Jon Gruden Transcript — Oct. 17

Here is the complete transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's post-practice press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, with comments about injuries, the Detroit defense and his expectations for new running back Michael Bennett:

on injured players

Patrick Chukwurah, Brian Kelly and Alex Smith did not practice. Limited – Greg Spires. And Joey Galloway doesn't practice on Wednesday but there's nothing wrong with him. We made a trade last night – or yesterday, whatever it was – to get Michael Bennett and he had his first practice today.

on what Michael Bennett brings to the team

We're going to find out what he brings. We know that he's got talent. He's obviously had some good seasons in the NFL. He was in a logjam a little bit out there in Kansas City, backing up one of the great premier players in football. He's a guy that has had some experience and does have speed. He's got a lot to learn right now.

on how important it was to add an experienced player to the backfield

Well, we've lost three backs. We've lost three runners, so it was important that we tried. And we did, and we executed in getting Michael Bennett. Now what we have to do is make this work, and that's another story that will be written here in the next couple months.

on if he has formed expectations of how soon Bennett will be involved in the offense

No, I don't, really. We'll have that here in the coming days. We just got to know each other. He's a nice guy; you'll like him.

on the problems posed by the Detroit defense

They've added a lot of players. Shaun Rogers is an outstanding nose guard; Cory Redding is a franchise player as a three-technique; Dewayne White's a guy that was a high-profile free agent; Ernie Sims is a great weakside linebacker. I'm really impressed with them. They play really well at home. They're a very good football team on the rise and we respect them a lot.

on Rod Marinelli and Joe Barry

Well, we've talked a lot about those guys. They're great guys and great coaches. What else can I say? They're tremendous at what they do. They've got a great start out there in Detroit. I surely wish them well.

on the Lions' offense

It's creative; it's got a lot of firepower. When you can walk around with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson and Kevin Jones and Jon Kitna and [Mike] Furrey, you can have a good team. They've got high-profile players and they're capable of really lighting you up.

on what Jeff Garcia has done for the team

He's stabilized the position that you have to have. He's been consistent; he's been stellar, really. He's given us quality play at a position that you have to have quality play from. He's been inspiring, he's been everything that's been advertised.

on if the Bucs have to change their defense to face Marinelli and Barry

No, we have changed. We have changed, they have changed. When you have different players, there's a separate set of circumstances. You see change in their package from what they ran here. You see changes in our defense from this year to last. We have new players. We have a new supporting cast to rally around and with that in mind that's what we'll do.

on Garcia's experience

He has the unwritten book on the quarterback position. He has anticipation, he has a sixth sense, he can feel pressure, he has a clock in his head, he's very careful with the football and he understands situations. The crowd doesn't faze him, he very rarely gets distracted, he's able to concentrate in tough circumstances. We're missing our top three runners, our tight end and our left tackle. That's a tall order for any quarterback, let alone ours. We're calling on a lot of things that he has going for him.

on how much he sees Garcia's early association with Bill Walsh in Garcia's game

I see a lot of that. I also see a lot of similarities in his dad. His dad was a great coach, Bob Garcia. He's a piece of work, too. I think his training from a young child, a young kid, above the neck has a lot to do with what he is and where he's going.


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