Bucs HC Jon Gruden on his decision to keep RB Cadillac Williams out of Sunday’s game in order to rest him: “I am not trying to keep guys out to rest them. We’re trying to play the guys that are healthy. We are running out of players like everyone else. We don’t have the luxury here to keep a guy out. If he could go, we would have played him, but the answer to the question is he is not ready to go yet. Hopefully, he can use this next week to get himself some rest and get ready to go. We certainly need him. I am really proud of our backs today. In his absence they played really well.”
Gruden on whether he has a report on QB Brian Griese’s injury: “No, I don’t. Anytime you have your starting quarterback taken away from you with a potential knee injury you are just very concerned.”
Gruden’s reflections on the game: “I am really proud of our team. That was a great win for us. It wasn’t always easy. Miami is a very good, physical football team. I think we all know that. We had some injuries that obviously we’re concerned about. I am very proud of the work Chris Simms did today. He came in there and really made some big plays for us in the third quarter.”
Gruden on the team feeding off of each other: “I can’t speak for the team, but I thought we got energized by the opening possession that the offense scored. That is what really energized our defense. They like playing with the lead. Obviously, the scoop and score by Will Allen, that made it a 27-6 game was an energizer. I think our whole football team feeds off of each other. We are not just feeding off of the defense. We are not just feeding off of Carnell Williams. We have to feed off of each other because that is all we’ve got.”
Bucs QB Chris Simms on how he felt during the game: “I felt pretty good. I knew they were going to blitz me early. It was a tough situation to come right into, but I think the way we started the second half was great. Our offense energized the team a little and got us going in the right direction.”
Simms on gaining confidence through the game: “It’s crazy, but yeah you do. Even with just successful run plays, you feel good about yourself, even though I did very little. I was glad to come in there and throw some completions. We got the momentum on our side.”
Simms on the team responding to adversity: “I think we’ve got a lot of heart. We’ve kind of been overlooked since the start of the season and it’s just a great way to bounce back after last week’s loss. Now we’ve got the bye week to get some people healthy and look to the 49ers.”
Simms on if the game is slowing down for him: “Oh yeah, it’s definitely slowing down. The play that jumps out in my head more than anything was the slant I threw to Pittman. Last year I probably wouldn’t have thrown it because it was kind of tight in there, but this year I feel like I’m seeing everything pretty good.”
Simms on the team depth: “Injuries are going to happen week in and week out in the NFL. It’s how your depth responds to that. You see some teams that are demoralized by injuries. I think we’re one team that has depth at just about every position. We’re confident we won’t miss a beat whether it’s the first string guy or the second string guy.”
Bucs RB Michael Pittman on his injury: “Well it’s been bothering me for a while. Every week it kind of gets worse. It’s like a stinger, I don’t know what it is. Once I get hit, it’s just like a sharp pain down the left side of my arm. Once I get hit, my arm and hand goes numb. I’ve been trying to get all the treatment I can to be right for this game.”
Pittman on the team’s response to injuries: “We want to win. Sometimes you have to step up. If you’re injured, you’re injured. If you’re hurt, you have to play. And, I was hurt. I didn’t feel like I was injured. If I was injured, I knew I couldn’t go. But, I felt like I could go, and just fight through it. And, I did that. I felt like my team needed me out there today. And, I went out there and just fought through it. And, I had a pretty good game.”
Pittman on his touchdown: “I saw Jason (Taylor) coming off the edge and it was just instinct, trying to make a move and make him miss. And, I did that. I thought he fell. I was running, (and when) I was in the open field, I slowed down a little bit. All of a sudden, I felt somebody clip my feet and it was Jason Taylor.”
Bucs DE Greg Spires on turnovers: “Anytime we can get turnovers and score, that’s going to help our offense get confidence. That’s going to help our whole team get confidence. Anytime that can happen we welcome it.”
Spires on the bye week: “We didn’t want to go into this bye week with two losses. Now we can go in on a good note. We’ll come in tomorrow and watch film. Guys who are hurt will get well. The team won’t beat us down or try to work us hard. We’re going to try to get our health back and get another win for you.
Spires on shutting down Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown: “We respect those guys. We knew coming into this game that it would be a hard, tough game. We could stop the run, we put them in 3rd and long. We got off the field and put their defense back out there.”
Bucs safety Will Allen on his touchdown: “I was just thankful for the opportunity that the sack by Greg (Spires) created. I knew once I picked up the ball, I was going to score and that’s the mentality you need to have. I am just thankful for the chance to score my first career touchdown.”
Allen on the secondary depth: “We have some depth in the secondary and the coaches preach to the backups to prepare like starters and I think you can see that on the field. When all of the guys, from the veterans to the rookies, are playing hard, it makes us a very difficult team to beat.”
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