

(On the disappointing loss to Seattle)

“Basically it was about execution I think. I think we were in a position to make a lot of plays and we just missed a few tackles and on a couple of long passes, coverage was there but [Seattle] made the play and we didn’t. That was kind of the story of the game.”

(On key plays in the second half, including a turnover the Bucs’ offense couldn’t take advantage of, whereas Seattle created a turnover and was able to capitalize)

“We had good coverage on it too, but sometimes plays don’t go your way. Basically, the key now is you’ve got to look at the tape on Monday, you’ve got to fix your problems and you’ve got to be ready for Week Two.”

(On the team’s missed tackles and the need for sure tackling)

“It’s one thing to miss tackles, running the ball is key, but those open-field tackles – they’re critical. But people are going to miss tackles and that’s why we stress running to the ball. Hopefully we can see maybe there was some opposition and what not, but we should be able to clean up those missed tackles.”

(On the game becoming a fourth-quarter battle)

“We’re two good teams. Seattle’s a good team, I’m not going to say they’re not good – they’ve been to the playoffs the last two years. They went to the Super Bowl two years ago. But we had chances to win the game, we’ve got to see what we did wrong and we’ve got to move on to next week.”

QB LUKE McCOWN

(On coming in for injured QB Jeff Garcia and what the team did wrong in the second half)
”You’ve got to give [Seattle] a lot of credit – they played a lot of zone [defense] and they played it well. I think when we look at the tape we’ll [see there were] certainly some things we could have done better. But you’ve got to give them credit – they’re a hell of a defense and they did a good job of covering up our options. We’ve got to find ways to make plays.”

(On penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities on third down)

“You really put yourself behind the eight ball when you have turnovers. We’ve got to do our best to avoid those situations and keep the defense off the field.”

(On finishing drives)

“That’s the name of the game, especially on offense. When you have opportunities and you’re able to put things together and get down into the scoring zone – you’ve got to be able to finish people off and get points out of it one way or the other.”

FB MICHAEL PITTMAN

(On finishing drives and getting the ball downfield)

“We got the ball down to the end zone a few times where we couldn’t cap the drive and had to settle for field goals, and turnovers – things like that. We’re basically a good team but you can’t make mistakes. You have to get the ball in the end zone and put points on the board, and as a team, we didn’t do that. Turnovers will kill you all the time and we have to score against Seattle to win.”

(On what aspects of Seattle’s defense presented problems for the Bucs)

“What they did is what we prepared for. They didn’t do anything that we didn’t prepare for. They played great defense and as an offense, we’ve got to finish. We didn’t finish a couple times when we got down in the red zone and those plays are big. If we had those touchdowns, it would have been a lot closer game. If we had a couple of turnovers, maybe we could have even won the game.”

(On penalties and mistakes)

“Even though we had a long trip, it’s no excuse to play the way we did. We played a harder course, but at the same time, we have a lot better team than we showed today. Hats off to Seattle – they’ve got a great team. [On] offense they move the ball well. Their defense played well. But as an offense we’ve got to do better things. As an offense we’ve got to score points to help our defense.”

WR IKE HILLIARD

(On what went wrong against the Seattle defense)

“We had a good game plan coming in but we just didn’t put anything together offensively. We played well but I think we would have liked to get our running game going a bit more to help our passing game and just to be more complete and more consistent there. Turnovers didn’t help us.”

(On what Coach Gruden said to the team after the loss)

“We just need to keep our heads up. We played a team that’s a real good ball club. We played them in their place on opening week and we’ve got a lot of football to play. We just need to eliminate the stuff that hurts our own football team and it will be a different outcome hopefully. We’ll look at it and get better and go from there.”

BUCCANEERS HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN

(On a tough second half)

“Yeah I thought we came out ready to roll. We had a couple of real nice offensive possessions. We had a 6-0 lead – you’d like to get more. I believe a couple of big plays in the kicking game [that] they called on us – illegal blocks to null a 50-yard return, a big punt return by Nate Burleson, and then they get two big plays from their offense – those are the five or six plays that really did us in today.”

(On losing RB Cadillac Williams and QB Jeff Garcia to injuries in the same series)

“Well that’s not good, obviously when you lose two players of that caliber within five minutes, but that’s not the reason we lost today. We did not have any kind of field position to speak of – I don’t believe we had one drive start outside of the 25 or 30-yard line today. That’s not an excuse, either. But Seattle’s a good zone defensive team and they’re not going to give up a lot of big plays. They’re a good tackling team. We fumbled on the opening drive midfield. We fumbled on the last drive of the game inside [Seattle’s] 10-yard line. Those two turnovers, the special teams’ play today, and the two big plays that [Seattle quarterback Matt] Hasselbeck made ultimately did us in today.”

(On QB Jeff Garcia and having to take him out of the game due to injury)

“I thought he did good early. This is a very difficult place to play, as loud as it is. We’ve got a lot of new guys and Jeff is one of them. He did a nice job of moving our team early in the first half. We had close to 200 yards at halftime. We didn’t complete a couple of drives. I thought he got off a couple reads early to start the third quarter but I do believe [they were] back up inside our own 10-yard line – that had a lot to do with it. But he played pretty good at the end of the game when but unfortunately, we fumbled a ball on our 21-yard line.”

(On Cadillac Williams’s rib injury)

“We don’t believe it’s serious, but he started the season last year and went through the early part of the year with a lingering rib injury and it doesn’t help a back to carry the ball in pro football with sore ribs. It’s a concern of ours now obviously because the workload that we like for him is intense. We like to feature him. We’ll know the extent on this injury hopefully later on here tonight.”

(On Seattle’s touchdown to RB Maurice Morris from the third-and-four at the 34-yard line)

“Obviously in a man-to-man defense we look like we’ve got some pressure on [quarterback Matt] Hasselback but [runningback Maurice] Morris can run now. Obviously they caught us in a situation where [weakside linebacker] Derrick [Brooks] was out there all by himself and that’s good football by Seattle. Unfortunately, that play, and the third-and-16 or 17 late in the second quarter, were the two plays that hurt us defensively.”

(On how concerned he is penalties and mistakes in week one)

“Well there’s some things to be encouraged by – Seattle’s won three-straight NFC West titles. A lot of people think they’re as good as any team in the NFC. This was a stiff challenge for us here on the road. I thought we weathered the storm early and played pretty good football. We’ve got a good group of players here. We’re going to check the injury list. There’s a lot to build from. There are no silver linings in losing – I want to make myself clear on that. There are some guys that have a lot of grit and a lot of guts and we’ll play better next week at home.”

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