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Buccaneers Postgame Quotes - 8/18/2011

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players comment on their Preseason game against the New England Patriots from Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, August 18, 2011.


(Opening statement)
"I'll start with the positive first. I loved the way our guys fought back. I loved the way our guys responded in the two-minute drive to go out there and stop [New England] and get off the field.[…] The things we have to fix from tonight, obviously, are the self-imposed penalties versus a big-time team. You can't have those. Those things will kill you. We obviously have a lot of work to do. This is an accountable, young football team who will go back to the lab and get ready to deal. We started flat, something that you have to try to avoid. It was kind of like a bad practice at the beginning, and then they kind of started to come out of it and play a little harder. We have to avoid those flat starts at all costs, because they can come back and hurt you, especially against a very good team."

(On the offense)
"Well, obviously, we didn't get anything going on offense. We didn't have a whole lot of time back there [in the pocket]. The New England Patriots did a great job of presenting different looks and really rushing [Freeman] and giving him a bunch of pressure, so we didn't get what we wanted [on offense]. We have to try to come out next week and get it."

(On the offensive line)
"I've got to look at the tape. I don't know if [the performance] was all on the offensive line. It could have been some of the protection stuff, some of the back stuff, or things of that nature. I'll go back and look at it. We'll look at it as a unit. We'll look at is as a corps. But they [out played] up front, there's no doubt about it. They won the up-front battle for sure. We'll look at that and correct the mistakes."

(On losing the up-front battle)
"It's always disturbing, but it's stuff that you can learn from with a young football team. Last week we were able to dominate up front, this week we got dominated early. This week we started to fight back at the end, or somewhere towards the middle there, but you have to start fast and play fast. You have to come out of the tunnel ready to go, and we didn't tonight."

(On learning from the game)
"You learn from them all. They all have learning experiences. Obviously tonight I couldn't come up here and say I didn't see anything negative on the field like I did last week. We were able [this week] to see some negative things right off the bat that we can correct. That's always something you can learn from and have some teachable moments from when we go back to work."

(On comparing the Buccaneers to the Patriots)
"The thing you have to realize when you play this game-and this game was great to play early, especially, because the thing that New England does just as well as anybody, in fact the two teams that come to mind are New Orleans and the Patriots, is their tempo. When you have a quarterback like [Tom Brady], he's able to come out and control the tempo the way he was, he never lets you settle down and never lets you get going. You see rookie play when that happens. You see [DE Adrian] Clayborn turn into a rookie, you see some of the up-front guys turn into rookies when you have a guy who can come out and create that kind of tempo. When you're playing that kind of team that is hitting on all cylinders [and] has been together for a while. [Players like WR] Wes Welker, and, I know they have a new guy in [WR Chad Ochocinco], but, for the most part, that team is pretty well-assembled. They've been playing together for a while in the same system, and they knew exactly what they wanted to do. They knew exactly what they wanted to do in every situation, and [Brady] was in complete control. They went out and did a great job executing."


(On Allen Bradford scoring play)
"The line makes a great block and [TE Daniel] Hardy told me, 'Just make sure you know I'm going to sit it outside, make sure you press in, then go in.' So then I went in and scored my first touchdown."

(On the speed of the NFL)
"It's fast. I'm just still getting used to it from camp and just trying to study a lot, but Coach Logan makes it easy to make sure you know what you're doing when you go out there so you don't make that many mistakes."

(On the playbook and veteran leadership)
"You know, I just study and I continue to study my playbook even when I feel like I know something. I just study, study even before the game. You know, I got lots of vets, like LeGarrette Blount, Kregg Lumpkin, and Earnest Graham always helping me a lot. The offensive line made some key blocks so I just didn't do it by myself."

(On the feeling of first pro TD)
"It felt good for the first one, you know. Hopefully, I'm going to get more."


(On reality check after losing to Patriots)
"It was definitely a reality check that we all needed. You know, I'm pretty sure, from the lower ranks to the higher-up, we all needed that reality check. I'm so glad it's in the preseason, and we just have to learn from it."

(On Keith Millard as new D-line coach)
"The great thing about Keith [Millard] is they just teach you what you're already good at. They're not trying to make every player the same guy."

(If Crowder was glad to be back in a Buc uniform)
"Oh definitely, I love this organization. They've been real special to me. They were so welcoming when I came back and was happy to see me. I'm just trying to be up here and just build a legacy here. I feel like this is the year to do it."

(On the youth of the team and the positive development)
"I think we can be real scary, scary as far as in a good way because we got so much young talent and a lot of hungry guys on this team that really haven't gotten a name out. You know, we don't have any superstars. We got some superstars in the making but even those guys go hard every day in practice and are really trying to get better at their craft, and just trying to be pros."


(On what the young players should take from tonight's game)
"It's a little reality check. [The Patriots] are definitely the upper echelon of the NFL and have been for some time. They're coached well, they have great depth with their players, and they have one of the best quarterbacks in the game on their team. It was a great challenge and we didn't rise to it. We need to be able to rise to the challenge when we have that opportunity."

(On tonight's game being a learning experience)
"I was talking to [Offensive Line Coach] Pat Morris on the sideline, and it's exactly what you said, we're just glad this one didn't count. We shouldn't have to go through this and learn this lesson, but at the same time we're glad this one didn't count and hopefully we can draw from it in the future."


(On his performance tonight)
"It was frustrating because I felt like we had a good game plan. [We] had a lot of basic stuff that we felt like we could go out and execute extremely well. But for the offense, it was penalties that set us back. I felt like some guys felt like they had to go out of what their training teaches them, me included. There were a couple plays where I might have messed up on the o-line call, didn't get the ball out of my hands soon enough. That ends up costing you. Sacks and penalties are really drive killers. The first few series were full of those."

(On what the team got out of this game)
"You never like to go out and put that on tape like what we did tonight. But at the same time we look at last season. We're a young team. We don't really see these teams that are consistently in the playoffs, consistently in the Super Bowl, these super Super Bowl caliber teams. You look at last year, the Steelers game, another game I would compare to this game. The difference is that that game happened in Week Three. It counted. The Patriots came out and really dictated this game. It was unfortunate because we had penalties and a number of things go wrong where I felt like we could have got something going. But as a group of ones, we're going to go in this week and be extremely critical of ourselves when we're watching this film and come out next week. This isn't something that you're going to question where we're going as a team. But at the same time, it's something that says, hey, we got to figure out a way to come out and be more sharp in the opening drives."

(On what went wrong tonight)
"We were on. We just kept [being] beaten man-to-man, whether it was me making a bad throw, whether it was somebody squeaking through in the pass-rush, whatever it was. We just weren't as sharp as we needed to be as an offense."

(On the Patriots)
"They had a good jump on us. It was just one of those games. They had a good feel for what we were doing. They were getting a good jump on the ball. We'd change up the snap count, they'd still get a good jump. [They are a] very disciplined team. Early on in the season, early on in the preseason, you got to figure out a way to come out with that sort of enthusiasm, that sort of discipline that they were playing with. It's our offense. Obviously it's unacceptable as a first offense. We didn't want to come out. We wanted to just keep going until we got something going. But obviously there's a big picture in mind and this game is not going to count for or against us in any way, shape or form. We just have to find a way to come back and be ready to play the Dolphins next weekend and hopefully we'll be ready to get all these bumps in the road out of the way before we get to the Lions."

(On losing tonight's game)
"It's frustrating. We're a very competitive team. We want to come out and we want to play well. We want to play well. We want to drive it down the field and score touchdowns. Tonight wasn't our night. It's obviously frustrating. It stings a little bit, but, at the same time, like I said the big picture is getting to the season healthy and being able to compete and get wins in the regular season. Even if we came out and played great tonight, played like we did last week, at the end of the things, it doesn't matter. It's a growing experience and that's what the preseason is for, for the team to go out and get on the same page, grow and work together as an offense and as a defense and figure out who your 53 on the roster are going to be."


(On the pressure from the defense for all the quarterbacks)
"They were able to put some pressure on us, and get us out of the pocket and get us out of our rhythm. It is a credit to them, they came out ready to play tonight. It really took us a while to get something going, so that's a lot for us to learn from."

(On the difference between this week's game and last)
"They came out and they played hard. You have to come to play every week. On our standpoint, we as a team, we felt like we didn't come out with the same intensity as last week, the same intensity that they had. They came out and they took it serious. They had their starters in there for the majority of the game and they took it as a regular season game. You can see that with the intensity they had on the field. It is something for us to take and learn from. The good thing about it is its preseason and not a regular season game so it's something we have to get better on immediately."

(On the upside of the reality check of this loss)
"Exactly, you hit it right on the nail. The reality check is happening now, so it's good for us. Something to learn from, we have to come out every week, week-in and week-out, and play every team with the same level of intensity, because you have to give yourself a opportunity to win."

(On the amount of blitzes the Patriots defense had)
"Every team plays a different [defense], some teams will come at you a lot more, some teams won't. It depends on the amount of success they get with it early. We were prepared for it; we knew what they were going to do. It's just about executing it, we weren't able to do that tonight."


(On playing a role on special teams)
"You got to be able to play special teams at anytime. Everybody that has come into the league has started [with special teams]. You know, you got to start somewhere, you got to start with special teams at this stage."


(On tonight's game)
"I just wanted to come out and let it all go, just get off the ball – play to get the rust off. I just wanted to keep Brady uncomfortable. [Coach Keith Millard] said the under tackle can't get tired. You'll see people subbing in and out all around you, but you have to stay in and you've got to be everywhere."

(On learning from Coach Millard)
"The thing about him is I can actually watch his tape on what he did because he still holds the record for 18 sacks in one season. I can actually go back and watch what he did. He did it consistently. He was a great player himself, he's not just coaching defensive tackles, he knows the ins and outs of being an under tackle and what they want me to do here."


(On tonight's game)
"It was good how we came out in the second half, but in general we did not play well in all phases. It was a good match-up to see where we are right now, but it is preseason. We'll go back to the drawing board and come back out and play Miami. The Patriots played well, they played a great game, and they played better than we did tonight. We are going to go back to the drawing board, get ready to play next week, and just keep building to the season. [Tonight] is a good starting point for the Super Bowl, it's where we want to be. It starts September 11-that's when it really counts. Right now we're just working, everyone is just trying to build and get better at what they're doing."


(On tonight's game)
"One thing I did like about tonight was that we didn't give up. It was an ugly start in the beginning, but we just talked about not to giving up, and we came out in the second half and did a lot better. I feel like a lot of things we did were on us. The penalties really killed us and we just have to capitalize on our mistakes, and I think we really hurt ourselves tonight."

(On getting better before Miami)
"I think just do better with us, that's basically what it all comes down to. Like I said, these penalties and making silly decisions, and doing things we know we're not supposed to be doing. Really, we just need to be fundamentally sound and we'll be alright."

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