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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gruden on Matt Bryant



This sort of fell through the cracks in our game coverage because of the late finish, but wanted to be sure to share the sentiments of Jon Gruden on Matt Bryant's struggles this preseason.

The usually reliable kicker missed another kick of moderate distance Thursday night from 36 yards. He also missed from 54 yards, though that's certainly not an automatic attempt. Remember, Bryant missed kicks in previous games from 36 and 23 yards and finishes the preseason 7 of 12, which has to be unsettling for Gruden.

"I don't know if I was disappointed or just shocked because Matt doesn't miss field goals and I just feel it's unbelievable, so I was shocked and I was disappointed," Gruden said after the game. "But again, I was happy to see him bang those last three field goals through the uprights and hopefully that catapults him into another great season."

Regarding his level of confidence in Bryant, Gruden said, "I have confidence in this guy, more than maybe he knows and I think he's going to be just fine. But he knows we desperately need him to get the job done.  I've been through this for a couple years where . . . it was very very painful and we need him. We need him to be our leading scorer just like every kicker is on every team in this league and he's got the talent and he can get it done."

If Gruden is to be believed, the Bucs won't be scanning the market for a kicker, though former Dolphins kicker Jay Feely is available.

By the way, Bryant's comments can be read in today's notebook.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:09pm]


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