BUCS PRE-GAME QUOTES (On WFLA News Channel 8)

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On the injury to left guard Arron Sears)

“It hurts, but also, I’m really excited about Sears for two things – number one, he’s the real deal, and two, he’s not hurt bad enough to be out for very long. It gives us an opportunity to finalize our roster on the offensive line and this will be a big game for some guys.”

(On finalizing the roster and making cuts)
“It is tough. These guys have worked really hard for a long time. Around the league it’s not a real happy time when you have to say goodbye to players – particularly 20 at a time – but we feel good about the fact that we’ve played a lot of guys. We’ve given everybody a chance to showcase their stuff, and if some of these guys can’t play here, they’ll play somewhere.”

BUCS HALFTIME QUOTES (on WFLA News Channel 8)

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On his thoughts on the first half)

“I like some of the things that we did offensively. We dropped a key pass. I thought [QB Jeff] Garcia’s interception – not really much you can do in that situation, but defensively we’ve got to play better. That was not good at the end of that half.”

(On Quincy Black’s performance on special teams)
“Well he’s an athletic guy. We expect him to be a contributer on special teams. (Referring to DE Greg White’s roughing the passer penalty at the end of the first half, which allowed Miami a chance to attempt a 54-yard field goal) You can’t commit penalties at the end of the half in the NFL and expect to win. We’ve got to eliminate those. That’s ridiculous.”

BUCS POST-GAME QUOTES (on WFLA News Channel 8)

WR MICHAEL CLAYTON
(On his 25-yard reception in the second quarter)

“You know, in these circumstances, you want to do all that you can, you don’t want to go out of bounds. I’ve been waiting for a play like that – you get hungry when you taste a little blood in your mouth and get it the hard way.”

(On playing special teams in addition to his role as a wide receiver)
“Whatever it takes to win. I think the motto of the team is ‘Do whatever you can. Play whatever role you can to win football games.’ We want to bring that back to Tampa. I think we can win football games. Last year we played good but we didn’t win football games.”

(On his flamboyant new hairstyle)
“It’s just a little something to bring some life to the offense – you know, the ‘wild thing’ now. But whatever it takes to get a little comaradarie – just [getting] the guys fired up and [bringing] some life to it.”

QB JEFF GARCIA
(On his performance)

“It was great to see Cadillac get the ball and run the ball as well as he did. The offensive line opened up some holes for him and gave him some opportunities. He’s a great back. It’s nice to see that. We just really haven’t given him any tries in the previous games, so to get him the ball and show what we can do running the football – that’s important and we need to do that during the season. As far as the passing game is concerned – still working out some kinks. I [wasn’t] as fluid as I wanted to be but getting the ball into the end zone to [wide receiver] Joey [Galloway] was a nice play, a nice way to finish off a third series and get off the field.”

(On whether he and Joey Galloway discussed the play on the sidelines prior to scoring the touchdown)

“Not necessarily. That was just an adjustment. That was him being a football player, making a play after things somewhat broke down around him. I just was fortunate enough to see him clear into the back end line and put a ball where he could make a play. He made a great play.”

(On his hand getting a little banged up)
“The hand is fine, it’s just beat up from this sandpaper of an infield. You never like playing on dirt and it beat me up tonight.”

(On being up to speed in terms of learning the Bucs’ offense)
“That’s all fine. I’m not having any problems with that. I would like to see us move the ball a little bit better but we played two good defenses the last two weeks. I mean going against Miami and Jacksonville – that’s not any joke – they’re good defenses. They’re well-renown with what they do, but we did get the ball moving a little bit and we were able to get touchdown drives. [We] put touchdown drives together in both games, but I want perfection. I want to be perfect out there. I want to do better things. I didn’t like the turnover tonight but that was just [Miami] making a play.”

BUCS GENERAL MANAGER BRUCE ALLEN
(On sudden-impact players like linebacker Cato June and QB Jeff Garcia)

“Well Cato made a nice play on the ball and it’s not a surprise – he is a Pro Bowl linebacker and he’s fit in very well.”

(On left tackle Luke Pettigout going up against Dolphins’ Jason Taylor)
“Well as we were talking about earlier today – our offensive line versus previous pre-season games – we have a lot of confidence heading into the season.”

(On wide receiver David Boston’s DUI arrest)
“Based on the objective evidence that has been presented, it clearly doesn’t fit the charges against him. David has walked us through everything that transpired and we feel good.”

(On B.J. Askew filling the void left by Mike Alstott’s injury)
“In the urgency for that role, coming out with Mike’s injury, he’s doing a very good job. He’s helping us on special teams. He was open a few times tonight on pass routes. We didn’t get the ball to him but he’s fitting in very well.”

(On left tackle Donald Penn being a surprise key player tonight)
“[Offensive line] coaches [Bill] Muir and [Aaron] Kromer worked with him all last year. We got him some action and one of the things we wanted to do with him was watch him on right tackle and left tackle, and against [the Dolphins’] front-line players.”

(On quarterback Chris Simms and the possibility of keeping four quarterbacks)
“Right now we’re not worried about that. We’re going to watch them all against Houston on Thursday. Chris will get more time then. We like where we’re at right now. You never have too many good players – I know that.”

(On this year’s draft picks and whether they’ve done enough to make the team)
“Right now we have one more game to evaluate, but they did perform well today. [Defensive tackle] Greg Peterson had a good game. He showed a lot of action. I really like the effort we’re getting.”

BUCS POST-GAME QUOTES (on Buccaneers Radio Network)

QB BRUCE GRADKOWSKI
(On greater comfort level leading the offense)

“I’m just starting to feel more and more comfortable as this thing goes on. That’s all I can ask for – to try and get better week-in and week-out – and things are starting to come around. I’m throwing great with the offense. I especially love those two-minute drills that we do and getting a no-huddle shotgun. It’s been fun out there and we just need to keep it rolling.”

QB JEFF GARCIA
(On the scramble touchdown pass to wide receiver Joey Galloway)

“It was just a great adjustment by Joey, great protection up front by the o-line in giving me enough time to basically go to him first, come off of them, and find him later. It was just one of those things where guys had to make a play [because] everything else didn’t necessarily work out originally as planned. [It was] a great play by Joey.”

(On the team’s rushing and first-unit offense)
“We did some good things. I think the first drive we were able to move the ball a little bit. [Miami] is a good defense and [they have] great players on the defensive side of the ball. [The Dolphins’] were a good challenge for this team. [Running back] Cadillac [Williams] – I finally got him opportunities to run the football and the offensive line did a great job opening up some holes and he did a good job of making some big yards. It’s just one of those things where we need to keep plugging away. We haven’t played a whole lot in these preseason games but I think there have been some positive outcomes – especially against some pretty good defenses.”

RB EARNEST GRAHAM
(On his fourth-quarter touchdown)

“Bruce put the ball up on that play. All I did was do my job. I just caught the ball and tried to use my strength and power to keep my hands on it. A lot of credit goes to Bruce because he put the ball into the right place.”

(On his consistency)
“This is just something I’ve been doing a long time. If I can get the seam, I feel like I should get us those four or five yards. I just try to cap off the runs with strong effort.”

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On winning the game)

“Well it was great to win and we also realize that we have a long way to go, but we’re really proud of our football team.”

(On quarterback Jeff Garcia’s scramble to find wide receiver Joey Galloway in the end zone)
“I saw a lot of hard work pay off. We worked the scramble drill and Jeff Garcia’s going to bring that to our football team. That was a great play by Jeff and Joey. Obviously what we wanted wasn’t there but the protection was good enough for Jeff to create – there aren’t a lot of guys as good as Jeff at creating plays.”

(On Gaines Adams)
“I’m not going to keep assessing him every day. He’s got great talent but he’s got a long way to go to be a great player. With hard work and help he’s got a chance to do that, but we’re never going to make him feel too good about himself because he’s got a long way to go.”

(On injuries to tight end Alex Smith and defensive end Patrick Chukwurah)
“We’ll update you as soon as we can. Jeremy Trueblood was an early scratch tonight so we do have some injuries that are concerning but that’s part of the business.”

(On getting Chris Simms into the quarterback rotation)
“We’re going to try to get Chris some more snaps against Houston, but you can’t argue the point here that Bruce Gradkowski is playing great. But, we’re going to try to get Chris more involved against Houston.”

(On quarterback Bruce Gradkowski’s two touchdown drives)
“He’s done it two weeks in a row and I give him a lot of credit. I’m really excited to have four quarterbacks that know our offense – three of them are young guys, one just got here that’s doing a hell of a job. We have a chance – at the quarterback position – to be a lot better this year.”

(On making cuts Thursday)

“Well it’s always tough but at the same time, everybody in the league has to do it. I’m counting on our scouts, who have done a great job, to maybe find us a gem or two to come in and help us. We’re looking for players, we’re hoping for work, we want to win, damnit, and to do that – we need great players.”

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