QB LUKE McCOWN
(On today's loss)
"We had some opportunities but we missed some plays. I missed [wide receiver] Joey [Galloway] down at the left sideline, just inches off the marked area. We just didn't do a good enough job today. I give credit to Houston, but we didn't play well enough."
(On why Houston was able to stop them in the second half)
"You've got to give them credit, they held their disguises and their blitzes very well. We knew that coming into the game that they had a fierce pass rush. Again, you've got to credit them, they did a great job. I've got to do a better job of getting the ball out of my hand and not scrambling around, trying to get something going, trying to make a play. Sometimes that hurts us when I don't throw it away, and I've got to learn from that."
(On the turnovers, particularly the botched exchange in the third quarter with center John Wade)
"Just a mistake by us. We had an audible at the line of scrimmage. He made the kick and it was a thing was I was a thing where I was making sure that John Wade got the call, and I don't know if he saw my signal to snap the ball. It's just one of those things that we've got to clean up and I take full responsibility for that."
(On what Head Coach John Gruden said in his post-game team meeting)
"Just that we've got to play better than we did today. We're coming into a situation where it's going to be a one-and-out tournament, single elimination, and we've to play better than we did today."
DE GREG WHITE
(On the loss)
"It was a good game played, the Houston Texans played really well, and they got a win."
(On the defense pressuring Texans QB Sage Rosenfels)
"With our defense, the way our defensive line goes, well we all think we're pretty good pass-rushers, and we wanted to get to him as early and often as we can. We made a couple of really big plays but we obviously didn't capitalize on them."
(On Rosenfels still being able to find his receivers despite pressure from the defense)
"He's a good quarterback."
(On the loss coming down to turnovers and not capitalizing on opportunities)
"Yes, definitely. We just need to have more turnovers for our offense so our offense can have better position, you know."
(What the team needs to do to regroup for next weekend)
"When we get home, next game is against the Atlanta Falcons, we'll come in tomorrow, watch film, workout, and get ready to play them."
S JERMAINE PHILLIPS
(On Houston taking advantage of the Bucs' mistakes)
"Definitely, they had a good game plan for us today. They came out and obviously they wanted it more than we did. But like you said, we can't continue to make mistakes and expect to win – we give up the kickoff return coming out in the second half, we can't get off the field on third downs, we have a couple of key turnovers on offense – we weren't clicking on any cylinders today and when that happens, usually you come out with an ‘L'."
(On Texans' QB Sage Rosenfels having time to throw the football)
"He did a good job. We gave him yards and he took advantage of what we gave him. I mean, that proves to be a big difference in today's game."
(On when the pass rush did get to Rosenfels)
"When the pass rush had a chance, they were getting there, that wasn't the issue, but when you come to third-and-short though, your pass rushers can't be as effective because you have to play the run as well. When we had them on third-and-long, the pass rush did a phenomenal job."
(On how the team will move forward in their quest for the NFC South)
"We look at this game right here, we look at it and we learn from it. The good thing about is that we do still control our own destiny, so we've got a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be proud of But at the same time, we've got to take this game today, look at it, you know, learn from it, because once we get into the playoffs, these mistakes can't happen again, it's one-and-done, so I guess it was a good thing that this happened now."
RB EARNEST GRAHAM
(On the Texans capitalizing on the Bucs’ mistakes)
“It was a tough game. We turned the ball over and they capitalized on the turnovers. You have to make those plays to win the NFL and we didn’t do that.”
(On the Bucs offense answering Houston’s 100-yard kickoff return with a touchdown of their own)
“We didn’t start the game, or either half the way we wanted, in the first quarter or the second half. That drive was probably one of the only things we can look back on tonight and think positively of. We didn’t play a complete game – that’s a 60-minute game – we didn’t play a complete game tonight.
(On his touchdown run that made the score 21-14)
“We were the same as usual, man, just trying to follow blocking. It was a great call. [Guard] Davin [Joseph], [fullback] B.J. [Askew], and everybody got a piece of somebody and I just finished off in the endzone, just finishing it off like usual.”
(On the mistakes that need to be cleaned up)
“We want to, at this point, be playing playoff football, and the way we played tonight isn’t going to get it done. The way we started the first half and the second half, and the turnovers, isn’t going to get it done, so we have to go back Monday and try to improve this next week.”
HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On his team's performance)
"We didn't play well enough to win. I'm still very proud of our team – they're playing their butts off. And Houston, as I said all week, is a very talented team. They lost four or five games that they could have easily won. The 100-yard kickoff to start the second half obviously hurt us, but I thought we showed great poise in coming back immediately to make it 21-14. We get the ball back. We get two or three opportunities in a row for wide-open scores, we don't make the plays, and when you're in a drive like we're in a drive, you've got to make the plays when they're there to be made."
(On the Bucs answering with a touchdown drive after Houston scored on a kickoff return)
"It was a great answer. You know, momentum was clearly in their favor. They're up 21-7 and the crowd was back in the game, but to answer – that showed some championship stuff. The defense consequently got a quick stop, and we're off and running again, we've got two or three plays, they're exactly what we wanted but we just didn't cash in."
(On McCown's fumble in the second half)
"There's no question. We fumbled the ball earlier in the game on our own 20 earlier in the game after a first down. We fumbled the ball later in the second half at our own 25 yard line, and obviously we fumbled the ball late in the game where we mishandle an exchange, which if you ask me, it ridiculous in this stage of the game."
(On pressuring Texans QB Sage Rosenfels and him still delivering for Houston)
"He must have complete 70 or 80-percent of his passes and they were able to convert on third down. A lot of that had to do with Sage's veteran NFL savy and his ability to check it down and keep ‘em in third-and-short. They capitalized on that today and they did a good job."
(On DE Greg White's three sacks and two forced-fumbles)
"I think Buc fans know that Greg White is one of the guys that basically defines this year's football team. There's been a lot of guys step up, and some are very obscure – [defensive ends] Jovan Haye and Greg White among others – we're looking forward to going home, to be honest with you. It's been a long run these last three weeks with our backup quarterbacks and we're looking forward to finishing the season and see if we can end it on a positive note."
(On his closing remarks to the team in the locker room)
"I just left them with the obvious, and if you do understand the business the way I do, [you understand that] those kind of performances aren't going to get it done. They're not going to win you championships and that's the only thing we're after here – world championships. If we're going to hold ourselves to those standards then that's not good enough."
Bucs post-game quotes courtesy of the Buccaneer Radio Network.
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