© St. Petersburg Times, published September 16, 2002
Quarterback Brad Johnson on the sense of urgency:
"We felt we had to come out with a win here, regardless. We didn't want to come home 0-2. We kind of let one slip away under the circumstances last week, so we had to get this one back. Enjoy the game, that's what we talked about. The showdown is going to hype itself for next Monday night. This was kind of a serious situation."
Safety John Lynch on coach Jon Gruden's pep talk:
"Coach Gruden's message to us last night was basically, 'Go out there and kick somebody's a--. Don't play not to lose, play to win.' I think that was the feeling we had. I know about our unit and we're a prideful group. We were very disappointed (Sept. 8). We did not play up to our standard last week and we had an opportunity to do something about it today and this is our standard."
Johnson on the offense:
"We did a great job of really controlling the ball and then converting on third downs. The first three quarters, I felt we played at a high level. We struggled a little bit in the red zone and we had some penalties at different times."
Receiver Keyshawn Johnson on his quarterback throwing underneath:
"I think he saw some things, maybe he got a little pressure here and there. Rather than take a chance of something happening bad for him, he decided to take the good stuff and let's call it a day. Let's get some points while we can, let's not try to force it."
Brad Johnson on settling for field goals:
"It's kind of a tribute to ourselves, I hate to say, just getting down there because that's how good they are."
Tackle Kenyatta Walker on his return to the lineup:
"I get tired of hearing, 'You're young and this and that.' It's time for me to just grow up. It's bad everybody has to know my whole thing, but that's just part of it. I'm just getting better. ... I found out Saturday. That's another thing, last week was the first game and it was hard. But that's over with. The best thing is it happened the first game. It's a long season. It's good it got out of the way the first game and by the middle of the season, ya'll would've forgotten it."
Defensive tackle Warren Sapp on the defense's improved play:
"That's the best thing about this game. You've got next week to redeem yourself."
Linebacker Derrick Brooks on the entire defense getting game balls:
"It means a lot. Right now, it hasn't really sunk in. We know it's big, everyone gets a game ball when you get a shutout. But it shows the effort of the defense to bounce back from last week's performance."
Walker on the offensive line's play:
"Everybody is going to be on us all year. Every time you hear about the Bucs, it's how horrible we are, we can't protect and this and that. That's something we have to erase. And the best way to erase it is getting on the field and doing it. That's going to come with time. This offensive line has talent. You've got to go out there and let your pads do the talking."
Brooks on his 97-yard interception return:
"Thank god I was able to get a read on the ball, catch it and I just took off running. Before you know it, I was in the end zone."
Sapp on that play:
"Hey, the best thing about it was our best player preserved it (the shutout) for us. ... After he got past (quarterback Chris) Redman, it was over. He just had to keep his feet moving. We weren't going to let him get caught from behind. Once he got past Redman, we knew he was home. I had fun watching him run."
Linebacker Ray Lewis on the defensive strategy:
"We'll give you them dinks and dunks and if you don't get in the end zone, we win. That's the way we looked at it, and that's our philosophy now."
Coach Brian Billick on that strategy not working against the Bucs and quarterback Brad Johnson:
"That's Brad's game. Brad's very, very good at that. ... They're well-schemed with those dinks and dunks and can do a lot with it."
Billick on the game:
"Not much you can say about that, about the individual game itself; a pretty thorough (butt)-whipping in every phase of the game. We'll take positives where we can. The defense not giving up a touchdown is a positive thing. A couple of guys probably did some good things. We'll find out where that was. It's as thorough a beating as you're going to get."
Linebacker Cornell Brown on the defense:
"We wanted to get out there and execute three-and-outs. That was the main thing to get the offense the ball back quicker. That's what we talked about at halftime. Things just didn't work out."
Running back Jamal Lewis on the overall performance:
"The defense played great. They didn't let Tampa score on them. We've got to go execute, not turn the ball and (stop) the individual mistakes. ... It's not that plays aren't working, we're just not executing. You've got to know how to win, but you've got to know how (not) to lose, too."
Quarterback Chris Redman on the Bucs' pass defense:
"They were squatting on all of our routes. They were sitting on everything. They are a good defense and I'll give them credit, but we are definitely going to have to improve."
Redman on the safety to start the second half:
"We had an outside running call and it was getting a little slippery out there and we didn't get the exchange. I don't think it was anyone's fault."
Billick on the impact of the safety:
"At that point, you came back out and your mantra at halftime is, 'Score and you're one score down.' The defense had kept them out of the end zone and then you have the fumble exchange problem and get the mistake and it changes the dynamic of the game."
Offensive guard Casey Rabach on the line's job against the rush:
"I think we pass-blocked pretty well today. That's the best there is in the league. All of them complement each other well."
Billick on team's pass blocking:
"I wish that were the only thing out there that concerned me. There's a lot of things out there that's going to concern me and we'll take them one at a time."
Redman on wearing black shoes to honor Johnny Unitas, the late Baltimore quarterback:
"I really didn't ask. I just went out and did it. It wasn't a media thing. It was a personal thing."