Press Pass: Jeff Garcia

Here is quarterback Jeff Garcia's press conference after the Bucs' victory over New Orleans on Sept. 16, including Garcia's comment on Joey Galloway's big day, red zone efficiency and his give-and-take on play calls with head coach Jon Gruden.

On sustaining drives and being productive on offense

It definitely happened. It starts up front, the offensive line did a great job up front. They have a good front four from the Saints and [they] controlled the line of scrimmage. It wasn't that we had slow methodical drives and there were a couple drives where we did pound our way down the field, but we were able to hit some big plays. Joey [Galloway] came up with some big plays today. The defense played outstanding versus a good Saints offense. It was just a matter of taking care of business in the red zone. Scoring on that first drive, getting into the red zone and pounding it in was a great first step for us and we need to continue to build on that.

On the offensive line from last week to this week

I wouldn't say that I took a beating last week. There were a couple of situations where I put myself into positions where I absorbed hits and took blows and today it never came to that sort of situation. I think the offensive line, when called upon, did a great job of protecting and it was just one of those things where things clicked today. They did an outstanding job of coming out prepared and seizing the task at hand and taking care of business. It made us feel really comfortable back in the pocket to a point of being able to find our receivers and make plays down the field."

On scoring the first touchdown

It was a big step. I think it is something that we feel and realize in ourselves that it's just a matter of execution. We found out ways to execute today and to take care of our opportunities on the field. [We found out ways] to be able to create distance from the other team by putting points on the board and not settling for field goals in the red zone. Having the big play ability and Joey [Galloway] out on the field, Joey made some tremendous plays and created some opportunities when the momentum was in our direction. Again, our defense and special teams played outstanding today and if they can give us those opportunities week in and week out it's going to allow us to compete with everybody and put us in good position to potentially win a lot of football games.

About sticking his head down on third-and-six inside the Saints 10 to get a first down on the first touchdown drive

That's how I play the game. It was a matter of getting forced out of the pocket, finding room to run, knowing where the first down marker was and doing whatever I could to get the first down and continue the drive. It was one of those things where, again, I took a shot, but that was really the only shot they got on me all day. It was one of those things where I was able to bounce back up from it, continue plugging away and the offensive line did a great job the rest of the day of keeping them away from me.

Were you thinking touchdown there?

Well, I thought about leaving my feet, a lot of things went through my head. More so than anything, just get the first down, secure the ball and give us the opportunity to pound it in. When you get close to the end zone like that, you get excited, you want to find a way to get it in the end zone. But I'm a little guy going up against some big guys, so fortunately for us it was first down and allowed us three more cracks at the goal line.

On creating opportunities with WR Joey Galloway

They played us very similar to how they played the Colts last week. It was picking and choosing your time and creating opportunities down the field and that's what the Colts did and that's what we were able to do. We were able to find some opportunities down the field and Joey [Galloway], it's no secret he has great speed, [and] he has great acceleration. He creates opportunities on the field. We did a great job of hitting him on the slant and giving him an opportunity to catch the ball on the run, then a great block by WR Michael Clayton sprung him for the touchdown and then finding him over the middle a couple times against a cover-two zone. It was one of those things where we felt that we take advantage of certain opportunities. We were fortunate to do that today, [and] things aren't going to come like that all the time. When the opportunity strikes you have to be ready for it and you have to give him an opportunity to make a play and he made some great ones today.

Joey said a couple of times they had a safety in single coverage. When you see that, what goes through your mind?

Well, you always look for the right opportunity, the right matchup. Safeties are used to playing one-on-one and the great catch that he made down the field in the third quarter was a situation in which he became one-on-one on a safety and I just tried to put the ball in a place where he could make a play. Actually the safety played him pretty decently, but he made a great catch. He allowed that drive to continue and to get in the end zone. Those are big plays and you can't say enough about those type of situations. But those are started and made because the offensive line is doing a great job up front.

Talk about the sequence at the end of the first half when you were up 14-0 and had a chance to add to the lead.

We had plenty of time on the clock. We had pretty good field position. We thought that we would try to take a shot down the field, and found Ike (Hilliard) down the middle of the zone. It was a big play right there and put us in position to take a shot at the end zone. That sequence of plays right there just happened so far. It was a matter of executing those plays to perfection and guys making plays against a zone defense. Coach (Jon Gruden) made some great calls and we executed the plays, found the holes and receivers came up with the ball.

Jeff you made three trips to the red zone this week and scored two touchdowns. What was different this week?

(We scored) Six points last week and missed opportunities in the red zone, third and short situations, not converting. Part of that is on my shoulders, making better decisions in those times. We had a fumble late in the game in the red zone and we struggled with field position the rest of the game and not moving the ball well. Not taking anything away from Seattle, they're a very good defensive team. You need to capitalize on your opportunities in the red zone and last week we didn't do that. This week playing at home in a very hot environment, I think the guys realized what we were going into. We had to utilize that as an advantage to us and when we got into the red zone, we didn't struggle. We were able to convert. We put points on the board, and not just field goals. That's the difference in winning and losing football games. Last week our defense gave us a chance to win the game. Offensively we didn't do what we needed to do when we had opportunities, especially early in the game. If we get touchdowns on the board instead of field goals in the first quarter, it creates a much different game, a much different atmosphere and we didn't do that (in Seattle) and that's where you need to capitalize in this league. Especially when you play on the road.

Coach (Gruden) said you guys didn't see eye to eye on a few play calls. Caln you tell us what happened?

I appreciate him understanding when I'm comfortable and when I'm not comfortable. And I've played this game a long time and he's coached this game a long time, and I have great trust in him in what he suggests and what he brings to the table. He made some great calls today. But there were a couple of times in the game, certain plays, I just wasn't as comfortable with them, whether it's we didn't get a chance to work them as much in practice or just based upon what I'm seeing and feeling, let's work something else. Let's come back to that later. Let's go a different direction. We have 5,000 plays in our playbook, so why not try something else?


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