A TBO.com wire report
Published: Oct 13, 2004

The Bucs discuss Monday night's game against St. Louis and other topics:

(On Brian Griese coming in for Chris Simms) ''He came in and played great. It was incredible to see him really be flawless. The only bad thing is now you almost expect that every week and realistically, I think it's impossible for him to go out and play as well as he played last week. But, certainly, he can go out and play just as good and just as good would be good enough to win this game. So, we're looking forward to him going out and playing good football.''

(On the opportunities presented with St. Louis' defense being down) ''There are plenty of opportunities. You just have to keep it focused, do what we do and everything will work out. In this league it doesn't matter who the defense is. Denver came in here as the number one defense and we did everything but win the game. This team could come up and play very well defensively. You just have to go out and take care of opportunities and if you do that everything will work out.''

(On the dynamics that Griese brings to the team) ''The guy is cool as a cucumber. All day Sunday he just kept on saying, 'I just want to go out and have fun, man,' and never knowing that he would have the opportunity to go out and once he got the opportunity his demeanor never changed. He has the same swagger about himself. He did what he could do and was confident about going out and getting it done.''

(On whether Griese's style opens up the game more) ''He is a guy that is used to throwing the ball down the field but I think that the most important thing that you get with him is experience. The guy started a whole bunch of games in this league, has played well, has been a Pro-Bowl player in this league and that's what you get with him. It's not a matter of changing the game plan when he's in there, it's just a matter of knowing that whatever you call he's going to be very comfortable in executing.''


(On whether there is anything more exciting than Monday night football) ''No, not at all. Everybody gets to watch, so you have to bring your 'A' game.''

(On what Brian Griese was like in the huddle) ''He's loose. He's laid back. When he came in, it was like he had started the whole game. He had confidence, good poise and everything else. He was confident the whole way through.''

(On Griese playing so well off the bench) ''I think we have three great quarterbacks to be honest with you. At any given point, I think any of them could come in and fill in. He came in and did a great job. Now he is coming in and he is going to be a starter this week. We're ready to go out and play.''

(On how important it is for the team to establish the run) ''It's important always to establish the run. In the NFL you can't be one dimensional. Obviously, when we establish the run, the passing will open up and vice versa. If they're stopping our pass we're not going to be able to run either. We have to make both dimensions work.''

(On the transition of working with Griese) ''On offense we want a guy to come and look like he's not missing a beat. That's what he did. He came in and played like he had started the game. So, it's not really a big deal to us. We're looking at it like we just have to do our job and that's to pass protect.''


(On broadcasting the Buccaneers last game) ''I am certainly more familiar with their team than any other team. You sort of get a sense. You can anticipate why something might be called or why Brian [Griese] was going here instead of there. I tried to give some of that insight. I don't know if that came across. It's a lot easier when you know the team as well as I did.''

(On not hesitating when the Bucs called him to come back) ''It was an interesting deal for me. I saw a lot of guys before the game and after Chris [Simms] got hurt, I saw a lot of guys after the game and the circumstance had changed. They were looking for another quarterback. It was really an interesting set of circumstances and I didn't hesitate, I knew I wanted to come back and play.''

(On whether he thought he would get a call when he saw Simms go down) ''I didn't really even think about it. I started thinking about it afterwards and I saw some of the guys. Chris is such a great guy and he was playing well and he worked so hard for the opportunity, so my initial instinct was I feel bad for him. I wasn't even putting two and two together until afterwards.''

(On when the team approached him) ''Right after the game. After the game I was visiting with some of the players and coaches. I was waiting to go to the airport and everybody was getting on the bus. So they started talking about the possibility of me coming back because they didn't know how severe Chris' injury was. It was a little bit different, it certainly was.''


(On playing) ''I'm excited. It's a great opportunity for me as an individual, but more importantly, it's a great opportunity for our team. I've been telling everybody we are on a one-game winning streak. That's something to get excited about. Hopefully, we can use the way we played and the way we finished in New Orleans to have some momentum going into Monday night.''

(On being prepared to play) ''You always have to get ready. I don't care if you are the starter or the backup. You know you are one play away. You always hear about that, but it takes a lot of discipline to prepare yourself each and every week like you are going to play, and then not be able to go out there and perform and show that you are ready all of the time. When you do get your opportunity, you have to make sure you're ready for it, otherwise you missed that opportunity and you may not get another one.''

(On being put in the New Orleans game, referencing Tim Brown's comments) ''You never know when your opportunity is going to come. Tim [Brown] has been around a long time and understands that. I've been around for a little bit now and understand that as well. You just have to make the most of it.''

(On the final drive in New Orleans) ''It was big for us. Our defense has kept us in each and every game we have played this year. We felt as an offense and talked about it before that drive, that we wanted to go out and finish it and put the game on our shoulders for a change. That's an attitude I think. It's an attitude that we need to have and continue to work on in practice. I think it's an attitude of putting teams away, rather than giving them a chance to have a two-minute drill and something bad might happen.''

(On playing on Monday night) ''I love it. I think you talk with guys around the league and it's a special night because your peers are watching you. I've had some great times on Monday Night Football. I am looking forward to another one this week.''

(On the Rams' defense) ''I think they are playing well. They had a really big win last week and have a lot of momentum coming into this week. I expect them to be flying high. I've played in the dome there before and it gets pretty loud, so they should have their ears pinned back, and be looking forward to playing this game. We have to be on our toes and ready for their best shot.''

(On his mindset going into the game, knowing he is going to start) ''It's a little bit different. Preparing during the week, I am going to get more reps. Hopefully, I will be even more prepared this week.''

(On having been a starter before, than being on the bench and how that has changed him) ''Having the time to step back and watch the game from the sidelines, you do have a different perspective. When you are out there, there is a lot of pressure to perform each and every week. For me to step back and take a look from the sidelines, I kind of realize a quarterback doesn't always have to win every game. From my standpoint, I have to go out there and be efficient, make the plays when they are there and lead your team down the field. You don't always have to put all of the pressure on yourself to win. There are a lot of guys around you that can perform and make plays. A lot of times a quarterback's job is just to get them the ball. That's kind of the attitude that I am going to take.''

(On whether he felt everything was on his shoulders when he started in Denver) ''It was tough. We had won the Super Bowl the year before and every expectation was that we were going to go back and win. Me coming in as a rookie, I made a lot of mistakes. I made some plays as well, but it was definitely a learning experience for me. I think the strong survive. Hopefully, I learned my lessons then and can apply them to what I am trying to do now.''

(On what makes the situation the right time for him to start) ''The situation presented itself, so it has to be the right time.''

(On whether he felt relaxed, during the New Orleans game and that helped him play better) ''I had prepared myself during the week and learned what we wanted to do as far as our game plan was concerned. Let the game come to me and make plays when they are there. That's been the biggest difference between the first four games and last week. We had some plays in the third-down category that we had to make to win the game. They are not necessarily big, flashy plays but they get the job done and that's what we did last week.''

(On how well he knows Jon's system) ''I feel very comfortable with it. I take it with great pride getting our team in the right play in the right situation; making the right checks; making the right throws. I am looking forward to another week of executing.''

(On whether his mindset is different being the designated starter for this game, as opposed to being the starter, period) ''No, I don't think so. You really have to take it week-by-week in this business, so that's what I am going to do.''

(On getting to start) ''It's a great opportunity for me, but more importantly, it's a great opportunity for our team to build momentum off of last week. We are in hole right now; we're still in a hole. We're 1-4, but we do have some momentum and it is important that we build on that.''

(On whether it feels strange being like ''the middle brother'' and forgotten one between Simms and Johnson) ''I was the youngest brother, so I always got beat on. Being the one that's kind of forgotten is better than being the one getting beat on.''


(On comparison to his last Monday night performance) ''Hopefully, we can repeat it. Hopefully, a couple more catches; a couple more yards. Just looking to go out and have fun. Hopefully, we can secure another victory.''

(On whether he is looking forward to proving the Buccaneers are not a 1-4 team) ''Yes, right now it is a matter of us proving it to ourselves. The only guys that we have are the guys in this locker room. We know the kind of character that we have on this team and the kind of guys we have in here. Nobody is going to quit, so I am pretty sure we'll have a pretty good outing.''

(On he and Michael Clayton before the last game) ''I think the biggest thing is Clayton and I having a good feel for each other. I think we complement each other pretty well. It is just something for us to get ourselves going; hype each other up and keep each other into it. I tell him, 'I need you man.' He tells me he needs me. It's just a motivating factor.''

(On going against the Rams, noted for its offense and receivers, and whether that is extra incentive) ''Definitely. That's what they talk about being the greatest show on earth. Anytime I step on the football field, I want to have at least something to say about who is the best receiver on the field. I always feel like I am that guy. It's just about opportunity and getting the chance to make the plays. I am pretty sure we'll go up there and that will be extra incentive.''


(On the game against St. Louis) ''I like rivalries. It's a pretty big rivalry. It's my third year with the organization and everyone talks about how big the rivalry is. We just have to go in there and win the game. Everybody's going to be up watching the game. We just have to go out there and focus and execute our plays and try to come out with a victory''

(On how being on a third quarterback affects his game) ''I'm going to prepare the same. We had Brad, we had Chris and now we have Brian. I have confidence in all three of the guys. If Brad came back and stepped in, I have confidence in all of them. It's unfortunate, Chris was playing really good, and he got hurt, but Brian stepped in and he'll be ready to go and we'll be right behind him and hopefully he can take us to a win.''


(On whether it was odd having Jason Garrett being back after broadcasting the last game) ''It is a little odd. He caught me by surprise when I saw him yesterday. Jason has always been great, so it's good to have him around again. He was definitely one of my best buddies during training camp.''

(On whether it was frustrating to have to leave the New Orleans game with an injury) ''It was frustrating. I just looked forward to it for so long and when it finally got here to have something like this happen. It's just annoying more than anything.''

(On Brian Griese's performance and wanting to be out on the field) ''Of course I wanted to be out there and be successful, but Brian is a great quarterback. He is completely capable of moving the ball down the field. He throws the ball well. More power to him. He played great last week and he'll play good again this week.''


(On how much he would like to see St. Louis pass and ignore their running game) ''Everybody around the NFL knows that is our strength and when we make a team drop back and pass the ball, we let Simeon Rice rush up front and we drop and QB key, we are tough to beat. So, if they want to come out and do that…that's the best plan.''


(On whether he feels the Rams are a good matchup for the Bucs) ''I think so. We are a fast defense and their offense is based on speed. I think we can matchup; speed for speed.''

(On the Rams) ''I can guarantee you they are going to play four quarters. It's going to be a 60-minute game. It's going to be a four quarter game. I don't think they are going to give up.''

(On what's missing in the run defense) ''I am not sure what's missing. I just know we have to stop the run, put them in passing situations and get sacks.''

(On how the run defense has been shaping up) ''I think we are doing OK on the run. I just think we need to get off the field on third-down and not give up four, five, or six yards on first-down on the run. If we can do that, we'll be alright.''

(On turnovers coming in bunches and whether the Bucs are waiting on theirs) ''Yes. I hope they come in bunches, four or five at a time. I just know we need some wins. That's all I know.''

(On his feeling after the victory) ''I feel good. I feel good to get a win. Everybody's happy. Different atmosphere.''

(On Griese's performance) ''I think Griese did a good job, and Simms. I'm sure Brad would've done the same thing if he was in there. We just have to, as a team, come together and find a way to pull out some wins whether it's Simms or Griese. It doesn't matter.''


(On the Rams' defense) ''I just think they are a solid defense. I haven't had a lot of time to break down their film yet, so I can't give you perfect insight on what they are going to do. I have watched a little bit. I know they play hard and are fast on the turf. That's part of it. We just need to come out and execute our game plan and see what they show us. When they do show us stuff, take advantage of it. Just execute.''

(On whether the confidence level is higher after the first win) ''It's got to be a little bit higher, but I am not ready to throw a party yet. I'm excited we won and enjoyed the win for a couple of days. But it's Wednesday and I'm thinking about the Rams and I'm sure everyone else is, too. We have something to build on, so we just need to build off of it.''