9/9/07 Tampa Bay Quotes

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN

(Opening statement…)"I will just say that Seattle is a good football team. This is a hard place to play. I thought that we did some good things particularly early. You can't turn the football over in your first offensive possession and your last, in a tight football game and expect to win. We had some critical turnovers offensively. Defensively we gave up a big play on third and long. Credit to (Matt) Hasselbeck for keeping it alive.

On special teams, there were some big impact plays in this football game. There were a couple of penalties on us that nullified long returns, and there was a return by Nate Burleson that set up a big scoring opportunity for Seattle. There were six or seven plays that clearly determined the outcome of this game. Field position was horrific and hard to come by offensively today. I don't know how many drives we had, but I would believe that maybe six, seven or eight in a row started deep inside our own 15 yard-line. That's hard duty.

(On Tampa Bay's injuries…) "(Jeff) Garcia got dinged up, but returned to play. We believe that he will be okay. Carnell Williams is being evaluated with a rib injury. We don't know the severity of it yet. David Boston is a scratch. He got hurt in pre-game warm-up. He hurt his foot. We don't know the severity of that. And Brian Kelly left the game with a groin strain. It's unfortunate we lost some key guys that could have possibly helped us. But Seattle's a good football team, with a chance to become great."

(What was your thought when you saw Garcia go down injured…) "I can't comment publicly…it's tough. As you can imagine we have had a lot of injuries at that position. But I thought offensively, we moved the ball extremely well in the first half. We were eager to come out and get going in the second half. I think uncharacteristically Jeff maybe came off a couple of reads early to start the third quarter. But losing your starting quarterback and losing your start tailback, guys your counting on to help you win the game in a 10-6 ballgame, is tough.

(Were your quarterbacks under a lot of pressure…) "We didn't get blitzed much today, we got blitzed two or three times. Garcia made a great throw down the field to Galloway. He made a couple of great competitive scrambles. He did some good things. We moved the ball. We got out of tough field position. We were able to keep a couple of sustained drives. Unfortunately we couldn't finish them. We weren't perfect offensively today that's for sure. When you get six points to show for it, there's a lot lacking.

(Thoughts on the play of your offensive line…) "I thought that they did some good things. Again we moved the ball pretty well in the first half. It was very hard to communicate, very hard to hear. Seattle is a very talented defensive football team. I was pleased with some of the things that we did do. Obviously we struggled in some areas in pass protection, but overall it wasn't all bad."

QB JEFF GARCIA

 

(On the play that caused him to temporarily leave the game . . . ) "I just got my bell rung. It's just one of those things where I took a shot to the head, and that with the combination of my head bouncing off the ground—it didn't create a real positive effect.  I had to shake it off and get my rhythm back and find my equilibrium and find my thoughts. Once I did that I felt like I was to the point where I could go in a compete again."

(On what determined that he was ready to reenter the game . . . ) "Well, I touched my nose a few times and counted down from 10. I didn't miss any numbers.  It was one of those things where it's up to me, and it's hard to stay out of the fight.  I'm just one of those guys who wants to be out there contributing and helping the team.  I felt like I had my bearings back enough to be able to understand what was going on.  I didn't have any loss of memory as far as what had gone on prior to the hit.  I remember the play I got hit on, I remember what I was trying to do, all of those things.  So I thought I at a point where I could get back out there."

(On how he was feeling . . . ) "I was just a little wobbly. I was a little disoriented, yes.  I didn't have everything where it needed to be in order to stay in the game. I felt like I was going to try and walk it off, but I wasn't right, and I needed to take a knee and give them a chance to let Luke warm up and get off the field and get back to the point where I could be right again."

(On not scoring touchdowns early in the game . . . ) "When you play on the road, in a very hostile environment, very difficult environment, you need to capitalize on your opportunities. They were third-and-short situations, and we need to find a way to create a play to give our guys a chance to make a play, and I need to be better in those type of situiatons in order to help our guys out.  They played a lot of zone coverage.  They did a good job of reacting to players and shutting down lanes and doing the types of things that they needed to do.  We knew that they would be stingy inside the Red Zone.  That wasn't any secret.  They do a good job inside the Red Zone.  But we need to be better than that. We need to find ways to put touchdowns on the board instead of field goals. I think when you look at the game, [we had] too many errors in certain ways.  Obviously, third-and-short we need to be better.  Protecting the football we need to be better.  Penalties at inopportune times, we need to eliminate those things.  We can't afford to put ourselves in holes like that and put our defense on the field and wear them down.  We need to find ways to be more consistent offensively and eliminate the errors.  If we can do that—I think we were doing enough good things in the first half.  We were moving the ball well.  We were moving the pocket.  It's just a matter of finding ways to execute.  I think there a lot of things we can take a look at and learn from and we're going to better ourselves because of it."

(On whether he not he came off reads too early  . . . ) "I agree. I think there were a couple of times, especially when we were backed up, where I felt like I need to allow the play to develop a little bit more.  I think I was overthinking at times and coming off  too soon in situations where I need to give the play a chance.  That's part of the learning process that I'm going through right now with this team.  Those are things I'm going to be better at. I knew.  I talked to him (coach Jon Gruden) coming off the field after those situations took place.  I need to allow things to materialize, not be so quick in making decisions. Those are things I'm going to go back and see on film.  I already know where I could improve and I'm going to improve."

 

QB LUKE McCOWN

(On Tampa Bay's lack of success in completing drives . . . )  "That's the name of the game on offense.  When you have opportunities and you're able to put things together and get into the scoring zone, you've got to be able to finish and get points out of it."

LB DERRICK BROOKS

(On the Buc's performance today…) "Defensively, we gave up the long ball. We kept being one play away. We got the ball out a couple of times, but they got it back. Again, it comes down to, like it does in most games, one or two plays."

(On special teams…) "Again, our big plays got negated. It's the NFL, so like I have said before, you have to remember it is one game, you can't hang your head. You can bounce back and we will bounce back.

(On the positives to take away from this game…) "To be honest with you there is no silver lining in loosing. I am not going to sit up here and tell you that there is.  We can build on some things, but it goes down to us not holding our heads down, picking our chins up and going out there and earning a win against a very good team next week.

(On the long touchdown pass for Seattle's Morris…) "I was with him stride-for-stride. I just never saw the ball. I am not making excuses at all. The rule is 'find the ball.' I was just running with him, covering him and the next time I saw the ball it was between his legs and he caught it. I give Morris credit on that play for making a good play. I thought I had good coverage on that play. He made a play and I didn't. One of my strengths is coverage, so again you have to give him credit. I just never saw the ball and sometimes it goes that way."

DE GREG SPIRES

(On a great Tampa  Bay start …) "They had a few big third downs that they converted. And, we turned the ball over a couple of times. But, as a defense we played pretty sound.

(On the impact of a few big plays from Seattle…) "Hasselbeck did a great job of getting the ball up and getting the ball to his guys. And, on the return, they did a really good job; those two plays really helped them win this game.

(On the impact of travel to start the season…) "We came out here early; everyone was well rested. I don't think that had any impact on the game. There are no excuses for loosing—and that is certainly not one of them. We felt pretty good. I felt like as a defense, we should have won that game.

(On the impact of 13 new starters for Tampa Bay…) "I wouldn't say that is the reason we didn't win. We just have to come together as a team and find a way to win. We are going to do that next week against the Saints.

RB MICHAEL PITTMAN

(On not scoring a touchdown…) "Yeah we got the ball down to the endzone a few times and we couldn't finish the drivce had to settle for field goals, we turned the ball over a few times, just little things like that. When you are facing a good team you can't make mistakes, you have to put the ball in the end zone you have to put points on the board and we just didn't do that. Turnovers will kill you every time and you can't finish the drive, you have to score to win."

(On if the Seattle defense was doing anything different that caused the problems…) "No what they did is what we prepared for. They didn't do anything that we didn't prepare for they just executed well on defense. They played a great defense and as an offense we just have to finish. We didn't finish a couple times when we got down in the red zone and those plays are big. If we had gotten those touchdowns it would have been a lot closer of a game and with the two turnovers we may have even won the game."

(On if the long trip contributed to the sloppy play in the first game…) "Yeah even though we had the long trip it was no excuse to play the way that we did. We played hard of course but at the same time we are a lot better team than what we showed today. Hats off to Seattle they have a great team, offensively they moved the ball well, defensively they played well. As an offense we have got to play better to help our defense."

WR JOEY GALLOWAY

 

(On if he saw any of the Galloway jerseys in the stands…) "Not many people remember when I was playing here. The last time I was hear it was in the kingdome, it is a whole new breed of fan that you guys have in here now. Not many of them remember them days."

(On how he has been able to retain his skills as he has aged…) "Number one I have been blessed. I work extremely hard, I continue to do the things that I did when was younger. And fortunetly it has worked out for me and I feel good."

(On if the corner should have had help on his long completion…) "Well it was one-on-one, Jeff made a great throw, I don't know safety wise if one should have been there or not. Jeff made a nice throw and it was a nice gain for us."

(On if it was the injuries that slowed them in the second half…) "I don't know number one we didn't protect the ball. Anytime you are on the road in a hostile environment it's going to be very tough to win if you don't protect the ball. We didn't sustain our drives, we gave them some opprtunities and we hurt ourselves with penalties. We gave them opportunities and when you come to an opponents place if you give them opportunities eventually they are going to take advantage of them."

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