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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Transcription of Gruden's news conference





(On injured players)
Real quick, our injury list. It's hard to be official until I hear from the trainer after some of these guys have been examined. But Mark Jones injured his knee; he'll be out for the season. Michael Clayton is getting an MRI at this point on his ankle. We have a couple other guys that are being treated at this point, but those are the two significant injuries from yesterday's game.

(On if he was encouraged by anything he saw on offense in Detroit)
Well, there's a lot to be encouraged by. Earnest Graham had close to 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in his second career start. Jeff Garcia, I don't know if he was 20-for-20 at halftime or close to it. It's hard to imagine him playing much better. He did some great things. Obviously losing Clayton on the second play of the game didn't help. Hopefully we can get the full supporting cast healthy and ready to go here for the second half of the season to help him. It's unfortunate that we weren't able to finish some drives better, and we had a couple breakdowns, obviously, in special teams that hurt us. But there were some positive things to take away from the game, there always are. But there was also, in defeat, things that make it hard to swallow.

(On if there were breakdowns on the Bucs' defense)
Well, backed-up on one of the plays we had an issue with contain and Kevin Jones got outside to set up a first down. They converted a third-and-short on a naked bootleg by inches. Calvin Johnson hurt us on a couple plays, certainly a seam post where coverage was pretty good. [Jon] Kitna made a great throw and Calvin Johnson made a great play. Then on the end-around, the 32-yard run, we didn't have the best contain but Calvin made two or three guys miss in the process. I can't fault anyone's effort. I can't say we had dramatic breakdowns, but the Lions orchestrated a pretty good drive. I give them credit.

(On the offensive line performance against Detroit)
Well, all-in-all there were some good plays. The sacks obviously put a tainted picture on what was a pretty good performance. We had four 15 or 16-play drives. We had a couple penalties that were very disappointing. False starts, I think we had a roughness penalty and a holding call in the first half. We overcame a few of those penalties in route to a score. We did have some penalties, we did have a couple issues in pass protection, but I can't just fault the offensive line. We're in this together, and we could have got some help, I think, in some situations where we normally do.

(On if there is frustration involved with losing players to injury every week)
It's frustrating. It's not baseball. It's not Major League Baseball. You can't make a trade and just put a guy in your lineup and say, 'Hey, go play right field and hit fourth. No disrespect to baseball, but you've got to know the formations, you've got to know the snap count, you've got to know the audible system, the two-minute package, all the things that you learn in training camp and OTAs and things of that nature. But when you lose three running backs and three receivers and a tight end and a left tackle, a corner, a defensive end and Sabby Piscitelli's also been out for some time, they do add up. We will be tested, certainly, this coming week with the Jaguars. They're an outstanding football team and you'll see so tonight.

(On WR Mark Jones)
I believe it is Patella tendon, very similar injury that Carnell [Williams] suffered. When I get the final word from Todd [Toriscelli] will be sure to tell you guys on Wednesday. It is unfortunate. He was one of the top return specialists in football. Obviously, you can see where he ranks statistically yourself. Somebody will have to pick up the slack in the punt return and kickoff return aspect now.

(On where the team is)
We like our team. We are disappointed in the outcome of the game yesterday. We feel like four out of our first seven games have been played on the road. We would like to have won the ball game yesterday; we would like to have more wins than four. We are right in the thick of this thing. We have to roll up our fists and fight right now, like a lot of the other people sitting at home today. It is not easy, life is not easy. We have to overcome some dramatic loses to our football team, but we are confident we can do that. We will lean on our best players, and hopefully see the emergence of guys like Earnest Graham and Donald Penn, [as they] prove they can play in the NFL, and now they have to continue to prove it.

(On RB Michael Bennett's play Sunday)
We liked him. Obviously he got into a situation there on short notice. I don't even think he knows most of his coaches or teammates by name or number yet, but he got in and got three carries and was in on a couple of other pass action passes. I believe he played five or six plays. He's a guy that has kickoff return capabilities. I think Michael Bennett is meeting with our coaching staff right now trying to learn and get caught up in terms of our offense. We like to expand his role, clearly he's a guy with some speed and he's a great guy and a good learner and hopefully we can get him out there more next week.

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


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