Cadillac, Petitgout officially done
It was a day of mixed emotions for Bucs coach Jon Gruden Monday morning during his weekly press conference.
The glow from Sunday’s 20-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers, raising Tampa Bay’s record to 3-1, was muted by the season-ending knee injuries sustained by running back Cadillac Williams and starting offensive left tackle Luke Petitgout.
“I’m very pleased with our performance yesterday for the most part. Obviously, we lost two key members of our football team for the season….and that’s a big blow. They’re great guys and we have some people who’ll need to step up now….It’s a tough day that way but we’re very happy with the win and we’ll also very excited about the challenge that awaits us this week versus Indianapolis.”
Gruden said that Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham will share the bulk of the running back duties with Williams out and second-year tackle Donald Penn of Utah State will take over for Petitgout.
“You lose a lot of skill,” Gruden said, talking about the double hit to his offense. “…Experience and production at those positions is something that every offense relies on. We’re confident in Donald Penn. We’re confident that he can go and do a good job for us. And I think Anthony Davis has proven in the past that he can play the position. Michael Pittman helped us win a couple of division championships here and Ernest Graham is clearly a capable runner and receiver.”
Gruden had nothing but praise for the Colts, including quarterback Peyton Manning, who orchestrated one of the NFL’s greatest comebacks against Tampa Bay Oct. 6, 2003, a 38-35 overtime victory in Tampa.
“I don’t remember being that being a very fun night,” Gruden said. “He’s the best. He does more at the line of scrimmage than any quarterback I’ve ever seen."