BUCCANEERS HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN ON EARNEST GRAHAM PLAYING FULLBACK "It was part of his training when he got here. He is a jack-of-all-trades. He was a guy that played fullback, tailback, he was on the punt team, kickoff team, he was a guy that was a personal protector and in all those years all that preparation paid off for him today."
GRUDEN ON THE TEAM'S AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE "We had pressure, mixed coverages and Monte [Kiffin] did a great job again with his staff. Our players played their hearts out today and we have some opportunistic guys, I've said that back there. We let three or four interceptions get away. We could have had three or four other ones this game. They were impact plays, we have guys with range and tremendous ability and they hit today. I was very impressed with the way our football team hit."
GRUDEN ON JEFF GARCIA'S PLAY "I don't know, everyone has their opinions. We did what we thought was right. I think Jeff is a great quarterback. I just think that today he showed you his mobility and his ability to throw the ball and work the pocket. He is a guy that is a creative player and he's won four or five games in a row, I think, against Carolina and that's a great accomplishment because that's a heck of a football team we beat today."
GRUDEN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FIELD POSITION "It was big. We started the game backed up, we got a big play to Alex Smith to help turn the tide. The defense set us up with some nice field position and our offense did a nice job. I don't know how many three-and-outs we had today, but there might not have been many."
GRUDEN ON THE TEAM'S CELEBRATION PENALTIES "It shows that we have to improve our sideline discipline. The celebrations, I guess they don't want you to have much fun at all. After an interception, you know I don't disagree or want to be fined any money, but a guy does a backflip or if a guy does a cartwheel I don't know. I have to look into exactly what we did wrong and then I'll have a comment for you tomorrow, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over that."
GRUDEN ON WARRICK DUNN'S PERFORMANCE "I thought he ran between the tackles and caught the ball and picked up blitzes. This was a great defensive team today. They haven't given more than two or three offensive touchdowns all season and we are going to see them again and Warrick Dunn was certainly worthy of the game ball today."
GRUDEN ON NEXT WEEK'S STARTING QUARTERBACK "We are going to start Jeff [Garcia]. Brian [Griese] still was not able to be active this week. We have a lot of respect for our quarterbacks and we also realize it's a hard game to play when you're not healthy and we will get Brian back as soon as we can."
BUCS RUNNING BACK EARNEST GRAHAM ON THE VICTORY "It just felt great to finally come out and start fast on both sides of the ball. We played against a great Carolina team and it was a very physical game. We felt like we came out and hit on all cylinders, played physical, and made the plays that we need to make so we feel really good."
GRAHAM ON PLAYING FULLBACK "I had a good time. Of course you try to play anywhere on the field to be as useful as you can. Byron Storer went down today and I had to play some fullback and I had a great time blocking for Warrick [Dunn]. We had a lot of fun on that drive, that long drive that we had and it was definitely a great day and I had a lot of fun."
GRAHAM ON DUNN'S PERFORMANCE "He did fantastic. Growing up all the kids in my neighborhood wanted to be Warrick and now blocking for him, you know he rushed for 115 yards today so I'm ecstatic. I had a great time and definitely something I will always remember."
BUCS SAFETY TANARD JACKSON ON HIS INTERCEPTION "It was actually off a tipped ball. I was in the right place at the right time, it fell in my hands and I wasn't touched. We were able to create another scoring opportunity for our offense and they were able capitalize off of it."
JACKSON ON THE GAME HAVING A PLAYOFF ATMOSPHERE "We try to come in with that attitude every game. Playing against Carolina, who beat us here the five past times at home, it's a rivalry game that has built up over the years so I definitely think that we came out with the mentality that it was a championship game."
BUCS LINEBACKER GENO HAYES ON THE VICTORY "It was a great thing. It was lovely. Everybody came out capping off like we're supposed to on defense. The offense came out and put points on the board and the defense just held it up. We feel pretty good about it and we'll take that momentum to the next game."
HAYES ON HIS BLOCKED PUNT FOR A TOUCHDOWN "We called a little blitz stunt and I had a one-on-one with the tackle. He took a step too far to the outside, so I got to the punter and took it to the house."
BUCS RUNNING BACK WARRICK DUNN ON THE VICTORY "I think we got started early. Special teams with the blocked punt and touchdown, I think that really got us going. We played a great game defensively and offensively we really just came out and pounded the rock. We took some chances early but we pounded the rock and made plays in the running game."
DUNN ON GRAHAM'S PLAY "We were effective, but you can't really say enough about Earnest. The guy sacrificed his day to get in there and block and he did a great job. He was reading it the right way, hitting guys. I mean he is the ultimate team guy. I'm really speechless the way he sacrificed for this football team. That's probably one of the most unselfish acts I've seen on a football field in a long time."
BUCS QUARTERBACK JEFF GARCIA ON THE ENERGY HE BROUGHT TO THE TEAM "I think the main thing for me, as player I need to play with emotion. I need to play with energy. I need to have certain excitement about myself when I step on the field. If I don't have that, then I'm not who I need to be for these players, for my teammates."
GARCIA ON BEING BACK OUT ON THE FIELD AGAIN "It felt great to be back out on the field, to be in a position to be able to contribute. I thought my performance was solid from a standpoint that I didn't turn the football over. I thought that execution wise we did some good things, enough good things to put us in a position to win the football game. The offensive line, running backs, receivers, everyone did their job throughout the day. Obviously, you can't say enough about our defense. Our defense really put us in positions to be successful with field position and then special teams with the big block at the beginning to give us that momentum in the first quarter was a very positive thing for our offense."