All the talk that is not there
By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 15, 2002
DETROIT -- The Bucs' success has brought plenty of national attention lately and the collection of characters in Tampa Bay's locker room can fill notebooks and tape recorders with lively quotes and sound bites.
But those who cover the team kicked it around in the media trailer the other day and came up with a few comments you never will hear coming out of One Buc Place.
Coach Jon Gruden: "He's listed as questionable, but in my mind, I think it'd be better if he let that bone heal."
Defensive tackle Warren Sapp: "I'm sorry."
Quarterback Brad Johnson: "I don't know about the rest of the offense, but I'm having one hell of a year."
Receiver Keyshawn Johnson: "I think Coach Gruden is doing a good job of getting me the football."
General manager Rich McKay: "I'd be happy to talk to you on the record about that."
Kicker Martin Gramatica: "I hope Todd Sauerbrun is my holder at the Pro Bowl."
Linebacker Derrick Brooks: "Four touchdowns. Are you blind? Do you have to really ask who our best player on defense is?"
Guard Kerry Jenkins: "I've never felt healthier."
Safety John Lynch: "No comment."
Running back Mike Alstott: "Start giving me the ball or I'll raise a stink."
Play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff: "Bucs will receive. Here's the kickoff. He breaks a tackle, down the right sideline, he's at the 40, the 50, the 45, the 30, the 20, the 10, 5, TOUCHDOWN, TAMPA BAY!"
Defensive end Simeon Rice: "I'm intergalactic."
Vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer (simultaneously): "Welcome to our new training facility."
TO PROTECT AND SERVE: The Texans might have shortened the life span of rookie quarterback David Carr by yielding 68 sacks.
But Lions rookie quarterback Joey Harrington rarely has had a glove laid on him.
For all the knocks on the Lions, they are tops in the league in the fewest sacks allowed with 16. "Well, they're great big guys, particularly on the tackle," Gruden said. "(Stockar) McDougle (6 feet 6, 350 pounds) is a great big player really coming into his own.
"They've got a quick rhythm passing game and Harrington has shown a real good grasp of the pocket. He knows when to let the ball go and I've been impressed with that."
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Last week, Harrington said he looked forward to talking to Sapp through his ear hole.
He later explained the statement meant no disrespect to the five-time Pro Bowl player.
"I said that in a joking manner," Harrington said. "What I meant by that was I saw a quote that Warren Sapp said Brett Favre earned his respect because he kept hitting him, and he kept hitting him and he kept hitting him. You know, I grew up watching those guys. I grew up watching Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks ... these are guys I grew up watching on Sundays. And the biggest thing I want to do is go out there and earn these guys' respect.
"If it takes taking a shot from Warren and getting back up, then so be it. That's what I want to do."
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