HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN ON WINNING THE NFC SOUTH
“I would just like to say it is a great feeling, a great accomplishment by our team. I am very proud of them. A credit to the New Orleans Saints, they came in here under adverse circumstances, obviously, missing some key players and they competed greatly today. We hung in there and we earned our 11th victory. We look forward to continuing the season at home next week. I am really proud of our football team.”

GRUDEN ON THE OPENING DRIVE
“That was a great drive. You know we struggled a little bit defensively, giving up some yardage; we let them get out of some holes. They were backed up a few times and uncharacteristically, they were able to get out of those holes and pin us back. I think the 80-yard drive where we converted four-or-five third downs in a row, was a tremendous drive capped off by [Joey] Galloway catching the ball in a tight area from [Chris] Simms. Then the following drive, we had the big run by [Michael] Pittman and we had a 14-3 lead. That is a credit to New Orleans for hanging in there and really pushing us to the brink today.”

CB RONDE BARBER ON FOURTH QUARTER PERFORMANCE
“Our defense is built on fourth-quarter pressure, whether it’s Simeon or someone up the middle or, as it’s been lately, Dewayne White. We’re finding ways to make big plays in the fourth quarter, and that’s when it really matters. You go out there at the end of games and really try to earn your keep. We’re doing that right now.”

BARBER ON THE SEASON COMPARED TO LAST YEARS
“Everybody talked at the beginning of the year about having to step up, lean on some young guys and as they went, we were going to go. I think, as everybody has seen Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, Alex Smith, Chris Simms, Dan Buenning, across the offensive line, some of the other young guys up there. We’ve really turned this thing around behind some young talent. If I had to put one thing on it, it’s their play.”

LB DERRICK BROOKS ON WINNING THE NFC SOUTH DIVISION
“Again, it’s a very humbling experience. I’m just so thankful to be a part of three division championships in this franchise’s history. Like I said, right now we’re very humbled but we understand this is just one of the championships that we’re after.”

BROOKS ON DEWAYNE WHITE’S BIG PLAY
“Again, he’s one of these young guys who has really come on the last few weeks and made his mark, not only defensively but on special teams, just going out there and competing. Hopefully he can stay humble, man, and hungry. We’re going to need everybody really stepping up right now this time of year.”

WR JOEY GALLOWAY ON HIS TWO TOUCHDOWN CATCHES
“They were really nice plays by [Simms]. He put both balls on the money where only I could catch them. It’s a nice play call, and when he throws them like that we have no choice but to score.”

RB MICHAEL PITTMAN ON HIS LONG RUN
“It was called ’95-Punch’ and it was a good hole and I could accelerate through the hole, the yards came and I was tired. I had just run the kickoff back and I was tired. I got to maybe the 30-yard line when I was running and I had no more. It was a big play.

DE SIMEON RICE ON WINNING THE GAME
“It was a fun win. It was definitely necessary, and we definitely went out there and competed well. Kudos to this team and what we’ve been able to get accomplished thus far. In terms of our outlook and perspective, it’s very bright. We’re optimistic. We understand that we’re a very dominant team but we have to show that every week. In terms of what we did, in terms of where we’re going, we’re just going to ride this ship. We’re going to ride this wave. It’s interesting. We went out there today with the ability to lock up the home field, to win the NFC South, and we did that. So we accomplished one mission. We’re setting out for many more.”

RICE ON SACKING TODD BOUMAN ON FOURTH DOWN
“It’s just kind of the way this season has gone on. Everything has just been falling into place. It’s been happening really well for myself. We needed a big play and you’ve heard it many times – the big-time players step up in moments like that, in adverse situations. It only takes one to step up. When I stood up, it was the floodgates. You saw Greg [Spires] get a sack, you saw Dewayne White go out there and close them out and get the hat-trick with the touchdown. That goes to show you what we’re getting accomplished. It shows you what we’re trying to do in terms of our outlooks and our perspectives. I think every week we go out and we continue to get better. So it’s a beautiful thing.”

QB CHRIS SIMMS ON THE OVERTURNED INTERCEPTION
“That was huge for us. They’re a tough defense, they really are. They rush the passer well, they have a ton of different looks. We had good pass protection on that play and Joey did a good job of settling down in the zone and putting a move on them. That kind of got our drive started.”

SIMMS ON THE OFFENSE IN THE SECOND HALF
“Yeah. That was big, just from the sense that we hadn’t moved the ball a whole lot in the second half, and we converted a third-and-ten and [that] kind of got us jump started. We ran the ball successfully a few times after that, and I think I hit Alex Smith in a deep cross. We needed it. New Orleans is a good defense. They were putting it to us there for a little while in the second half and then, of course, the end of the drive, I miss the easiest throw in the history of the Buccaneers to Mike Alstott.”

SIMMS ON THE OPENING DRIVE
“We wanted to jump out on them. A team like that, we know they are extremely talented. You kind of hope maybe if we jump out on them they might pack it in, but to their credit they didn’t. They kept fighting and that first drive was what, 90 yards, 85 [yards], somewhere around that, right? It was big for us. It got us going in the right direction, but the momentum changed and it was kind of a stalemate there for a good quarter-and-a-half.”

SIMMS ON MAKING THE PLAYOFFS
“[We are] extremely resilient. I think if you look at our team, we have been pretty consistent all year long, for the most part. I think, probably our most inconsistent time, was when I took over and we lost two games in-a-row there. I definitely take some of that blame because I was a young quarterback who did some stupid things. But we continue to fight, even in situations where our backs are against the wall. We have continually found ways to come up on top all year long, and today was just another chapter in that.”

T KENYATTA WALKER ON THE SEASON
“We’ve been through our ups and downs this year. It hasn’t been pretty. We definitely can improve, but from 5-11 to 11-5 in this great division [is great]. We’re in and Carolina, dubbed the powerhouse, [didn’t win the division]. It’s just amazing. That’s why you play football games. It’s a good feeling. This is a great feeling to get some redemption.”

WALKER ON BLOCKING FOR CADILLAC WILLIAMS
“Finally, [we] have a 1,000 yard running back, which we haven’t had since I don’t know when. That’s probably one of the biggest accomplishments for me. This is my first year with a 1,000-yard running back in the five years I’ve been here.”

DE DEWAYNE WHITE ON HIS TOUCHDOWN
“I didn’t even hit him. I just knocked the ball out. The ball bounced right at my chest, I picked it up and I started running. Simeon [Rice] gave me a good block and the rest was green grass.”


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