Bucs Post-Game Quotes

September 23 - Read what the Bucs players had to say about their 26-14 win against the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football from their locker room inside Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs DT Warren Sapp on what makes the Bucs-Rams matchup such a great Monday Night Football matchup:
"I guess it's just the speed and the athletes on the field. The people watching TV are supposed to be able to enjoy this. We gave them a show tonight that they won't ever forget. It's the third time in a row, so let's do it again. I have no problem with it."

Sapp on stopping the Rams' running game:
"You have to be able to stop the running game. Don't believe this about the Rams just liking to throw. They've got the greatest running back that I think has ever played the game in (Marshall) Faulk. You definitely have to limit what he can do to us. Once he wasn't in the game, we just said we were going to punish Kurt Warner because they were a one-dimensional team from that point forward."

Tampa Bay QB Brad Johnson on defeating St. Louis on Monday night:
"It was an unbelievable win for us tonight. We scored on the first three of our four possessions. We really controlled the ball. We had terrible field position in the third quarter. We were trying to seal the game toward the end and then to come up with that big interception, the game was on the line and all they needed was a touchdown to win it, so it was a huge interception for us."

Johnson on his offensive line's performance against the Rams:
"Our offensive line played tremendous tonight. They gave me a lot of protection, especially in the first half. And then (the Rams) started blitzing and getting some stunts in there and stuff. We really controlled the game tonight. The bad field position really hurt us in the second half. I felt like we dominated in all phases tonight and we came away with a really big win."

Johnson on the offense getting the tight ends more involved:
"Well, we'll take what we can get. It's funny because people said we weren't throwing to our tight ends and this week we threw them 10 balls. It changes from week-to-week.

Johnson on Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson hauling in an important pass for a first down on the sideline toward the end of the first half:
"It was a corner route and they were in cover 2. They actually gave us a big hole there, but the ball kind of got away from me. I threw it a little bit flat, but (Keyshawn) did a great job of finding the ball in the lights and catching it on the sidelines and keeping his body in bounds. We needed that catch because we ended up scoring on that drive and it put us up right before the half, 13-7. It was a huge catch for us on third down and it put us down deep in their field position.

Johnson on winning at home on Monday Night Football:
"We needed this game. It put us at 2-1 right now. With our division – Carolina and the Saints are hot being 3-0, so we can't fall behind those guys. Sometimes you feel like you don't get enough credit when you win on Monday night against supposedly the best team in the league, a team that needed a win more than anybody, but we came away with a win. So, it was great for us to do that."

Bucs CB Brian Kelly on his 31-yard interception return:
"We had been telling each other all week to keep our eyes on Kurt Warner because we noticed for some reason he'd been looking real hard at his receivers, so we were getting a lot of good reads on the ball. Guys were getting good jumps on the ball all night just sitting zones and trying to read them.

Kelly on if he feels teams are trying to throw toward him instead of Pro Bowl CB Ronde Barber:
"They probably are, but I'm playing on the opposite side of a Pro Bowler. That's just how it is. Ronde puts his claim on the tape every week, so if I was an offensive coordinator, I'd stay away from him. But they can keep coming at (me) and I'll show up."

Kelly on whether or not he felt he would make it into the end zone on his interception return:
"I tried to. My hip flexor was killing me, my shoulder was killing me and then Kurt Warner tackled me. But Brooks put one in there, so we did put one in the end zone defensively."

Kelly on Derrick Brooks:
"In three weeks he's got three picks and (took) two of them to the house. That's big-time football and you can't ask for anything else from a linebacker."

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on his team's 26-14 win over the Rams:
"It's a big win for us. We got a lot of help from the fans. What can I say? We're 2-1 and we've got to finish this quarter in style. We've got to play Cincinnati."

Gruden on Tampa Bay's defensive performance:
"Our defense was dominant. Our pass rush was consistent, no matter if it were a three-man rush or a four-man rush or whether we were applying pressure, it was a consistent pass rush tonight that was legitimate. It caused problems, obviously. They kept throwing it and we kept making plays. What can you say about Brian Kelly's impact play on the interception and Derrick Brooks closes the victory out. I'm really proud of our football team and we got some offensive linemen hurt that we're concerned about."

Gruden on how the offense fared against the Rams:
"We really felt we had a good plan coming in. I thought our players executed it. I thought we moved the ball extremely well in the first half and in the second half we started with really bad field position. I think three drives started inside our 5-yard line, and that's tough sledding. I thought we made some big first downs and put St. Louis in some tough field position on their last couple of drives. But our defense stood up and really made it happen at the end."

Gruden on the play of the offensive line:
"They really played well in the first half. I thought the pass protection was solid. Brad (Johnson) was able to find his second and third reads. But in the second half, we lost Kenyatta Walker and Kerry Jenkins, you're running out of players pretty soon. We have to get these guys well."

Gruden on Kenyatta Walker's injury:
"He's got an ankle sprain and it looks pretty swollen right now. I want to say he's very questionable or doubtful for next week's game in Cincinnati and we're going to lean on Cornell Green and Todd Washington. It might be time to knock on Lomas Brown's door also."

Gruden on DE Simeon Rice's interception
"Big play. We had a zone blitz and Simeon was dropping into coverage. What can you say about an athlete that has that range and that ability to catch the ball away from his body and run down the sidelines like that? That was a great play and we capitalized by scoring a touchdown off of that particular turnover."

Gruden CB Brian Kelly's interception
"Brian made a big play. He made a couple of big plays throughout this game that I don't think people remember because of the length of this game. Brian has really played physical and I think that's going to do great things for him in terms of his confidence and making plays on the ball. That was a big play. That gave us a 12-point lead and really made things difficult on St. Louis and the crowd got into it and really helped us out."

Gruden on LB Derrick Brooks coming back into the game for one play after being sidelined with a hamstring injury:
"He kind of has a little authority and a little clout around here if you know what I mean. If he feels pretty good and feels like he can go, by God we let him go. He snuck in there and gets a great read and a super jump on the ball and he makes an impact play that impact players make. It was a decisive blow in this game and I couldn't be happier for the Buccaneer fans, players and especially Derrick Brooks."

Gruden on next Sunday's game at Cincinnati:
"(The Bengals) are struggling and they're going to make a quarterback change. Akili Smith will represent the Bengals next week and they're going to try to jumpstart that offense. They're dangerous. They've got some real talented players. If you look at a media guide you'll see Peter Warrick, Corey Dillon and a lot of guys that you recognize and their linebackers are really physical. They have pride, too, so it's going to be a real challenge for us on a short week with a lot of sore bodies."

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