What they had to say
The Tampa Tribune, published 28 October 2002

Jon Gruden
General thoughts: "Iím very proud of our football team. That was very much a gut check against a very talented Carolina team. We were very fortunate to have won today, but are proud of our team. It was a costly game. We had a lot of guys get hurt. Kerry Jenkins got hurt early in the game. We donít know his status. He has an eye injury. We believe Anthony McFarland has fractured his wrist. We donít know the full severity of that, but obviously we are very concerned. Joe Jurevicius a back up to McCardell has a knee and ankle sprain. We donít know of his status for this week. There were several others. Shaun King was able to finish the game."

On Martin Gramaticaís performance: "It was an amazing performance, but not just the last one. The first one, the second one and the third one. We struggled with that area of our football this season. Weíve had three different long snappers and weíve had some protection issues there. For him to do what he did today is a sign of a real pro bowl kicker. That was a great performance."

On QB Rob Johnson: "I thought he made some plays early. I thought we a couple good drives in the first half. We have to play a lot better around him. We had some physical breakdowns in pass protection. Carolina is very talented in their front four. We really didnít give them a chance at times, particularly in this football game. I thought his legs were a positive for us. I thought he bought some time, made some plays. The bottom line is Rob Johnson as a back-up quarterback has to win football games, and I thought he did that, enough for us to win today."

On Shaun King coming into the game for the last play: "We were worried about Robís health. We took a hit on our sideline and was a little bit groggy. My philosophy is to stay with the guy that works all week. Rob was able to continue to play. But what about Shaun King going out there in that situation and making a key play to set up the game winning field goal. It was a gut check for a lot of guys and I was really impressed by that."

On WR Keyshawn Johnson's plays on the last drive: "Keyshawn got us started. We had several things up on the script to try to get him going to be a factor in this game. We had some breakdowns in pass protection. Carolina did a nice job mixing their coverages. We werenít able to find him until late in this game. I thought Rob mad a couple of key plays on the drive; made a big scramble; got hurt and Shaun King finished it off. It was a heck of a drive today by an offensive team that had their spots today where they werenít very offensive."

John Lynch
On his thoughts on the game: "They brought it today. Our job is not to play well but to outplay the opponent. For the most part we played extremely well, at the start of the second half they started getting some drives. They have a little bit of a different running game, kind of a finesse, gadget play run game that can give you some problems. They hit us there. We got settled down and played some great defense. Someone up in the stands for Tampa Bay brought a sign that said ďPound the RockĒ and thatís kind of been our slogan this year, our theme. You keep pounding that rock and eventually itís gonna crack and sure enough it did."

On a game in Bucs history that the team lost while allowing very little yardage: "I remember that game, I donít know what year it was but it was the Giants at home. I think we held them to 108 yards and lost. It doesnít leave you feeling good if you lose. We came back. We won. Martin. You just know heís gonna come through for us. Rob Johnson has a rough day with people in his face all day but he stayed with it, made some plays at the end. Shaun King, you get bounced out of bounds, Shaun King comes in-no warmup, tosses, makes a big throw and thatís what it takes to win in this league."

Keyshawn Johnson
On not getting a lot of passes thrown his way: "Itís one of those situations today where when the game counted, you donít always get to do everything youíd like to. Iím just satisfied and happy with the situation. Weíre 6-2, tied for first place in our division now itís big. You know at the end of the day you want to make sure that youíre in the dance. Iíve got patience and Iíve got a coach thatís learning my abilities and what I can do. There is really nothing else I can do except go out there and block."

Simeon Rice
On the team's play: " Itís a hard fought victory. We came with a lot of tenacity. We played to the whistle. It got ugly. At times it almost got brutal. We played through all those situations. We were able to play ourselves on top. Thatís what this gameís about. To be able to win the bad times and good times, individual battles, unit battles and come out with victories and thatís what we did today."

Shaun King
On his chance to play on the last snap: "Thatís what they pay me for, to be ready. Iím not sure exactly what happened when he (Johnson) went out of bounds but they said he couldnít go so I just ran in."

On coming in so late in the game: "Thatís why they call it a professional football league. We are professionals and we have to be ready to do our job. The toughest part is not playing but you try to stay into it because you never know when you have to go in."

Warren Sapp
On playing such a close game: "You can set yourself up, but this game will have a great way of humbling you. Whether youíre a six sack season or a seven sack season it has a great way of humbling you about your mouth. You learn a lesson."

On Panthers QB Randy Fasani: "My capís off to this kid. He wasnít flustered even a little bit. We got to him early. The first snap he takes he goes down, almost a safety. The kid really wasnít rattled or anything and the one time he runs, he runs and buys time to throw it like heís a twelve year vet in this league. Iím gonna find me somebody, you know instead of taking off and running for whatever he could get. You gotta take your hat off to the kid. The kid played excellent. I like him. I like this kid a lot."

On nearly getting a safety on the first play "Thatís what I said, from that point on he scrambled one time and broke to his left and he was going to find somebody to throw it to. You know, we donít get quarterbacks like that that will give us two shots at him. Once we get one shot they usually haul out (laughs). (Fasani) is either real bright or real brave."