Gruden Quotes

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden talks about how the team will deal with the loss of Shelton Quarels.

(on an update on Shelton Quarles and a roster move)
"He has a forearm/elbow injury and he'll have surgery tomorrow to correct that. We'll have more specific information in terms of how long he'll be out after that, but the initial prognosis is six to eight weeks. We released Tony McGee and signed Dan Wilcox for this game, largely for special teams and injury purposes. Obviously, when Nate Webster becomes a starting middle linebacker we need somebody else to help us on special teams. Also, Dan can play a little tight end, as well."

(on if the team will try to bring Tony McGee back)
"We're going to try a lot of things. We're going to try to do a lot of things. There's a possibility of that."

(on what concerns him about Nate Webster taking over for Quarles)
"I'm more concerned with Shelton's injury than I am concerned with Nate. Nate's a fine football player. He played a lot of snaps for us last year – not a lot of people know that. He's a good player. Nate Webster is not any part of my concerns. It's Shelton Quarles, who's an inspiring guy to me and this team and an outstanding football player. We want him, obviously, to have a surgery that's a good one, and he can return to health and resume what we think is a great career."

(on how he feels about Shelton Quarles working hard and then getting hurt)
"Well, Quarles is going to come back. That's the silver lining here – Shelton's coming back. It's not like he's not coming back. But again, this is the National Football League, or high school football or any level I've ever been associated with, and injuries are part of the game. Last year, Kenyatta Walker didn't even suit up for the opener, and neither did (Cosey)a Coleman. We've been down this road before and that's why we keep 53 men. We've got to ask certain guys to step up when we have setback because of injury. It's unfortunate, but at the same time we're eager to play this game and we feel prepared to do that."

(on details of Quarles' elbow injury)
"Well it's (to be) surgically repaired, so obviously there's some significant injury. I'm not a medical expert. I do know this: It's a surgical process that will take place tomorrow and I can give you some more official news once that surgery is completed."

(on how the switch to Nate Webster affects the defensive play calling)
"It doesn't affect the calls at all. Nate Webster's been taking a lot of snaps throughout the preseason and throughout his career here as the Mike linebacker. I think, for a lot of teams, this would be a starting Mike linebacker. Last year, Quarles was going into his first start in his career as a Mike linebacker and there were a lot of questions surrounding us whether or not he could do that. Now it's Nate Webster's turn to answer the bell. Our communication process will not change and we expect him to play an outstanding game for us."

(on if he has sat Webster down and asked him to keep a cool head on the field)
"I think the thing is with Nate is that he is a veteran player. I'm not going to have those conversations. Like I said, this guy is a fine performer and we're not changing anything. We're going to move on with a new Mike linebacker. He'll set our defenses, he'll make a lot of critical calls, critical plays and he'll be a key factor in how we perform."

(on the versatility of the Bucs' linebackers)
"We're ready to go if we get an injury. Obviously, we don't want to see anyone else get hurt. But Dwayne Rudd is ready to go. Ryan Nece is a swing player, he can play a couple positions. Derrick Brooks can play anywhere on the board. We're ready to go. We've always looked at Nate Webster as a starter, as a staff. Last year, he was in a serious battle with Shelton Quarles for the job, and Shelton won it out. This year, we're going to lean on Nate Webster and if we get another injury, depending on who it is and what stage of the game it is, we'll have adjustability."

(on TE Todd Yoder)
"He practiced, practiced good today, and he's ready to go. Todd's ready to go, Will Heller's had a good week of practice and, obviously with the addition of Wilcox we've got enough tight ends to play two games Monday night. We've got enough tight ends, that's for sure."

(on any other injury concerns)
"No. Ellis Wyms is still limited on the practice field with an ankle sprain and his status is still questionable. But when you get off the plane in Philadelphia, you smell the air, you sense game time, I have a strong feeling that Ellis will be ready to go. But, again, he does have some lingering soreness there. If he can't go, we'll have to dig into our pile of defensive linemen and find some men who are healthy and ready to play."

(on if Nate will not play special teams now)
"No, Nate's going to play. Nate will play, but his role might not be as it was because of the responsibilities he has as a middle linebacker. Dwight Smith will play on special teams. Obviously his role in the game will be determined by how many snaps he is on the field. You just need some fresh bodies to go out there and cover these kicks, especially in Philadelphia because they've got some weapons."

(on if Nate will come off the field on third downs)
"No, we don't want to take Nate off the field. Again, we really like Nate Webster. I'm really upset and I'm very depressed about losing Shelton Quarles for 45 minutes, three days or three weeks because of the kind of guy he is. I love Quarles. But I like Nate, too, and I love Nate in some ways. He'll play good for us."

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