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Bills quotebook

By Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 27, 2000

COACH WADE PHILLIPS ON INJURIES TO LINEBACKERS SAM COWART AND SAM ROGERS AND FREE SAFETY KEION CARPENTER: "Our defense dominated the first half. We were controlling the game until those injuries hit us. Those injuries killed us. Those were our best three players. We thought 17 points would beat Tampa with our defense."

PHILLIPS, WHOSE TEAM HADN'T ALLOWED A 100-YARD RUSHER SINCE WEEK 15 OF LAST SEASON AGAINST NEW ENGLAND: "I knew it was going to be a difficult game with their backs to the wall. I thought our whole team fought hard. We just made too many big mistakes."

QUARTERBACK ROB JOHNSON ON FACING TAMPA'S DEFENSE: "We moved the ball well in spurts. When you score 17 points on this team in their stadium you expect to win. I thought we handled their pass rush pretty well. There were probably some times where I could have stayed in the pocket a little longer, but we were stressing all week on getting rid of the ball as soon as possible. They do have the best pass rush in the league and they're tough.

"It seems that the strength of our schedule is against teams with good defenses, and we faced one of the best in the league today and then we face Miami next week. Obviously, we have to start scoring points."

RECEIVER ERIC MOULDS ON THE TEAM'S SCORING WOES: "I think the guys who came in stepped up and played well. The injuries make it tough for us. Overall we had a couple of penalties that hurt. You can't blame the officials for the game. You've got to put points on the board when you get close. We moved the ball against a great defense, but you have to score points. I hope the loss does not linger. I think this team has the character to come back from this."

RUNNING BACK JONATHAN LINTON ON A FRUSTRATING TEAM PERFORMANCE: "The special teams especially hurt us today. We had new guys playing new positions on special teams. ... This is not going to set us back. A lot of people are stepping up for us. We thought we could come in and win, but we didn't. The breakdowns have hurt us this year. It's encouraging that we were able to move the ball. It was discouraging that we couldn't finish the drives off."

RECEIVER PEERLESS PRICE ON A LACK OF SCORING: "We had opportunities. It's been like this time and again this season. We moved the ball downfield and couldn't score. Our defense played great and we couldn't score. We just have to win. Let's take it one game at a time. We have to win next week."

LINEBACKER KEITH NEWMAN, WHO STARRED AT TAMPA JEFFERSON HIGH, ON INJURIES TO KEY PLAYERS: "When you lose a guy who's an All-Pro, linebacker Sam Cowart; seven-year vet Sam Rogers and your free safety, who's the quarterback of your defense, it's tough. It's going to be tough on our defense when we lose three players of that caliber, but the season's not over. We still have a shot at the playoffs, so we've got to buckle down and guys have to step up. We have confidence in those guys who stepped in. They did a tremendous job."

SAFETY KEION CARPENTER ON INJURIES AND COMPARING THE BILLS DEFENSE WITH THE BUCS DEFENSE: "We feel we have as good a defense as Tampa Bay and we came out to match their intensity. ... Injuries are a part of the game. I have faith in my backup, Travares Tillman. I'll come back and support the team any way I can."

SAFETY RAION HILL ON KARL WILLIAMS' 74-YARD PUNT RETURN FOR A TOUCHDOWN: "(Williams) must have seen me and cut the other way. That situation is a double-edged sword. Sometimes he'll run at you. I thought I had a guy right behind me so I was trying to get him in a good position. It didn't happen."

KICK RETURNER/DEFENSIVE BACK CHRIS WATSON: "Our confidence isn't down. We pretty much beat ourselves. Tampa Bay did what they had to do to win. Even the backups were hurt; we still have to find a way to play."

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