Jon Gruden Transcript: Aug. 20

Here is the transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's press conference after practice on Monday, Aug. 20, courtesy of the Buccaneers:

On injured players

We put Antoine Cash on injured reserve with a knee injury. It's unfortunate; he was really coming on. He's a good young linebacker and he'll be out for the season. That's a big loss for us. We lost Sam Olajubutu, a young linebacker who got hurt in pregame warm-ups. He also has been put on injured reserve with an Achilles tendon operation. Those are the two men that I have to announce are out for the season. Jeb Terry will not play this week. We hope to get him back here some time soon.

On Phillip Buchanon having a cast on his hand

He's going to be okay. His status for the next couple days is in question but fortunately he's going to be okay.

On if he was fairly satisfied with the play of the first-team units on Saturday night in Jacksonville

Yeah, I was very satisfied in a lot of ways. Defensively, we got two three-and-outs. [Josh] Bidwell bombed a punt down to the one-foot line. Our defense, the first-string defense, played 12 plays [and] had three stops. Offensively, we had a good drive after we squandered an opportunity with the opening possession. But [Jeff] Garcia was magnificent. I thought on the third possession we took a shot down the field, we just didn't make, I think, the decision we'll make a little later in time. But we had a couple missed snaps that really looked bad and were unfortunate and uncalled for. But I was pleased with what our starters got done in the first quarter. They gave our second group a 7-0 lead and unfortunately we have some young guys that have got to get with it.

On how he feels about the shotgun

I love the shotgun. I like being under the center; we fumbled one of those, too. But no matter what happens, we're still going to snap the darn ball to the quarterback, whether it's in the gun or underneath. The center's job is to make the calls and get the ball to the quarterback and we didn't do a good enough job, obviously, in the first 22 plays of that game. It's too bad because we had some opportunities there.

On if Matt Lehr is going to see more time with the first team against Miami

We'll make that decision later. Obviously Dan Buenning's coming back; he deserves a shot with the ones I think at some point. John Wade played 14 snaps against Jacksonville. We'll make that decision later, but nobody has taken that job over yet.

On Bruce Gradkowski

We have three good quarterbacks that have played well. Jeff's new here; he was outstanding. To go six-for-six and move the team down the field against that defense, that's a good start for Jeff. I thought [Luke] McCown was outstanding. He didn't fumble that ball at the five-yard line and 18-yard line. We had another third-and-four snap where he's going to have Alex Smith wide open and it's a low snap. Any time you get 40 yards rushing from your quarterback, that's really exciting. But I think Bruce is experienced. He made a great audible to Mark Jones on the 53-yard touchdown. He showed tremendous poise after having three balls in a row dropped. So we've got three guys that have completed a lot of passes. We had 16 different receivers; that isn't easy. We're making some progress at the quarterback position.

On his satisfaction with the running game

Well, you know we've had some good runs. We had some bad runs early in the game. We got blitzed on the first play of the game. It was an internal zone dog and we didn't get off our double-team and pick it up. But I did think as the game went on we had some very good runs against a very good opponent. It wasn't always great but there were some good runs and there are just a couple negative runs that we've got to get rid of.

On if he'll be sticking with the starters longer in Miami

We don't know who the starters are at some positions, so it's hard to answer that. There are guys that we need to see a lot of because we're running out of opportunities to evaluate them. But we will see some of the starters go a little bit longer. You saw the offensive line go longer than some of the other guys. You might see a couple receivers get a longer look Saturday night. But where we have real intense competition, you'll see some split action from some people.

On what he saw from Kevin Carter

He had some good pass rushes, he had some good run-downs. He's a physical guy that can push the pocket. All of the things that he brings to a team sometimes don't go up on a stat sheet. You diagnose those draws and screens; he bats passes down because of his size; and his temperament is perfect for this defense. He's a leader here already, and he was very flashy early in the football game. He played extremely well.

On if he sees the decision at left end going down to the wire

No, I really don't. Were going to play [Greg] Spires, were going to play Carter, were going to play Gaines Adams, were going to play [Patrick] Chukwurah. We're going to use all of these guys because we're going to need them. It's just great to have some guys that are working hard and have talent. I think they're getting more coordinated with one another.

On Gaines Adams effort at Jacksonville

Well, he had a sack, he caused a fumble. Any time you have a sack and you cause a fumble, those are two impact plays in a game. I think he's getting better as a base end. He's rushing from both sides, right and left in the nickel. He is getting better. He is a very good athlete with some really good natural pass rush and closing speed. He's getting better.

On how Matt Lehr played

He did some good things in the running game. He did some things that obviously we've talked about. He's trying hard and he's, I'm sure, a little bit fired up early in the game against a great opponent. Those are two things, two or three snaps that we've got to get rid of. He did some decent things in there. It wasn't great but he did do some decent things for us.

On the attitude in the running game

I am happy with the attitude. The right guard and the left guard are good players; they have a chance to be great players. [Luke] Petitgout helps us, no question about it. His detail, his confidence, his swagger, his experience help us. And the big guy on the right side is going to be a heck of a run blocker. We're getting better. B.J. Askew came in there in the second half and ripped it up in the hole a couple times as a lead back. So there are some real positives in the running game and I was pleased in some areas.

On Tanard Jackson playing well

He might have been the defensive player of the game. Derrick Brooks played great in the game, by the way. He had 12 great snaps. Tanard Jackson, his factor grade how many plays you play and how many plays you make, was unbelievable. He made some unbelievable plays and made a great play in the kicking game, too. We're really pleased with him. He's doing a good job.

On if Jackson is injured

He's got a mild hamstring strain. He'll be back in a day or two, I think.

On how well Jackson has adjusted to a new position

Last week against New England he played 15, 18 snaps as Ronde Barber's backup in the nickel. Then this week we wanted to book him back there at safety. That's very rare for a young guy, to go in there and handle all the instinctive mental parts of those two positions as well as he has. He's a rare guy above the neck. He's a gamer. He's got a certain look in his eye. He's going to make a lot of plays for the Buccaneers.

On what case David Boston made to start

I don't know what kind of case he made. He's playing good, he's practiced good and he's certainly in our mix right now.

On how settled the team is behind Jeff Garcia at quarterback

I feel pretty good. I've seen a lot of these other backup quarterbacks on tape not perform as well as ours have. It's really exciting to see what Luke has done here. It's not easy to take a year off of football as a young player and come in here and do the things that he's done. I think he's showing more and more promise the more he plays. He's athletic and he throws a good ball. Gradkowski is just a really good competitor that has gained invaluable experience, and it showed the other night. What can I say? I'm somewhat pleased with the quarterback situation. I'd like to have a superstar player at that position. That goes without saying.

On if he is settled with McCown as the number-two quarterback

I don't have any comment on that right now. We're still working through the positions here and we're trying to distribute reps to give everybody a chance to do their thing. All three guys have combined to throw for 70 percent in our first two games, they haven't turned the ball over and for that I'm proud of them.

On Arron Sears against John Henderson

Well, that guy's great now. Henderson might be as good an inside player as there is. The other guy's magnificent. [Marcus] Stroud and Henderson are outstanding and they had their time in the game the other night and our guys did quite well. I was really pleased with the way our guys played, although when you play those two guys there are going to be some real difficult snaps. But I thought our guys battled and got some things done.

On if Chris Simms will see any snaps against Miami

I don't know. We'll have to update you here, see how he does. He's got to earn the snaps on the practice field, and when he does we'll play him.


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