By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 6, 2002
On what the defense can learn from playing the Eagles tonight in a game that has no playoff implications for either team:
"I don't know you can learn much. I think that kind of thing works both ways. They'll know as much about us as we know about them. I think it's important for us to go out and play hard, tackle well and that kind of thing. We're going to play the situations in front of us the same as we always do. That's the plan, for sure."
On whether the Bucs will hold back some blitzes against Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb for next weekend's playoff game at Philadelphia:
"No, not really. We plan to go about our business as usual and we haven't gotten into too much about not showing this or that or whatever. The other thing is you really don't know how long the starters will be playing, so I don't think they're will be any reason to hold back a whole lot."
On whether the defense has to be careful to contain McNabb:
"I don't think we're going to change our whole defense to play McNabb. We've faced a lot of quarterbacks that can run and throw on the run. You've definitely got to be aware of it. But if we just play our defense the way we're supposed to play it, we should be fine."
On deciding how much the starters will play:
"It'll go to Tony (Dungy). A lot of it will be by position. Some you can script and some you have to see how it falls. But it's not a preseason game, there's not 85 guys. You may want to get a couple guys out and you can't. Then if someone gets hurt and you need them for a return team, what do you do?"
On when starting quarterback Brad Johnson will leave the game:
"We can say we're going to come with Shaun (King) at this point in the game. Some positions you won't have that luxury. With Mike (Alstott), you probably are going to have that luxury. Some of the linemen will have to rotate through. But Brad probably won't play more than the first half, I wouldn't think."
On King, who has three passes this season, getting some playing time tonight:
"I think it'll be a great chance for him to knock the rust off. I think it'll be a great chance for him to have some fun and play. But the key thing is, you don't get a chance to do this normally. All of a sudden, he could be lined up at St. Louis for a big game. It gives us a great opportunity to sharpen him up."
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