Bucsblitz.com Press Pas: Jon Gruden

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden spoke to the media on Wednesday, the first day of real preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs. Find out team news, injuries and analysis on the Chiefs in Gruden's own words right here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Bryant is having a resurgent season. But just how good is it? Bucsblitz.com takes you inside the numbers, most of which are only available to the media, to give you a clear picture of Bryant's worth to the Buccaneers' 5-3 start. Get the scoop right here.

On practice

We got a good start on Kansas City. A number of players were very limited today.

On Jermaine Phillips' injury

I can say he's out for this game and we'll address that after the bye, what kind of prognosis there is. He doesn't look like he'll play in this game in Kansas City.

On what he wants to see from Sabby Piscitelli

Just see him play, keep doing what he's doing, pick up the slack. We need his help now, obviously, and he's going to be replacing a very good football player. I don't want to underestimate the loss of Jermaine Phillips. He's played really good for us. Now it's Sabby's time. It's what we drafted him to do. I'm sure he's excited to play; at the same time we'll do the best we can without Jermaine.

On if there is a danger in overlooking a young quarterback like Tyler Thigpen

We've been through this with young quarterbacks: Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, Shaun King. Sometimes what a young guy needs is success to really ignite his career, his team. Clearly, Thigpen played well in New York. There's no question he's an athletic guy. He's got some good skill players around him. That tight end, I don't know what his name is, this 88 guy, he's pretty good. But to a young quarterback, success breeds confidence and confidence is a powerful thing in this business. Clearly he's playing with confidence right now and it's a credit to him.

On the difference between being 4-0 at home and 1-3 on the road

About 11 points. They've been close games. It's not like we haven't played good football. We've played some pretty good opponents -- at Denver, at New Orleans in the opener and certainly at Dallas. We've played some good teams on the road. We've got to get more done. We've got to get more done offensively and generate more turnovers. We've got to coach better. We've had chances to win all three of the games you're talking about.

On if it's tougher to close a game out on the road

It's tough to close a game out anywhere. This is the National Football League. It's hard to close a game out. It's hard to win in this league. Period. There's nobody that's going to give you a win in this league, and every week it's proven.

On Warrick Dunn being limited in Dallas

In hindsight, maybe we probably shouldn't have allowed him to play. We chose not to use him much. But he is such a warrior. He has played this game for so long. But I agree -- he wasn't himself Sunday in Dallas, and that's a big part of our offense. He and Earnest have split 220 touches almost right down the middle. It's a unique combination that we have. We have concerns about Warrick. We know he's going to be okay but, boy, we miss him. And that goes for some others, too.

On if it hamstrings the offense to be without Dunn

Well, it does. He's a big part of the attack. If you were there for the first seven games, he's a big part of it, especially with our fullback situation. Because Earnest, now he's playing fullback, halfback, he's in the slot, he's all over the place. It's a double-edged sword right now we're dealing with. We've lost some backs. It's a challenge and we'll do the best we can to resolve that this week.

On how Joey Galloway finished his first game back

I thought he did good. He got about 20, 22 snaps in the game and he ran today pretty good. So hopefully, all the signs are good. We need him down the stretch here. Mike Clayton was very limited today, Ike [Hilliard] didn't do much today, Maurice [Stovall] is hurt. We've got a lot of injuries now. We certainly need healthy men and Joey's a guy we definitely would like to have.

On B.J. Askew

He worked today a little, and that was a good sign. He's missed five games now, so we'll see how he is tomorrow. There is a chance that he could play against Kansas City and we'd like to have him play.

On how Maurice Stovall is progressing

You'd have to ask him how he's progressing. It looks like he's making progress or he wouldn't have been out there. But he clearly wasn't full-speed. He's somewhat tentative I think, but he's making progress. Enough progress to play? I don't know that.

On Jeff Garcia wanting to take more shots downfield

We call shots. It doesn't mean the shots are delivered; it doesn't mean the shots are open. I watch the game on Monday Night Football and two big home run quarterbacks were looking for shots. Shots develop. We took a shot to Galloway early in the game, had a couple other shot plays called. Yeah, I'd like to throw more shots, too. I agree with him.

On Arrowhead Stadium

Well, it's a great venue. You'll see that yourself. It's a great facility, it's a loud place. Jiminy Christmas -- they've got a tremendous, devoted base of fans. They've got a nice tradition there. You'll see the Hall of Fame up there -- Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell and a lot of great players have played there. They've had very good football teams over the years. It's the only show in town, in my opinion. When they play on Sunday, everybody's interested. It's just a neat place to play. I've got a lot of respect for Carl Peterson, Herman Edwards and the Chiefs organization.

On Jovan Haye and Chris Hovan's importance to the run defense

They're playing really well. And our linebackers key things well, we've been able to get to the ball and our safety play's been good. The inside presence in our defense, Barrett Ruud and those two tackles you're talking about have played extremely well. And if you watch Kevin Carter play the run, he is still a hard guy to block. I've been really impressed with him, also. And Jovan Haye and Chris Hovan are hard-nosed, physical insider players. And Ryan Sims has thrown a lot of assists in there for us also.

On if the Bucs can jump on the Chiefs early because they have a lot of young players

It's always big. At the same time, we've got a lot of young players playing also, so I don't play into that too much. We want to start fast. The teams that normally start fast are the teams that win. We've just got to pick it up. We've got to play better, we've got to score more points obviously and we need to collect turnovers. We've got to collect turnovers. I don't think we've got one the last couple times we've played on the road. We need some impact plays, some big explosive plays to win.

On Glenn Dorsey

It definitely looks like Coach [Herman] Edwards has found the inside presence that he used to have when he was here and an up-and-coming all-out football player in Brandon Flowers. He reminds me of a [Ronde] Barber, and that's the best compliment I could ever give Brandon Flowers. He's a great nickel guy. He's all over the field; he had two picks last week. They took the Jets to the brink. They had the Jets down inside a minute, and Flowers had a lot to do with it. They're playing hard, and those two guys are going to be tremendous pros.

On if Michael Bennett being inactive in Dallas was a numbers issue

Yep, it sure was. We'd like to have him active. I'd like to extend the roster. I'd like to have more players active on Sunday.

On Carnell Williams

We're getting better, we're showing progress, we're getting better.

On getting Williams some hits in pads

That will be tomorrow. Today because of the numbers -- we only had four or five receivers able to practice today and we have some backs that are limited. We've got some injuries know that are mounting, so Wednesday's practice is a little bit different than Thursday. But we'll try to turn him loose tomorrow. We'll try to get a little bit more amps out of him and see how he feels, see how he performs.

On if he's excited by the possibility of Galloway being back to where he was

Yeah, I like the film. I want to score more than nine points. I want to run the ball better. We've run the ball 54 times for 120 yards the last 54 carries. That ain't good enough. We've got a good line; I want to be great. We want to run the ball better. We've got to get some healthy backs, we've got to get Galloway healthy, we've got to get a number of guys. B.J. Askew included, that will certainly help us. But, yeah that excites me. That really excites me. He's making progress.


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