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Quotebook

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 9, 2002


BUCS

Coach Jon Gruden on the rushing effort:

"We're proud of the balance we got. But we are by no means there yet. We're going to continue to emphasize the running game and hopefully get ourselves into some better positions."

* * *

Cornerback Dwight Smith on shutting down Atlanta:

"It's about 11 guys being disciplined. You play your defense. You play disciplined. We were just better than them."

* * *

Quarterback Brad Johnson on whether the victory earns respect:

"To earn total respect in this league, you have to win a Super Bowl for a quarterback."

* * *

Linebacker Derrick Brooks on his called-back touchdown:

"I had no idea there was a flag. I turned around and saw that yellow trash on the field, and I was like, 'This is unbelievable. I've been waiting for this opportunity for a few weeks. And it happens, and it gets called back. Oh, well."'

* * *

Safety Dexter Jackson on the team's strategy against Vick:

"Our speed has a lot to do with it, but it's not just speed. It's details, trusting your teammates. Just trusting everyone. That's what it's about here."

FALCONS

Coach Dan Reeves on quarterback Michael Vick:

"I think they put some pressure on Mike, and that isn't his fault. Sometimes, Mike could have made a quick throw instead of making something big out of it."

* * *

Vick on the loss:

"You just forget about it. What else can you do? There's nothing else you can do. From the time I stepped in the locker room, I forgot about this game. It's over."

* * *

Running back Warrick Dunn on the magnitude of the loss:

"It was definitely difficult since a lot was at stake. This was just one game, and we have more tough games."

* * *

Receiver Brian Finneran on how the loss might help the Falcons:

"It puts everything in focus and makes everyone stop and go, 'We aren't unbeatable.' And now we really need to bare down the next three weeks and take care of business."

* * *

Linebacker Keith Brooking on the Bucs:

"We made them all look like Pro Bowlers. But you've got to give them credit. They deserve all the hype they get because they kicked our butts for sure."

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