Bucs Post-Game Quotes

October 27 - Read what the Bucs players had to say about their 12-9 win against the Panthers from the team's locker room inside Ericsson Stadium in North Carolina.

Bucs kicker Martin Gramatica on accounting for all 12 of Tampa Bay's points with his four field goals:
"I owe it all to the guys. They were awesome. We had great snaps, great holds, so I didn't feel any pressure all day. I was able to relax and just kick the ball. Those guys did an outstanding job today."

Gramatica on his game-winning 47-yard kick:
"I wouldn't say I hit it like it was nothing. Those kicks are never easy. The guys just gave me all the confidence in the world and Coach Gruden just sent me out there to make the kick. I just felt real comfortable that they believed in me. That just makes it a little more special when everyone believes in you."

Tampa Bay strong safety John Lynch on his team's 12-9 win in Carolina:
"It's a huge win for us. You know 6-2 sounds a whole lot better than 5-3. This win puts us in great position in our division. It was just a big-time win where a lot of guys stepped up and made big-time plays to pull it out."

Lynch on Tampa Bay's defensive effort:
"Our job is not to play well, it's to outplay the opponent. For the most part, we played extremely well. At the start of the second half, they started to get some drives. They have kind of a different running game that can give you some problems. But we settled down and played some great defense. Someone in the stands from Tampa brought a sign that said ‘pound the rock'. That's kind of been our slogan this year. If you keep pounding that rock, it's going to eventually crack and sure enough it did."

Lynch on the defense holding Carolina to just 15 yards in the first half:
"I remember when we played the Giants at home, I think we held them to 108 yards and lost. It doesn't leave you feeling good if you lose and the important thing is we came back and won. Martin is a stud. We knew if we could just get it close he'd come through for us. Rob Johnson had a rough day because he had people in his face all day, but he stayed with it and made some plays and Shaun King came in with no warm-up tosses and makes a big throw. That's what it takes to win in this league."

Lynch on the Bucs finishing its road trip 4-1:
"I'm looking forward to seeing my kids and seeing my wife and sleeping in my bed. Every time we come home it seems like we're back on that plane again. But I'll tell you what, though. It sets up very nicely for us in the second half of the season. I don't know how many of our games are at home, but I know a lot of them are. We've got a good stretch here with Minnesota, the bye week and then Carolina. We're going to relish that. We need to get healthy. We've got a lot of guys nicked today. We need to get ready for Minnesota because it looks like they put some things together for Chicago today."

Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice on Sunday's game being a defensive battle:
"I'd say it was more of a defensive exposé. It was a hard-fought victory. It was a hard-fought win. It was ugly but beautiful. It was a test for our character and I think we needed one of those games this year."

Rice on the Bucs' win over the Panthers helping the team down the road:
"It was one of those games, but we needed that. We're talking about going the distance, so every game has to mean something. We've got to take something from every game and build on it. It was a showcase of what our heart is like. I think this game was about heart."

Rice on recording two sacks against Carolina:
"In terms of the glamour, I got off to a slow start this season, but I'm doing the little things and those little things right now I've got under the bag.

"I feel like I have my wings again, so it's proper. Things are going well."

Rice on the backups contributing to the defensive line:
"Everybody right now is pulling their own weight. Ellis (Wyms) has four sacks. We're all doing our thing and it's all showing up. It's showing up big-time."

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on Tampa Bay's 12-9 win in Carolina Sunday:
"That was an unbelievable gut-check. For everybody that's watched football or played football and that have been in games like that, to find a way to win is a great feeling."

Gruden on Tampa Bay's defense not allowing Carolina's offense to score a touchdown:
"They played a lights-out football game. We have a long way to go offensively and I'm not going to deny that. I was so impressed with the fight and the strong will of the men in this locker room to find a way to win a football game and to give (Martin) Gramatica an opportunity was very exciting."

Gruden on Carolina's defense:
"They were very tough. I still have no idea how they lost to Dallas, Arizona and Green Bay. They're very physical. They won some one-on-one match-ups today. They did physically win some match-ups and they're going to do that because they've very talented. We have to do a better job of coaching and a better job of playing, but at the same time, I think that's obvious to everybody."

Gruden on Gramatica's four clutch field goals:
"If the fans could be on the field and just see the mentality that guy has, it's awesome. I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to make not only the last one, but the third one, the second one and the first one. He's just an amazing performer. We got better in the area of protection and if we can give this kid the opportunity to see posts – I call him Barry Bonds because he's going to hit a lot of three-run homers."

Gruden on QB Rob Johnson's performance in his first start as a Buc:
"He did enough to win. We're very proud of the fact that we went on the road and won a football game with our backup quarterback and even our third quarterback. We've got a lot of guys hurt. Kerry Jenkins got hurt and (Joe) Jurevicius, who was our flanker and backed up (Keenan) McCardell), couldn't play much. So we leaned on a lot of guys and we're obviously concerned about the health of (Anthony) McFarland. But to win and be 6-2 is something we're happy about."

More from Gruden on McFarland's fractured forearm:
"The exact severity of (that injury) has yet to be determined. If it's a severe injury, surgery could be needed. To lose a guy like that is just a sick feeling in our locker room, but we'll see once we get further information."

Gruden on Tampa Bay being 6-2 for the first time since 1979:
"It makes us feel great. That's the best we could have been today. We couldn't have been 7-2 – we had to win this sixth game. No matter how you win, it's a great feeling and a great accomplishment to win four out of five games on the road in the first half of the season. We can get better and we know we have to."

Gruden on the Bucs hosting five of its last eight regular season games at home:
"I know our fans are ready. I'm just starting to meet some of these people personally, but we really have to get this place jacked up. We need our fans' help tremendously this week as we go up against the Minnesota Vikings."

Gruden on the amount of Tampa Bay fans in Ericsson Stadium Sunday:
"We're becoming global. Everywhere we go you see more and more Buccaneers stuff. Isn't it awesome?"

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