Gruden backs Griese despite interceptions
Jon Gruden backed quarterback Brian Griese while acknowledging that he has to cut down on his turnovers during Gruden's news conference Monday at One Buc Place.
Griese had a 36.0 quarterback rating after completing 15 of 30 passes for 149 yards and three interceptions during Sunday's 30-21 win over the Packers. He has thrown six interceptions the past two weeks, both Bucs' wins.
''You've got some real good stats there,'' Gruden said. ''You know he's 3-0 as a starter; how about that? We've played two very good defenses. The Chicago Bears on the road -- he was the player of the week for us last week. He threw a couple interceptions yesterday and we can't have that. He knows that. But he's a winning quarterback for us and we're going to rally around him, continue to try to improve on his strengths and try to clean up a couple plays that hurt us last week."
Gruden said Griese made a ''good decision'' on his first interception, which was tipped by wide receiver Michael Clayton into the hands of Tramon Williams. "He missed the throw a litle bit,'' and "Nick Collins made a superb play'' on the second, Gruden said.
On the third, which Charles Woodson returned 62 yards for a touchdown and 21-20 Packers lead, ''I think Brian telegraphed it a little bit,'' Gruden said.
''I credit Green Bay to a degree, but we've got to make better decision-making,'' Gruden said, "and w'ere going to work toward that later this week.''
Gruden said Griese rebounded from the interceptions to make a couple of big plays down the stretch. He also liked the way Griese commanded the running game.
''I got a lot of respect and confidence in Brian Griese,'' Gruden said. "There’s three or four throws he’s made the last two weeks that have hurt us and there are about thirty five or forty throws that have really helped us. He made some throws yesterday after the third interception that were big time plays. They changed the game in terms of field position.
''He made some decisions in the running game that were outstanding. So there is some areas I think that are very clear and obvious that we need to clean up. He knows where I stand and where our team stands on turnovers and we got to clean that up, and we’re going to work our butt of this week to get that done.”
Gruden said the Bucs will "split the reps up and get all three guys some work'' in preparation for Sunday's game against the Broncos. He said the Bucs will need all three of its quarterbacks, including former starter Jeff Garcia, at some point this season.
"Garcia was our starter and might be our starter again at some point in time,'' Gruden said.
Gruden expressed ''some concern'' about the right elbow injury that sent safety Sabby Piscitelli to the sideline in the third quarter. Gruden hoped to have more information about the severity of the injury later today.
Offensive linemen Arron Sears and Jeremy Trueblood also left the game with injuries. The team will update its official injury list on Wednesday, Gruden said.