Bucsblitz.com Coachspeak: Jon Gruden

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden talks to the media during the week leading up to the next game. On Wednesday he had a full-length interview with the media as the Bucs prepared for Sunday's game with the Dallas Cowboys. Get the full-length transcript right here, plus links to Bucsblitz.com premium content.

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on Wednesday's practice

We've got a number of guys injured. I'll give you the official list here, but I'll answer any questions that I can.

on how Cadillac Williams looked

We didn't have the helmets on, but it was good to have him back out there. It was uplifting to everybody. The journey has begun. It was great to have him back. He looked pretty good.

on what the plan is with Williams

We're going to take it one day at a time. Tomorrow will be interesting. We'll put the helmets on and we'll move much quicker. But we'll just take it one day at a time and go from there.

on if Warrick Dunn is on that list of injured players

He's limited. He participated a little bit in the walk-through, but we are concerned. Ike Hilliard and obviously Maurice Stovall and B.J. Askew, Cadillac, Galloway – we've got a lot of injuries on offense and they're mounting – Griese. We're concerned about it.

on if he anticipates any more changes at the wide receiver position

There could be. There very well could be. The trade deadline is over, and obviously the health of Joey Galloway and Maurice Stovall will enter into it. We'll just play it day by day. There's a song, I think, [called] ‘Day by Day,' [sung by] ‘The Carpenters,' I believe.

on if he's given any thought to the return game

I've given a lot of thought to it, an awful lot of thought to it. We have some candidates that we're looking at and we'll evaluate it throughout the course of this week. We'll try to put two or three guys in there under a lot of game situations and try and improve it. Also, our tackling – I wasn't very happy with how we ran down and covered a few guys either. We gave Seattle too good of field position.

on how it will be seeing Brad Johnson on the other sideline on Sunday

Great. I love that guy. I've texted him and talked to him a few times periodically. We've stayed in touch over the years. He's special to me and he always will be. Very special. He's a world champion and I wish him the best. He's a stud.

on the Cowboys offense looking different with Johnson in the game rather than Tony Romo

Any time you change quarterbacks, we've proven that over the years, nothing stays the same. It's not easy on a team, but fortunately they have a guy that generally takes care of the ball, he's a disciplined guy, he's a great competitor, and just write the names down – they've got a heck of a supporting cast. They're loaded, and they're talented. They're coming off a tough stretch in their season and we're counting on their best football.

on if the Bucs have been flying under the radar

A lot of people get paid more to talk than act. I don't really care about that. We've always just recognized that you get what you deserve. We've played a pretty good, solid brand of football. We need to get better. Dallas, they have 14 Pro Bowlers. That's unprecedented in the history of this league. No one's ever had 14 Pro Bowlers. Now they've added Felix Jones, and they've added Roy Williams, [Adam] ‘Pacman' [Jones], they're loaded. They're very talented, and they should be getting all the ink and the talk should be about them. We're going to do the best we can and I'm really confident in our team. We'll play hard and hopefully find a way to win.

on B.J. Askew's status

He returned today, first time in over a month he was on the field. This is a game where you're going to have to change directions. Zach Thomas, Bradie James, you've got to be able to redirect, you've got to be able to put your foot in the ground, you've got to be able to play explosively. You've got to be injury-free and I don't know what it looks like, other than we were happy to have him back out there.

on what limitations were on Cadillac Williams

There were limitations on everybody. We didn't practice with helmets on. We have a number of players that are still sore and limited. He took a lot of the service squad reps. We're going to try to increase his stamina and his playing stamina and give him some looks as a runner and receiver and as a blitz pickup guy. Football will come back quick to him, but his playing strength and his stamina, those kinds of things we'll try to monitor and help him along with.

on Williams work throughout his rehab process and Gruden's reaction to seeing him on the practice field again

I was very happy for him. I was emotional seeing him out there. You take football away from Cadillac Williams, you take a big part of him away. He's missed the game and I've missed him, our team has missed him. Just seeing him back out there running after the way his knee looked is an awesome job by him and our training staff. It is an incredible progress he's made in one year and it's just great to see him back.

on Hilliard not being afraid to go over the middle

That's why he's Ike Hilliard. That's why he's ‘third-and-Ike.' He's made a living between the hashes his whole career. He's a great receiver and the first thing he says to me is, ‘Hey, that was just a good NFL hit. I'm alright.

on if it's just that time of year that injuries hit

Well we've been hit hard now with injuries. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. We lost both our fullbacks, quarterback, he's been hurt, right guard's been hurt, a number of our receivers have been hurt. It's tough man, it's tough.

on if he'll be going to any World Series games

No, I won't be able to go, but we'll be tuning in. Good luck to you, Rays.


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