Bucs Post-Game Quotes

December 23 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sound off on their 48-21 win over the New Orleans Saints.

C Tony Dungy on the game:

³That was obviously the best we¹ve played in a long time and it came at a good time. This week in practice, I felt the guys handled well the fact that this was going to be a very big game. We practiced well and it showed today. We were a little fortunate to catch New Orleans with a little of the Monday Night hangover we experienced a couple of weeks ago. We made the plays early and that led to a first half played as well as we can play. In December, you want to get hot. As you win, each game gets bigger and we certainly have one next Sunday. It was good to get this win, now its time to move on.²

C Tony Dungy on the importance of Stecker¹s record kick return to start the game:

³We talked about this last night. We knew we would need big plays and those could come from anywhere. Also, those plays don¹t necessarily have to come from our big-name people. Aaron broke a few tackles and our offense was able to put the ball in the end zone. I think the return got the fans emotionally charged.²

C Tony Dungy on the getting Ricky Williams out of the Saints game plan:

³That has happened to the Saints a couple of times this year. He¹s a hard running back. We knew that if the game was tight he would get the ball quite a bit and Ricky gets stronger as the game goes on. When you can limit his carries by virtue of the score, it certainly helps.²

C Tony Dungy on his status as Bucs¹ coach:

³We¹re doing fine inside the building. We don¹t worry about speculation and what other people think should happen. I think we¹ve got a good shot at going to the playoffs and that is all we talk about. We focus on how to make this team the best it can be for this year. The speculation is for the radio shows.²

C Tony Dungy on Sapp, and others, playing hurt:

³We have some guys banged up, and they were able to go and play well. Fotuneately, the score allowed us to get some of them out of there. Everyone knew the magnitude of this game. This is that time of year.²

C Tony Dungy on the running game:

³We made a couple of adjustments on how we blocked and we were really coming off the ball. Mike and Jameel did a really good job for us today. We got Warrick the ball more out of the spread formation. We did a good job using our people. Of course, its easier to run the ball when we¹re playing with the lead. ³

C Tony Dungy on the play of Ronde Barber:

³Ronde¹s had a heckuva year. He¹s made a lot of big plays for us. The interception he made in the first quarter that allowed us to get to 14-0 was huge. Its something he¹s done all year and now we expect him to come up with a couple of big plays a game.²

C Tony Dungy on the Bucs controlling its playoff destiny:

³As we told the team after the game, we are in the driver¹s seat. But, that means we still have some work to be done. We can¹t sit back and assume thing will go our way. We have to continue to practice and play with the urgency we displayed this week. We have the defending Super Bowl champs coming in on Saturday night and it couldn¹t be more fun than that. We will be ready to go. Fortunately, we have these last games at home.²

C Tony Dungy on the health of Martin Gramatica:

³Martin pulled a hamstring. Its going to be tough. We are going to have to look at making a roster move next week. As of right now, it doesn¹t look good. He is in a lot of pain.²

C Tony Dungy on the play of the offense:

³We had some things we thought we could be successful doing based on film we viewed last week. We were able to spread them out and negate the Saints pass rush by going to some quick throws, then go play action pass. I thought our offensive line did a great job against a unit that can really rush the passer. For the most part, we were able to keep them off Brad.²

QB Brad Johnson on the game:

³Aaron Stecker set the tempo of this game with a big return on the opening kickoff. We were able to put a lot of pressure on both the Saints¹ offensive and defensive lines. We figured the team that dominated up front today was going to win. The offensive line played especially good this afternoon, opening big holes for the running game while not giving up a sack. When we get the running game going like we had today, its incredible the things you can accomplish offensively.²

QB Brad Johnson on the play of the defense:

³Our defense has been playing tremendously. Today, they came up with some huge turnovers, scoring on one and providing the offense with good field position.²

QB Brad Johnson on the play of the offense in the red zone:

³New Orleans has an especially tough short-yardage defense and we pounded them today. We took advantage of the short field early and put some drives together and scored 30 points in the first half. That doesn¹t happen very often in the NFL.²

QB Brad Johnson on not turning the ball over:

³That has been our strength all season long. We¹ve won the turnover battle in twelve of our fourteen games which is phenomenal. That is a big reason we¹ve been in most games until the end.²

RB Mike Alstott on the running game:

³When your defense gets turnovers and the offense takes advantage and gets the lead, it gives us the opportunity to run the ball, to pound it out. That is what we did today. The offensive line dominated a very good Saints line. We played Buc ball; pound it, pound it and pound it. It was a great day over all.²

RB Mike Alstott on the play of the offense:

³Without a doubt this was the offense¹s most complete game. We had a bunch of guys touching the ball. I had a TD, Warrick had one and so did Dave Moore. We operate the best when we have different hands on the ball. We went into the game wanting to play an offensively physical game against a very physical defense. Whichever team won those battles would win the game. Today, we came out on top.²

RB Mike Alstott on the play of the offensive line:

³What you saw today is what they like to do. But its not going to be like that every Sunday. Obviously, when we fall behind, we have to throw to make up some points. They did a heckuva job today.²

RB Mike Alstott on the Aaron Stecker kick return to start the game:

³That was absolutely huge. I was hoping we would finally score on a kick off return, but Stecker did a great job breaking tackles and guys did a good job blocking downfield.²

RB Mike Alstott on the playoffs:

³This game was a playoff game for us. The next two games are playoff games as well. We have to face Super Bowl champion Baltimore on Saturday in our house and we have to win out. We have to do this again next week.²

RB Mike Alstott on last week¹s loss to Chicago:

³We got embarassed last week. They beat us pretty good, so we had to come home and prove that this team was not through yet. Don¹t count us out because we have a lot of character on this team. ³

S John Lynch on his kicking duties:

³The biggest problem I had was teeing up the ball. When I was kicking in high school we used the two-pronged tee. Now, with all of the technology, I had no idea how to put the ball in that thing. The play clock almost ran out on the first kick and then Martin told me I had the tee backwards. They called that first one a hook but I prefer to call it a draw. The third time Martin coached me up a little bit and I got some hang time on the ball.²

S John Lynch on the quick points scored by the Bucs.

³We talk all week about tempo-setters. I thought Aaron Stecker did an unbelievable job letting the Saints know we came to play today. Plays like that, when a guy is running downfield breaking tackles, really give a team a big lift. It also adds some electricity to the stands. Its important, coming off a tough loss, to set the tempo. We did a good job of that today.²

S John Lynch on the Bucs inconsistent play this year:

³I¹ve said all along we have the ability to play a poor game and come back the next week and look like one of the best teams in the league. I don¹t know if that is a good thing, but it is something we are capable of doing. It happened a couple of years ago in Oakland and we came back and went on a nice run.²

S John Lynch on the play of Ronde Barber:

³Ronde¹s been playing unbelievably well. You are so happy when good things happen for a guy like him. He studies harder and watches more film than anyone. When he first came to the team, he was the guy who was always on the bubble. He¹s worked himself into being one of the best corners in the NFL. He has a tremendous nose for the balls and has developed some keen instincts. He continues to make plays for us.²

S John Lynch on the importance of this win:

³It is especially big because it came against the team we were tied with for that last playoff spot. What happens to us now is in our hands; we control our destiny. If we had lost today we would have needed some help, and a team doesn¹t want to be in that position. This was a huge win for us; it feels good.²

DT Warren Sapp on the Bucs¹ frame of mind prior to the game:

³I know the type of ballclub I have here. This is the type of team that understood this: the team we are fighting with for the last playoff spot was coming into our house trying to take what we want. With the guys we have here, I¹d bet on us every time. You think you are going come into our place and beat us? Uh-uh, no way.²

DT Warren Sapp on the play of the entire team:

³It¹s been a long time since we put together such a complete game; and with some big plays. But there are some things we can improve on and we will work this week to play the defending champions. We can play a better game.²

DT Warren Sapp on losing his role as backup kicker:

³It was my job to kick. I took my pads inside and put some ice on my shoulder. No one knew Martin was hurt until it was time to kick off. Marciano came up to me and said, OYou are going to kick the ball off¹. I looked at him and said, OAre you crazy? I don¹t have my pads on and you¹re going to have to get someone else¹. Lynch took over and did a good job for us.²

DT Warren Sapp on the status of Dungy¹s job:

³You guys are writing on speculation. The head man, Glazer, hasn¹t said anything. No one knows what is going to happen. If we have to play for our coach¹s job, that¹s not a bad thing to play for.²

CB Ronde Barber on the game:

³It was our type of game. The defense forced some turnovers and the offense pushed it in. This was really our first playoff game. Every game after this one is a playoff game. We came up big; on offense, defense and special teams.²

CB Ronde Barber on the Bucs¹ fast start:

³Aaron got the big return to get us started. We put the ball in the end zone and on the next series Brooks hits me in the stomach. We went right in and scored again. It definitely sent a message.²

CB Ronde Barber on the Bucs¹ inconsistent play:

³The Bears showed us a team playing with a sense of purpose. They are playing more as a team than any club we¹ve played this year. They beat us twice and we have to give them credit. This week we had our backs against the wall for what seems like the one-hundredth time and it was important for us to go out there and perform like we are capable of doing. In O99 we went out to Oakland and got embarassed and then came home and beat Green Bay at home. We set a precedent; we can¹t play a bad game after a bad game. This week we practiced with a sense of urgency and I think it showed on the field today.²

CB Ronde Barber on his possible selection to the Pro Bowl:

³I don¹t know about that; it¹s not really up to me. I¹m just doing my job and fortunately I¹m getting some interceptions. I was a pick-master in college, man, and I¹m finally getting an opportunity to show I can do it here.²

CB Ronde Barber on why he is playing better this year:

³I really can¹t put a finger on just one thing. I have an outstanding coach in Mike Tomlin. I¹ll say this again and again; he¹s Otechniqued¹ me into the ground. It is paying dividends, I think.²

CB Ronde Barber on coming close to scoring three touchdowns:

³I¹ve got a hamstring, man. I¹m just glad to be able to move after the catch. I had a TD against the Jets a couple of years ago and I had a pulled quad at the time. Until now, I had never had a three pick game. This was kind of special.² WR Keyshawn Johnson on the difference in the team from last week¹s loss: ³First of all, we played at home. Also, our defense came to play. Simeon Rice has been a big addition to this team. He had Aaron Brooks looking all over for him. McFarland had a great game and Ronde had one of the best games I¹ve ever seen from a defensive back. Alstott had a great game as did Dave Moore. When we have a lot of people contribute, this will be the outcome.²

WR Keyshawn Johnson on the success of the play-action:

³People always ask why we haven¹t used the play-action pass. Hell, we haven¹t run the ball worth a damn all year. Now we¹ve been successful running the ball with Mike which opens up some things using play-action.²

RB Aaron Stecker on his record kick return:

³When I started returning kicks I thought I would be the one to score the first TD in Bucs¹ history. It¹s in my head and you guys talk about it so much. I think I would have scored if I hadn¹t kept looking back. When I passed the kicker, I thought I had it. Then somebody jumped on my back and he was too heavy to carry.²

Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/BucMag.com

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