Monte Kiffin, who was reached via phone, by Ira Kaufman, of the Tampa Tribune gave a brief statement after the initial shock wore off that the Bucs had released 11-time pro-bowler Derrick Brooks.
“Derrick Brooks is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, an awesome, awesome player and person,’’ Kiffin said. “I consider it a privilege that I got to coach the man. He’s meant an awful lot to my career.’’
Warrick Dunn, released a statement through the team via Brock communications.
“I am thankful for my Tampa Bay Buccaneer experience – in its entirety. It all started here and now in my second term I know I have been blessed to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer in the NFL. I am thankful for the ownership, coaching, every teammate and especially the fans who have been with me through the highs and lows. It all adds up to an experience I often call “living the dream.” From here I don’t know what the future holds but wherever it goes I go with a full and grateful heart.”
The following are quotes from the teams 3:00 pm press conference to announce the decision to release the five veteran players. For a complete transcript of today’s press conference visit PewterReport.com
“There’s never a good time to make these types of decisions,” Morris said. “Unfortunately, we’ve been put in the role as decision-makers and we made a big one today. All these guys are rare talents that mean a lot to everyone in this building. They’ve given us a lot. We’re thankful to everything they’ve given us — both championships, character off the field. Personally, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for these players.”
“We believe there are players on this roster at linebacker that have an opportunity to step up and compete at (weakside) backer, (strongside) backer, wide receiver, at running back. So we believe there are some young men on the roster as we sit here today.”
“It’s a direction,” Dominik said. “I’m not a big fan of the rebuilding word, but in a way, we did today, in a direction we want to head. So it wasn’t so much what Derrick Brooks or Cato June couldn’t do, it’s the direction we want to go with the guys currrently on the roster and men that are going to join us as we create the roster over the next few months to get to training camp.”
“Our mindset was we made a decision we felt that was best for the organization,” Dominik said. “I don’t picture Derrick Brooks wearing a hat on Sunday on the sideline. That’s not who Derrick Brooks was, that’s not who Derrick Brooks is. That’s why we made the decision and said, “We’re going to go ahead and let you go.”
Joey Galloway was on NFL Sirius Radio with host Gil Brandt and Solomon Wilcox, discussing his release. Quotes are transcribed by Scott Reynolds of PewterReport.com
“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise, especially with the way the season went for me last year in Tampa. I fully understand that when you sit down and start making business decisions that sometimes guys don’t fit into what you plan to do. So, as part of this business, today is my last day in Tampa and I’ll look for a new team.”
“Absolutely. I feel great. Physically, at the end of last season, because I didn’t play a lot during that season, I came out probably as healthy as I’ve been in my 14 year career. So I’m pretty excited about what happens next. I’ve started working out, preparing myself, which I always do at this time of year. So I’m looking forward to it and I feel great physically, mentally. I’m looking forward to the new challenge. So we’ll see what happens.”
“I think Raheem Morris is a great coach. I think he is a very bright guy and I think he’s going to be great at it. I think that the people I know there in that organization and the players that I know that play for that team, I think they’re going to be a really good football team. It may not be next season. It may not be the season after but I think that is one of the teams that if you look and say ‘Ok, what team can get hot? What team can be that next great team?’ I would not be surprised at all if Tampa was to do it. They have great people there. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed my time there and I think they are all great people and I think they’ll be fine.”
“I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and look around and think about teams. I’ve been fortunate to play for three great organizations in my career and as far as teams out there I’m just looking to play for somebody that hopefully wants to have a chance to win some football games, has a pretty good nucleus of veteran guys that are looking to go to the next level. So for me it’s not going to come down to certain coaches or maybe certain players. It’s going to come down to, I’d like to go to a team that’s looking to win something, heading in the right direction.”
“Nobody’s out of the mix and that is one of the wonderful things about the NFL. Nobody would have picked the Cardinals to get to the Super Bowl. Each and every season it just seems like there are different teams that come out of nowhere and are able to become good football teams. So that makes it wide open and that makes it exciting for the fans, for the players, for the coaches, for everybody involved. It keeps it exciting. Believe me, I’ve been in it for 14 years and I have not caught on to that shooting star team yet so maybe this is my chance.”