Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the overall game
“I would like to say I am really disappointed obviously, for our team and our fans. I am very proud of them and I tip my hat to the Redskins.”

Gruden on the Edell Shepherd play being similar to the Roddy White play a few weeks ago
“I don’t remember the Roddy White play. I thought it was certainly close enough to challenge, given the magnitude of the play, and the situation of the game. It is what it is.”

Gruden on whether he agrees with the referee’s call
“I agree with the final verdict whether it is for us or against us. That’s all you can do. I thought it was certainly a great throw and I thought he had both hands on the ball in the end zone.”

Gruden on whether they explained the Edell Shepherd play call
“Yes, that you have to have possession of the ball. I got several different explanations, but the bottom line is it was all for naught. I thought we had a chance on the following play as well. We just didn’t convert it, and we weren’t able to get it done tonight.”

Gruden on how much the early turnovers set the Buccaneers back
“It really did. The first ball that is tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted was a big play. Then we put together a nice drive, I think we got first down inside their 35 (yard line). We have a fumble and before you know it you are down 14-0, and those have not been the kind of games that have really spelled out success for us, but we did fight back. We made it a 17-10 game. We had a couple of other opportunities to tie the game, and ultimately win it. Our defense played great, but there wasn’t enough done tonight.”

Gruden on the decision to go for it on fourth-and-one with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter
“We went for it because we felt we had a play that would get the yard. We had a third-and-one prior to the fourth-and-one and we ran Mike Alstott setting up a fourth-down, and it was almost a full yard, just inside a yard. I didn’t have my tape measure, but about 30 inches. We took a time out when the Redskins brought in an extra defensive lineman, so we obviously went with a play-action-pass with a protection we felt would have worked out better than it did there, and to try and give Chris [Simms] some options. Unfortunately, the Redskins made a great play there and we didn’t handle the protection, and we were forced to give up the ball on downs.”

Gruden on Chris Simms’ ability to come back
“He did some good things. There is no question, against a defense that is pretty stingy and challenging. They played a lot of different combination coverages tonight, made it tough on us to get the ball to [Joey] Galloway. They do a nice job with their four man rush, applying pressure. What can I say, Chris made some fine plays today. We just didn’t get enough done.”

Bucs FB Mike Alstott on the season
“We have to reflect on the whole season in general. When I think about it, each and every individual in this locker room, how we came together, from the offseason until now, the drive and the fight and the passion that is in each individual, and we brought this together as a unit. As a unit, we did some good things this year.”

Alstott on if he will return next season
“It’s a decision that’s on me. I don’t know. I’ll talk to my family, my wife and everybody else.”

Alstot on if it is tough to make a decision on next season after such a tough loss
“You don’t want to think about it [the loss]. It’s hard enough to swallow the loss, rather than think about what Mike Alstott’s future is.”

Alstott on what will influence his decision to come back
“I don’t know. First of all, I’ve had the best time this year. Going through two frustrating seasons, first in 2003, with the neck [injury] and then last year trying to re-group and get back to my normal self. I felt I played well this year and did some good things this year. It was back to the old style again, and [we] did some good things on the filed. We’ll discuss it between me and my family and figure out what is best.”

Alstott on if it was an emotional moment after the game
“This is where it all started. Ten years, it’s my life. It’s the passion and love for this game. It’s a great place to play in front of, these awesome fans for all of these years. I’d just like to thank everybody for their support for 10 great years.”

Bucs CB Ronde Barber on holding Washington to 120 yards and still losing
“We played well. We knew we were going to play well. The game set up for us to play well. [It] just wasn’t enough. We did not generate enough turnovers to match theirs, unfortunately. Give them credit. I do not have a whole bunch to say about it. We knew the effort it was going to take to beat these guys and I thought we gave ourselves plenty of chances to get back in this game. It is just unfortunate we could not get it done.”

Bucs LB Derrick Brooks on Edell Shepherd’s TD catch being called back
“Like most games in the playoffs, it comes down to some form of fashion of turnovers. They were able to get some and we were not. They scared off a turnover and defensively we played well but we just could not get one. We hate for it to end like this but thank God for the effort and for me personally I wish Washington well.”

Brooks on the defense’s record-setting performance
“That is one of the positives you can take from the game. We did not win and I would give up one thousand yards to get a win. At the end of the day that is what it is about. It is really not about that, it is about the “W”. And we did not make enough plays to get a “W” and to me that is the most important thin.”

Bucs DE Simeon Rice on the two major plays
“To win a game in the playoffs, the game comes down to inches. Inches, millimeters, yards. It did us in today. We had the call on the goal line, kind of like the Falcons game. Understood that, bounced back, turned the ball over again. Kind of hurt us, but you move on, applaud the team. A good showing this year. [We] couldn’t finish it like we wanted to. It is unfortunate. We have got to gather it up, find out the pieces that we are missing and move it on for the next [year], and up and coming [years]. It is sad to say this, one and done. That is the first time since I have been to the playoffs. I, at least, won a game, you know. [This game] kind of feels like the Philly situation. We will bounce back.”

Bucs WR Edell Shepherd on the TD pass being called back in the fourth quarter
“If I would never have touched the ground, then it would never have been reviewed and we would be celebrating right now. I’ll go back in the offseason, we’ll get better and we’ll come back next year ready to go.”

Shepherd on the pass play that was incomplete
“I had just told Ike [Hilliard] I was about to win the game. went out there and I did it, but somebody else thought otherwise. Washington played a great game and we shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. It wouldn’t have come down to that, but our hats are off to Washington, and good luck to them next week.”

Bucs QB Chris Sims on what he was thinking after going down 14-0
“It’s not the spot we wanted to be in. If there is one thing I’ve known about this team all year long, it is that we continue to fight, no matter what and we did today. We battled but we’ve got to give them some credit. They made some plays early in the game to put us down. Our defense played awesome. They were magnificent all day long. Obviously, we moved the ball, just not those first three series. But after that we moved the ball pretty well. We just didn’t put enough points on the board.”

Simms on the fourth-and-one play in the fourth quarter
“We just tried to catch them off guard with a quick snap, up the middle to [Mike] Alstott. They’re big up front, they really are. They have three guys in the middle that are pretty stout guys. Fourth-and-one, they just had the right defense called in that situation. It’s a play we’ve run a few times this year and had success with, especially the past two weeks. They were just in the right defense and we have to give their defensive coaches credit.”

Simms on if they changed the play during the time out before the fourth-and-one
“Yes. We changed the play. It was just going to be a run up the middle to Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. They had five defensive linemen in at that point. I can totally justify the changing of the play.”

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