The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a mixed outing in Sunday's morning practice. The Bucs enjoyed the return of center Jeff Faine to practice, and missed five players who sat out with injury. Starting quarterback Jeff Garcia (calf strain), wide receiver Joey Galloway (groin), defensive tackle Jovan Haye (groin), fullback B.J. Askew (ankle) missed practice again and were joined by receiver Antonio Bryant (knee).
"[Bryant] had a little swelling of the knee," said Gruden. "He's going to be day-to-day. We expect him back tomorrow if not the next day.
"[Garcia] is doing a lot better. Jovan Haye looks a lot better. We are pleased with number one that they aren't serious injuries, and number two, the progress they've made. Their return will be probably be in the next few days to a week. We'll let you know on that. We do like the progress that's being made, they are much better today."
Galloway is expected to make his training camp debut tomorrow. On Saturday, Gruden declared Monday for Galloway's return, and did not know of any changes as of Sunday morning.
"I get my six page report on Joey here at lunch," Gruden said. "We'll update you when we know more. He does feel a lot better. That is all I can say. He is very close to returning and we're excited about it."
Gruden seemed unhappy with some of the mistakes made in practice. At the end of the session, he had the players run 53-yard gassers (sprints) across the field to help highlight the need to improve their play.
"Yeah we had some dropped passes early," Gruden said. "We're looking for guys who can catch it. I thought Brian Griese did a heck of a job today in the blitz period. There was some good things don't get me wrong, but we've got to catch the ball."
When Gruden was asked about the running at the end of practice, he talked about what else contributed to the players having to do the gassers.
"There are four major infractions that really compile almost 60 percent of all penalties," said Gruden. "That is offsides, illegal procedure, and personal fouls [are among the four]. To me those are three penalties that you can control as a football team and as a football player. We jumped offsides on our own foot line. It was a couple of reminders, I think. After the family day – and they got to sleep in – then get a little conditioning."
Bucs starting left guard Arron Sears indicated that the gassers were a punishment for the sloppy practice.
"The last time I ran gassers was probably my junior year at Tennessee," said Sears. "Definitely we were in trouble, today wasn't one of our best practices. Coach wanted to let us know that by running gassers, and he definitely got our attention. We've got to come back tomorrow or later this afternoon and be able to step it up at practice.
"He came out and said it himself. There were a couple of mistakes that he wanted to get everybody's attention and that was his way of getting everybody's attention by running gassers."
While the mistakes were bothersome to Gruden, he also elaborated on the positive play from Griese on Sunday.
"I really like [Griese]," Gruden said. "He did a heck of a job today. He came in during the blitz period and he understands protections where to go with the ball and when to get rid of it. I've been pleased with his progress and where he is right now and the things that he's doing."
Griese was traded back to the Buccaneers in March and has got reacquainted with Gruden's playbook. Griese is battling quarterback Luke McCown for the backup quarterback spot behind Garcia.
"I feel great," said Griese. "I came in March and I had an opportunity to get into the playbook and learn it from cover to cover, so I've been able to come to camp where I didn't have to learn as much and just react and explode. I'm at that point where I feel comfortable in running all parts of the offense."
BRYANT AND HIS WIFE NAMED FLORIDA'S MARCH OF DIMES VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH The March of Dimes, Florida Chapter, named Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant and wife Melissa as the volunteers of the month. The Bryants chaired the Tampa General Hospitals Unmask a Miracle Poker Run, and serving on other committees and being an Ambassador to the Tampa Bay area. Since the start of last season, the March of Dimes has received $25,000 through the fundraising of the Bryants.
KING'S DAY Sports Illustrated's Peter King was in attendance for Sunday morning's practice. After practice he met with Gruden and quarterback Chris Simms. King will be doing his Postcards from Camp feature discussing the Buccaneers soon.
QUOTES OF THE DAY Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the play of the defensive line:
"Well we are trying to find the front four, the starters," Gruden said. "We're seeing who can play inside who can play outside, and what our best nickel rush combination is. We are trying to give these guys as many opportunities to rush as possible. It is a work in progress right now. We got some competition. With that being said we're going to continue to see who fits where the best. We got a lot of answers to get."
QUOTE OF THE DAY II Tampa Bay defensive end Gaines Adams on high expectations for him in 2008:
"The one thing with me is I don't want anybody to be able to say I wasn't worth the fourth pick. Everyday I come out and work hard and try to do things I need to do to improve my game. Obviously where I was drafted at, it comes with a lot of high expectations. At the beginning it wasn't going my way, but I worked through it and things came out a little on top for me. You want to show [your teammates] that you can play just as much as you want to show the coaches. But you have to earn respect from the players and that comes from making plays."
QUOTE OF THE DAY III Bucs quarterback Luke McCown on his push for playing time:
"I know I can be a starting quarterback. That is what I'm pushing for."
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