Buccaneers blog: Garcia practicing

Postscripts is my official Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog, with breaking news, injury update, story link, analysis and opinion. Today Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia is practicing and Jon Gruden said he's encouraged by what he saw.

Injury report, 4:45 p.m.

Here is Wednesday's injury report:

BUCCANEERS: Did not practice — FB B.J. Askew (ankle); Limited in practice — DE Kevin Carter (shoulder), WR Joey Galloway (team decision), QB Jeff Garcia, WR Ike Hilliard (knee), RB Michael Pittman (ankle), DE Greg Spires (calf).

TEXANS: Did not practice — LB Danny Clark (groin), RB Ron Dayne (ankle), QB Matt Schaub (shoulder), P Matt Turk (back), CB Dexter Wynn (illness); Limited in practice — TE Mark Bruener (shoulder), RB Ahman Green (knee), G Chester Pitts (knee), T Ephraim Salaam (hand).

Schaub won't play on Sunday. The fact that both Dayne and Green are banged up doesn't bode well for the Texans' ground game.

Gruden on Garcia, 3:19 p.m.

The official injury report isn't out yet, but Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden said that he wants to see how Jeff Garcia's injured back reacts after his Wednesday workout before making a determination of Garcia's availability for Sunday's game with Houston.

Gruden made it sound like Garcia and McCown shared repetitions during practice on Wednesday, saying that Garcia was "limited."

"It was great to have him back," Gruden said. "He took some reps. It was very encouraging. If he can go, he'll go. But right now I don't want to say anything because I want to see how he reacts to today's workout. But he certainly did a lot more today than he did any time last week, so he's really on the way back."

Gruden said Garcia was able to do some of the things that make Garcia a dangerous quarterback, including his movement, sidearm throws and changing directions. Gruden said Garcia had a smile on his face most of the workout and was even "barking" at Gruden during the workout.

"I missed him," Gruden said. "No disrespect to Luke (McCown). He did a great job last week filling in. But we are seeing signs of progress and that's exciting."

Garcia sounded as if he's ready to go, judging by his comments on Wednesday to the media.

"I know they want me to be smart about it, but I feel like I'm ready to practice," Garcia said. "I believe I will play. I'm preparing to play."

Gruden said he split the reps in practice because he must prepare McCown just in case Garcia has a setback or isn't medically cleared to play.

"I'm going to base it on all the information that I get, what I see and what I get from the trainer," Gruden said. "Certainly, we'll see how he feels tomorrow. He's not 100 percent yet and we don't want to rush him back when he's still making progress."

Garcia suffered a deep back bruise against Washington on Nov. 25 and missed last week's game. McCown threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers to a 27-23 victory over New Orleans.

Garcia practicing, 2:04 p.m.

Jeff Garcia is on the practice field and working out with the team on Wednesday afternoon, an encouraging sign for his availability on Sunday.

Jon Gruden wanted Garcia to practice at least two days this week before inserting him in the lineup. Garcia would still need to be medically cleared before he could play, but that's looking more and more like a certainty.

We'll have more when Gruden talks to the media at 3 p.m. We're only allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of practice, which is mostly stretching and light work.

Penn on Wade, 2:03 p.m.

What did the Buccaneers young offensive line think when they saw center John Wade walking off the field late in the game on Sunday at New Orleans? Here's what second-year tackle Donald Penn had to say:

"The old man in the middle?" Penn said. "He's our savior. The funny thing was last week, when he was walking off the field and cramping up, we were running over there like, ‘Wade?! Nooo! Nooo! Nooo! Come back! Where are you going?!' He's like the old father, the old grandfather in the huddle. He'll cuss you out. He'll let you know where you need to be. If I say something to the ref, he'll pull me back fast and say, ‘Don't talk to the ref.' He's our daddy."

Staying mum, 1:06 p.m.

Luke McCown stayed mum when the media asked him about practice reps during the morning walkthrough. Though, he did it politely.

"That's for us to have an understanding about right now," McCown said.

Despite his great game last Sunday, he reiterated that he's ready for Jeff Garcia's return.

"One game I played last weekend doesn't outweigh what Jeff has done all year," McCown said. "Are you kidding me? The guy is the reason we are where we are. He's the starter, and when he's ready to play, he'll start."

Odd jobs, 12:57 p.m.

Defensive end Greg White talked today about some of the odd jobs he pulled while waiting for his NFL break. They included delivering water and pizzas, along with putting caps on jars of maple syrup in his native New Jersey.

And, of course, he was working at Best Buy in Orlando last year.

"I had children," White said. "I had to work. Everything I could do, I tried to do."

White has nothing to worry about now as he has a team-leading 5.5 sacks so far this season.

About Johnson, 12:43 p.m.

Bucs defensive tackle Jovan Haye knows who the Buccaneers defense must stop on Sunday — Andre Johnson.

"They love the deep ball," Haye said. "Andre's back and he has four straight games with more than 100 yards receiving. We'll have our hands full."

But Johnson will be catching passes from Sage Rosenfels this week, and they have limited time together.

Plus, those four 100-yard receiving games — actually its four of his last five — are spread out around an eight-week absence due to an injury. He caught nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee last week.

Making Gaines, 12:19 p.m.

Gaines Adams admitted to "discouragement" about his situation earlier this season, saying that had trouble making the transition from college player to pro player.

"Being drafted where I was drafted, I wanted to come in and start strong," Adams said. "But you have to realize that it's a hard transition, especially for guys at my position. They rarely come in and dominate."

Adams has registered three sacks in the past three games since he became the starter at right defensive end.

So what's clicking? Don't ask Adams.

"Things have just been going good," Adams said. "I can't really explain it."

Sunday's game will be a matchup of the two highest drafted defensive ends in the last two drafts. Houston made Mario Williams the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, and he just broke the team's single-season sack record last weekend. Williams has 8.5 sacks this season.

A quick note, 10:42 a.m.

Our Bucsblitz.com blog name has changed from "Postscripts" to "Buccaneers blog" We hope that the name change will make it easier for our readers to find the blog, not only at Bucsblitz.com but also on the Web.

At Bucsblitz.com, 10:22 a.m.

Here's two articles to point you toward today. First, take a look at our premium piece, "Film Session," which breaks down the X's and O's of Sunday's victory and tells you why certain things worked and certain things didn't work. Click here to read and subscribe. Then, take a look at Postscripts from Tuesday. I debuted my "Mail Bag," where I answer questions from users by either e-mail or message board posts. I'll be endeavoring to do this every week. You can read the first one by clicking here.

Schaub's status, 10:17 a.m.

We just spoke to Houston head coach Gary Kubiak and he pretty much ruled out Matt Schaub, who dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder against Tennessee last week. He said they're preparing Sage Rosenfels to start on Sunday.

Normally, this would be a concern because a backup usually equals a lack of knowledge for the opponent. But Rosenfels has played in four games this year and has thrown 123 passes, so there's plenty of film for the defensive staff to break down this week. The Saints did not have that luxury last week when it came to preparing for Luke McCown. The fact that Kubiak declared his intentions now only helps the Bucs defense prepare for Rosenfels.

Kubiak did say that Schuab should be back by the end of the season.

Show Jon the money, 10:13 a.m.

St. Pete Times columnist Gary Shelton isn't afraid to criticize the local football team or its head coach, Jon Gruden. Apparently he's not afraid to praise them, either, when it's warranted. Today, Shelton writes that the Glazer family should sit Gruden down soon and offer him a contract extension. Read more at Tampabay.com.

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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.

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