Q&A

Sick of questions about Tampa's record in cold weather?
"First time I've heard it all day ... I gotta tell you this. The weather doesn't all the sudden become sunny and 80 when they get the ball. We all got to play in the same elements. So it's just the team that makes the fewest mistakes and executes the best that'll win."

Prefer to play a team with something to play for or a team playing for pride?
"We don't have a choice. We've got the Chicago Bears and they are what they are. They play well in Chicago and they've always given us hell up there. We've got to be ready for their 'A' game and to accept it and turn it around and put ourselves in a position to win this game."

Are you going to watch other games on Sunday afternoon?
"They say there's not a lot to do in Champaign other than watch TV. They've got that working. "

What do you remember about facing Kevin Dogins in practice?
"The 'dogman' will fight you all day long. He didn't have a lot of accolades coming into this league he just came out and he worked. You don't survive in this league unless you can get the job done and Dogins can definitely get it done."

Thoughts on facing either Chicago quarterback?
"The thing we have to do is eliminate their running game because that's the one thing they've always been able to get going one us up there (in Chicago) is powering at us and the inside runs is what they like to do and get that going and they get that quarterback in a great position to play-action pass and do some other things and roll him out of the pocket it really doesn't matter whichever guy is in there. Three, five step drop, we have to get the running game under control and we'll hunt him."

How has it been playing for Coach Gruden this year?
"It's been a blast, no doubt about it, an absolute blast."

What has been Simeon Rice's contribution to Tampa's defense?
"He's been a beast for us. It took him a little while to learn the defense and everything that we asked him to do but since he's got it down, I don't think there's been a better end in this game."

What did Rice have to learn?
"When you come from a defense in Arizona which I don't know what they did or asked him to do but he was the horse and everything went around him and he got to do whatever he needed to do. But this, this is a trust system where you get your gap and you trust I'm going to have mine and we let him decide who's going to have the tackle. It took a little adjusting to get to for him but once he got it down, like I said, there hasn't been a better end in the game."

Did you feel like you got handled physically against Pittsburgh on Monday night?
"No, we gave up a first drive and then we throw a pick for a touchdown and before the first quarter's over we're down 17 to nothing. I'd like to see your guys win a bunch of games like that getting down 17 to nothing against a quality ball club."


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