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Bucs @ Saints: Who Dat Say!?

Good morning Who Dat Nation! Are you guys still feeling good from Sunday's victory. I still have a little bit of a glow. To help keep your spirits up, I have put together a boat load (that's a lot) of quotes from both teams' players and and coaches. These are always more fun to read after a win. Let's get into it. 


"Hopefully I'll be able to get in there and contribute more than that, but it's a start and we're looking good sitting there at 1-0... . We got him a little flustered moving around the pocket," McCray said. "We did what we needed to do, followed by good coverage in the secondary. It's a start."

-Bobby McCray, Sun Herald

"We're looking for sacks," Ellis said with a bellowing laugh. "We want to get as many sacks as possible. But definitely getting back there and getting a push on (Garcia) and make him move around and not setting his feet to sit back there and make the throws that he wants to make."

"That's usually how it goes when you're playing football," Ellis said. "One or two guys do something good and it kind of catches fire and goes throughout the whole defense and maybe even the whole team. We have the defensive line where we want to be those guys who light the sparks for this team."

-Sedrick Ellis, Sun Herald

"It's just the first step, we can't get too high or too low," Fujita said. "The only thing this win does is it guarantees that we won't be 0-and-16."

-Scott Fujita, The Advocate   

"As the game wore on, he became too much for them to handle, and when you watched the tape it was evident," said Saints Coach Sean Payton, who said again Monday that Bush stood out as the fastest player on the field and said he was impressed by the way Bush gained extra yards by taking on physical contact at the end of runs. "He was a big difference in this game."

-Sean Payton, Times-Pic

"I know everybody expects that, and every game they want to see that," said Bush, who received a lot of credit from coaches and teammates after Sunday's game for how hard he worked to improve in the offseason. "I would love to see that, too, every game. But I know that may not come every game. It may not come for another few games. But as long as I'm making plays and keeping my team in the game, keeping drives alive, we should be fine."

-Reggie Bush, Times-Pic

"It's all about putting your guys in the best positions to succeed. That's the job as coaches and my job as the quarterback, to take advantage of what you do well," said quarterback Drew Brees, who said the emergence of second-year tailback Thomas gave the Saints an option that they didn't necessarily have last year when McAllister went down.

"Pierre's grown a lot from last year to this year," Brees said of Thomas, who gained 52 yards on 10 carries and caught two passes for 11 yards. "He was just kind of waiting in the wings and waiting for his opportunity. I think we saw that kind of talent in Pierre (in 2007), but it takes some time and some opportunity with experience. I think he's going to be a guy who can really contribute for us as the year goes on."

-Drew Brees, Times-Pic

"I called (McAllister) last night at about nine o'clock and said, 'Just make sure and understand that you're in the plans here,'¤" Payton said. "I think that any time you have a serious injury like he's had and (cornerback) Mike (McKenzie) has had, it's ongoing, slow improvement. So we'll measure that each week, and we'll know when the time's right.

"But I felt like just from a team standpoint, we were a little further ahead with Pierre and possibly even Aaron (at the beginning of the week). I don't want to say it's a luxury, but I don't take it for granted what he provides. I think certainly he's a big part of our team, and I think you're going to see him continue to get stronger."

-Sean Payton, Times-Pic

"I know I'll be a factor and a part of this team, so it's nothing to get concerned about," McAllister said. "I mean, I want to play. But obviously it wasn't necessarily needed. .¤.¤. Pierre is proven, and Reggie's proven, and Stecker's proven, so there's really no need to rush into the situation when you have proven guys that can get the job done."

"I'll go out there and prepare and practice like I'm playing, just like I did this past week -- and we'll see what happens,"

-Deuce McAllister, Times-Pic

"Defensively, you hope for opportunities to come up," he said. "You want to step up and close the game out like that, or as I was saying earlier, at least hold up our end of the bargain."

-Scott Fujita, The Advocate

"I had one in my first game (in 2006). but it didn't close out the game. This one was on fourth down at the end of the game, so it's pretty special."

-Scott Fujita, The Advocate

"I was just spying the quarterback and he just threw me the ball, so I don't want to sound like I out-schemed those guys or I was a super athlete," he said. "He just threw me the ball.

"In that situation, we wanted to spy because a quarterback like that can scramble for a first down. That was kind of what I was worried about, but I said, ‘All right, I'm all over Garcia.' He just happened to throw me the ball."

-Scott Fujita, The Advocate

"That's big because it stopped them from getting a touchdown and taking a bigger lead," Porter said. "It boosts your confidence and gets you hyped up to play another down. The coaches broke down the film and showed us all week how they like to use Galloway, and we came in prepared for it."

-Tracy Porter, The Advocate

"That was the most exciting part," said Vilma, who came to the Saints in a trade with the New York Jets. "With all of the talk about the defense being questionable, it was great for us.

"This gives us a boost because we knew that we could play great defense," he added. "It was exciting to be able to show everybody that we can get it done."

-Jonathan Vilma, The Advocate

"The one-two punch of Reggie and Pierre was very effective," quarterback Drew Brees said. "That opened up some things in the passing game. Reggie out in space is a big weapon. We are going to continue to try and utilize that. Once we get Stecker back and Deuce in the mix, then we have a pretty formidable group of running backs."

-Drew Brees, The Advocate

"We have a great mix of guys who do a lot of things well," Brees said. "Coach (Sean) Payton does a great job of putting guys in position to be successful based on their strengths. Everybody has a role."

-Drew Brees, The Advocate

"I was going to give Devery a look," Brees said, "but it was a no-brainer after they jumped offsides."    

-Drew Brees, The Advocate

"It was really nice to make a big play in a crunch time situation," Bush said. "I was trying to be patient all game and wait for my opportunity. It was a huge play for us."

-Reggie Bush, The Advocate


"It was good to get back out there," he said. "It had been a long time since I played a regular-season game. I think I answered a lot of questions today about still playing at a high level.

"The talent on this side of the ball is amazing. It is exciting to be part of something as explosive as this team."

-Jeremy Shockey, The Advocate

"Obviously you want to get in, but they've got to call your number before you can get in," McAllister said. "Whenever they call my number I'll be ready."

-Deuce McAllister, The Advocate   

"Tracy played well, he played well," said Saints cornerback Aaron Glenn, who has been around the block a few times as a 15-year veteran. "That's his job, you know.

"We know how good of a player he is," he added. "He's still going to take his lumps, but overall he played a helluva game. He knows he still has a long way to go, but that was a good stepping stone for him going into the coming weeks."

-Aaron Glenn, The Advocate

"I had a lot of confidence coming into the game," said Porter, who played with the first- and second-team defenses in training camp and exhibition games. "But to get NFL experience in a game like that and develop chemistry with your teammates makes it a little easier on you."

-Tracy Porter, The Advocate

"Coming in, my teammates said I was a rookie and they were going to come at me," he said. "They told me, ‘They're going to test you, so just hold your ground.' So I definitely had it in the back of my mind that they were going to test me and I wanted to be prepared once they did it."

-Tracy Porter, The Advocate

"That was a great play right there," said Harper. "That's probably the one everybody's going to see, but Tracy played good all day. He locked up their receivers. He played really well for us today, he really handled it."

"We knew he could play man-to-man, and that's what he did today. If you can cover in this league, you are going to be able to play. That's why he's out there, and he was helping us out."

-Roman Harper, The Advocate

"I felt a little down because I didn't get to play in the preseason, and I think I answered a lot of you guys' questions," Shockey said after the Saints' 24-20 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Superdome. "You asked me if I could still play at a high level, and I think you got the answer there."

-Jeremy Shockey, Times-Pic

"It was a crunch-time situation where we needed a big play," Bush said. "I was trying to be patient all game and just wait for my opportunities and take them as they come. We ran a play that we worked on all week. We felt like we could take advantage of them if we had the right look. We did, called the play and fortunately I was able to make the play."    

The Saints tailback said on the previous play Phillips had jawed at Bush after he ran the ball for no gain.

"And the next play he's on my highlight tape," Bush said.

-Reggie Bush, Sun Herald

"Obviously it feels good when you make a big play and you score, but that's expected of me so the main things is just to go out there and I expect that from myself,"

-Devery Henderson, Sun Herald

"We call them explosion plays," Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said after his team's season-opening 24-20 loss at the Superdome. "That is not customary for us. We're at the top of the league in not giving up explosion plays."

-Monte Kiffin, Times-Pic

"We take pride in not giving up big plays, and we gave up big plays, and that's why we lost the game," said Talib, the 20th overall pick of the 2008 draft. "(Brees) threw the ball to me, and I misplayed the ball. That's what happened."

-Aqib Talib, Times-Pic

"I saw the flag," Barber said. "I wasn't sure what it was, but it didn't affect me. We were both looking for the ball; (Henderson) leaned on pressure, I caught his back foot, and I fell."

-Ronde Barber, Times-Pic

"The reasons we haven't given up a lot of yards, historically, is we don't give up the explosive plays, and they were able to get a couple big ones today,"

-Jon GrudenTimes-Pic

"Give them credit," Barber said. "It's not like Drew is a bum.

"That last one to Reggie was a damn good play in man-to-man defense. There was nobody back there to help. They got some good players over there. Good teams, good players and winning teams make those plays. But we'll get a chance to see them again."

-Ronde Barber, Times-Pic

"We battled back a couple of times," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "I like our football team a lot. I like our guys a lot . . . This is a dog fight. This rivalry (with the Saints) is taking shape. They're a very talented, explosive team. We'll be back."

-Jon Gruden, The Ledger   

"It wasn't just Jeff missing preseason games, he missed a lot of training camp and missed a lot of work, period," Gruden said. "Looking at a lot of the quarterbacks that played yesterday that were inactive (in the preseason), I pray Tom Brady is going to be okay. Peyton (Manning) played last night after not being under center. I know (Tim) Hasselbeck has had issues with his back. It's a tough game. You can call it rust or inactivity, but there were plays there that Jeff normally makes. Unfortunately, we just didn't get it done.

"I don't know what rust is really. What can I say? I don't know what it is, really. New Orleans is a good football team. It's a loud, very difficult place to play in your opener. He missed a couple of throws he normally hits. I've got to do a better job of helping him. I thought we ran the ball extremely well. Unfortunately, we had two holding calls and a 15-yard personal foul penalty that put us way behind in the down and distance. It took us out of a run-it mentality. We had the two two-minute drives at the end of each half. We feel like we did some great things running the ball. We had some good looks in the passing game. We just have to convert some of those early third downs to get the momentum going. We have to start better. It's a credit to our guys to hang in there and answer two of New Orleans' scores with scores of themselves. That last drive of the game was a good drive. It put ourselves in position to win the game. I thought Zuttah had a good game in his first game as a Buc. I was impressed with Antonio Bryant in his first game as a Buc. It was Jeff Faine's first game (as a Buc). B.J. Askew hasn't played a lot of football for us, either. There were a lot of positive things from an offensive standpoint. We have to score more points to win and to dominate - there's no question about it. We'll do everything we can to get it right this week."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report

"It was a dogfight. I think we picked it up a little bit from an offensive standpoint as the game unfolded. There were some opportunities I feel that we didn't cash in on, unfortunately," said Gruden. "We played very good defensively with the exception of four or five plays. In looking at one of the explosive plays I believe the officials missed a holding call on that play, but that's football. It went right down to the wire. We didn't call the right plays down there at the end."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report

"He's a great quarterback," Gruden said of Brees. "A couple of plays that no one's talking about were the ones he made in the pocket where he has guys hanging on him and he's throwing the ball for first downs. He made two tremendous plays in the pocket. He's a great quarterback. He had a lot to do with their success yesterday. He's on the money. Down the field, he's on the money. We mistimed a jump one time. We had a chance to intercept the ball and we didn't make a play. But our guys played hard. We had six or seven series in a row where we were very impressive. We uncharacteristically gave up the big play yesterday, and hopefully it gets everybody's attention and we can do a lot better than that."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report

"Yeah, we would like to get him more involved," Gruden said of Graham, who rushed for 898 yards (4.0 avg.) and 10 touchdowns in 2007. "Warrick Dunn did some good things. When you start the game and you go three-and-out you aren't going to get a lot of guys involved. We had a good drive on our second possession. We got Joey Galloway a great look to keep the drive alive inside their red zone and we don't convert. We get two holding penalties and a personal foul and it's first-and-20 or first-and-25. It's hard to run. You've got to throw in the two-minute situations. Sometimes circumstances make it a little harder than others. I'll be the first to say that Earnest played well and we have to give it to him more - and Warrick Dunn included."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report

"I actually think I went by the quarterback," White said of his sack. "I dipped and I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't know what happened, but I know I almost blew out [Brees'] knee. I didn't mean to, by the way, but it was a good pass rush."

-Greg White, Pewter Report

"He has to continue to get better," Gruden said of Adams. "He had two hits on the quarterback, which is pretty good. The Saints with [left tackle] Jamaal Brown and their offensive line are pretty good. I'm not making any excuses. It was the first game, but we expect more because he's capable of giving us more. We have to lean on him and keep pushing."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report


"Every linebacker wants to blitz. That's one of the fun parts of playing," said Ruud. "With Coach Kiffin it's about game-planning things. Sometimes he wants to blitz more than others, so I think it will be a week-to-week thing."

-Barrett Ruud, Pewter Report

"I thought we had some good pressures," Gruden said. "We got to Drew a couple times - not so much on sacks, but we did hit him as he was delivering the ball. I think on the first interception for a touchdown was the result of pressure. You know we have to examine our four-man rush. I like to say when it's really good, it's not good enough. We need more rush. Playing the Saints on that surface and they are throwing the ball coming out of their own 2-yard line - we have to get more done. We have to get it more done with the pass rush. That's the key to winning in this league."

-Jon Gruden, Pewter Report


"It was one of those games where you have to find a way, and we didn't,"

-Jeff Faine, Tampa Tribune