Tampa Bay earned their first win of the season with a thrilling late rally to beat the Steelers 27-24. Here are some quotes from head coach Lovie Smith and select players about the win following the game.
Head coach Lovie Smith
(On his overall thoughts of the win)
“It’s been a long time coming, guys have worked so hard. When you get embarrassed like we did last week, you want to see how guys deal with adversity. There’s no pinpointing. They just went to work and get better, and put themselves in position.”
(On the defense coming up with two big stops in the fourth quarter)
“That was huge at the end. One conversion by them in the game possibly ends it, but they (defense) just kept fighting. We had injuries, different guys had to come in, but that next man up mentality definitely helped our guys.”
(On Russell Shepard and Louis Murphy making plays)
“Yes they did. Russell Shepard you know for the most part he’s a special teams player for us, but we asked him to play a different role and he stepped up. It seemed like he had been making plays like that throughout. That was a big catch there at the end. And Louis Murphy, a local guy doing well, he wasn’t with us but just stayed in contact with us and wanted to come back. He wanted to be a Buccaneer so bad, and it’s only fitting that he helped us win like that.”
(On the 40-yard pass to Louis Murphy on the final drive)
“Of course without any timeouts, we needed to move the ball down the field quickly. It was just a great call by Marcus and the offensive staff, but then he (Murphy) had to finish the play. It was just a big catch and run by him to get down there and put us in position for a couple more plays.”
(On Vincent Jackson’s TD catch)
“It’s only fitting that one of our captains, a guy that has meant so much to our franchise puts us in position. Big plays like that should be made by your best players, and Vince is that. But first, it was great protection to let Mike (Glennon) do his thing. Going in (for final drive) we did think we could play out there early on, but you have to finish the catch, and Vince did a great job.”
(On this win being a confidence builder)
“Yes, it really is. You just look at where this team has gone, and in about ten days of course, you get blown out that way to just a full degree turn to find a way to win. It’s tough winning on the road, especially in an environment like this with the terrible towels out, but our guys didn’t blink.”
(On being congratulated after first win as a Buccaneer)
“There are a lot of people out there feeling for our Buccaneers this year.”
QB Mike Glennon
(On his overall thoughts after the win)
“This is a great feeling. For an offense, our defense did a great job of getting us good field position at first. We struggled for a little, but we came back and never gave up. Our offense, defense, everyone just made big plays. It’s a great feeling to get our first win.”
(On the sideline conversation before the final drive)
“On the sidelines, we we’re going over what our plays would be in that situation. The play Murphy made the big catch on, we had just put that in two days ago. It was a great job by a physical player. Right when he (Marcus Arroyo) called the last one to Vincent, I knew it was going to be a touchdown. It was a great call, and an even better catch because I really didn’t put it in a good catch, but he made a great play.”
(On the Murphy play)
“I have to give him credit, he wasn’t even with us five days ago, and he’s out on the field making plays and setting us up to win the game. I’m proud of him; he was like that all throughout camp. For him to go out there and do that was great.”
(On what this win means)
“It’s big. Coach Smith likes to break it down into quarters (the season), and we just finished the first quarter of the season. It’s not the way we wanted to start at 1-3, but there are some things to build on and now we have to keep pace in our division, and hopefully get things going in our division game (next week).”
WR Vincent Jackson
(On being able to get a win like this)
“That was one win, and that’s one that will help us get going. It was a rough start, but guys have stayed the course. We continue to believe in what our coaching staff has put together for us, and hopefully we’ll continue to get better.”
(On the sideline conversations about the final drive)
“Every week you work on the 2-minute drill. A lot of games in this league are decided by a field goal or a touchdown at the end, that’s just the way it is. You have to be prepared to finish on offense and defense. Hats off to our defense and special teams for getting us the ball back in great field position to get the win. It was a great finish.”
(On his winning TD)
“The guys (Steelers) had been really physical down there all game. I just ran a flat, and knew Mike would give me a chance to get the ball on the outside, and I was able to come down with the ball.”
(On the uplifting moment)
“It feels good. We’re going to enjoy this through the night and the trip home, and get hopefully come back and get ready for New Orleans.”
DE Michael Johnson
(On the sack fumble in the first quarter)
“We went out there, and guys did a good job of getting on the ball. Ben’s a tough quarterback to bring down, so it was important to be able to get the ball out and get a turnover. Coach Smith preaches turnovers, and it was early in the game (the turnover) but it was a critical one.”
(On what the defense did so well in the fourth quarter)
“We wanted to get the game into the fourth quarter. We felt like we could have an opportunity to win. We just wanted to fight to the end and give ourselves the opportunity.”
CB Alterraun Verner
(On his thoughts after the win)
“I mean that’s just a great team win, and it’s something that we needed. We needed this really bad, and the problems in the past have been people not making plays when we needed to, and that’s what the difference was this game. We made the plays at the end of the game to get the win. I’m just so proud of this team, it’s something that we’ve deserved for a long time. I’m just happy to celebrate with my team, but this is just the first step.”
(On the two defensive stops in the fourth quarter)
“We just kept fighting. We knew that their offense has some good players, Ben Roethlisberger is very good, Antonio Brown is very talented, Heath Miller is always a constant, and then their great running backs. We knew that they were going to make plays, but we just took it upon ourselves that when opportunities present it, we have to make them. You saw people step up and make it happen.”
(On watching the final drive)
“My heart was just pounding fast. After we stopped them and knew that they had about 50 seconds left, I had a good feeling that our offense could put something together. And then from the Murphy play all the way down, it was just amazing. It was one of those things that was amazing to watch and see unfold, and just having the trust in your teammates like that.”
(On this possibly being a turning point for the season)
“It definitely could be that. We just needed that first win, and now we have to build on it. We can’t be patting ourselves on the back because we’re still 1-3, we have to keep things in perspective. But we should enjoy this win. We came into a hostile environment in Pittsburgh against a team that was 2-1, and was playing well and we got a win. This was huge, but we have the New Orleans Saints coming up. We’re going to enjoy the next couple of days, but hopefully this will get things going for us.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
We’ve had a terrible start…lost some important players to injury….lost to dome backup QBs….including one of the worst teams in the league (given their huge injuries)….and yet we’re only a game out of first place….let’s turn the tide, balance the luck, and make something happen this year…Go Bucs!
Patience; it is turning around. This doesn’t mean we are going to the playoff’s; it means we won a game. Coach knows what he is doing. We need a back up QB in case Glennon gets injured; I hope it comes about soon. The OLine was much better. Mankins is making a difference. Go Bucs. By the way, the Steelers are dirty players and got away with a lot of stuff. They deserved to lose the game. Go Bucs!
We have a back-up QB Horse. His name is Josh McCown. This is the type of game that can serve as a springboard to the rest of the season. Beat the stinking Saints and we’re back in the hunt.
Scubog; this is one subject you and I can disagree on. McCown has shown he is a dink and dunk back up QB and this team is built on the dunkaneer philosophy. I don’t believe any teams takes Josh as a serious threat in the passing world. We need a back up QB
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Most organizations take on the personality and traits of their leader. Lovie is laid back, calm and cool. That’s exactly how most of the Bucs have played…UNTIL SUNDAY! They played with good old fashioned INTENSITY! Yes, Steeler receivers and tight end were running free and wide open all over the place, and our 1st half offense was etrocious,but for this given Sunday, it was a great comeback win…and a win is a win. Go Bucs!
If our QB didn’t have to throw some away and didn’t have so many dropped, he would have a better than 50% completion rate. But, the Bucs have won this way years ago. So if that is the way it is WIN UGLY.
You could say that of any QB in the league, it is what it is… 50%
It’s not how a QB play’s during the game, it’s how he finishes the game.
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