Jon Gruden Transcript: Aug. 2

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 Wednesday, Aug. 1:

On the status of some of the players not practicing

"I think we'll be alright tomorrow. Obviously the weather was not very good today, and those guys are ready to roll, I think tomorrow."

On LT Luke Petitgout's absence from practice

"The weather had a lot to do with our decision today. He'll be back tomorrow."

On if he was able to get in the kind of work he wanted despite the weather conditions

"Yeah, we got every period in. We didn't catch the ball worth a hoot, and that's something that's very disappointing. I realize it's bad weather – for golf. It's bad weather for being a receiver. It's bad weather for doing your lawn. But you've got to get the job done, and we didn't catch the ball worth a damn today. But I was really pleased with [Jeff] Garcia in the two-minute drill. I though [Luke] McCown had a nice two-minute drill. Nine-on-seven was a very physical period. Moving the ball at the end, we took the coaches off the field, we had a couple of nice plays on both sides. It's hard to concentrate in weather like this, hard to play football, but it was a good practice in that regard also."

On if the rain impacts what he is trying to do

"Rain has no impact. It might impact your game planning a little bit, but it was a great practice, honestly. You saw Garcia throw with the gloves on. He's never done that. It was a good practice for him to see if he likes it. Whether or not you ever see them again, I don't know. But it was very good practice – center-quarterback exchange, the ball handling. Handling the football period, very important footing, running routes, getting out of your breaks – that's good practice for us. And I have no problem with the rain. It's those lightning bolts. I'm very fearful of lightning. I've had some bad experiences in my family in the past, and I didn't see any today, so I felt pretty good out there."

On his running backs

"[Cadillac] Williams is a great back. He is having a great camp. Last year he had a back one day, he had a rib the other day and another back strain. This year he is totally healthy, and he is making some wicked cuts. I'm really happy with the progress that he has made in the passing game, not only as a receiver but as a protector. It all starts there with him. If he's Cadillac Williams, we're going to have a heck of a running game and be a much better offensive football team."

On if he is going to look for the guys who showed mental toughness in these conditions

"I think it's refreshing for these guys to go through a practice when it's cool. I think if you took a raise of hands, they'd rather practice in rain than that scorching heat. I'm talking about getting your job done whether it's hot or cold or raining or not. Catch the football. Put it away and protect the ball. Those are things that we've got to do a better job of, and today gave us an opportunity to take a good look at it. Being a Buc fan my whole life, I've sat in the old stadium, and they don't call the game off. And I do hear it rains a lot in Seattle, so maybe it's a blessing in some regards."

On T Donald Penn

"I don't like to give him too much praise. These offensive linemen can't handle public praise. But he's taken a lot of reps. He's doing a good job. He's got my attention. He's doing a good job, but he's not a finished product yet. He's a young player. I'm really pleased with his pass protection. He's getting more physical in the running game. We'd like to see a little bit more thump. But he's playing right and left tackle. If he's not the starter, we need a guy who can be a swing tackle, and certainly he's in the mix there."

On G Arron Sears

"Well Sears, he's as advertised. He's got some real power. He's got some real football instinctiveness that's hard to find in a young player. He's rarely in bad position. He understands the game, and he's going to be a fine football player. We're really excited about Sears. But again, you don't want to give these guys too much praise because normally they have a lousy practice the next day."

On if having missed practices due to inclement weather is frustrating

"Well it happens every year. We got rained out a whole week with Hurricane Charley. I had some guy hand me an article that said I've got the toughest training camp in football. We've got two-a- days every day. I said, ‘You don't know what the heck you're talking about.' We can't have two- a-days because of the weather. We schedule two-a-days every day because we know we're going to have to be in a period of adjustment. We do the best we can, given the weather, and that's part of life. You've got to do the best you can, and we'll continue to do that."

On if Jeff Garcia has trouble with a wet ball

"No, Jeff played in Canada. Jeff played in Canada. It's really raining now. He played in Canada. He's played in all kinds of weather. What we're doing, as we do every year, is we get the top- notch technology that's out there – rain gear, things of that nature. Brad Johnson didn't want to do it his first year when I was hear, but I think in one of his games, he wore the gloves. So we're trying to see, ‘Hey man, does the glove help? Does it inhibit you? And if it can help, maybe you ought to use it.'"

On QB Bruce Gradkowski

"I like what he's doing. He hasn't thrown the crazy pick. We haven't thrown an interception in some time. He's being good with the ball. He's making good decisions. He's just much better in terms of recognizing coverages, fronts, late rotations, hitting the complimentary receivers and running and not doing things by the book. It's ok to sidearm a pass once in a while. It's ok to break the pocket and run. I think he's playing more instinctively and with much better overall awareness."

On if the afternoon practice will proceed as scheduled

"We'll see what happens. We need to get out here and get our special teams some work – not only punt protection and kickoff coverage but special situations, our hands team, things of that nature, special situations. We'll reserve comment until we see what happens. We'd like to get outside."

On not opting to wear any special rain gear

"After you get soaked, what's the point? I just let it rip today."

On S Sabby Piscitelli and S Tanard Jackson

"They're getting a lot better. Jackson made a great play today, coming across the field. Piscitelli had an unbelievable morning session yesterday, from a coverage standpoint. I really like what they're doing a lot. I'm very pleased with their progress, and at the same time, you never really get a true evaluation until the games start. But they're really on the rise."

On QB Bruce Gradkowski

"I'm pleased with them both. I'm really pleased with Bruce. The last period of the day, [he] made some good checks, made some good decisions with the ball. He's doing a good job. He's much more aware. I think he's playing football now as a quarterback as opposed to kind of a chalkboard robotic-type player as a rookie sometimes does. But I've been in a lot of these training camps, and when you take the starting quarterback out, there can be some ugly snaps with the backups. There can be some ugly snaps. But I think for the most part these guys have done a good job not turning the ball over, making some plays, and I'm pleased with both of them very much."

On his biggest surprise a week into camp

"We really don't have a lot of boisterous guys. We've got a business attitude, not a lot of idle chatter going on out here from the start of practice until the end. These guys are focused. There are not a lot of real loud characters. It's kind of a quiet, business-like performance every day. I do like it."

On his team's young offensive line

"They're really making progress. [Davin] Joseph has had days when he's really been stellar, and [Jeremy] Trueblood is getting better. He's a big, tall guy. Getting comfortable in that stance last year was a challenge in its own right. He's doing a really good job. He and Davin are doing a much better job on the right side against stunts, against premier guys and handling the audible system and the snap count. I'm really pleased with [Arron] Sears. We're excited about what Donald Penn is doing and AD [Anthony Davis] has been a guy who's played three different positions and done some good things. And we're very pleased with [Luke] Petitgout, although we'd like to get him out here soon."


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