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yuccaneers

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: November 17, 2008, 03:10:09 PM

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(On injured players)
"We had some injuries yesterday. I believe Earnest Graham's ankle looks to be a serious injury and his status for the rest of the season is very much in question right now. Geno Hayes hurt his knee; we're obviously real concerned about that as well. I think both of those guy’s seasons could be in jeopardy right now. But it was a very good team win. We beat a good football team. We thank our fans. I believe that's the first time we've
started 5-0 at home in our history and I thank our fans. I'm really proud of our team for that."

(On if Carnell Williams comes into the picture at running back)
"Yeah. Yes, he does. Obviously, we brought Cadillac up with the understanding that he's ready to go. I'm just very disappointed for our guy Earnest. He means a lot to us. He's done so much for us here in the last couple years. He's a key reason why we are where we are. We'll have to make some adjustments, obviously."

(On if a player fell across Graham's leg)
"That's basically what it was. He just landed awkwardly in a pile and it's unfortunate."

(On how Williams will be handled)
"Well, we'll see what happens. We've got a very good back here in Warrick Dunn. He had a lot of yards yesterday from scrimmage. We'll see how it goes. Clifton [Smith] has got to take care of the football. All those backs will have to step up. It's good to have [B.J.] Askew back yesterday as well.”

(On if he's concerned about Clifton Smith's fumbling)
"I'm concerned any time a guy fumbles. We don't fumble the ball here. We'll go back to day-one basic fundamentals. We've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. The guy's a good player. As a matter of fact, he's an outstanding prospect. But he knows that taking care of the ball is the number-one objective of anybody that touches the ball. You hold the organization in your hands every time you touch the ball. That's something we'll work hard to clean up, but we need him."

(On if he regrets releasing Michael Bennett last week)
"No, no. I don't live in hindsight. You've got an injury, you've got to respond to it. We'll bring in some other backs that we like. We do have a guy that we do like a lot that will be activated and it will be a good opportunity for Carnell to resume his football career."

(On how much Williams will be able to handle)
"Well, knowing him, he's a workhorse-type back and that's what we've been trying to bring him back to, not just a situational runner but an every-down workhorse-type back; a guy that can handle it in short yardage and goal line; a guy that can finish the game with repeated runs in the four-minute drill where you know that the clock is the enemy. But I think his stamina will continue to be evaluated and we'll just let you know."

(On outstanding performers against Minnesota, such as Jeff Garcia)
"Jeff was great. Jeff played a great game. I think Minnesota only had seven plays in the third quarter. I believe they only had two-and-a-half minutes of time of possession in the fourth quarter. He was outstanding, delivering the football, creating plays with his legs. He ran for 25 yards, I believe. He played an excellent game. Jerramy Stevens played a very good game for us from an offensive standpoint. And I thought defensively our two linebackers played great; Derrick Brooks and Cato June played great football games. I thought Donald Penn played a great game for us against a premier rusher in Jared Allen. I think Jared had two tackles in the game. I was very pleased with Jimmy Wilkerson as well; he stood out. Matt Bryant made four field goals. Chris Hovan had an opportunity to beat his former team. I know he's excited; he played hard and played good for us."

(On the late hit on QB Jeff Garcia)
“Well he got hit, it was a late hit. You hit a quarterback he doesn’t see late, you’re going to get stitches, you’re going to get hurt and that’s too bad. Jeff’s okay, I think, and we’re very concerned about him after that play.”

(On containing RB Adrian Peterson)
“I thought we handled the whole game pretty good. I thought the defense did extremely well. I thought the offense did offense did extremely well, limited his opportunities to even be on the field. That’s the best way to shut him down is leave him on the sideline. But I thought our defense tackled, I thought we got people the football. It’s a credit to Coach Kiffin and the defense, but it’s also very much a credit to the offense for keeping
him off the field, possessing the ball as long as they did.”

(On the performance in the red zone)
“We have a third and 2; we have a 15-yard penalty that puts us in 3rd and 17. First and goal at the two-yard line, we lose five yards on a run. I’m just disappointed in myself. We have too many good players to not be able to knock it in. Short yardage offense hurt us yesterday. We got down there another time on 3rd and 1 after a 13-play drive and didn’t make it, lost a yard. A lot of that has to do with DT Pat Williams and DT Kevin Williams. Glad we don’t see those guys anytime soon.”

(On overcoming adversity to be 7-3)
“We’re going to keep fighting. We try not to worry about anything but the next game. We play the Detroit Lions. They’ll know more about us than any team they play all year. They have a lot of our former coaches and players there. This will be a big game for them. They played Carolina hard yesterday. All I know is we got the Detroit Lions and they’re a tough team to play in that dome. I watched the Redskins game. I watched them
play in there. We’re going to have to rally around the healthy men that we have and try to find a way to get our eighth win.”

(On being nervous facing a winless team)
“I don’t know how many wins they have. I could care less. I just know we got to play better. We went down to Kansas City, I think they had just a win or so, a win or two and we barely beat them. Cincinnati pushed Philadelphia to overtime. The Raiders are leading Miami on the last play of the game. This is the NFL man. We got to play better. We got to rally around some guys. Some people are going to have to step up and I think our team is right on the same page with me.”

(On K Matt Bryant’s season)
“Well, he has not only had a great season, but what a great performance given the circumstances. We tend to forget about all the circumstances surrounding that. The tragedy that he has suffered through just doesn’t go away in three or four, six weeks. For him to go out there and kick game winners in Arrowhead, make four field goals yesterday and continue to perform at a high level in this league, he should be in the Pro Bowl. He’s
in mine.”

(On former Buccaneer S John Lynch)
“It’s great to see him yesterday. One of the all-time great Buccaneers, one of the all-time greats. I believe there is going to be a ring of honor. I vote for him to be in the ring of honor. World Champion and a great man, great family and a big part of our community forever. It will be great to see John again later today and we always wish him the best.”

(On playing consistently and being in every game this year)
“You’d like these guys. These guys prepare hard, consistent coaches have done a great job, we’ve used everybody on the roster, just about, I think, not only on active game day but in a game. We’ve come from behind. We have a great group of guys. They want to play and they want to win and they’re giving you everything they have.”

(On DE Kevin Carter’s play)
“He’s getting better. We showed him pictures of Jim Marshall before the game. We let him know that Jim Marshall – you have a tendency now to somewhat look down upon the older players, the veteran players, slowing down. I told him Jim Marshall played better at 34 than he did at 24, played better at 35 than at 25, and he did. Kevin Carter is playing – I don’t know what his age is, I really don’t care – he is playing his heart out. I think he has a lot to do with the playmaking and the energy as a whole on that defensive line. He’s such a great leader and he’s really playing good, hard-nosed physical football for us and we respect that about him tremendously.”

(On WR Joey Galloway’s playing time)
“We had a lot of two-receiver sets yesterday. We wanted to try to keep them out of their nickel. They’re very specialized there in the nickel, they’ve got a tremendous pass rush. We used the no-huddle offense as part of our game plan. I have a hard time taking No. 89 off the field and No. 80 is doing very well at the same time. I’m going to do a better job, the best I can, to be fair and get everybody on the field.”

(On his confidence level in WR Michael Clayton)
“Well I’ve never really lacked confidence in him. He’s like a lot of guys on our offense, unfortunately, over the years we’ve had so many injuries. We’ve been snake bit, some of our key guys, whether it be Cadillac or Galloway or Clayton or whoever it may be, the quarterbacks. We’ve had injuries and it’s stunted his development, it’s taken a lot from him in the early part of his career. When he’s healthy, you’re talking about the most physical flanker that might be in the league right now. He’s getting better and better and better and he’s just a young guy. It’s not like he’s 30 years old. He’s just a kid and he has got a lot of passion for this game. As an inside route-runner, he’s a physical force. He’s really playing well for us.”

(On if the 2008 team is better than the 2007 team)
“I don’t know. Who cares? It’s all about this year, man.”

(On RB Cadillac Williams’ return and not knowing what he can provide until he gets on the field)
“I think it’s going to be a great story. It’s one of the most exciting things that I’ve been associated with as a coach, because of the nature of this injury. It was a horrible injury. Not only that, but the nature of his effort in coming back to where he is now. Our No. 1 objective is to never put him in harm’s way and disrupt his comeback, do the right thing. We brought him back, we started the cycle, I think, the three-week cycle to evaluate him. After all the trainers, after meeting with Carnell, it’s a decision we made. We worked him hard for three weeks, we took a bye week and by George after looking at everything we said, ‘You’re ready to go,’ and he agrees. This comeback is going to be now available for everybody to see and I’m really excited to be a part of it. I know Warrick [Dunn] is going to help him, I know Clifton [Smith] is going to help him and I know we’re going to help him.”

(On QB Jeff Garcia’s play)
“I think when he plays at that level, we’re pretty good. I’ve got to do a better job, certainly, we’ve got to do a better job in short-yardage and goal-line and score some touchdowns, but Jeff, the way he ran that no-huddle yesterday, the tempo in which he plays is exciting. I know our players really enjoy it.”

(On keeping Garcia fresh)
“Sometimes you just like to run the ball and take it out of his hands. That, sometimes, is the best way to resolve that. But he’s completing almost 75 percent of his passes since he’s returned as our starter. He’s been on the money. I also credit our offensive line yesterday, although we did have some leakage. We also had some really good protection downs against a fierce opponent. The hard part about Jeff is he’s not going to change much. He’s a reckless player and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

(On RB Clifton Smith’s fumbling problems and if they are due to being new in the league)
“That’s excuse-making, really. This is football. You can’t fumble the ball. He’s got to do a better job. We’ve got to help him do that now. We’ve got to coach it better, we’ve got to drill it more, we’ve got to put him in some vulnerable situations and we’ve got to protect the ball. Whether you’re a rookie or a fourth-year player or whatever, turnovers will just get you beat. We’ve got to take better care of the football.”

(On T Jeremy Trueblood’s personal foul penalty)
“There was a play there where it was a 15-yard penalty, the whistle hasn’t blown, we have a ball carrier struggling for yards, the defensive players are hustling to the pile and trying to strip the ball out, gang tackling the runner, and Trueblood is one of those guys that doesn’t like to see that. He’s hustling, he’s trying to peel some of the defenders off the pile before the ball is blown dead. I think we’ve got to take a look at that, maybe
coach that a little bit better, but we do coach our players to play hard and finish through the whistle. I’ll take that upon me, but that’s all I can say. The whistle hadn’t blown, so he’s hustling, doing what we’re asking him to do and finish plays. That’s how a lot of fumbles do occur – the ball carrier has the ball, he’s in a pile and struggling for that extra yard and all of a sudden an unblocked defender comes in there and whack, there goes the ball. So we try to emphasize rushing to the pile and finishing plays on both sides of the ball.”

(On the LB Derrick Brooks’ play)
“Well I’m going pass out game balls today, and I have five tackles, two assists, a pass broken up, a key stop on fourth-and-one, a tackle for a loss for Derrick Brooks. So way to go, Brooks. Heck, he’s just something else. He’s the heart and soul of our team and I’m proud of him.”

(On how Brooks has bounced back after not having a good 2006 season)
“Neither did any of us. We weren’t very good in some areas that year, but we had four great victories. I don’t care to go back and talk about those, but Cato June, he did a great job, probably his best game of the season. Those are two linebackers that are just phenomenal football players.”

(On the quarterback situation and Brian Griese’s recovery)
“Well I don’t know if he’s going to be available this week, but we’re comfortable that he’s making progress. He hurt his shoulder in Denver. He’s had some lingering tendinitis in the elbow and sometimes that takes a couple weeks, sometimes that takes a little longer than that. But he’s struggling with it. I think he’s doing everything he can to come back.”

(On Garcia and other veteran quarterbacks succeeding around the league)
“He’s a pro. I look around this league, I don’t know if anybody’s watching, but Kurt Warner is lighting it up, man. He’s lighting it up like a Christmas tree. Kerry Collins is 10-0. That’s Gus Frerotte and the first-place Vikings yesterday. Everywhere you look, the veteran players are still – Brett Favre is still throwing touchdowns. They’re 7-3 in New York. Garcia is special. These veteran guys, they’re very special. They’re great talents, they’re  mentally tough and there’s a reason why they’re still doing what they’re doing. They have all the ingredients that you need to play at this level and I tip my hat to them, I really do.”

In Football, RESPECT is never given freely by your opponent. It must be TAKEN from them...VIOLENTLY

Great players cost a lot of money but help win games. High-priced players - a byproduct of poorly run front offices with bad scouting departments - only cost a lot of money.
"Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Oliver Goldsmith

TheChronicHotAir

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#1 : November 17, 2008, 05:28:01 PM

(Gruden on outstanding performers against Minnesota, such as Jeff Garcia)
"Jeff was great. Jeff played a great game. I think Minnesota only had seven plays in the third quarter. I believe they only had two-and-a-half minutes of time of possession in the fourth quarter. He was outstanding, delivering the football, creating plays with his legs. He ran for 25 yards, I believe. He played an excellent game.

What Coach Gruden means is...he got a B

{ snicker }

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