Jon Gruden Transcript: Aug. 10

Here are the post-game quotes of Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden from Tampa Bay's preseason opening victory over New England on Aug. 10, courtesy of the Buccaneers:

Here are the post-game quotes of Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden from Tampa Bay's preseason opening victory over New England on Aug. 10:

Opening comment

"We looked at a lot of players. I don't believe we have any injuries at this point to report, and we won a football game. That was our goal obviously. We would finish the drive. You've got to be able to do that in this league to win. We had a couple of breakdowns in pass protection that are inexcusable. We fumbled the football. We did some things that are uncharacteristic of a championship team. But it's a good start. Obviously, it was an emotional beginning to the game with Mike Alstott's introduction. It's been a tough week. A tough 10 days, really, with losing Mike [Alstott] and Bill Walsh dying, but we are proud of our football team."

On QB Luke McCown

"The thing we like about Luke is his mobility. He has been on the rise since he's returned from the knee injury. He missed all of last season. Had he performed like this last year he would have been our starting quarterback, no question about it. He's been very good in training camp with the ball, making decisions, and creating plays. If you aren't mobile, you better be one heck of a passer and have one great quick release. Luke McCown can throw the ball, and he can run, and he's playing good football right now, which is a good start, going seven-for-seven, regardless of who he was playing against. It's something that we like. He's got to be tough."

On QB Jeff Garcia

"He came out and threw the ball a little bit. Our goal was to get Jeff a lengthy series and to get him out of there. He had a completion on the first play of the game. He blitzed the linebacker on the second play of the game and then he scrambled to keep it alive. Missed Hilliard on a third-down play, which I believe Jeff normally gets. He missed Galloway on a short pass over the middle. He was open, but I think the ball dropped or he wasn't in position to make the play. You have got to be in position to make the play. But it was a good beginning. He is a heck of a quarterback, great competitor, and we are excited about Jeff Garcia, but realize we have a long way to go."

On DE Gaines Adams

"I saw him bat a ball down. I thought he showed some energy and life. He's got a long way to go. He is not a finished product. He is playing right end, left tail. He has got some creativity as a rusher. He got close a couple of times tonight. I think he found out that the backs will chip you, too, and knock you sideways. That's legal. I think he learned some things tonight. He is a great kid. He has a long ways to go but he does have talent."

On specific players who impressed him with their play tonight

"[Luke] McCown opened my eyes tonight. It's easy to see how a quarterback plays. We can all see that. I thought Ken Darby did some things. I thought Aaron Sears did some good things, from what I could see. I thought Paris Warren sure played well. He's a football player. All he needs is a chance. Somebody's going to give him a chance, either me or somebody else. Whenever he gets out there and plays, he plays well."

On the competition at different positions

"We are open in a lot of places right now. Pittman started the game at fullback. Earnest Graham has that capability. B.J. Askew did some good things, picking up some blitzes and blocking at the point of attack, shortening out the second look. We are still working to find out which network of backs are going to be with us. Earnest Graham had another real good game. Had we kept him in I think he would have played extremely well. We have competition, but we also have to overcome the loss of our leader and great player. That's something we are going to continue to work through."

On the defensive line

"Our pressure is not good enough. I'm not going to come out here being negative, but if that is good enough then let's just give them a lollipop sucker. It just isn't good enough. We have got to get better pressure. I don't want to have to rely on blitzes. I want to use the four-man rush, like we historically do, that's the nature of the business. It's just not good enough yet. I want all those guys to roll their fists up and fight and get better next week. We are going to have to."

On QB Chris Simms

"He has got to play better. We can all talk about the elbow and the arm, but he isn't playing very well right now. When he starts playing better, he will get a chance to play. [Luke] McCown is outplaying him, and Bruce [Gradkowski] is outplaying him. I want him to play better. I want to move the ball and make yards, and I want to score points. When we start seeing that on the practice field, we will start playing him. That isn't happening now, and that's one of the reasons we aren't playing him."

Reaction to losing FB Mike Alstott

"There are a lot of people that think I have no emotion. I'm one of the more emotional guys that unfortunately are in this business. I take it real hard. It crushes me. It crushes me because this guy loves football and he loves the Bucs. It's tough to get over it and it's tough to say ‘good-bye' to guys that have helped you win championship."


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