Gruden weighs rest vs. momentum
Jon Gruden wants to win.
That was his response when asked whether he would rest any of his battered and tired starters now that the Bucs have clinched a playoff spot and can only improve their playoff standing by one notch.
"We want to win, and to do that you have to play your best players," Gruden said. "There may be some opportunities to look at some (backup) players although we've looked at every guy on the roster and then some. We'll use everybody, but we're not going to change much in the next few weeks."
But Gruden hedged when pressed further on the subject.
"To rest a guy, you better have enough bodies who can go in and perform," he said. "That's the challenge in the NFL in Week 15 and 16. We do have an opportunity here in the next few games to consider looking at some other combinations and get some guys some plays off, but we are still playing for something. We want to continue to get better.
"We'll discuss the actual health of our players and determine the real depth that we do have. Can this guy afford to come out of a game for a prolonged period or miss a game? To make a long story short, we don't have any plans at this time. We're going to keep it normal."
The goal still in front of the Bucs is the potential to claim the No. 3 seed in the NFC. They currently are sitting at the No. 4 spot. But with Seattle losing on Sunday and falling into a tie with Tampa Bay, the Bucs still have a chance to pass the Seahawks. For that to happen, Seattle will have to lose one of its final two games (against Baltimore and Atlanta) while the Bucs must win out.