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Bucs quotebook

By Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 18, 2000

Quarterback Shaun King on playing in the Silverdome, ignoring a large and noisy crowd and operating an efficient offense: "Our offensive line did a great job, giving me protection and allowing our receivers time to get open. It's never easy playing on the road. We took control. After the Lions got a touchdown just before the half, we did a good job of bouncing back."

Receiver Keyshawn Johnson on the team being 3-0 while playing much better on offense: "We've got a long way to go. Thirteen more games, then hopefully the playoffs. I'm proud of how our offense played in the Silverdome. You can always get the right guys statistically, but you can't replace the magic they bring. I think I bring a lot of magic to this team."

Coach Tony Dungy on his defense: "Our defense does a good job week in and week out. No matter what else is happening, it's critical for them to stop the other team. I thought it was big holding the Lions to a field goal (after a 63-yard Desmond Howard return of the opening kickoff). Then our offense went out and answered right back (with a touchdown)."

Johnson on King: "I think he's getting better. Everybody is. It's a new offense that we're excited about. Shaun is getting more rhythm. A feel for exactly what he can do and can't do. Taking control of the offense. All I ever ask him to do is not throw interceptions. So far, he's 3-0."

Safety John Lynch on beating the Lions in Pontiac, where Tampa Bay had lost 5 of 6: "That feels great, getting the Silverdome monkey off our backs. They've been kind of a nemesis for us, so coming in here and beating the Lions solidly, that's a good feeling."

Lynch on the offense: "From the first possession, they did a great job of methodically driving down the field, silencing the crowd. They did a tremendous job."

Defensive tackle Warren Sapp on attitude: "What we want is a killer instinct, to put people away. We put a good Detroit ballclub away. We're a good ballclub, but it's not just the defense. It's offense putting up points. Controlling the game."

King on offensive negatives: "We can't lose sight of the fact that something went wrong. A couple of times we should've had touchdowns but had to settle for field goals. This team is maturing, especially on offense. It'll get a lot better."

Dungy on third-down efficiency: "We had a good plan. We made a lot of third-down conversions that kept drives going. That's something we hadn't done so well the past couple of years."

Sapp on the offense keeping Detroit's defensive unit on the field for almost 36 minutes: "When it's offensive drives of seven minutes or even nine, it's a long and tough time for a defense to be kept on the field. Believe me, we've known the feeling. It then became our (defensive) job to create some three-and-outs against the Lions offense, which put Detroit's D back to work for another long stretch. It all worked pretty well."

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