Jon Gruden Transcript: Aug. 13

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 Monday, Aug. 13, courtesy of the Buccaneers:

On this morning's practice

It was good and bad. We had a couple of center exchange problems that I can't explain, but we'll get to the bottom of it. I thought there were periods of good and not so good.

On Michael Pittman possibly seeing more time at fullback

He's played some fullback in the past here, and he'll continue to do that and his role may expand. We're excited about the opportunity to get him on the field hopefully in some two-back sets. Where we go, we'll see. Earnest Graham, same thing there. B.J. Askew is doing some really good things, so those three guys. Alex Smith is a guy who's functioned as a fullback before so we have a number of guys who will contribute.

On some of the players who did not play in Friday nights game

There were six or seven guys who didn't play much, who were dressed, like Anthony Becht, Ike Hilliard, Cato June. There were half-a-dozen guys who didn't play very much. That was by design. Barrett Ruud didn't play. Sabby Piscitelli did not play. Mike Clayton did not play. I think they all practiced and will be ready to go this week. My good friend Luke Petitgout I told you he'd be out here. I did tell you he'd be out here. We expect to try to get him in the game, and well see how it goes here in the next few days.

On if QB Chris Simms will see action in the Bucs next game

I don't know that. We'll wait and see on that.

On if he expects to make any changes to the team's depth chart at fullback

We won't be able to announce that ever on a weekly basis. It all depends on what were going to try to do in the game plan. We've got four guys who will contribute at that position, and that's the bottom line.

On what he's looking for in a fullback

It depends on what we're doing. If you're in a two-back set, and you're running an inside isolation, you have to go in there and knock the heck out of a linebacker. You've got to be able to find your target and execute physically between the tackles. There are some plays, stretch plays, perimeter plays, where it's more of an athletic adjustment-type block. In the passing game, pass protection, all those things will be scrutinized carefully. We'll use a lot of different guys.

On if he's looking at bringing in someone else at fullback I like our fullbacks. I really do. I like our guys. As a matter of fact, I like them a lot. I miss Mike Alstott, certainly. I can't overstate that enough, but I'll answer any other questions that I can.

On the defenses flexibility in its pass rush

Flexibility and versatility those are overused words in my opinion. How about getting it done? How about getting a turnover and getting a sack and stripping the ball away and hitting the quarterback? That's what we need. Quincy Black will put his hand down and get some opportunities to rush. Gaines Adams is going to continue to come on and get better. [Kevin] Carter didn't get to play much in the passing downs last week. [Patrick] Chukwurah got some looks last week. We'll continue to get him some. And we think [Greg] Spires can still rush, so we do have some versatility and flexibility. We just need to get to the passer with decisiveness.

On if he's seen improvement from DE Gaines Adams

I sure have. He made some really good plays in the game the other night, athletic plays, chasing screens down. He had a couple of good penetrations. He had a tough night. They chipped him almost every passing down, and that's tough on anybody, let alone a rookie player. But I do like some of the upside that we see, particularly in a game.

On DT Jovan Haye He's having a good camp. Again, there are 478 laps to go, but he's really doing a good job. His energy is contagious, and he made a lot of plays Friday night against New England while he was in.

On the wide receiver battle and WR Maurice Stovall [Michael] Clayton came back today and did some good things, and [David] Boston has done some good things. Once again, he did today. [Maurice] Stovall's been solid throughout camp, and it will be a competitive situation. And as I try to remind every one every day, Ike Hilliard has been quietly very, very good. We feel good about those guys, and Paris Warren showcased what he can do Friday night. So it will be a tough call for us and obviously Mark Jones and Chad Owens battling for that return specialist job will come into play as well.

On the physical nature of the Jacksonville Jaguars Let's be honest. They have physically taken it to us. Their defense has been more physical than we've been offensively in the last two or three outings. You're not going to find a defense that's more physical than the Jaguars. Baltimore is very physical. There are a lot of physical teams in this league. This team is at the forefront in football at being physical. [Marcus] Stroud and [John] Henderson and they've got two good edge rushers. They all run, and they all hit. Were going to have to play a physical game, and we're looking forward to going up there and playing them.

On Jacksonville's running game They've got a heck of back there in Fred Taylor. And the little Drew guy [Maurice Jones-Drew] is not little; he's short, but he's huge. He's a power back for a shorter-sized man. He's really a good player. And Greg Jones is a hammer at fullback, so they do have the ingredient to be a real good rushing team. And [Byron] Leftwich is a guy who can stand in there and make all the throws, so they've got a lot of talent.

On how he make a decision about how much playing time QB Jeff Garcia gets

We'll try to see a little bit more of Jeff. Hopefully we get some things done offensively, and allow him to stay in and play and complete some drives. Obviously Luke McCown needs to play. He hasn't played in over a year. He had 20, 22 really good snaps. He had four or five snaps he's got to eliminate. [Bruce] Gradkowski needs to play a little bit more. We would like to see Chris [Simms] get on the field at some point.

On the sacks of McCown during Friday night's game On one of them we had a tragic error. We had an assignment bust, and we victimized Ken Darby, made him look bad on that play, but it really wasn't his responsibility. We had a breakdown there, assignment error. Then there was a case in the red zone where Luke [McCown] was a little quick to slide out of the pocket, and I didn't like that one. But there was some pocket presence issues there, and there was one critical breakdown.

On how T Luke Petitgout did in practice today

I don't know yet. I have to take a good look at it. It's good to have him back out. I think his spirits are high and he's upbeat. I think he knows his body better than we all do, and I think he feels good. He's planning on getting ready to go.

On if Petitgout will play Saturday night

I'd like to play him, yes. We would like to do that.

On the role CB Phillip Buchanon will have this year

I can't really say exactly what it is. He's a guy who will be involved obviously as a defender, and there will be some creative things that we use him in whether it be in the kicking game or as a complimentary receiver at some point in time. He's a very skilled guy, and I can see him contributing in all three phases of our team.

On if he's been a fan of Buchanon

We liked him coming out of Miami. He was a number-one pick. And one of the reasons he's here is our secondary coaches, our defensive coaches, our scouts and general manager liked him. He's backed that up since he's been here. He's been very good in his play, and we're really happy to have him aboard with us.

On LB Ryan Nece's struggles at MLB Friday night

That's to be expected. He hasn't played the middle linebacker position. We've tried to get him game-ready on the practice field, and going in there in a game is not as easy as it looks. But we expect him to gradually get better and better.

On if practicing with noise is fun

No, I don't think so. I think they dislike it, but it's realistic from the standpoint that it's harder to communicate. You've got to do things visually. The offensive linemen, the tight ends, the skilled people have got to see the ball snapped. They've got to get off the football in the noise. They tell me it's really loud in Seattle, so simulating that kind of noise here and there in camp is going to help us as we prepare for the first regular season game.

On how the players are responding to the three new defensive coaches

You'd have to ask them that. I think Raheem Morris is a charismatic guy and a great coach. Larry Coyer is tremendously experienced, and I'm pleased. Gus Bradley does a heck of a job, if you ask me, but ask the players.

On if its big for the players to develop a rapport with their position coaches during camp

It's not hard. We've got plenty of offseason programs. That transition has taken place long ago. I'm not concerned about that, nor am I going to use it as an excuse.

On WR David Boston

Everything has to come back to him; everything has to come back to him. Going through the rigors of a two-a-day practice camp like we are here, running out there starting a game and being announced, going to bed the night before the game knowing you're the starter, preparing yourself mentally to play a couple of different positions, the stamina on game day. All those things have to come back to him. I thought he did a nice job in the game. I thought he played about 22 or 23 snaps, played two positions and brought speed and athleticism to our flanker spot. And he'll see more action again Saturday night. I'm really happy for him and pleased with his progress.

On if he saw progress from Boston in the offseason

He did make the team last year, and then Davin [Joseph] got hurt right before the Ravens game, and we had to bring in a lineman and we had to release someone. We knew he was on the rise and coming back physically, but we knew he also wasn't going to be ready early in the season. That's one of the reasons why we made the decision we did. There's not a guy who works harder physically and total health than David Boston. He doesn't have those arms and those legs for no reason. He's been really, really persistent in his work. We knew if we could get him back, he'd be a viable contender to not only make the team but start.

On if players are practicing in shells to prepare for Jacksonville's physical style of play

We're a different team right now than we have been. We've got a lot of young guys, and we don't have a lot of guys in the injury department right now, so we can afford to go out and practice and play. And were going to have to do that. We have to find our physical element here in Orlando, Florida. And we've got to take that with us to the regular season. [Marcus] Stroud and [John] Henderson and the Jaguars defense, they're as physical as they get, and I think our defensive line has brought it every day, so hopefully that's going to help our team as we prepare for the regular season.

On seeing G Arron Sears in game action

I like him a lot. He did a good job. He had a couple of plays that you'd like to clean up. But his presence, his look in his eyes, his performance was solid. He's going to be a real good player. I don't think there's any question about that.

On if the Jacksonville defensive tackles will provide a good test for Sears

Whoever the heck we get in there, they're going to give him a test. It's a great test to play those guys. It's a great amount of fun to prepare for them because they bat ball down, they can reach across the formation. They've got arms that are 70 inches long, it looks like at times. These are real big guys, and were looking forward to going up to Jacksonville and hopefully playing better than we did the last few times we've seen them."


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