Cato June said going from Tony Dungy to Jon Gruden won’t be much of a problem.
During his recent appearance on the NFL Network, June talked about the obvious differences between the Indianapolis head coach — and former Buccaneers head coach — and his new coach, Tampa Bay’s current head man.
“Dungy is a mild mannered guy, calm,” June said. “Gruden is less of a quiet storm. He’s energetic, talks a lot and that’s his style. I’ve been coached both ways. My high school and college coaches were loud. Both ways have been effective. I’m a high energy guy myself.”
Tampa Bay signed June away from the world champion Indianapolis Colts in March, inking him to a three-year, $12 million deal. Leaving, he admits, was difficult, and that came into focus during a recent trip back to Indianapolis when he received his Super Bowl ring.
“It was tough,” June said. “You build relationships with those guys for four years. You go through the grind together, you go through the ups and downs. You go from everyone saying you’re going to win it (the Super Bowl) and not doing it, to everyone saying you can’t get the job done. I have to let that go now and move on to better things in Tampa.”
June is slated to compete for the starting strong side linebacker job with Ryan Nece. At 6-foot, 227 pounds, June is considered a bit undersized for that position. But his larger role appears to be that of Derrick Brooks’ eventual replacement on the weak side.
Brooks is entering his 13th NFL season and is signed through 2009. June is eager to pick Brooks’ brain this season.
“You have a guy that has consistently done it for years,” June said. “He’s been to — what — 10 Pro Bowls. He probably has 20 or 30 picks (24 career interceptions). To me, someone in my position, I’ll be able to learn a lot by the way he prepares and studies. Seeing what works for him hopefully will elevate my game.”
June also talked about a few other Bucs-related issues:
On quarterback Jeff Garcia: “I’ve played against Jeff and he’s a great leader. He’s a quarterback that will go out there and get the job done. He doesn’t give the ball away a lot and that’s a great asset.”
On first-round pick Gaines Adams: “He’s a hard worker. Gruden has said a lot about our rookie class and he’s (Adams) one of the big guys. He’s humble. He came in ready for work. Everyone is just anxious to go out there and play better and win some games.”
On the transition from Indianapolis’ version of the Cover 2 to Tampa Bay’s version: “The language is different. Learning those different calls and signals for the defenses is the big thing. The Tampa 2 in Tampa, we do a lot more than we did in Indianapolis. That aspect of it I have to learn, but there’s just slight differences. I can adjust because it’s the same defense.”
On Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl chances: “I think we’re right were he need to be going into camp. We’re focused and we have a lot of talent on both sides. It’s about going out there and consistently winning each week — and that come January you’re playing your best football.”
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.