Post Game Quotes from the Bucs
BUCCANEERS PLAYER QUOTES
QB #14 Brad Johnson
"It was all about controlling the line of scrimmage and the time clock. That's what we did. Nothing fancy. We knew we were never out of it because the defense came to play today."
Q: On the TD pass to Warren Sapp
A: "You're going to have to ask Warren about that. I just put it up there because we were on the 1-yard line and he made a heck of a play."
Q: On the Bucs' playoff chances
A: "We just have to take it one game at a time. We know we have a long way to go and that's the only way to look at it."
DT #99 Warren Sapp
Q: On his TD catch
A: "That ball was up there in those Dome lights and I was just on auto-pilot. I saw Brad (Johnson) put it up there, and once it got up into those first row of lights, those three lights over Archie Manning's name, it got me. I said, 'Oh, no' Once it hits your hands, there's an old rule that you've got to catch it. I've been known to make a couple of big moves and big plays for us and that was the time to make one. It was a big play for us when we needed one."
Q: On the last few plays of the first half
A: "We got the momentum after a couple of turnovers...Our special teams did a great job blocking the punt and Ronde (Barber) almost taking it in...from that point we were all on auto-pilot because we can score anytime from the 1-yard line."
Q: On the victory
A: "The thing about it is the demise of the World Champions is greatly over-exaggerated. We're still alive and we're still kicking and there's no quit in this ballclub and you can see that on Sunday. We're just going to play these last few games and see where we lie. All we want to do is not take anything for granted and lose because nobody wants to be associated with that. We still have a couple of games to show the first part of the season wasn't us."
Q: On stopping Deuce McAllister
A: "We just set out to stop Deuce today because the one constant in our three losses to them is that he's been a bull. So, we just achieved what we set out to do, and that was to shut him down and we did it. We know he was trying to make history and all that, but we just said not to us."
Q: On pressure on Aaron Brooks
A: "We had a plan today to hold down Aaron and Deuce (McAllister) and make sure Deuce doesn't gas us out. We're always rushed well when we played that ballclub and today, we actually got to him and made some plays. Simeon (Rice) led us today and everyone made plays today on the defensive end."
DE #97 Simeon Rice
Q: On defensive effort
A: "We wanted to make it tough in the trenches today and we prevailed. It was good to play again. I was hurt last week. If you're a little hurt and damaged, it shows, especially with your arms, like me. From a team standpoint, we were alive. All of us wanted to get in there and make plays and that's what you saw, the pressure on (Aaron) Brooks and look what happens. We were doing the things we were supposed to do and set out to do and it provided a lot of energy."
"It was crucial, because if you do that, for one, you shut down the run. And then when we force them into a passing situation, that makes this team all the more better."
S #47 John Lynch
Q: On the victory
A: "It's been a tough season for us and you have to celebrate the victories, even the small ones. We got in the backfield and we celebrated that. We have to get excited. When you're struggling, you get down on yourself and carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, and we said in practice this week we were going to let it go and have fun and that's what we did."
Q: On Aaron Brooks in the second half
A: "We knew we were alright. At halftime, we knew if we kept stopping the run we would be OK. Obviously, you don't want anybody going 9-for-9, but we would rather have that than Deuce (McAllister) running down our throat. We keep saying that if we stop him, we would get pressure on Aaron and that's what happened. We played a lot of different guys today and we rotated them in and out to keep all of us fresh. It proved beneficial in the end and I think it showed we got stronger as the game went on."
CB #29 Ronyell Whitaker
Q: On covering Joe Horn (the dropped TD in the first half)
A: "He had a step on me on that one play and all I was thinking was getting one finger on the pass and making a play. I didn't think it was enough for him to drop it, because he is a great player, but fortunately I got a hand on it. Coaches put you in that situation to cover an All-Pro and you have to step up. I was expecting to cover Joe a lot today, all of my teammates told me you have to step up and you can't look at it as 'you're a rookie' and all that. You have to look at it as 'you and him,' and I never doubted my skills. I looked at him as a rookie, too, and I'm glad we got out of here with a win."
S #34 David Gibson
Q: On the blocked punt
A: "Any opportunity you get to make a play, you do it and that's what I did. You never know when your number is going to be called and I just made a contribution. I found a seam and went in between the outside guy and the tackle. You have to think you're going to block it every time. Their guy didn't get a good set on me and I got through clean and blocked it."
LB #55 Derrick Brooks
Q: On shutting down the Saints
A: "In the past, we've done a good job holding (Aaron) Brooks, but we forgot about (Deuce) McAllister, but today, we shut both of them down. We just kept playing. We had energy...fumbles, turnovers...I got emotional at the end of the game because that's how you want to end it, on the field with us there, holding them and the game's over."
Q: On the victory
A: "It gives us momentum going into next week. We played hard as a team, a total team effort. Thank God we did a good enough job out there."
CB #20 Ronde Barber
Q: On the game
A: "(Coach) Jon (Gruden) always says, 'It's not how you start, but how you finish,' and we have that in the back of our minds. Regardless of what our record is or our situation, you have to hang in there."
Q: On the last play
A: "Having Derrick (Brooks) make the last play against Deuce (McAllister) was poetic. That's how we wanted it to end."
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