Buccaneers Blog: Bucs will keep pushing

Buccaneers Blog is Bucsblitz.com's home for breaking news, injury reports, story links and opinon on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today, Jon Gruden talks about pushing his team as the season comes to a close and the injury report.

Monday, Dec. 17

Bucs will keep pushing, 11:20 p.m.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said the team was going to keep pushing and play its best players in the final two weeks.

At the moment, Tampa Bay (9-5) is tied with Seattle (9-5) for the third best record in the NFC. Seattle owns the head-to-head tiebreaker for the No. 3 seed, so the Bucs need to have one more win than the Seahawks to claim the No. 3 seed.

"We want to win," Gruden said. "To do that you have to play your best players. So our schedule will stay as it is right now. There may be some chances to look at players, thought we've look at just about every player on our roster and then some."

The Bucs play San Francisco on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

The defense worked better, not harder, 11:16 a.m.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said the defense played just 38 plays on Sunday, the fewest defensive plays he can remember during his tenure at Tampa Bay. The Bucs held the Falcons without a third-down conversion, something they really struggled with last week against Houston.

Tip of the cap to Walsh, 11:12 a.m.

Give some credit to the late Bill Walsh's visit to One Buc Place two years ago with the plethora of young and backup players that have come through for the Bucs in the clutch this year.

Walsh came to the facility and talked to the team and that was one of his points — when a backup is called in to play, that backup must play as well, if not better, than the starter.

"We talk about what he said constantly," Gruden said. "We owe a lot of our success to our depth."

Stay in your seats, 11:08 a.m.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden admitted that he watched Micheal Spurlock's history-making kickoff return a few more times on Monday morning.

Spurlock's 90-yard return for a touchdown was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in team history.

"For all the fans that were in the bathroom at the time, and I know some of them go to the bathroom when we're returning kicks, stay in your seats next time," Gruden said.

Injury update, 11:02 a.m.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden told reporters that he believed DE Greg Spires would be ready to play soon, perhaps this week against San Francisco.

He also said that DE Patrick Chukwurah may be on the shelf again after suffering a hamstring injury. The extent of the injury is not known yet.

Catch up at Bucsblitz.com, 10:10 a.m.

Looking for complete coverage of the game? Find it here at Bucsblitz.com. You can catch up with the Bucs' 37-3 thrashing of Atlanta. First, go inside the mind of kickoff returner Micheal Spurlock as he made history on Sunday by returning the first kickoff for a touchdown in Buccaneers history. Find out how Spurlock got here and what he did to break that return by clicking here. RB Earnest Graham continues to have a great season. See what milestones he hit on Sunday and what other milestones may be to come in our game notebook by clicking here. Did you miss the scoring summary from yesterday? Don't worry. We have our own summary, with complete offensive stats and grades for all key positions for the Bucs. Read more by clicking here. And, see the best images from the game in our Bucs-Falcons photo gallery by clicking here.

Slowing the pace, 10 a.m.

Kick returner Micheal Spurlock is the story from Tampa Bay's win over Atlanta on Sunday, so I thought it would be nice to see dueling columns. First, here's Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly's take on Spurlock. Read more at TBO.com.

Then, compare that to the column written by St. Petersburg Times opinion man Gary Shelton (who, by the way, wrote a sensational column on Warrick Dunn in Sunday's Times). Read more at Tampabay.com.

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