Jon Gruden Transcript — Sept. 19

Here is a look at Bucs head coach Jon Gruden's press conference after practice on Wednesday, Sept. 19, including comments on Rams RB Steven Jackson, Bucs DE Greg White and the new statue in the lobby at One Buc Place:

On injured players

Our injuries – we held [Joey] Galloway again. I guess we have to announce that on this new list. He isn't hurt, he just has his normal in-season Wednesday schedule. Luke Petitgout was held out today for the same reason. We don't have any injury; we just wanted to give Luke a day off today. He'll be back tomorrow. Patrick Chukwurah returned to practice in a limited fashion and so did Brian Kelly.

On if there is any indication on how soon Patrick Chukwurah and Brian Kelly might return to game action

No.

On Barrett Ruud winning the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award

We're really pleased with that. He's got some big shoes to fill now as a full-time Mike linebacker and he's filling them quite well. He's off to a great start. He's had back-to- back really good performances on first down, on third down and on the goal line. He's clearly a very good linebacker and I think the NFL's taking notice of that.

On if Ruud's performance will stop the comparisons with Shelton Quarles

They're comparing Sabby Piscitelli to John Lynch and Jovan Haye to Warren Sapp, so bring on the comparisons. It's part of life. He'll put his own spin on the position and I think Shelton would be the first to admit that Barrett's playing really good football. He's not like Quarles, not alike at all, but they're both really good and effective.

On Steven Jackson

I love Steven Jackson. He's a beast. He's a great receiver – no one talks about that enough. He can take a two-yard check-down 70 yards; I've seen him do it. He's a tremendous football player. He's a power runner, he's an elusive back, he's a complete package. He's not off to the start, I think, that he's accustomed to being off to, but he's one or two plays away from exploding right back onto the scene. He's a tremendous talent and he's a heck of a guy, too.

On if Jackson is sort of a combination of the Deuce McAllister-Reggie Bush skill sets

They've got some similarities. They are an explosive offense. They've had a history of being explosive for years. The addition of Drew Bennett, you throw in Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce is playing as well as he's played in the last two or three years – you've got some really skilled players to go with a Pro Bowl quarterback. They're going to be a handful to deal with and we're getting ready for them the best we can.

On the Rams' defense

They're really good. They gave up 160 yards of offense last week to San Francisco. They put a lot of money into that defense, with [Will] Witherspoon coming over; Corey Chavous; they got [James] Hall in a free-agent [signing] or a late trade from Detroit; they drafted [Adam] Carriker; La'Roi Glover's in town now. They're a very good defensive team. They're bigger than they've been. I think [Leonard] Little is one of the best pass- rushers in the NFC, personally, and they have an unorthodox scheme. Rick Venturi and Jim Haslett are very good together. You can see it on tape – they're a very good defensive football team.

On if Jermaine Phillips is showing him something

Yeah. He's had good days here. Jermaine is a good player; at times he's been very good. He's off to a real good start and we'll just leave it at that. We expect him to really be a veteran presence back there and a playmaker at the safety position. I think he deserves a lot of credit, and Raheem Morris as well. He's done a nice job coming in here with the new safeties, the Sabby Piscitellis and the Tanard Jacksons, and you see Jermaine Phillips really responding to him, so that's a good sign.

On how Greg White has earned playing time

He's getting things done, is what he's doing. As long as you don't discriminate who plays, you have to recognize that White is a good pass-rusher. He got a big sack in the game, he drew a holding call another team, beat the guy clean. He's got a natural pass rush. I know my brother's going to miss him down there in Orlando. I can see why.

On how often he has taken Jay Gruden's player recommendations

A lot. We struggled kicking field goals and extra points one year. We brought in Jay Taylor. You never know, Shane Stafford might show up here. We'll have to wait and see."

On how his brother convinced him White was worth looking at

He's been telling me that for a long time. It's a credit to my brother. He's a pretty good football guy, to say the least, I think. He's been recommending Greg for a long time and he's right. The guy just needed an opportunity.

On if the Rams will be more desperate at 0-2

Well, they're a talented team, you know. We're desperate. Who are we kidding? We've got one win and we need to get two. So we're desperate for this game. They're desperate. There are five teams that were in the playoffs last year that haven't won a game yet. That just tells you about the NFL. It's a crazy league.

On the new statue in the facility's lobby, which depicts Gruden and several Buccaneer players from the Super Bowl team

You know what, that's pretty neat, isn't it? It's a great thing to have as a memory. That will go down in my lifetime as one of the great moments ever. To share that with those guys is pretty neat. You can relive that experience by just walking downstairs. I feel like I died, honestly. I feel dead, you know what I mean? It's cool, man, but I got a little morbid.

On being able to see Warren Sapp and John Lynch any time he wants to now

Yeah. I miss those guys and I think they know that. They've had great careers and they're continuing to do extremely well. One of these days we'll have a reunion and we'll get a chance to relive some of those moments.

On the statues' likenesses

I thought it was good. Hopefully Warren and John and those guys get a chance to come back here and see it for themselves.


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