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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gruden's news conference



A transcription of Jon Gruden's Monday news conference:

(Opening statement)

“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the defeat yesterday.”

(On Michael Pittman’s injury)
“He is getting evaluated at this point but it looks like it will be a six-to-eight-week injury. We’ll update you when we get the results of the MRI but it is a pretty good sprain, we do believe. That’s a tough blow for us.”

(On how the Bucs adjust to losing Pittman for six to eight weeks)
“Earnest Graham becomes the starting tailback and Ken Darby will be elevated. And we’ll look, obviously, to see what possibilities are out there.”

(On how he feels about the team this morning)
“I think we’re a pretty good team. I realize the scoreboard and the statistics said a lot differently yesterday, but we think we’re pretty good. We’re not the first team to go into that dome and be beaten. I just want to remind people of that. There’s a couple of plays that this quarterback makes that…hey. It’s like the guys that I know on the pro golfing tour that get to play with Tiger Woods for the first time. That ain’t fair. It just isn’t fair. The guy’s amazing. Particularly on that surface, in that noise, [it’s] his command, his expertise, his playmaking. It was a 13-7 game, we had the ball just outside of two minutes left in the first half. We had a chance, now, to make a couple plays and maybe make it interesting. But I give them a lot of credit. They’re very talented and the guy took control of the football game and made some great plays.”

(On Manning’s rank among other NFL quarterbacks)
“I don’t know how much I can say positively about Peyton Manning. I was lucky to be around Steve Young, Joe Montana, and [Brett] Favre. I think our guy (Jeff Garcia) is playing extremely well too. This guy is at the line of scrimmage almost every snap, takes it down to six or seven seconds before the 40 second clock expires. He announces the play, changes the protection, the pattern and then he makes the plays. He is just a great performer and I’m tired of talking about him. I’m ready to talk about something else.”

(On the offense only getting 40 plays)
“It has been a long time. We had a couple of consecutive three-and-outs to start the game. We had six plays in the first quarter [and] we had three plays total in the third quarter; that doesn’t happen often. I think they had six possessions offensively where they had 10 plays or more. So that was certainly a long day at the office for us. It has been a long time.”

(On the Titans’ defense)
“There is no question, they are together on defense. The emergence of this [Cortland] Finnegan, a young cornerback. The return of Albert Haynesworth, his status is certainly important to Tennessee. [Kyle] Vanden Bosch and [Antwan] Odom give them two very good defensive ends. I am very impressed with [Keith] Bullock, he keeps getting better year in, year out. They have had great continuity there with Coach [Jeff] Fisher and Coach [Jim] Schwartz. The films I have seen this morning, there is not a lot there in the Saints game, there is not a lot there yesterday, for the Falcons. They do a heck of a job on defense. They are hard to run against, I think they yield about 55 to 60 yards per game and a lot of that is garbage yards at the end of the ball game.”

(On the AFC South)
“It is a tough division. I think they are all tough. I think our division is tough, although our statistics [and] our win-loss records may not say so. They are a very good football team. Jacksonville is very good, Tennessee looks outstanding [and] the young quarterback is going to make a lot of plays. Houston had a big win yesterday. It is a tough division, from top to bottom and we certainly saw a great team yesterday.”

(On if the team has to adjust for the loss of a running back)
“You have to adjust. Cadillac was a guy that really was featured on first and second down, Pittman is a guy that has been featured on third down. Now we’ve lost both of those backs. We adjusted a little bit to a new left tackle yesterday. But we’ve had to make numerous adjustments here, that’s one thing we’re good at, to change our personnel. At this point, we will have to make some adjustments, I’m sure, and we’re looking forward to doing that.”

(On looking at Donald Penn’s performance)
“I thought he did some good things, I thought he did some really good things. There weren’t a lot of snaps to evaluate, but he did a good job, he really did. He played well [during] his first start in the NFL against Dwight Freeney and that atmosphere. I was pleased with his performance, I really was.”

(On what impressed him most about Jeff Garcia’s performance)
“His capabilities. He’s capable of throwing it, he’s capable of running it and he’s capable of making something great happen out of nothing. He is really tremendous when all hell breaks loose and he has to create. He is a tremendous athlete and he has great potential on every play.”

(On making a trade for a running back)
“I’m not going to get involved in the speculation. I would say that I am very disappointed to have lost Pittman for a while, Carnell Williams, [Luke] Petitgout and [Mike] Alstott and a couple of other guys we expected to contribute.”

(On playing at home)
“We have to find a way to win. Tennessee is going to have something to say about that, they played very well and they’re on a roll right now. They turned it over five times yesterday, and when you can win a game turning it over five times, you must be playing great defense, that’s all I know. When you pick up the tape and you see the Titans walk in here, you’ll see a very big, physical football team that will be a handful, and we’re looking forward to this one.”

(On the defensive preparation for the Colts)
“If we played the Colts again, we might not play them the same way we played them yesterday. You never really get practice preparing for Indianapolis, [and] that’s one of the great credits I give Tom Moore. I’ve always said that they’re hard to prepare for because your service squad team can’t represent them like you would like to represent the Colts. The no-huddle, the changing of the plays, the point, who’s the Mike, who’s this, who’s that, it’s unbelievable the presentation of their offense, [and] it’s hard to emulate. I think if we had a chance to play them again, we’d probably do some things differently and we didn’t play extremely well yesterday, we didn’t tackle like we’ve been tackling, but we’re going to move on now.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:50pm]


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