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Bucs/Vikings quotebooks

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 4, 2002



Quarterback Brad Johnson, who matched a team record with five touchdown passes one week after sitting out with a broken rib:

"We did a great job today with making some long drives. The offensive line played tremendously today, especially with what I was going through with the rib thing. I really didn't get hit all day. Those guys dominated up front and helped us play the way that we did."

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Receiver Karl Williams, who had three catches and a touchdown in the first quarter after totaling two receptions all season:

"I knew we would have a chance to make plays and have a big day. We needed a breakout day. We have a lot of weapons on this team and it only takes one guy to step up and make a play. It sparks a chain reaction. I think the offensive line did a great job up front with Brad coming back. He was able to find open receivers and he threw strikes all day."

* * *

Safety John Lynch, who can enjoy a bye week after focusing on the Vikings and nothing else for the past seven days:

"The credit goes to Coach (Jon) Gruden. He prepared us extremely well. He said if he caught anyone talking about the bye, they were out of here. He told his wife not to talk about the bye. He told our wives not to talk about the bye. It wasn't on our minds."

* * *

Gruden, whose team converted 6 of 11 third downs and had 30 rushing plays and 31 pass attempts:

"The key today was our ability to make some big plays on third down. We had good balance today between the run and the pass, but we certainly would like to be able to run the ball better. We're going to keep working hard and try to put together an offensive football team that is not only competitive but also, hopefully, excites our fans."

* * *

Williams on Johnson's toughness:

"With Brad, you can expect anything. He's a soldier. He's going to go back there and he's going to do anything he can to help this football team, and it's contagious."


Coach Mike Tice on the holding penalty by guard Corbin Lacina that negated a 40-yard touchdown to Randy Moss on the first drive:

"I was proud of the way we came back down the field and had a touchdown to tie it up. Unfortunately, (it was) taken back by a penalty from a guy that wanted to battle one of the best players in the league. Those things are going to happen."

* * *

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper on throwing for 231 yards but with two interceptions:

"We didn't play well. We knew there was going to be some adversity out there. We just have to try to overcome it. We still have to keep fighting. We don't have any guys that are going to give up. It shows character, what you're made of."

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Running back Michael Bennett, whose 85-yard touchdown run was the longest in team history, on gaining 114 yards but losing:

"To come away from this with a loss hurt. You work hard and prepare all week and get ready for a team like this. We were able to run the ball well, but the turnovers cost us. You expect to go out and play hard, and you come away with a loss. It's tough."

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