Gruden Transcript

Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden was at Notre Dame on Saturday to work out Brady Quinn and talk to the coaches at the Coaches Clinic. Here's a transcript of his comments to the media.

"Good afternoon. First, I would like to say it's a great thrill to be back in South Bend. It's been about 25 years since I've been back. I really appreciate Coach Weis giving me the opportunity to share a few things with some coaches. You don't get asked to speak at a lot of clinics when you're 4-12. But it's a great opportunity to come back to South Bend and meet privately with Brady Quinn. He's obviously a great young talent."

Q: How did the workout go with Brady?

"It was great. It was extensive. We met last night. We met for a couple of hours this morning. We flew in Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton to work specifically with Brady. He's done a great job. He's been well-coached. That's been well documented. What's being missed here is that he's a physical guy who can make all the plays. I was really impressed."

Q: Your name was linked with the Notre Dame head coaching job. Have you ever thought about it?

"You have fantasies all your life about South Bend, Indiana. This is God's country when it comes to football. But I'm very fortunate to be in the National Football League and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's where I've wanted to be. It's where I plan to be for sometime. If I don't get my act together, I might have to get my old job back cleaning dishes at Knollwood Country Club."

Q: What are your memories of South Bend Clay (High School)?

"We had a lot of fun. I drove by the school last night. Some of my best friends today came from my high school days. I remember throwing four touchdown passes against Mishawaka. I got some great memories. South Bend has changed dramatically since I was here. It's exploded in terms of what's here now. It's neat to be back."

Q: You sat down with Brady. What are you looking at with him?

"Behind the scenes, you want to see if you can collaborate and have a common philosophy about where we want to go as a football team in Tampa. You want to see what type of background he has. He's got a unique background with Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, two great football coaches. I want to see him do some of the things we do physically. We tried to examine that today. All I can say is that he's a tremendous young prospect. I didn't realize he was that big. I told him to cool it on the weights. He's looking too good right now. But he blew me away with his workout today."

Q: How is Maurice Stovall progressing?

"He's on the rise. Obviously, he's a big, physical wide receiver and a great, young guy. He's going to push to be our starting flanker. It's a competitive situation. He came on late for us and made some plays. We're excited about the future for Maurice. He's a great representative of our football team. He's a great young man."

Q: When you're looking at quarterbacks, what do you look at to separate the Peyton Mannings with the Ryan Leafs?

"Decision-making is very important. The private film work to see where a guy is mentally is important. Some of these guys are blank tapes and run schemes that don't exist in pro football. They need to be aware of what modern-day defenses are doing. This guy understands the under defense versus the over defense, the sight adjustments and how to throw the quick game from the shotgun. This guy is very advanced and technically sound. You can find those things out the more you look and the more you study."

Q: How much did you learn about coaching from South Bend and with your dad being around?

"This is where I discovered my love for coaching and where I knew I wanted to be a coach. I jog out there and see Vegas Ferguson, Joe Montana and Pete Houlihan. Those were great memories and we won a lot of games. Some of the coaches that were on that staff were guys that had a real impact on me. This is where it all started for me and I'm proud to say that."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories