Gruden's news conference
HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On injured players)
Greg Spires has a calf injury and he's currently being evaluated. Torrie Cox injured his knee; he also is undergoing some tests at this time. We are concerned about them. We'll update you when we get the results from these tests. Once again, we're very disappointed in the game yesterday. Our guys played very hard.
(On if he knows if Michael Pittman or Michael Clayton are any closer to returning to the field)
No, not at this point. Patrick Chukwurah and Brian Kelly are two other guys. We've got a number of guys that we have a chance to get back. I just can't comment on that until I actually get final word from our trainer.
(On what he liked about the first half of the season)
I've got to meet a lot of guys on the football team. We've used just about every guy on the team. We're playing hard. Our last three games have come down to the closing seconds. We won a game against Tennessee in dramatic fashion and had a chance to yesterday. We put ourselves in position for a finish in Detroit. Guys are playing hard. Some of the young players are getting better. I feel like if we can get some guys back in the second half of the season we can hang around and make this interesting.
(On Garcia missing some open men after seven games of being so sharp)
Well, you're not going to be perfect. You're going to miss a couple throws. Unfortunately, we missed a couple yesterday, and when we did put the ball on the money, a couple times we dropped it. So there was a combination of those two things in key situations that had a lot to do with us not winning the football game.
(On what hasn't been good enough in the first half)
We've got to get better in all areas. Obviously the last two weeks our turnover ratio is what's hurt us. We haven't acquired a turnover on defense and we've turned it over on offense. You can go through all the statistics you want, you can play fantasy football and draft whoever you want, but at the end of the day it's turnover ratio that decides football games. We've turned it over too many times in two weeks and we haven't got any turnovers. Usually that will do you in.
(On what he says when he sees a catch like the one Matt Jones made against them)
Let's go men. We need that. We've made some great plays throughout the season. You look at Matt Jones jump up and make a freak catch with his left hand and get two feet in. The play before that, we challenged, I don't know who caught it, I can't remember now but it was an unbelievable catch. The ball was in his face, he gets his eyes around, he somehow catches it and gets two feet in. You give them credit. They made a couple great plays and those two plays, signature plays, probably won them the game.
(On the red zone production)
We would like to be better, we would like to be better. We fumbled the ball on a first and goal at the one in Detroit. I believe yesterday at the end of the first half with no timeouts, some of the play selection obviously is a little lopsided in passing the ball. We have done some decent things, we have capped off some drives. Cleary, we can score more points than we have in the last two weeks.
(On WR Maurice Stovall)
He did okay. He had a couple penalties, the push off in the two-minute [drive], the holding call on the reverse, negated a 12 or 15 yard run. His inexperience showed a couple of times. I thought he played hard, made a couple of nice catches, played on special teams, got tired. We had to take a timeout late in the ball game to get our guys some air, Joey [Galloway] got tired. Maurice did some good things, and it was a good start.
We have done pretty well. Our quarterback went seven games without a pick. One of the interceptions yesterday, Glenn makes a great play. He is timely, he jumps, he takes a gamble and it pays off for him. The last interception of the game, the ball is thrown pretty well, we don't secure it, [and] sometimes that is football. Defensively, I think we have gone a couple weeks without a turnover. We have to obviously do a better job and find a way to get a couple in our favor.
(On the missed opportunities)
That is a golden opportunity. We didn't get it done. We had some chances to make some plays and we win the game. You were there, you saw the game, watched the film, our players I think will feel like, hey, we are a pretty good football team. We have to make a couple more plays. We are going to be alright. That was unfortunate.
(On Michael Bennett)
Well he didn't play a lot. I thought when he was asked to play he did a pretty good job. Obviously he's got some speed, like to see him catch the ball on the sideline, that's a 35 yard-play. I realize their low percentage, but when guys are open deep, that's not low percentage to me, that's high percentage, that's impact play making kind. People are going to blitz, if they're going to sit on you, you throw it over their head. We have to make those plays, but I think he's doing a good job and I believe he's going to be an asset to our football team.
(On DE Gaines Adams getting playing time)
I think the way he played yesterday, I think he has the right to be frustrated a little bit. But if you watch Greg Spires play, Spires will be frustrated because he didn't play too, he played very well. Sometimes there is going to be some frustration when you're not playing, but Gaines Adams did a good job when he played in the game yesterday. I expect him to be a real big part of the second part of the season; we're anxious to see what he can do.
(On DE Gaines Adams performance over the last eight weeks)
There are some aspects that I'm really excited about. He does give a good effort, is he leading the league in effort? Gaines you're not leading the league in effort. Kyle Vanden Bocsh from Tennessee leads the league in effort. I saw that last week and I think Gaines Adams had now a half of a season to get a feel for this league, who's in it, how the game is played, and I believe he's ready to take off. I believe Gaines Adams has an opportunity now to sit back and look back at the first half of the season and understand that he belongs in the league, he knows how to play, he understands our defense now, and we expect big things from him.
(On how he manages the rotations of the DE's)
We are going to do what we do what we feel is right with the entire group, that goes from Greg White to Kevin Carter, all the guys. It's not all about Gaines Adams here today, it's about our defensive line and we do expect Gaines to be an every down player and an impact player for our franchise for years to come. Whether or not that's this week or next week we'll have to see.
(On if he was surprised about Jacksonville running the ball in 15 consecutive plays)
A little bit, but when you take a look at the Jaguars football team, they have the components there to do that. They've got four great backs. [LaBrandon] Toefield is a heck of a back too, no one talks about Greg Jones, but when you have [Maurice Jones] Drew and [Fred] Taylor [and] Marcedes Lewis is one of the bigger more physical on the line of scrimmage blockers in the league and they are a big physical football team. So with the young quarterback, I think the big run, was the third-and-eight run, when they out planked us in a man-to-man defense, which is uncharacteristic of us, but they were able to get some three to four yard runs, set up some third and twos, go for it on forth-and -inches or fourth of inside one. I was surprised by that, but I though we did a better job in the second half, getting it squared away and playing better.
(On the Bucs needing to win the division to make the playoffs)
Again, if you win your division, you're in the playoffs. And every year it starts right there. New Orleans Saints, no matter what anybody says, they are a good football team. You know, Carolina has problems with now with injuries, too. Atlanta has had their share of injuries. So, there's blood in the water, I said it a couple of weeks ago, in the NFC South. Hopefully we can get some guys back and be a factor down the stretch.
(On the quarterback having a hot hand)
The way I see it, Jeff is always hot. Jeff's a heck of a player. When you get into a game like that when it's a blitzfest, you look forward to putting the game in your quarterback's hands and we want to do that every week. We consider him a great quarterback. I think he has been for the first eight weeks of the season. He's responded to a lot of change around him. It's been hard on him, it's been hard Jeff Garcia, okay? A lot of guys have come and gone and it's not like he's in his fourth or fifth year in this offense. He's reacted well, in my opinion, I think he's a great quarterback, and he's the reason why we will have a chance in the second half.