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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gruden meets with Johnson




   INDIANAPOLIS - Bucs coach Jon Gruden met Friday night with Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson, the player most often linked to Tampa Bay with the fourth overall pick.

   In addition to his physical attributes - 6-foot-5, 239-pounds with a 45-inch vertical jump - Johnson is just as impressive off the field. He likens his demeanor to that of Colts receiver Marvin Harrison.

   Gruden is spending the combine doing some extra background checks on Johnson by talking to some former and current coaches from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

   ""I met him last night and we're obviously going to do a lot of work on him,'' Gruden said. ""Six-foot-5, (239)-pound guy that can run and jump 45 inches that are great kids, they don't come around every year,'' Gruden said. ""But there will be some statistical surveys that say that's a bad pick and we shouldn't do that, either.

   ""A lot of coaches from the ACC are here at the combine and some of the guys I know in that conference, well-respected coaches. And I just asked them how it was game-planning for him. And there's a lot that a great receiver can bring to any team. He'll be a guy we consider. I'm sure Cleveland and everybody else in the draft is looking at that area, too.''

   Johnson said he has decided not to participate in workouts at the combine Sunday and will wait until his personal workout next month.

   In addition to considering Johnson, Gruden and the Bucs will spend a lot of time in the next two months examining the top two quarterbacks in the NFL draft - LSU's JaMarcus Russell and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. Gruden will meet with Quinn Saturday night.

   Of course, it's uncertain which players will still be available when the Bucs pick fourth, having lost the coin toss Friday with the Cleveland Browns.

   ""We've lost so many games, I hate to lose the coin toss, too,'' Gruden said.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:43pm]


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