Gruden Q & A

Q & A with Coach Gruden

Question: Has training camp been an eye-opening experience for Derrick Gibson?
Gruden: Yeah I think so. One thing about Gibson is he's not a novice in terms of football. He's played at a big-time program and I do believe that all the defense that's being thrown at him, all the formations, all the looks that he's getting is new to him. And I'm sure he has had his eyes opened to a degree but he is competing and he does have a physical presence. You do know where 43 is on the other side of the ball.

Question: How has Marques Tuiasosopo's adjustment been?
Gruden: We like Tuiasosopo a lot. He's not just coming out there running generic plays and situations that are easy. He's coming out here and managing an offense that's catered to the veteran players, Rich Gannon, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice and a veteran offensive line. It's somewhat wordy and cumbersome at times but he continues to improve. He's got a real field presence about him and a great demeanor for the quarterback position. He's very skilled. I've been very, very impressed with him so far.

Question: With you, David Shaw and Marc Trestman all working with the quarterbacks, is there any danger of confusing a rookie like Marques Tuiasosopo?
Gruden: No there's no danger. We have a very specific plan for all of our quarterbacks. I want to make sure that when I'm talking to Rich Gannon and involved with the QB taking the snaps I have a coach that knows what we're doing assigned to each of our triggers, Trestman with Hoying and Shaw with Marques.

Question: Can you envision taking all four quarterbacks into the regular season?
Gruden: We definitely can and we will if we feel that's the best thing to do. We've done it before and we'll do it again if we feel in our opinion it gives us the best opportunity to win. We're not going to disregard anybody that's a good football player, especially at that position.

Question: How much has Grady Jackson's injury put him behind in terms of progressing with the rest of the team?
Gruden: It hurts him and it puts him behind. He needs to get out on the field quickly. We need him back. He's a big part of this football team. He's got a lot of work to do in that area, however.

Question: With the addition of Roland Williams and the improvement of Mondriel Fulcher, is the tight end position as deep as it's been in your time with the team?
Gruden: It's still awfully early. Roland Williams is doing a fantastic job on our field right now and Mondriel Fulcher is getting better. We need to get Jeremy Brigham back out here. He's a guy we relied on a lot last year. But if Mondriel keeps coming and Jeremy comes back from his injury, those are three pretty good tight end prospects. And we think Eric Bjornson has done some good things and Andrew Glover is kind of learning on the run.

Question: Do you think the young receivers are getting more out talking to Tim Brown and Jerry Rice or from watching them on the field?
Gruden: I think probably a little bit of both. The shock treatment you get when you walk in as a wide receiver to the meetings is something you have to see to understand. They come in there and they see Tim Brown in the front row, he's got a chair that's made for a king, and Jerry Rice sits in the back corner by himself, he's working the back end of the room. There's very little tolerance for error amongst those guys. The longer training camp goes the tougher those guys are going to be on our young people. Those guys are very perfectionist oriented and it will help us.

Question: With David Dunn missing so much practice time with his knee injury, has Reggie Barlow taken over as the lead kick returner?
Gruden: I'm not going to make any changes on the depth chart at this time. Reggie Barlow is moving up regardless of what anybody does. Reggie Barlow has done a lot of good things out here as a receiver, as a return man. He's doing an outstanding job right now for us.

Question: In training camp are more of your decisions based on what a player does in practice or in the preseason games?
Gruden: You have to really grade the practice film and their assignments and their effort and their production but you have to really take a good look at the game film. The lights are on, it's a full speed atmosphere. You go inside and catch a ball in practice and you're not getting whacked by a safety and a linebacker. In reality you're going to catch a ball and people are going to tackle you and they will tackle you eventually in this league. So you have to use the full-speed game situations as the primary indicator in terms of how people are doing but at the same time you have to really take a good look at the practice tape

For the rest of the story call 1-800-932-4557 to subscribe to Silver & Black Illustrated

SB Report Top Stories