Press Pass: Ronde Barber

In this edition of "Press Pass," Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber talks about Sunday's loss to Jacksonville, including a pointed exchange about the Jaguars' running game and Jags QB Quinn Gray:

On the Jacksonville offense

They didn't trust their quarterback to move the football — we knew that. They showed that last week against Indianapolis. It was on us to stop the run and those were going to be our big plays. At times it was good enough, at times it wasn't. Two drives in particular, they just ran it down our throat and that's what we can't do in a situation like this.

On QB Quinn Gray making plays

It's still football. He's got enough talent to be in the league. He can throw a fade, I can throw a fade, anybody can throw a fade. Matt (Jones) just made a great catch.

On if the defense is failing to make the stops

That's not it at all. It's situational football. We're not a good enough team to overcome some of the mistakes that we're making. You can't put it on one thing. There's a lot of things that could have gone right in that game that didn't. I refuse to take moral victories out of playing a good team. I think that's a chicken way out. I think we're a better football team than that. It was just a tough-fought game and they made the plays they did and they beat us.

On why it is so difficult in some situations to get a stop on defense

They outplayed us in situational football. We have to go out there and make plays in situational football. I won't put it on any one person. We're a team and we have to be better than that. But last week, if we had stopped Detroit when we had them backed up, we probably would have won that game. We didn't. When we needed to make a stop in the fourth quarter today, we didn't. Now, don't twist that. Don't put that the defense didn't play well enough to win this game because we did. There were some missed opportunities all the way around, on special teams and on offense. As a unit it wasn't good enough and we should be focusing on that.

On the Quinn Gray fumble in the end zone that might have resulted in a safety if Gray had not recovered it and gotten to the 1-yard line

It is what it is. You have to make the play and we didn't. We needed someone to jump on that football.

On whether this loss is hard to swallow, considering it's a quarterback that never started in the NFL in Quinn Gray

They're all hard to swallow. They're all hard to swallow. (Question: But this is a guy that had never started in the NFL?) What's your point? They ran the ball 80 times or something like that. Somebody mentioned they had 60 yards passing. Don't pretend that because he's a first-time starter that he's not a good player. You can get back there and throw the football the way he threw the football today. Anybody can. We had to make plays — there's no doubt about that. Don't put that Jacksonville is not a good football team. They are a good football team. They played well and better enough to beat us. (Another question about Gray's passing, which is inaudible) I don't know — what were his passing stats? They put the ball up in the air three or four times a quarter. We knew they were going to run the ball. Aside from strip opportunities, you're right, there weren't many chances for turnovers today. Getting shut out in the turnover category two weeks in a row, being negative in that department, you'll lose the football game. Coach (Paul) Hackett tells us that every week. It's been two weeks running and that's not good enough.

On how one-dimensional Jacksonville's offense was, especially early in the contest when they ran 14 straight times

No, no, no. They had four or five tight ends up (on the roster). We knew what they were going to do. We had to stop the run and for the most part we did. They had some opportunities and took advantage of them, two drives in particular, we didn't stop them.

On whether he felt like by the fourth quarter they had done enough to win the game

It's never enough. Unless you win it's never enough. That has be our mentality, and when we're a good football team that is our mentality. When it's not, we're searching for answers like we are now.


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