Gruden Speaks: Bucs look good in pads

In this Sunday edition of "Gruden Speaks," the Tampa Bay head coach expresses his excitement with his team's first workout in pads that morning.

Jon Gruden's entire practice transcript from Sunday morning's workout is now available. Click here if you're a premium subscriber to access the transcript. If not, sign up. It's only $7.95 per month, and through July 31 you can get buy a one-month subscription and get one for free.

Jon Gruden has chomped at the bit for this day for about seven months.

A morning of watching his team go through their first workout in pads did a lot toward washing out the taste of last year's 4-12 season.

The past two days of training camp, frankly, have been window dressing. Now, he believes, the Bucs can get down to business. Defensive tackle Kevin Carter said Sunday that nothing can simulate being in pads and being physical.

Gruden agreed.

"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," Gruden said after Sunday morning's workout.

To make sure that all of his players were on the same page, Gruden held a team meeting last night to talk about, of all things, etiquette.

The last thing Gruden wanted, after years of debilitating injuries during training camp, was to lose a top player on the first day.

So while there was hitting on Sunday there wasn't HITTING. Plenty of times players pulled up and just simulated their form when they would normally make open field tackles. Only one player, DT Jovan Haye, vocally complained about something that happened on the field.

For the most part, it was the clean, physical workout that Gruden wanted.

"We didn't have many assignment errors," Gruden said. "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 (more). But I thought there were some good things in the passing segment, pretty good things in the running segment."

Like Cadillac Williams' cut past rookie DE Gaines Adams. The third-year back gave the Clemson product a little education on Sunday, as he cut by Adams on a flip play, a misdirection formation designed to fool the defense.

"I think Cadillac just juked him back up inside, but he (Adams) did turn the play back in like he was supposed to," Gruden said. "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."

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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.

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