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: December 10, 2008, 05:57:25 PM

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2008

HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
(on injured players)
"Our injury report, a number of guys. Jovan Haye, Chris Hovan, Sean Mahan who has a
sore back, Jeremy Zuttah with an ankle did not practice. Michael Clayton, with a toe,
Jeff Garcia, with a lower calf strain and Brian Griese, right elbow, were limited today."

(on if Jeff Garcia's injury is a calf strain)
"Yes, that's what we're calling it."

(on if he has confidence in the Bucs' defense)
"If I don't have confidence in our defense then I'm in the wrong profession. I've got a lot
of confidence in these guys and I think they know that. And they're confident in
themselves – that's the most important thing. We'll be back. We've got to play better and
to do that we've got to get organized. We've got to earn that right Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday on the practice field but I'm confident in our guys."

(on Matt Ryan)
"He's a really good player. He can make all the throws, moving to his left, to his right.
He's comfortable in the pocket. He's got a big arm [and] a lot more mobility than I think
people realize and he takes care of the football. He doesn't look like a rookie to me. He
looks like he's played a long time. I tip my hat to him, and as I said yesterday Mike
Mularkey and their staff have done a great job. They've got a potent running game. They
can turn and give it to one of two backs. I think Roddy White, 1,300 yards receiving, is a
pretty good hidden secret if you ask me. He's a heck of a receiver on tape. They have a
great scheme, they have a lot of good players. He's a good quarterback and he looks like
he's going to be a great one."

(on Ryan having composure)
"Not many guys have done what he's done. It's a hard league to start in as a rookie. We
started a rookie a few years ago. This guy comes into the league with a unique pedigree.
He played an NFL offense. He played for two different coaches and was successful
under both of them. He's a premier kid. He's smart. He's got great football awareness.
He's just one of those rare guys. Unfortunately the Falcons drafted him."

(on rookie head coach-quarterback combinations in Atlanta and Baltimore)
"It's interesting. Some of the veteran quarterbacks we've talked about – Jeff [Garcia] and
Kurt Warner and Kerry Collins among some of the other guys that have played extremely
well, the veteran guys. Gus Frerotte's quarterbacking a division leader. And some
newcomers have come in here and really choked the opportunity and done a great job."

(on if Antonio Bryant can be a big contributor on a regular basis)
"We thought he was a great talent. He had 1,000 yards in Cleveland in '05. I know the
guy that coached him at Pitt, Walt Harris. He was my first boss. Larry Coyer coached at
Pitt. I really believe that he's as talented a guy as I've coached and I'm not just saying that
because of Monday night. I'm saying that because of the entire season. I just want to
give Richard Mann a lot of credit, our receiver coach, a veteran. He and Antonio Bryant
have really collaborated on a daily basis, pushed each other. No, I'm not shocked that
he's as good as he is. I really am excited about his future."

(on B.J. Askew)
"He gives us not only pop between the tackles, a reliable playmaker, a guy that we can
hand it to, a guy that can pick up blitzes, catch the ball out of the backfield. He's a pro
football player. I just think right now he's starting to get back to 100 percent. He and
Alex Smith have really worked through tough injuries. He gives our guys confidence, I
think, and gives us some stability there and a guy that can make plays."

(on using Askew at the goal line)
"Yeah, he has been thought about, and then Jameel [Cook] would obviously be the
fullback if we want to a two-back set. But we've had so many ball-handling
combinations. Sometimes you get down there inside the one, that's a big part of it too.
You can only practice so much. B.J. needs to get the looks as a fullback. Obviously he
can carry the ball. He did at Michigan and he's doing a good job here. That could be in
the plans."

(on if the Bucs' sack totals in recent weeks are misleading)
"I think the protection actually has been very good. Again, a lot of the sacks have been
coded as sacks. A lot of the sacks are scramble opportunities that Jeff has made. I'm
really comfortable with the way the pocket looks, the pickups. But again, we've made a
lot of plays scrambling. That's Jeff's style. Obviously some of those sacks are on
bootlegs and scramble opps that I talked about earlier."

(on if there have been protection problems)
"We had a couple guys maybe not have their best sets in particular situations but I think
as a whole the protection's been pretty good. A lot of those sacks, some of them have
been one-yard losses or scrambles to the line of scrimmage. Somebody's getting some
sack totals off of us lately. It irritates our line a little bit; believe me, I hear about it."

(on resolving the tackling problems of Monday)
"Again, I'm not going to dwell on that game. I'm not going to do that. We did miss some
tackles, we did have some run-fit issues and they had two running backs that maybe
should be in the headlines today. They ran really well. They ran extremely well and it's
a credit to him. Unfortunately they're both on the same team and they're young guys and
they're in our division. They did a nice job blocking the perimeter. They got our force a
couple of times, created some one-on-one situations with a lot of grass to cover. I don't
care who's out there in those situations against those kinds of backs, that's a tough snap.
We've just got to make some corrections, we've got to do a better job."

(on the team's disappointment on the way home from Carolina)
"I think the guys were disappointed. I mean, we were in a tied ballgame at the end of the
third quarter. We were down eight with two-and-a-half minutes left to go. We had a
third-and-five with a chance to get the ball back. It wasn't like it was a totally inept
performance. We did do some good things that we'll build on. I think the guys are
disappointed obviously. I remember playing against the Steelers on Monday Night
Football a few years ago – we couldn't complete a pass in that game. But we won a lot of
games after that, some big games. There are a lot of good football teams – the New York
Giants, the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys, the Jets – that are coming off tough
losses. This is about mental toughness, I think, too. You've got to continue to do what
you're doing and believe in yourselves, and I think we have the character in our locker
room that will allow us to do that. Hopefully we get some guys well. We're going to
need all our horses for this game."

(on playing two road games in seven days)
"It is a challenge obviously, to a degree, but you have had the schedule. We've had the
schedule since last April, so it's not like we weren't prepared for this. We're ready for
doubleheaders, man. We're ready to play. I promise you that. These guys are ready to
play games. It's getting harder and harder to have a practice.”

(on Mike Smith)
"He's done a great job wherever he's been. They don't talk about the Falcon defense.
They put a couple young guys in there. [Curtis] Lofton, the linebacker, has really had a
heck of a year. [Michael] Boley's had a great season. [John] Abraham's been
unstoppable and unblockable in games. And their scheme, it's very interesting. They've
got a lot of heavy pressure, all-out pressures when you least expect it, and they can play
all-out zone when you least expect it. And it all looks the same to me. So it's a
challenge. They play hard, hard-nosed football and I'm sure they've got a lot to be
excited about in Atlanta."

(on if he can address the kind of teammate Antonio Bryant has been off the field)
"Judge him yourself. I wish people would do that. We have a tendency I think
sometimes to forget about the reality that this guy has come in here and been a heck of a
Buccaneer, heck of a player. There are a lot of good things happening. There are a lot of
guys that come from different situations. You don't know the exact details of what
happened, or what's true and what isn't. I just would prefer for us all to judge Antonio
Bryant for what he's done since he's been here, and all he's done for me and this team and
this city is play his heart out.”

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