Head Coach Jon Gruden on the overall game
“I would just like to say that was a tough one. Congratulate the Bears because they are a very good football team. I’m proud of our team. I’m proud of our guys. They played hard and a tremendous effort coming back putting ourselves in position to tie the game.”

Gruden on having trouble getting good field position
“In a situation like that, against a defense like that, yes. Obviously, field position is very important and I don’t know how many drives started inside our 10 or 12-yard line, but there were several.”

Gruden on missed defensive opportunities
“That was the story line of the day if you ask me. We had a fumble of our own. They capitalized and we were unable to make a couple opportunities work for us. Our defense I thought played good, at times very good. It is unfortunate.”

Gruden on Matt Bryant’s missed field goal to tie the game)
“He had a slight hamstring on the opening kickoff and felt he could continue to kick and after we scored to make it 13-10, he kicked the ball off extremely well and he just pushed it, he pushed it. It is unfortunate, but that is the way it goes.”

Gruden on the third down play before the missed field goal
“It was a third down with a little more than two yards, I didn’t feel like were going to be in four-down territory. My mindset at that point was to call the play we called. We felt we had a good play with some all-purpose answers and if we didn’t make it, we would kick the ball and tie the game and put their young quarterback in a two-minute drill against our defense. That would give us a great opportunity to get the ball back or make a turnover of our own and win the game, much like we did a week ago, but we didn’t make the kick today. We didn’t make the kick and we lost the game. That was just one play amongst several others that could have turned the tide.”

Gruden on whether Matt Bryant’s hamstring was a factor in punting at the 31-yard line
“No, I think the wind was a factor, a little bit more than that, away from the pirate ship. We had direct orders to not attempt a really long field goal. To be honest with you, the penalty in missing a field goal is severe in a game like this. You give them the ball close to midfield or the 40-yard line and we almost make a great play there, down the ball inside the five. Once again, we’re inches away from making a play that ultimately cost us.”

Gruden on having some dropped passes
“We had some drops. We had some key drops. We had four or five balls batted down. We struggled with the Bears pass rush, they are very good. They are as advertised. The comeback that Chris Simms engineered in the last couple possessions was one I will be most proud of in my relationship with him. They were tremendous. He is very poised. Joey Galloway was clutch and I thought he [Chris Simms] managed the offense tremendously, running back-to-back drives.”

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks on being a tough game to lose
“I still feel like we should still be playing, to be honest with you. They made the plays to win today down the stretch. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see them again.”

Brooks on missed turnover opportunities for the defense
“Again, you get one of those, you never know the outcome. That’s how small this game is, in terms of wins and losses. Our opportunity was there, we just didn’t get them. Like I said, we give them the credit today, and hopefully we’ll get our chance to see them again.”

Brooks on playing against Lovie Smith and a defense similar to Tampa’s
“Like I said, we had our chances to make plays [in] all three phases of the game, [but] we didn’t. We’re not making excuses about that. Like I said earlier, we’re going to give them credit for hanging in there, taking advantage of our missed opportunities. At the same time, they created their own opportunities, and I have no problem giving them credit for their effort and winning the game. But at the same time, I really feel we’ll see them again.”

Brooks on the next three games on the road
“Start with New Orleans. As bad as I feel right now, I can’t do anything about this game. All I can do is look forward to going on the road against New Orleans. Right now, that’s what I’m doing, to be honest with you.” Brooks on the Bears making a good call on the 41-yard screen pass to RB Thomas Jones on third down
“Yes, they did [make a good call]. They had a call there. As you said, [we had] one of our man-free blitzes. I was inches away from knocking that ball down. That’s how small, I say again. There could’ve easily been a tip, interception the other way. I was so close to knocking it down, but I didn’t.”

K Matt Bryant on the missed 29-yard field goal
“I missed it. That’s it. I missed it. It was one of those days where something like that shouldn’t happen, but it happened, so you have to move on.”

Bryant if he thought it went over the goal post
“I don’t know. It should’ve never been that close. Twenty-nine yards, it should go down the middle every time. I just missed it.”

Bryant where he goes from here
“You can’t get too high on the highs, or too low with the lows. Granted, this is pretty low. This could’ve been a big win for us, or helped us get a win, but it didn’t happen.”

Bryant on what his teammates said to him
“‘Keep your head up. You’ll win a whole lot more [games] for us,’ and that’s what I have to do.”

Wide receiver Joey Galloway on the missed field goal
“Sometimes it happens. That’s why, offensively, you want to put points on the board in the end zone. We didn’t do that [so] we came up short.”

Galloway on preparing for three straight road games
“We’ll prepare like we always do. It’s the most important game we have in our season coming up next week. We’ll go down there and try to win it.”

Galloway on having no receptions last week
“It was okay because we won. It’s tough when you go through games and you don’t get catches and you lose. I’ve been on those sides, and that’s tough but it’s not tough when you win games. Today, I feel worse than I did last week and I had some catches today and [now] I feel worse because we lost the game.”

Cornerback Brian Kelly on making great defensive plays and having a great defensive game
“Yeah, close but no cigar. It was a tough game playing a great defense like they have. Our defense has to capitalize on every opportunity we have to give our offense the shorter side of the field. It was a field position game today, definitely, without a doubt.”

Kelly on what to say to Matt Bryant now
“I do not say anything to Matt Bryant. Last week he kicked a winning field goal. You cannot be hot and cold. You cannot ride an emotional rollercoaster with a kicker. You know how important his job is, he knows how important his job is. He will come back next time and knock it down. I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Kelly on getting his 20th career interception as a Buccaneer
“That’s good. That’s something we look back on at the end of the year. I’m trying to add on to it. We won’t stop there we just try to keep going.”

Quarterback Chris Simms on third-down play in the fourth quarter
“We actually had the same play called the play before that. I threw it complete to [Michael] Pittman in the flat and he got four or five yards. [On] the third-down play, I had a free guy coming in my face and it was really tight. It may have looked like he was open, but they had a safety coming down. I didn’t know if I threw a good ball, I didn’t know if he would have intercepted it. So, I played it safe and threw a safe ball where he could jump up and catch it, if not it goes out of bounds.”

Simms on the offense finding a rhythm
“We were on a rhythm there in the last few drives of the game. For the third week in a row, when we had to perform, our offensive line did an unbelievable job. Cadillac ran the ball great, and we made the plays we had to down the stretch. We got a little unlucky today.”

Simms on the Bears’ defense
“They’re a great defense. We put ourselves in a bad situation to start the game. They hit me as I was throwing the ball and made a recovery on the one [yard line] and got a touchdown. It’s not the way you want to start off a game against a defense like that. But at the same time, we kept fighting. We battled, and we just came up on the short end.”

Simms on the play at the 1-yard line
“I was about to throw it out into the flat to Alex Smith. We would have gotten a completion [for] probably five or six yards. I don’t think we would have gotten a first down, [but] we could have given ourselves a little room to punt it out of there.”

Simms on better drives late in games compared to early in games
“Our backs are against the wall a little bit, so when your backs are against the wall, you have to fight. I think, if I had to say one other thing, defenses in this league tend to be a little more conservative when they do have a lead. They don’t want to do anything risky and take a chance and let up a big play.”

Simms on Galloway’s involvement in the game
“Joey was big today. He really was. I think he did a great job of catching the ball and getting upfield for some big yards early and then of course in the second half. He’s a guy they just constantly have to respect and they don’t like to get too close to him because he’s going to go by them. Sometimes those intermediary routes are the best thing going for him.”

Simms on the most fun things about throwing to Galloway
“Knowing that he can go 90, even if I throw it three yards.”

Simms on field position
“We knew it was going to be this kind of game the whole day. We were prepared for it. Them and Carolina are definitely the two best defenses we’ve played all year and we kind of knew it was going to be a slugfest, field position game. Who knows what would have happened if we just don’t have that first turnover, but again, they made the plays when they had to and that’s why they won.”

Simms on the Bears defense
“I’m not going to take anything away from them, they lived up to that. We played Carolina a few weeks ago and I didn’t think there could be a defensive line or defense altogether that could be that good. The Bears probably proved me wrong today. They’re the best tackling team I’ve seen since I’ve been in the NFL so far. Guys just don’t break too many tackles against them. They’ve got a lot of sure tacklers out there and they’ve got a real good pass rush. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from them but we showed some heart that we can do some things. Our offensive line kept battling all day long. ‘Cadillac’ had some good successful runs. We hung in there and we moved the ball on them, too. I know we scared them a little bit at the end.”

Defensive end Greg Spires on the game coming down to a field goal
“It came down to that. We can’t say that one play messed [up] the whole game. We had a lot of opportunities during that game where we could’ve put ourselves in a better situation to win.”

Spires on containing the Bears offense, but not causing many turnovers
“They did a good job holding the ball, doing what they do. Running, not turning it over [and] letting their defense win the game for them. And, that’s what happened.”

Running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams on if this is what he expected playing against the Bears defense
“Yes [this was] pretty much what I was expecting. A grind [it] out game. Watching them all week, studying them all week, we knew coming in they had a great defense. We just didn’t get it done today.”

Williams on how it feels coming up just short
“It’s tough, it’s tough. That loss definitely hurts. We have to put this one behind us. We have to get ready for next week and just get on a roll and know each game gets important. We have to put this one behind us quick.”

Williams on the Bears defense living up to the hype and being very physical
“You have to tip your hat to those guys. They’re a pretty good defense, but like I said, I also felt like we did a lot of things that had helped them. You have to tip your hat. They have a good defense.”

Williams on knowing whichever team made the fewer mistakes would win
“Yes, you can [say that]. This was kind of one of those grind [it] out games. We had a couple mistakes, a mistake early that kind of came back to haunt us. We still had our opportunities to win the game.”

Simms on wanting to jump right back into the next game
“No doubt [about it]. I’m so eagerly anticipating this next game because I definitely have to get this bad taste out of my mouth.”

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