QUOTES OF THE YEAR
"He loves quarterbacks, but he likes to just date ... he doesn't like to marry." - QB Jeff Garcia on Bucs coach Jon Gruden
"We were getting pressure, he was just moving around." - DE Gaines Adams on why the pass rush failed to bother San Diego's Philip Rivers, who threw for 287 yards and four TDs in a 41-24 victory in Week 16
"That wouldn't be fair to Brett Favre." - Gruden, when asked why the Bucs never disavowed their pursuit of the veteran QB when he became available from Green Bay
"You can't buy 8-3 in this league. A lot of other teams are packing up their U-Hauls right now." - DT Chris Hovan
"Some guys play football, some guys run plays. Jeff Garcia plays football." - WR Antonio Bryant
Sept. 14: Earnest Graham closes out a 24-9 victory against Atlanta by dashing 68 yards for a TD with 3:08 remaining.
Sept. 21: Brian Griese's 1-yard pass to TE Jerramy Stevens with seven seconds remaining in regulation caps a 79-yard drive and sets the stage for a 27-24 OT victory at Soldier Field.
Oct. 12: Rookie LB Geno Hayes returns his own blocked punt 22 yards for a score to trigger a 27-3 rout against Carolina.
Nov. 2: Undrafted free agent Clifton Smith, right, returns a kickoff 97 yards as the Bucs rally from 21 points down to win 30-27 in OT at Kansas City.
Nov. 30: S Jermaine Phillips sets up Matt Bryant's late 37-yard FG by picking off Drew Brees in a 23-20 triumph against New Orleans.
•Tryson Bryant, 3-month-old son of Matt and Melissa Bryant, dies in his sleep.
•Garcia, who earned team MVP honors in 2007, is benched following a 24-20 loss at New Orleans in Week 1.
•Despite limiting Brad Johnson and the Cowboys to 172 yards, the Bucs drop a 13-9 decision at Texas Stadium.
•Carolina rolls up 299 rushing yards against the Bucs during a 38-23 Monday night victory that triggers a four-game slide.
•With the Bucs still in control of their postseason destiny, San Diego uses a 21-point fourth quarter to hand Tampa Bay its first home loss.