Jon Gruden Transcript: July 29

Here is the transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's morning press conference at training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports on Sunday, July 29.


On how the offense looked during practice

I don't know; I've got to look at the film. Obviously, we didn't have many assignment errors. I thought for the most part there was some solid execution. And until we see the film and look at guys individually, it's hard to say. But I thought there were some good things in the passing segment, pretty good things in the running segment. And I can say the same thing for the defense, at times.

On if the running game looked good

Well, we should be pretty good. We've been practicing this for three or four months. The right guard and the right tackle are getting more and more comfortable and are powerful people. Arron Sears is a very physical player, and we're better. I think we're a little bit better. But today's just the beginning of training camp; we've got an awful long way to go.

On LB Derrick Brooks

He didn't practice. He was out here as a spectator. He still has a tweak in the hamstring, but he was out here giving his support, and we appreciate it.

On any other injuries

No injuries to report. Sometimes they show up at lunch, but right now we don't have anything to report other than Derrick Brooks has a tweaked hamstring.

On the intensity

It was very good. I was pleased with it. The first day of pads is sometimes a transition not only from the standpoint that they haven't worn them since the end of last season, but you have new players coming from other places that practiced differently in shorts. To make sure that everybody is on the same page from an etiquette standpoint, we had a little meeting last night. I thought our guys responded pretty well. There's still plenty to clean up, but it was a physical practice, and I thought we ended with what looks like a pretty conditioned football team.

On Shelton Quarles attending practice

I talked to Shelton last week or two weeks ago and invited him to training camp. There's one guy who does like football, and it's good to see him. That's about all I have on that front.

On the advantage of having this group of quarterbacks

We want to try and get some guys with good experiences. But to have four guys who understand the offense makes things a lot easier. You don't waste as many snaps, and you expect a lot more from that position when you have experience. Youth is really not an excuse anymore. We've got guys who have started. We've got guys who have been around the system. We expect guys to make plays.

On Gaines Adams possibly receiving a rude awakening today

I don't know; he made some plays out there. I think Cadillac juked him back up inside, but he did turn the play back in like he is supposed to. This is his first day in pads, and it's the beginning of his career. I hate to keep talking about him every day, making predictions. He'll be OK. I think he'll be just fine.

On if he plans on recording ArenaBowl XXI today

Yes, I sure do. I'm going to make sure he's at the game, make sure he didn't head over to the Bahamas. I really wish him the best. The Arena League means a lot to me. I think its great for pro football, gives a lot of guys a chance to play. And there are some really good players in today's game. We'll hope Columbus wins it for our guy Galloway.

On WR David Boston looking pretty good in camp

Pretty good? He did look pretty good. He was a superstar in this league when healthy. I'm not going to say he's back yet, but if today and yesterday and the day before and the last three months are any indication, he's closing in on coming back and making a name for himself again.

On what Boston is showing this year

What he did the last two days, running down the field with that big of a body, that fast and acrobatically making plays. And to be able to do it in two-a-days, here's a guy who was limited to three practices a week last year. He's been out here five days in a row. He's humming. Heck, he's a gunner on special teams also. So he's got a lot of confidence in his body. He's put in a lot of time, and a lot of adversity has gone into his rehab. We'll cross our fingers and hope it continues. It will be a heck of a story if it works out.

On Chris Simms' health

He's healthy. He wouldn't be out here playing if he wasn't healthy. He's got to pick up his play. That's the big thing. I'm not going to address the health thing anymore. He's had a serious injury. He's had other injuries that are well-documented. But he's healthy; he wouldn't be practicing if he wasn't.

On if Simms is responding to having players such as Garcia around

I think he is. It's a great thing to have competition. Every year you have a draft. Every year, in some degree, you have change in your roster. And every man has to react to competition. That's just part of life.

On if RB Cadillac Williams is better now than he was when he entered the league

That's a tough question there. I don't know. He was pretty good coming into the NFL two years ago. As I've said always, I'm a big fan of his. I think he's one heck of a football player. He's tough as nails. He's durable. He's a guy who loves it. He's a great competitor, and he's a guy we need obviously to ignite us offensively. He needs to be a centerpiece here and a guy we lean on.

On his impressions of Sabby Piscitelli

He's got a lot of range. He's got speed. Right now, he's in the process of putting a lot together mentally. We're playing some different coverages and we're doing some things on defense we haven't done in the past. And it's taxing to all our players but particularly a young safety who's responsible for a lot of calls and checks and things of that nature. That's one of the reasons why we have a lot of shifts and things of that nature in our offense at this point to try and help our young defenders get ready to play.

On if he was happy with the new guys playing in pads

It was a physical practice. It was as physical a practice as we've ever had here on the opening day of training camp. I was pleased. I think the guys cooperated from an etiquette standpoint well — young guys, new players, everybody. I still think there are some things to clean up, but for the most part until I see the tape, I was pleased.

On the first day in pads being the first day that a coach can truly see things

These guys wouldn't be here if they hadn't played the game in pads before. There are not a lot of novices coming into the league. I wasn't really worried about Kevin Carter taking on the tight end, if you know what I mean. We didn't draft Gaines Adams number four overall if we didn't think he'd stick his face in there and play the run. So that's not really a concern. Although to be a physical football team, you have to be one. You've got to go out there and actually be one. You can't talk about that. We do have some young guys who are going to play physical, and we've added some veterans who are going to pick up that aspect also.

On G Davin Joseph

There might not be many guards in football who are going to be as physical as him. That's one thing he's going to be. He's going to be a physical guy for us at right guard. Last year was a huge transition for him. He played left tackle at Oklahoma. He came in here and played right guard and had an injury and missed four games. And I don't care who you talk to, that's tough sledding in this league. He's a leader on the football team. He's as strong a man as we have, and he's in great shape. And he is very athletic for a man of his size. I've got a real high standard for him to live up to. He should be a great player if we don't screw it up.

On DT Jovan Haye receiving the majority of reps at under tackle

That job is wide open. You've got to start 11 guys out there on defense. We're allowed to play 11, so were sticking 11 out there. Right now he's with the ones and to stay with the ones, we need flash playmaking out of the three-technique, or were going to have to change the defense. That three-technique has got to be a guy who disrupts plays, and Jovan Haye has a lot of effort. He does have some size. He's got great stamina. He's got some good first-step quickness in pass rush, so right now he's the leader in the clubhouse, but it's the Daytona 500. It's hot and there are 499 laps to go.

On WR/KR Chad Owens

He's another guy who comes in here. He had a hard time in Jacksonville hanging on to the ball. That's been well documented, but he is very compact, thick and quick. He has tremendous cutting ability at full speed. In the kicking game and as a creative receiver, he can do some things for us. And he's made some plays the last two days that are pretty easy to see.

On if he's willing to bring more quarterbacks in to camp

We're trying to get a stable of quarterbacks that can help us dominate. We're very fortunate to get Jeff Garcia in free agency, and we like the fact that we have three young guys with experience, but we're always looking at that position. I don't know anybody in the league that isn't. That's the hand that feeds you, and you've got to have a quarterback. We've had three or four years in a row where we've played three quarterbacks a year so I can say from first hand experience, you'd better have a backup. It's not only a backup who knows your offense, but a guy who can go in there and help you get to the playoffs and win a championship.

On if the team has had any follow-ups with free agent QB Daunte Culpepper

I have no comment on that right now other than we'll continue to look into every man who is available's situation, and if we feel the opportunity strikes, we'll react accordingly.

On how it feels to have a healthy Brian Kelly

He looks good, and I'll tell you who else looks really good Phillip Buchanon. He wasn't here last year either until late in the year. So to have those three guys working in concert together is exciting. We all know (Ronde) Barber is a feature player for us, certainly in the nickel defense where he comes inside. The opportunity to have Brian Kelly back is going to without a doubt help our football team, and Phillip Buchanon is going to make our team much better also, I believe.

On LB Derrick Brooks

He's hurt. He came out in pads, but he was not able to practice. He wants to be a part of it any way he can, and he is a leader on the team. He wanted to keep his finger on the football team, and by dressing out, that's the smart thing to do.

On being cautious with Brooks

I'm just going to listen to the trainer. We're going to listen to the trainer and try to get him out here as soon as possible. We want to see what our defense looks like as soon as possible. There are some new things we are looking at, and obviously Derrick Brooks is a key cog here.

On LB Cato June

I think he looks great. He looks really good, just like he looked for Indianapolis. He's a very instinctive, very fast, tough football player. He loves it, and we need speed on that position in this defense.


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