On if he's happy where things are at this point in camp
"Yes, I'm happy with some things. Obviously, we've got some guys who aren't practicing that concerns us some. But the effort's been very good, and we don't have any long-term injuries to report, so that part has also been good. Lately the weather's cooperating. It's going to be like this when we play at one o' clock at home. I've been very pleased with what our young players have done, from [Luke] McCown and [Bruce] Gradkowski to the other side of the ball. Our two young safeties, I think our first and second-year players, are taking advantage of these opportunities."
On the status of LB Barrett Ruud
"Barrett's doing fine. If he's not back tomorrow, we expect him the next day. His status for the game is in question right now, but we hope to have him play. [Luke] Petitgout — it's like Groundhog Day. He's not quite ready to go. It doesn't appear that he'll play against the Patriots. And our goal will be to get him ready for our second preseason game."
On getting to look at some of the other players because of injuries limiting some players
"Antoine Cash has done some really good things. And that goes for every position, really. From that standpoint, we've taken advantage of all the practice time and given people an opportunity to assert themselves, and in some cases they have."
On working the 3-4 into practice and the versatility that some of his players have
"We're trying to create that. One of the things that Quincy [Black] can do is naturally rush the passer, and Adam Hayward has that ability also. And whether we stay with the standard 42 nickel alignment or get into some 33 nickel-type alignments remains to be seen, but we're working on a lot of different things, not just those two. Personnel, who you put where, sometimes is as big a part of the winning edge in the pass rush as anything."
On why FB Mike Alstott is such a fan favorite
"He's a fan favorite because he's made some legendary runs. He's made some of those SportsCenter highlight runs that will never be forgotten. And he's a great human being. He's a great guy in the community. And he's played through a serious injury. It's hard not to really like him. He's a great competitor. He's a great teammate, and he's without a doubt one of the all-time favorite Buccaneers ever, if you ask me, anyway. He'll be a fullback. Obviously, he'll play a role at times as a ball carrier, and he'll play a major role on this team as a leader, and we're proud to have him back."
On if a player can win a roster spot by playing well in preseason games
"Some. I've had people ask why we don't play some of the regulars longer. It's because we need to see some of the younger players more. We've had our share of injuries. We've gone to our third quarterback three out of the last four years, so you better make sure the guy has some experience. Last year we lost Kenyatta [Walker]. We lost Davin Joseph. We lost Dan Buenning. You've got to take advantage of these preseason games and make sure that at least you keep the best people on your 80- man roster coming out of training camp. We haven't practiced like this for nothing. We're trying to get these guys ready for New England so they go out there and get a chance to showcase whether or not they belong on our football team. This year will be very similar in that regard."
On trusting trainers about concussions
"I think you have to do that as a coach. You always refer to the trainers. They're the ones that medically know what they're doing. Some of the symptoms that they have, the tests that they have to go through to prove that they're ok, you can't do as a coach. And anytime you see somebody get hit in the head, you've got to refer to the trainer, and fortunately we have great doctors and great trainers, experienced men who have done it a long time."
On wanting to see big hits but not concussions being a Catch-22
"It probably is, yes. Everybody wants to see the big hits, but I don't think anybody wants to see somebody get hurt, especially seriously hurt in the head area. Equipment has gone to another mile, and the commissioner has done a great job of enforcing player discipline on the field. There are fouls now for blows to the head. Sometimes, there's nothing that you can do to avoid those hits. It is a scary deal, and you better make sure you have a real tight medical staff to handle any potential injuries in that way."