Allen chats at Super Bowl
Bucs general manager Bruce Allen took a few minutes at Super Bowl XLII to address some topics with the media Friday. Here are some of the highlights.
On signing his new three-year contract extension:
"Happy. We like what we have,'' Allen said. "Every fan in Tampa knows we have the best facility in the NFL, we have the best stadium in the NFL, we have a young group of guys, we've got plenty of cap room and an opportunity to make the team better.
"Having the coaches all remain constant and the coordinators, it allows the players on our team to understand how they have to get better because it's the same coaches.''
On cornerback Brian Kelly telling the Times he intends to exercise an option to "buy back," the final year of his contract and become a free agent, Allen said: "We didn't talk about that at that time, but that was before that (story),'' Allen said. "We'll talk. I want to know what he wants to do.''
On efforts to sign running back Earnest Graham to a contract extension: "What we were doing the last few weeks was finalizing our free agent list,'' Allen said. "The first focus is on the players who don't have contracts, whether they're on our team or the opposition and making sure we pinpoint who we want out of there and then reward our guys at that point.''
On preventing a collapse after winning the NFC South like the one they experienced in 2006, Allen said, "You try to increase the talent level. You try to increase the depth on your team. You keep the hunger that we had this last off-season. The players on this team were hungry. You talked to them and they commented at different times about being embarrassed about what happened here. Keeping that hunger is important.''
On the possibility of signing Warren Sapp to a one-day contract so he could retire as a Buccaneer: "He's a Raider,'' Allen said. "And I understood he's going to do a Raider retirement.''
On Mike Alstott having a future role with the Bucs: "When that is, this year, next year or the following years, Mike, as he knows, is always associated with us. He's going to take some time and figure out what he wants to do. For a guy who just retired, he surely has a lot of commitments he's made for the next year.
"I don't think he wants to coach. And it's the time (involved).''
The Bucs aren't ready to officially announce the hiring of Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson as the team's quarterback coach or Earnest Byner as the running back coach.
"I know we did interview and talk to Greg Olson. He's still under contract with the Rams. Until that's final...after the Super Bowl,'' Allen said. "We've talked to Earnest. It was a nice conversation. But that was all.''
--Allen said he wasn't upset the Bucs weren't selected to play a regular-season game in the United Kingdom in 2008.
"No, I love our fans,'' Allen said. "We'll do it, as will everybody in the NFL.''