Jon Gruden Transcript — Nov. 19

Here is the complete transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's press conference on Monday, Nov. 19:

Does Cato June have a drinking problem?

I don't have any comment on that right now, other than we're very concerned. We're getting all the facts. It's a serious matter.

Do you allow drinking on the team plane?

I'm not going to comment. I have a strong opinion on Cato June. He's a great young man and as we gather all the information we'll make an announcement.

On TE Alex Smith

He did some good things. He obviously made a great catch for a touchdown late in the game. He did some good things on the perimeter as a blocker. It is good to see him with the life in his legs once again. He is a guy that we are going to need, obviously, here in the next six weeks.

On T Donald Penn

Well DE John Abraham is great player and posed a real threat on every snap. I thought he got Donald one time. All in all, I thought Donald handled himself very well, not only against [John] Abraham, but against a team that relies on perimeter pressure and the blitz. I thought he made some real good last second adjustments and played quite well.

On RB Earnest Graham's improvements

He has been very good for us, as a runner, as a receiver, and as a guy that we have relied on. He protected the football, picked up the blitz on Jeff's [Garcia] last touchdown to Alex [Smith]. He has played very good. What he has done the last four or five games speaks for itself. He is the real deal.

On the defense

I just think that we have gotten better. From the first day of training camp, to yesterday's football game, we continue to get better. We are athletic, we are faster, I think, and our pass rush has improved. We have more collective effort this year than we have in some time.

On winning games in the division

It is important to keep winning that is all I know. We have been fortunate to get off to a good start against our division. But, beating a team twice in one year is a real challenge, it's hard to do. We just have to continue to get better as a football team and see what happens.

On the replay of the second-quarter fumble recovery by Brian Kelly and subsequent fumble by Cato June

I'm under the impression that replay reviews the whole play, not a segment. I'm not going to go too far into that. I thought that's a challenge we should have won. We'll hear from the league later in the week. It's hard when a play like that occurs. There was a fumble, a recovery , a lateral and another fumble. There was lots of flying around. I thought it was worth a challenge. I was told I could challenge the play. We had a long discussion (with the official). When he went under the hood I thought that he would look at the whole play. I'm not going to say more about it. I was an emotional person at that point in time.

On playing the Redskins

It feels like we're in the NFC East. This is a common opponent for us; Hall of Fame coach, a great defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams, great offensive coordinator in Al Saunders, a star-studded staff, and a star-studded football team. They got some real talent and I have a lot of respect for them.

On prepping for a familiar opponent

The teams that I see don't stay the same year in and year out as your personnel changes; you have a tendency to change yourself. I think the quarterback [Jason] Campbell has really grown up in Washington and you see them using a lot more of their offense, they are utilizing all three receivers, the tight end, [Clinton] Portis, the fullback, the shifts, they are doing a very good job in helping this young guy grow into an NFL quarterback. Gregg Williams has always been one of the great mystery defensive coaches in the league, you don't know what you're going to get, a lot of zone or a lot of heavy pressure, and a lot of it looks the same until the ball is snapped, it will be a challenge for us.

On QB Jason Campbell

He's a coach's son; he's a great kid, he's a great guy, he loves football. He has all the intangibles that you're looking for in terms of getting people around him to play for him. He's a charismatic guy and for a big guy, he's very athletic, and he has a rifle for an arm and he's tough. I really like Jason Campbell, I'm proud of him, pleased with what he has done. I hope he takes it easy on us on Sunday.

On whether or not he's heard the rumors that he may be a candidate to replace Lloyd Carr at Michgan.

I really don't know who you are but you're throwing me some fastballs. I have what I think it is the best job in all of football. I'm very happy to be here.

On how to keep the young players focused

We're just going to take it one at a time and as I said earlier last week, I don't think anybody expected us to be leading our division 10 weeks into it. I'm sure there are enough people out there that don't expect us to hang on to it. We're going to keep on emphasizing fundamentals, little things, effort, fundamentals, technique, that's what we're going to do, and hitting, that's what we're going to emphasize.

On B.J. Askew

I like the film he's putting out there every week. I like the way he leads into the hole. I like the way he instinctively gets to the second level. I like the way he finishes, I like the way he picks up blitzes, and I like what he has brought to our team a lot. He's a tough guy, played hurt yesterday, there was a question whether or not he be able to go, and he sucked it up and I tip my hat to him.

On Ryan Sims

He's got talent. He wouldn't have been a number 10 overall pick, whatever it was, coming out of Carolina if he didn't have talent. I think he's in shape, I think he's got a feel for our defense, and he has the ability to make plays. He's gotten better here, he's shown some improvement, and we're pleased in what he brings to us. He's another big guy that has some movement, some disruptive ability, and we're excited to have him here.

On DE Gaines Adams

He's on a schedule. He had some really good plays yesterday. Sometimes the best plays you make as a defensive end, you don't get the sack, but you force the quarterback to slide to his left and someone else gets it. He's got a ways to go to become a truly great defensive end, but he's on schedule in terms of his work ethic, his pass rush has some flash, and he's got some areas in which he needs to improve on. I'm really impressed with his effort and his willingness to come in here everyday a get better.

On DE Greg White

I am impressed; he has a natural bend and pass rush ability. As I said yesterday after the game, every time he makes a play I can hear my brother up in the press box saying, I told you so. But he's a good kid, a good guy, a hard worker, and he does have natural pass rush ability, and he's raw a little bit in terms of the big picture. I give a lot of credit to Greg White, we got him late in training camp and he's made a real impression on all of us.

On the winning atmosphere

We won 11 games two years ago, it's not like we've been flushed down the toilet forever. We had a bad year last year for a lot of reasons. We've got a lot of guys on our football team who know how to win, expect to win and come in hear everyday preparing to win. [It's] the same with the coaches, and we realize that we have six wins, that doesn't guarantee us anything, but we are seeing signs of improvement and for that we're excited to get back to work today.

On if there is an awe factor when coaching against Joe Gibbs

There was awe, really, I mean the first time I went up against him it was exciting for me certainly. It's always exciting to go up against a guy of that caliber, his staff, but I've kind of played against him enough now where I don't know if awe is the best word, but respect. He's a great man and he's one of the guys who has really influenced a lot of people, including me, in pro football.

On if there is a rivalry developing with the Washington Redskins

I think both teams last year were struggling at the time we played late in the season. Obviously the playoff game was a huge game and we didn't get it done, but there is some familiarity amongst the players and I think it does breed for a certain sense of rivalry feeling in the locker room, certainly.


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