Jon Gruden Transcript — Nov. 12

Here is the complete transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's post-practice press conference on Monday, Nov. 12, 2007:

on roster moves

We waived Chas Gessner, a receiver; we signed Keiwan Ratliff, a corner, formerly of the Bengals, a guy that played with the Florida Gators. A lot of people probably remember him. He's a guy we'll happily add to our team.

on the bye week

I'm not a big fan of byes, really. You kind of get into a rhythm. But it is what it is. It gives you a chance to see a lot of other teams play. You have to have a lot of respect for what Atlanta's done, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They lead the NFC in turnover ratio and they're right back in the thick of things, so this is obviously a great big game for us.

on how banged up QB Jeff Garcia was before the bye week

I think he could have kept playing. Don't' get me wrong; everybody this time of year – quarterbacks, linebackers, everybody – has got some issues. It's a tough way to make a living. But I think an extra couple days hopefully will rejuvenate him physically. But again, you'd have to ask him.

on what Keiwan Ratliff brings to the team

We're going to find out. We liked him coming out of Florida. He's a guy that made a lot of plays, an opportunistic player, a guy we think can help us on special teams. But we can better answer that here in the next week or so.

on the importance of keeping Garcia healthy

It's important for every team in the league to keep its quarterback healthy. We've gone without ours the last couple years; [we've] been unfortunate that way.

on what he'll do with Pittman and Earnest Graham in the backfield

We had some guys that are still idle today that are still beat up a little bit. Hopefully that makes a difference for them when we return on Wednesday. But Earnest Graham's running really hot right now, and he's an excellent receiver and hopefully Michael Pittman will supplement what we have going right now.

on the situation the team is in coming out of the bye

I like where we're going. I'm very pleased with the fact we have the train back on the track. We've got a lot of new guys playing. We've suffered some injuries and I think getting some guys back will help us. But at the same time, we realize we have a tough opponent waiting for us. We'll decide who's healthy here in the next couple days but we'll have 53 guys and we'll decide which 45 go [against Atlanta].

on the Falcons

Their defense is playing top-flight football. They don't give up many yards, they don't give up many plays. I've got a lot of respect for [Mike] Zimmer, their defensive coordinator. He's tremendous. Emmitt Thomas – those guys are great. They're protecting the ball on offense. They lead the NFC in turnover ratio – plus-nine. John Abraham is a fierce competitor and a tough player and Rod Coleman is back from the off-season injury; he had a couple of sacks yesterday. Their two corners really impressed me. Lawyer Milloy is still Lawyer Milloy. They've got a lot going for themselves.


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