Gruden lauds Bryant, demands more of others
Jon Gruden admits something we all fear is true: the Bucs' receivers haven't made nearly enough of a splash during training camp.
Asked today who, if anyone, is stepping up and performing consistently, Gruden conceded this: "Not enough. I haven't seen enough, nor have you and nor have our fans. Somebody's got to step up. Antonio Bryant is doing that. Antonio Bryant is the one guy I think from a talent standpoint, he's picking it up. We need more guys to do that. We'll see that starting Sunday (against the Patriots) I hope."
Gruden's frustration is exacerbated by the absence of Joey Galloway (groin), who at least donned pads today and caught balls from Jeff Garcia but still hasn't participated in a single practice. With training camp wrapping up tomorrow morning, the Bucs likely will break camp without having seen their No. 1 receiver take a snap. Galloway has granted no interview requests so far, so we have no input from him.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, the battle for roster spots at receiver will be intense. If the Bucs keep six on their final roster -- and that's being generous -- there certainly will be some disappointments.
We'll count Joey Galloway and second-round pick Dexter Jackson as locks. Beyond them, you've still got Bryant, Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Ike Hilliard, Paris Warren Chad Lucas, Micheal Spurlock, Brian Clark and Cortez Hankton.
[Antonio Bryant photo: Willie Allen, Jr., Times]