Press Pass: Bruce Allen Q&A in Mobile

Before he signed his new three-year contract extension, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen talked to about the Senior Bowl, the scouting process, his scouts' frequent flier accounts and the status of center John Wade. It's an exclusive "Press Pass" premium interview.

Matthew Postins: I've never been to the Combine before, but I would have to think it's not nearly as relaxed an atmosphere as here in Mobile.

Bruce Allen: It's very similar, really. The big difference is they have uniforms. We get to see a lot of these same drills without uniforms. And you have an equal amount of time to spend with the players in the evenings, unless you're coaching the game and then you have more access to them.

MP: The Bucs have coached this game two times in the last three years and you've talked in the past about how that access has helped you on draft day. When you don't have that access during the evenings, how do you maximize your time to get to know these guys?

BA: Our college scouts do a great job of setting up different interview times with them and making sure that we have an opportunity to explore what their dreams and their feel for what the NFL game will be. So we'll get a lot of opportunity.

MP: I know you're limited at the Combine as to how many prospects you can talk to, but you're not limited here in Mobile. Is this a situation where you can speak to everybody?

BA: Yes. Dennis Hickey (director of college scouting) does a great job. From the Hula Bowl to the East-West (Shrine game) and then here, and the Cactus Bowl and then other opportunities we have to speak to players, we'll end up speaking to everybody.

MP: So your guys are logging a lot of hours this month?

BA: Yes.

MP: Plane rides, car rides, that kind of thing. Have any of them been back home since January began?

BA: The college scouts are earning a lot of mileage points right now.

MP: Obviously a lot of speculation surrounds improving the wide receiver position and there are some very good receivers in this game. What do you hope to see out of them this week?

BA: We're just going to watch them and start comparing them to the other players we saw in the East-West, and then start comparing them to the juniors that came out because that's the only group of players that we haven't gotten to interview yet.

MP: I know your staff has broken down a lot of college film over the course of the season. Once you get to this point, what do you need to see beyond what you're already seen on film.

BA: Right now it's everybody finishing off their reports from their area and we come together after the combine and come up with a clear picture of who our Top 400 are. Right now we're in the information gathering stage.

MP: In regards to the coaching staff, you must be very happy that Monte (Kiffin) decided to re-sign. What are your thoughts on him coming back in 2008?

BA: We're the only team to have all of its coordinators and head coach stick together since 2002 and that's a great statement for those coaches and coach Gruden's program. It really makes it easier on our players, who know what is expected of them every day of the year.

MP: How close are you guys to settling the coaching situation? You have at least one opening that I know of, perhaps two?

BA: We feel we know what our staff is going to look like. We're just going to wait until the end of the NFL season before we complete it.

MP: So is that after the Super Bowl or after the Pro Bowl?

BA: (Chuckle) The Super Bowl. Good question.

MP: One last question. In regard to (center) John Wade, I understand he has a couple of voidable years on his deal. Have you gotten any indication from him if he's going to void out of his contract this year?

BA: That's really up to him and his agent.

MP: But he does have a voidable year this year on his contract?

BA: Yes.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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