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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gruden reacts



Jon Gruden, in his weekly Monday press conference, lamented several shortcomings in Sunday's 24-23 loss to Jacksonville.

For one, the Bucs' combined minus-5 turnover ratio the past two games is difficult to overcome, he said.

"The last two weeks our turnover ratio is what's hurt us," Gruden said. "You can go through all the statistics you want. But at the end of the day, it's turnover ratio that decides football games."

Regarding the third-down play late on the Bucs' final drive on which Jeff Garcia overthrew Ike Hilliard deep, Gruden defended the play call. The Bucs appeared to be trying to position themselves for a game-winning field goal but saw a favorable matchup and took their chances.

"If you get a guy open, I don't think it's low percentage," Gruden said. "We felt we had the right play. I don't regret that call."

Gruden was asked about first-round pick Gaines Adams, who showed obvious signs of frustration Sunday over his limited playing time. At one point late in the game, the defensive end tossed hiis helmet in disgust after being pulled in favor of end Greg White.

"I think the way he played yesterday, he has a right to be frustrated," Gruden said. "Sometimes, there's going to be a little frustration when you're not playing. I expect him to be a big part of the second half of the season.

"There's some aspects that I'm really excited about. I just think Gaines Adams has now had half a season to get used to this league and I believe he's ready to take off. He knows how to play and he understands our defense now.

"We do expect Gaines to be an every-down player for our franchise for years to come. Whether that's this week or next week, I don't know."

On the injury front, Gruden said starting right defensive end Greg Spires has a calf injury, though Spires said after the game he was told he had an Achilles' tendon strain. Torrie Cox has a knee injury, the extent of which Gruden did not know.

Gruden did not express much optimism about the chances of any of the team's injured key rotation players returning this week. Among them are tight end Alex Smith (ankle), defensive end Patrick Chukwurah (shoulder) and receiver Michael Clayton (ankle).

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:51pm]


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