Jon Gruden is a hands-on kind of football coach. Apparently that means the occasional interception.
During Saturday morning's workout, Gruden worked as a defensive back and intercepted a pass intended for Joey Galloway in the end zone.
Those are the kind of picks Gruden hopes not to see in the regular season. But for a day at least, he seemed happy with his thievery.
"It was a great play, obviously," Gruden said. "I was out there by myself with no help. You saw it. I thought I made a nice play on the ball, and I did what Galloway does and threw it to the crowd. I was going to return it, but I had a late night last night with these scripts. I had some fun though."
Gruden's normal post-practice session with the media was curtailed because Saturday was family day at Disney's Wide World of Sports. After the first full week of camp, Gruden invites the families of the players and the coaches to join them in Orlando for the day. " The guys do need to get mentally rejuvenated and reacquainted with their families," Gruden said. " It's good to see the turnout that we have today, wives and kids. Some of our players are claiming to be engaged. They're trying to get a night off tonight, but that won't happen. It's a great affair. We've got a great group of guys who are working extremely hard, and they deserve a night off with their loved ones."
On the injury front, several players missed practice on Saturday, including wide receiver Michael Clayton, who Gruden described as having a sore back. Gruden said he could be out for at least two days. Tight end Matt Herian was held out with a calf strain. Rookie safety Sabby Piscitelli also missed the morning workout with what Gruden described as "tight lowers."
defensive tackle Ryan Sims and tackle Luke Petitgout returned to practice on Saturday. Gruden seemed willing to ease Petitgout back into the workouts, using him in just individual drills on Saturday and waiting another day to put him into full-team sessions.
"When he goes, there will be contact," Petitgout said. "You can't limit contact with a tackle. You can limit contact with a quarterback or a kicker but not a left tackle. He'll be involved in contact drills (on Sunday)."
Other notable quotes from Gruden's shortened press conference on Saturday:
(On his thoughts on today's practice)
"I did like some parts of it. Some parts obviously we had some fumbles exchanged, problems in nine-on-seven, which is ridiculous, totally ridiculous. But there were some good things. We had the four-minute drill, we call it, at the end of the game. I thought the number-one offense did a great job getting the first down to end the football game. Our number-one defense did a heck of a job getting off the field, giving our offense a chance. We worked the red zone passing, a tight red zone, which is a difficult place to throw the ball. I thought we did some good things down there on both sides. We finished with the team period. We had all three groups take some snaps, and there was some good and some bad. But I do like the effort. I'm very proud of the first week of camp. Our special teams are much improved. They stood out again today. We're more skilled than we've been around here, and it shows in the kicking game, I'm sure. I was somewhat pleased, somewhat disappointed in some areas."
(On LB Cato June)
"He's an impact player. No one talks about him. I don't know why. He's an impact player. Heck, he's a Pro Bowl linebacker for a world championship team. He's not fast; he's real fast. And he's a collision player. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he's what we need here. He's another playmaker at the linebacker position who certainly is going to help us. He has made more plays than any guy on our football team the first week of training camp."