Gruden expects Trueblood to avoid fine
"I don't anticipate any fine,'' Gruden said during his news conference Monday at One Buc Place. "I just thought that was an ugly sequence of plays, and we will let the league handle it.''
Trueblood bumped into an official after a Cardinals player got rough with right guard Davin Joseph in the final minute of the game. Trueblood tried to intervene, and a Cardinals player, believed to be linebacker Calvin Pace, swung at him. When Trueblood tried to retaliate, he ran into an official, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and his ejection.
While Gruden liked the way Trueblood stood up for a teammate, he said the second-year lineman needs to be more in control, particularly during a critical stage of the game.
"What occurred late in that game was ugly,'' Gruden said. "I'm not going to be tolerant of us getting a 15-yard ejection penalty when we have a chance to ice the game. But we do appreciate loyalty, and guys believing in one another. But there comes a time where you have to settle those things outside the lines. That's just not good enough yesterday. We have to show more poise than that.''
Trueblood, who suffered a right shoulder stinger, was one of three Bucs players banged up in the game. Fullback B.J. Askew sustained an ankle injury, and tight end Alex Smith reaggravated a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for two games. Gruden said all three players are "going to be okay.''
Still, injuries have wreaked havoc with the Bucs' practice schedule. They forced the team to turn its Wednesday practice into a walk-through the past couple of weeks and will limit its time on the field heading into the bye week.
The Bucs will be off today and Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday. If the players look sharp, in Gruden's estimation, he will give them Thursday through Sunday off to give them more time to recover from injuries and receive treatment.
"Our players are deserving of some time off,'' Gruden said. "They played hard, and I'm proud of them.''
(Times photo: Brian Cassella. Click to enlarge.)