"That was a great trip home. Just quickly to update our injury report—Tony
Taylor, our young running back, injured his ACL ligament in his right knee.
He's out for the season. It's unfortunate. Cornell Green has a high-ankle
sprain. His status is very questionable, doubtful for the game against Miami. We
do think he's got a chance to come back and probably play against the Rams.
Jack Golden, a linebacker and special teams man, has a stinger in his shoulder.
His status is also doubtful for the Miami Dolphins' game. But all in all, it
was quite an experience. We are all trying to get ourselves re-acclimated as
soon as possible to the American time zone. We are looking forward to cranking
it up again on Tuesday morning, and we will meet with our players tomorrow
(On if the team accomplished its goals on the trip to Tokyo)
"The No. 1 goal is always to win. We wanted to look at a lot of players. It
was a critical game for a lot of the second and third teamers that had an
opportunity to play. I thought Shaun King did an outstanding job moving our
team. I was pleased with a lot of things that occurred on offense. I thought
Thomas Jones handled himself extremely well for a guy that's been here for
just over a couple weeks. Again, I thought our second-team defense, led by Tim
Wansley and some of those young defensive linemen, handled themselves well. We
are pleased with the outcome although there was some spotty execution in places
that we need to clean up."
(On how long it will take to get adjusted to the American time zone)
"It's a new experience for me as it is I think for most of the coaches and
players on the Buccaneers' team. We gave everybody today off. We'll have a
mandatory three o'clock run and lift tomorrow and evening meeting, so we will
try to give our players a day-and-a-half and we'll give our coaches a full day
to get their wits back a little bit. We've researched this carefully in terms
of what other teams have done on the return from Tokyo. It's just as
challenging as going to Tokyo. I'm a little sluggish right now, but we'll
get it going here in a little while."
(On preparations for the Dolphins' game Friday)
"It's a very short week and again, Monday night we have a meeting with our
players. We'll watch the New York Jets' game film, make corrections and
build on some of the things we did well. We'll also pass out a basic Miami
Dolphins game plan. We won't get to that until Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon,
and Thursday we board an airline and we're heading down to Miami to play the
game. It's going to be a challenge. It's a short week. We've got some
beat-up players. We're looking forward to competing with a great football team
who has had some major offseason acquisitions."
(On what he expects from the Buccaneers' starters Friday against Miami)
"We had an entire preseason last year. We're not going to play our starting
players very long. We didn't do that last year, and we won't do that a lot
this year. They're going to play. Some starters might play a little bit more
than others, but we are going to use this preseason game, as we will the next
preseason game, to look at some of the real competitive positions on our
football team in terms of who's going to make this team. There will be some
guys that are asked to play a little bit longer than others but not for any real
lengths of time."
(On if he plans to play LB Dwayne Rudd and S Dwight Smith longer in the Miami
game than he did in the American Bowl)
"Absolutely. With Dwight Smith, he never started a game at free safety until
last night. He had never played the safety position at all until last night in
Tokyo. Dwayne Rudd is a new player here. We tried to get 12-15 snaps out of him.
We do have some injuries at the linebacker position with Jack Golden and
obviously Derrick [Brooks] wasn't with us last night. There will be a couple
guys [who play more against Miami]. The offensive line will play a little bit
more probably in Miami than they did last night. We'll see based on how the
health of our team is when we talk to our trainer this evening."
(On if he expects LB Derrick Brooks back at training camp tomorrow)
"Yes. All indications are that we [expect him back tomorrow]. I have not
talked to Derrick today. I hope to have a chance to talk to him tonight. When I
do, hopefully I can have an update in terms of how his mom is doing. He'll
return when it's appropriate for him to do that. This is a very emotional time
(On being back in a game for the first time since the Super Bowl)
"It's football. It's what we do. It's what we get paid to do. We've
talked enough about defending titles and all that stuff. We don't know maybe
what it takes to repeat. You can research that all you want. But we do know what
it takes to win a championship, and that's what we are going to concentrate
on—The things that we do know. It all starts with a great offseason and a
solid preseason. You make sure you make wise decisions in terms of who makes the
team. But the unity, the camaraderie on this team is unique. I think we had some
fun over there in Tokyo, and it will help us in the long run."
(On winning in the preseason)
"We try to win the game. You try to call plays and work the clock in
situations to help you do that. At the same time, you are not going to sacrifice
playing your starters into the fourth quarter to win a preseason game. There is
a fine line in what we are saying here. We want to win every time we play.
Sometimes you have to call on a lot more people to help you win in the
preseason, and that's the key I think to having a real good offseason program
sometimes. The guys that know what to do, that have been acclimated to the
system since the end of May generally those are the teams that have better
win-loss records in the preseason."
(On how glad he is to be moving toward the regular season after the Japan
"I'm thrilled. I'll be honest with you. I enjoyed it over there, but
it's just not a good time for me to go on a 15-hour plane trip. Maybe sometime
when it's February or March maybe it'd be a fun time to go experience Tokyo.
I made some friends and saw some great things, but my mind wasn't in the
(On if he was happy that the team picked up where it left off last season)
"Yeah. When you go through 60 minutes of a football game and never punt, there
is some good execution. When you convert 11 out of 13 third downs, it doesn't
matter who game planned what. The bottom line is you were getting some pass
protection, you had some open looks and we caught the ball and threw the ball
accurately. It was a good debut for Chris Simms, a very good debut for 2003 for
Brad Johnson and Shaun King and it was good to win. I'm really proud of our
football team. I've said that from the beginning of our offseason program. We
had a lot of guys into it. Whether it translates into winning or losing remains
to be seen, but these guys are working their tails off."
(On how much more comfortable QB Shaun King is with his offense)
"He looked more comfortable last night. Shaun is not the lone ranger in terms
of changing systems every three or four years. I know a lot of quarterbacks on a
first-name basis that have had to go through that. I think I'm doing a better
job, Shaun is doing a better job and the Jon Gruden-[Quarterbacks Coach] Stan
Parrish-Shaun King connection is doing a better job communicating and working
for each other than maybe we did last year. We know each other better. We know
the buttons to push and maybe some of the things we can work together on.
Hopefully, that pays off. But I was very pleased, very happy for what he
accomplished last night. Hopefully, that is the beginning of great things to
(On Buccaneers who surprised him in Saturday's game)
"We had some good efforts last night by a lot of guys. I don't want to
discount that. I was very pleased with what Thomas Jones did. He had a couple of
errors in his pass protection in terms of who he was responsible for, but he
made some violent pickups in other situations and had some very good runs. I was
very pleased with the skill level that he showed on tape and the speed with
which he played. Defensively, I liked what I saw from Dewayne White. There were
other guys, but not a lot I can single out right now."
Even on the other side of the globe, the Bucs looked like world beaters.<br> Kicking off the new…