Jon Gruden Transcript — Sept. 14

Here is the complete transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's post-practice press conference on Friday, Sept. 14, courtesy of the Buccaneers. The transcript includes Gruden's comment on free-agent punt returner Jeremy Bloom:

Opening statement

The injury report: Brian Kelly has been downgraded to doubtful. He did not practice today. We think his injury is not one that's going to keep him out a long period of time, but he has been downgraded to doubtful. And [Chris] Hovan is questionable, and Cadillac [Williams] is questionable. Both did a little bit on the practice field today.

On how New Orleans is different this year compared to last year

They've got a lot of common traits. They're still a really good team. Last week's score of the game really wasn't indicative of what kind of team they are. It was a 10-10 ballgame at halftime, and Peyton [Manning] made a couple of throws that not a lot of guys make. They're still a very talented team. They have an unbelievable backfield combination, and you forget Aaron Stecker is there, and he does some great things for them. [Drew] Brees is a great quarterback, a Pro Bowl quarterback, and they're an explosive offensive team. No one ever talks about their defense, and I think just as big a reason as they went to the playoffs and won the conference last year is their defensive football team. [Charles] Grant and Will Smith, [Brian] Young gave us fits last year. Hollis Thomas is a load, three very physical linebackers and I personally think Mike McKenzie is one of the top two or three corners in football. So they've got a lot going for them. We're going to have our hands full, but we've had a good week and we're ready to go.

On how RB Cadillac Williams looks today

You know, until you take a Cadillac out and really drive it you don't know if you want to buy it. I think he looks good cruising around, but I want to take it out on the interstate and put the pedal down, man. That's what we need to find out; I think gameday will tell us. We'll give him a shot to go. He says he feels better. He looked a little bit more creative out here today, and I'm counting on him being ready to go.

On if the Bucs brought in Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom in for a workout

We brought him in some time ago. I will confirm that.

On if the Bucs have to game plan any differently because of the Saints' offense

One of their real strengths is run defense. It's easy to say let's just turn around and hand it off, and let's have a nine or 12-minute drive here and keep them off the field. But Young and Hollis Thomas don't make that real easy on you, and the bottom line is you've got to be prepared to score points. We're never going to go anywhere until we start becoming an explosive offensive team. We showed signs last week like ‘Hey, we're going to come out.' 150 yards in the first quarter, yet we had six points. I do feel like offensively we're getting better, but to prove your point, you've got to score points. And that involves a lot, too. You've got to get field position. When you get an opportunity to strike on special teams and create a real edge, you can't have them called back because you don't have clean hands. We need to get some special teams plays. We need to get some defensive turnovers, start a drive at the plus-12, the plus-20 every once in a while. Certainly offensively, we've got to cap some drives off with some dynamic playmaking. Until we do, we're going to have these conversations.

On if he was impressed by Bloom

I'm not even going to speculate. We brought him in. We had some interest in him coming out of Colorado. Obviously, he sat out one of those years to go to the Olympics. He's a great story. He's a fast guy. He was a dynamic returner at Colorado, but right now I can't comment any more than that."


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