Jon Gruden Transcript — Oct. 28

Here is Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's complete postgame press conference from Sunday, Oct. 29, after the Buccaneers' loss to Jacksonville at Raymond James Stadium:

Opening statement

Obviously, I'm very disappointed in that game. I felt we had a number of chances to get it done tonight. It's a credit to Jacksonville; they had a great punt backed up in their end zone late.

On Jeff Garcia

He made some plays, I'm sure from his perspective, I'll let him speak for himself, I think he'll agree that maybe there were some plays there that he normally makes that he didn't tonight. That's part of football. He gives our team a chance to win, he competes his brains out and it's just too bad. We had some opportunities there that we let get away from us.

On if he feels it is the second week in a row the team gave a win away

We're not giving anything away; that I do know. It makes for good conversation, but nobody gave anything away, we just didn't get it done. I'm the head coach and I'm responsible for it, but our guys are competing their hearts out. A number of guys played some key positions tonight they probably never in their wildest dreams expected to play the roles they did. Some didn't do very well; some did, some didn't. We'll take a good look at that and hopefully get some guys well soon.

On what displeased him the most about the game

I thought, obviously, it's a blitz game. I thought we had 10 or 12 plays, big plays, big opportunities to make them. I didn't think we cashed in on some opportunities that we normally do. That's the difference between winning and losing. They're making one-handed catches for touchdowns. Unfortunately for us we were not able to come up with several big plays. Michael Bennett had a chance early in the football game. He was wide open for a big play. There were other opportunities that we just didn't get done tonight. But our guys did compete, we picked up a lot of blitzes and gave our guys a chance and unfortunately it didn't work out.

On the dropped passes

Yeah, we did and it was the combination of a good football team we played today and it was, I think, a situation where we had some looks that we normally cash in on and today we didn't do it.

On Jacksonville QB Quinn Gray not turning the ball over

That was a winning edge for them. I thought they came out and ran the ball with success early and it really helped them and ran it 13 or 14 times in a row to start the football game. Field position was hard to come by in the first half and we turned it around in the second half, but he did do some good things. He did, I'm sure, exactly what they wanted him to do."

On how much this loss hurts the Bucs' playoff chances

I don't know. We have eight games to go. We've won four. We need to get some guys back for the second half of the season. Arizona is coming in here next week and they'll be fresh coming off the bye week. All I can say is there was some good things we're going to build on, and there are some things we need to clean up quickly to be a factor in the NFC.

On what he thinks the team needs to clean up

Number one we have to get some guys back. Some of these guys who aren't out for the season, I think, getting some of those guys back is something we have to take a good look at. We have to get them back. So if anybody had some treatment or medication that can help these guys, I would appreciate it. Also I'm not going to make a big deal about it, (but) we had a couple of young guys in key situations not do very well tonight. It really hurt us. I want them to learn from that certainly, and I'm not going to point fingers at anyone. But at the end of the day we competed hard and in some ways we played well enough to win. There were some obvious plays tonight where he had the chance to win the game and we didn't get it done.

On whether the law of averages caught up with quarterback Jeff Garcia on his first three interceptions of the season on Sunday

He did some good things tonight, he really did. Jacksonville's defense is outstanding. I was pleased with some of the things that we did do. Obviously I was displeased with the results of other things.

On whether the Jags' defense forced some of Garcia's throws

They blitzed a lot, particularly at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. They were trying to make a play. That's what they do. You pick up a blitz and you get one-on-one coverage, it's going to come down to making the play or not. You're not going to be able to go to a second receiver. It's going to be one of those types of football games. It's unfortunate that we just didn't get it done tonight.

On whether Michael Bennett's touchdown run was a designed backward pass

That wasn't a lateral, or at least it's not supposed to be. It was a quick screen to the perimeter. We got the look that we hoped for and everyone did their job.

On whether Quinn Gray's fumble in the end zone, and his subsequent return to the 1-yard line to avoid a safety, was a big play

That was a big play, that was big. We had some six-point opportunities today and we could have made and didn't, and that's football.


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