Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden spoke to the media after Saturday’s morning practice. A week into training camp, the Bucs held their Family Day festivities where the organization’s families attend practice. There is no afternoon practice to allow the players to have time away from football with them. Gruden took the time to update the status of some of the most important players on the roster.
"We expect [wide receiver Joey] Galloway on Monday,” said Gruden. “It is a credit to him. He’s working his guts off and he’s running fast. He’s very close to liftoff. And around the league, there are some really good receivers that aren’t practicing here the first week of training camp. I think we did the right thing. Our 'white Tiger' is about to come out of the cage and there’s a good chance Monday, Bucs fans will see him."
Galloway was not the only member of the Bucs passing game that is improving their health status. Gruden indicated the starting quarterback Jeff Garcia is progressing. It is unclear when Garcia will return to practice, and if he will receive any playing time in the Bucs preseason opener at Miami. Garcia was not at Saturday's practice.
“[Garcia] feels a lot better today,” said Gruden. “He was walking around putting weight on it, which is a great sign. Knowing him, it won't be long. What a great opportunity to get the other quarterbacks reps, and it will pay off for us."
After a week of training camp, Gruden discussed the new rookies and how they were coming along.
"They're doing well. Aqib [Talib] is doing really well. A lot of life and energy in his legs. He's a playmaker. He helps us,” Gruden said. “Dexter Jackson is a little bit like Joey – most flights are canceled every day. For a head coach we wanted speed, and Galloway and Dexter Jackson have speed. We haven't seen it yet. It's frustrating, I think, from that standpoint. But Dexter's doing fine, he's learning the offense. I can't be more pleased with Jeremy Zuttah, cannot be more pleased. He's unflappable. He's doing an excellent job. For the rest of the class we've got a long way to go but they're working hard and we're seeing improvement."
After spending three seasons with quarterback Brett Favre in Green Bay, Gruden has enjoyed the constant updates of the story by the national media. Tampa Bay was rumored to be a likely destination for the future Hall of Famer, but the Bucs have not confirmed or denied interest in acquiring the veteran signal caller.
“Eighteen years I think I've been in the NFL and I think all 18 years Brett's been in the NFL. Something like that 17 years, not quite,” Gruden said. “It's quite a subject. There are a lot of people putting a lot of miles in flying around to get stories. Hopefully it resolves itself soon. It's a bizarre, unbelievable story, and I enjoy the coverage. I enjoy all the reporting that you guys have done, keeping me abreast as to what's happening, and up to speed. I like it."
Gruden also discussed why the Bucs hold family day every training camp.
"It is Family Day and it is a little over a week now that we've been here,” said Gruden. “I try to keep things in perspective. Family comes first. It's a great opportunity to reunite with the wives of the players and to meet some of the new girlfriends that we have here with some of our single bachelors. It's a family atmosphere here and we'd like to keep it that way. I think it's important that a man gets his space at some point and gets back to his family, and that's what we're doing this afternoon."
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