Gruden: I'm on the same page with Simms
The Bucs decision to keep Chris Simms clearly irritates coach Jon Gruden. But he said Sunday he was on board with having four quarterbacks.
""I'm ready to start talking about my starting quarterback (Jeff Garcia), for crying out loud. I've talked enough about the other quarterbacks,'' Gruden said. ""You've seen them in the preseason, we've all had Chris' situation well-documented. He's a young guy with talent who really hasn't been able to showcase his stuff. But we're not ready to give up on him.''
Simms, 27, is recovering from a hip strain and did not practice Sunday. He played just six snaps in the preseason and has struggled to regain his passing mechanics since his splenectomy in December.
Following practice Sunday, Gruden was asked if he was on the same page with general manager Bruce Allen regarding Simms.
""Yeah, I'm on the same page,'' Gruden said. '"I'm just ready to start talking about Jeff Garcia. Okay? You see the roster and that's the roster at this point.
""Again, I'm going to talk about Jeff Garcia and I'll let Bruce Allen talk about every guy on the roster and why we chose the players we chose. I'm just eager to get started.''
The decision to keep Simms cost the Bucs punt and kickoff returner Mark Jones. Gruden says the Bucs will use a committee of returners, including receivers Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard and defensive back Phillip Buchanon.
There was some good news for the Bucs Sunday. Guard Arron Sears (ankle), tackle Jeremy Trueblood (Achilles) and tight end Alex Smith (ankle) all returned to practice and are expected to play Sunday at Seattle.
Of course, the Bucs roster is probably not settled. Gruden said the team is paying close attention to the waiver wire and a trade is possible. Whether or not that would involve Simms is uncertain.
""There's a chance there will be some changes,'' Gruden said. ""We're not unlike anyone else. We're looking at the players that became available last night. There's still some trade situations that are rumor at this point. We're going to try to get better any way we can.''