Redskins head coach Jay Gruden joined the Buccaneers media in Tampa for a conference call on Wednesday and spoke about the challenge trying to cover the Bucs receivers, his adjustment from offensive coordinator to head coach and more. Read the full transcript of the conference call right here.
(On the potential problems presented by Tampa Bay wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and how much he would like to have that tandem for himself)
“They’re obviously great. Both of them are explosive and big, physical guys that can do damage after the catch. A lot of teams have one guy that’s a big, physical guy. You can deal with one sometimes, but obviously Tampa has two of them so that’s a little bit different. Both of them are good and explosive and really make great plays on the ball. When the ball’s in the air, they do a great job at high point and back shoulders – very difficult to contend with. Luckily for us, we’ve got some corners that are pretty good size. [David] Amerson is right around six-foot, [Bashaud] Breeland is right around six-foot, so hopefully we can contest some throws.”
(On how much Evans has improved this season as a rookie)
“He’s getting better every week. He seems more comfortable in the offense. I had the privilege of coaching at Cincinnati with some very young receivers: Marvin Jones and A.J. Green. When you have young receivers, sometimes early in a season – it just takes them a while [with] the feeling out process, getting confidence in them and the routes and the concepts and all that stuff, and once the season goes on, the more they play, the better they get – especially the great ones like Mike. So he’s just going to continue to get better and better, and the more confident and the more comfortable he is with the concepts and the plays and the quarterback, the better he’s going to get.”
(On adjusting as a head coach after being an offensive coordinator)
“I just think when you come from being an offensive coach strictly, obviously you’re just focusing on that part of the game, but now you have to put your hand in a little bit of everything with the special teams and the training room and equipment room and defense – a little bit more involved in all aspects of what’s going on with scheduling. So it’s a lot more on your plate, that’s for sure, where you can’t just hone in on one side of the ball like you can as a coordinator. But luckily, I’ve hired a pretty good staff of people that I can rely on to do their job and I do a pretty good job of delegating and letting coaches coach and other people doing their jobs and if I have to step in, I will. But so far, that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a pretty smooth transition so far. Our record doesn’t show it, but we’re moving along pretty good.”
(On how quarterback Robert Griffin III has handled his transition of becoming more of a pocket passer)
“There’s a fine line. He’s the quarterback that has to make those decisions and we have to live with them. You can’t tell a guy – you can’t pull back the reins and say, ‘Hey, stay in the pocket all the time.’ It kind of defeats the purpose of having a guy like that – an athletic guy that can run and get outside the pocket, work some read options, some of that stuff that really make him who he is. Unfortunately for us, I’ve only had him for nine quarters in the regular season. He played the game against Houston, one quarter against Jacksonville and then the game against Minnesota. So we’re still working with him very closely with his footwork and fundamentals and trying to get to know the plays that he’s comfortable with and the plays that he likes so we can really execute. And that takes the most time: just getting a feel for what he’s most comfortable with. But as far as him running and all that stuff, he understands that he’s the franchise quarterback and he has to protect himself, but he also understands that sometimes plays have to be made and risks have to be taken – it’s just part of the position.”
(On how he differentiates and makes evaluations among quarterbacks Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy)
“Well we made the evaluations pretty early during OTAs and training camp. We felt very strongly that Robert was the starter. When he went down, we felt pretty good about where Kirk was with his experience that he got last year – he played the last four or five games and did some good things, and did some good things in training camp, so we felt very strongly he was No. 2, and then we got Colt in as a free agent who’s a veteran-type player with the West Coast offense and the terminology, so we felt very good about our quarterback situation from a depth perspective. And obviously Robert goes down and you go with Kirk, and Kirk did some really good things. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over too much and were brutal on third down, so I thought Colt deserved an opportunity to play and he took advantage of it against Tennessee and against Dallas, and when Robert got healthy again, we just had to go back to our Robert because we felt like he was the quarterback that gave us the best chance to win, period, and he was healthy. So fortunately, we have three good quarterbacks; unfortunately, Robert had an injury and kind of stopped his development a little bit. But now we’re just trying to get him back in there where we can see what we have at that position and feel good about it moving forward.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
I think Colt McCoy would be a good pick up for the Bucs, if he is available in the spring. If the Bucs draft a QB, he would be a better stop gap measure to start the season than what we have now. Yes we have tall receivers, but we can’t get them the ball with the Oline underperforming. I am disappointed to this point in ASJ. I thought we would target him down the seam, like we see with Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, The Gronk and others. It seems he never gets the ball in stride, in fact that is a problem on most throws, I just don’t see any timing passes, which is the bread and butter of successful teams. Get it together Bucs, YAK is the key. I want more YAK!
Our Defense is my concern. Can’t we find some DE’s off a PS from some other team and give them a shot? How can Johnson be so restricted with a hand problem PewterReportMC? Do you know which hand it is and what is the issue with it?
Horse I know they have looked everywhere for additional help, including other team’s practice squads. As far as the hand, I am not sure, they have been hush hush with specifics on injury and I haven’t seen him in open locker room lately. He was a full go today so it must not be to serious.
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