(On how hard it is to adjust to a new defense)
"It has been a pretty good transition. It is a very similar defense, very similar style of defense. When Larry Coyer came in here, he watched a lot of what we did in Tampa over the years, so we play a very similar scheme and that had to do with my decision to come here."
(On his emotions on coming to Tampa)
"There is a little bit of unknown to it. I've never been through this, really. I have played in front of my hometown. I've played against my brother-in-law. I've done things like that, but I have never played against my old team, in the NFL. It's going to be different and I don't know quite what to expect. The most important thing is for me to focus on approaching it like any other game. I don't think it would be honest to say my emotions are going to be like any other game, but in terms of my focus, we are trying to get to 3-1. I am sure the Bucs are trying to get their first win and they are going to be fighting hard to do that. That's ultimately what this game is all about."
(On whether he is looking forward to or dreading this game)
"It's something I look forward to. It's always fun to play against people you know and love. It's certainly something that Mike Shanahan sold to me when he was courting me here with the Broncos. He kept pointing to that fourth game on the schedule. I'm looking forward to it and can't wait for Sunday to come."
(On whether he is surprised the Bucs are in the situation they are)
"Yes, I am. I think it is a good football team. I think it's a long season. At the end, things will balance themselves out. I know from being there, although there are a lot of new guys and a lot of new personnel, a lot of guys in that locker room are great players with a tremendous amount of pride in the way they play the game. And because of that, I know we will get their best shot."
(On what he saw in Bucs S Jermaine Phillips that he liked)
"Besides his ability, which is outstanding, he loves football and he wants to be great. I like players that like what they are doing, love what they're doing. I saw that early in Jermaine. Someone who was willing to do whatever it took to be a special player, and I think that's exactly what he will become in this league. I think he will become one of the better safeties. It's been fun to watch him grow."
(On whether Tampa's defense has changed)
"I haven't spent a lot of time. I watch the games we have been able to watch, but I have been looking at Tampa's offense. I really haven't been studying Tampa's defense, so I couldn't accurately answer that."
(On what it feels like to be 0-3, referencing 1996)
"When you are in that situation, it's a feeling that can't get any worse. Lots of times, and I know what Gruden is telling them, it's an us against the world mentality. And a lot of times, teams seem to thrive under that kind of situation. You rely on each other. And a lot of times you come up with great efforts. And there's a little bit of, not desperation, but just a feeling of urgency that you have to get one under your belt. And again, I keep going back to that, but that's why we expect to get the Bucs' best shot."
(On Broncos CB Champ Bailey)
"I won't get into comparisons. Champ is as good a player as I've been around, and I've played with some great ones. You go back to just the God given talents. The guy can jump higher than anyone I have ever seen. He can run as fast as anyone I have ever seen. And I think the thing that astounded me after spending time with him is how fundamentally sound he is. Technique wise, he is as good as any corner there is in the league. And that surprises you sometimes when you have superior athletes, because they often times have just been able to get by on their athletic ability. And it's important to Champ. He's a great, great guy to be around. He's a great team guy on top of all that ability. And that's what makes him so special."
(On having a shutdown corner or a great running back on his team)
"I'd say shutdown corner. I play defense, so I'm a little bias."
(On him and Bucs QB Brad Johnson driving to the game together)
"We haven't talked yet. That certainly would make me feel at home. I don't know if we'll do that, but it would be fun."
(On what reception he expects to get and about seeing #47 jerseys in the crowd)
"I know there were a lot of clearance sales when I left. I don't know quite what to expect, I really don't. I just know what a special feeling I have for the community of Tampa, and the way they treated me. They're great fans, they really are. They're passionate about their football and it's a fun atmosphere to play. That's the only thing I've tried to communicate to the guys here, you're going to love playing football there. It's going to be loud, despite their struggles so far. The fans come, and they support their team. In terms of what reception, I don't know quite what to expect."
(On defense still being good without him and Sapp)
"This is a league where it's just the way it is. The landscape of the league now, you've got to move on. And you've got to believe in the guys you play with, and they have reason to believe in the guys that they are playing with. I think in both situations they had tremendous players (Jermaine Phillips and Anthony McFarland) that are stepping in. We are in a situation here, where we lost Trevor Pryce, who is an impact player. But we expect Marco Coleman, Raylee Johnson and all these guys to come in and play at his level. And that's a tough thing to do. But, it's that mindset you have to have in this league."
(On how he feels physically)
"I feel great. Physically I feel very blessed. You can be told by everybody that you are going to be fine, but I think until you go out there, and even regardless of what you do in the preseason and in practice, until you go full speed in a game and have that hit after hit and big hits, you don't know quite what to expect. I've been very pleased after the first three games. I feel excellent. I think it's something that you really come to value and just having your health and having the ability to play the way you like to play football. Other than the newness of being here, the challenge that presents, I'm just having a ball playing football again, the way I like to play it."
(On this year's Bucs looking to grind it out with ‘Buc Ball' just to get a win)
"That's typically, not necessarily the old style of ‘Buc Ball.' But most games in this league are going to come down to tight games. We played the Chargers last week and some people in the press and fans were grumbling after we beat them 23-13. But you take wins when you can get them in this league. You want to play perfect, but that doesn't always happen. You do whatever you can to get a win."
(On wearing number 47 and about anyone else wearing that number for the Bucs)
"That goes way back to Frank Pupello. I wore seven in high school, 17 at Stanford. I just told them when I came, I wanted something with a seven, so they put me at 47. In terms of seeing someone else, I'm sure that day will come. You take a lot of pride. You see a lot of 47s throughout the league. You're kind of humble by the fact that people want to wear your number."
(On the Broncos' ability to consistently have 1,000-yard rushers)
"I think first of all, we struggled. I think last week was the lowest production in Mike Shanahan's era since he's been head coach since 1995. I think we had 30 yards rushing. And that's something they aren't accustomed to at all. It's kind of like great defense in Tampa. People just kind of come to expect it. And you see why when you practice against them everyday. It's almost like watching the D-line in Tampa for years. They work great in unison. They work together. And it's that zone-blocking scheme that's been so successful. They know what they're doing. They stick with the run. They make an attempt to establish that running game every week and they don't give up on it if it struggles early. So, I wouldn't expect anything different than trying to get back to that running game, and get that going because that's what this offense has thrived on over the years. It's nice though, we have the ability that if we do get shut down in the run game like we did, that we have a pretty productive passing game as well."
(On his memories of Brad Johnson)
"We're both very much routine-oriented people. He left me a message prior to game one and he says, ‘I'm not going to know what to do roomie. I'm going to have to read the media guide to myself, read my bio to myself and pump myself up.' Just great memories. We watched a lot of college football, we talked a lot of trash to each other. He was a tremendous roommate. We had a lot of fun. We drove to the stadium every week. So those are things that you miss, but friendships you'll never forget."
John Lynch Transcript
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