Gruden's view: Wednesday with the media
Jon Gruden (Getty Images)
Jon Gruden (Getty Images)

Posted Oct 1, 2008


Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden talked to the media on Wednesday about this weekend's game with the Denver Broncos. Read more below.

On injured players

"We'll have an update here in a little bit but Sabby Piscitelli has a sore elbow. He was not practicing but his status for the game is still up in the air. Davin Joseph did practice; his status is up in the air. Joey Galloway did not, B.J. Askew did not. Other than that, we had a couple guys like Warrick Dunn that are normally inactive on Wednesday inactive today."

On Warrick Dunn getting Wednesdays off

"That's part of our plan with him. He's had his own routine the last couple years and it's worked very well for him. I sure like the quickness and the playmaking that he's putting on our film so we're going to stay with our pattern. He's a real pro. He takes a lot of reps in the walk-through, he's great in the meetings and it gives our young backs like Michael Bennett and the other guys a chance to take some turns."

On if it's a challenge to get all the quarterbacks prepared

"We've used a lot of players already. Obviously Jeremy Zuttah and Byron Storer and Antonio Bryant -- a lot of guys have taken over right away as starters. That's part of practice. That's why you have practice."

On if Matt Bryant's Player of the Week Award was special

"It was very special. Obviously what occurred last week was just a terrible tragedy, and that's not going anywhere. The sorrow and disappointment and all those things are still devastating. But he won the games for us two weeks in a row with last-second field goals. We're really happy for him.

On playing in the high altitude in Denver

"It was challenging playing them out there because they were the two-time defending World Champions. It's always a challenge playing Denver, a Mike Shanahan-coached football team. This is a 3-1 team. People look at our schedule; it's a hard schedule. Forget about the altitude and the crowd noise and the beautiful stadium and the long trip -- they're a hell of a football team. They're 3-1 and they're coming off a tough loss. We're going to have to play a great game to beat them."

On the Broncos' offensive ranking and still giving up a lot of sacks

"You bring up the stats to me. Stats, they don't mean that much to me. I've had a lot of people bring stats up to me. They're a hell of a team. They beat San Diego at home, impressively. [Jay] Cutler's playing great. They have a creative attack. And defensively they've given up six or seven long plays but they've played pretty good in some other areas. They're 3-1 because they're a good team and they're well-coached and they're creative and diverse on both sides of the ball and they're talented."

On the Broncos always finding diamonds in the rough at running back

"Well, they do a great job, obviously, finding a back that fits their scheme and they surround that guy with good players. They've got a very good offensive line. They've always had very good quarterback play. And I can remember Rod Smith and [Ed] McCaffrey. I can remember now they've got Brandon Marshall and [Eddie] Royal. They're always talented. It's a credit to Coach Shanahan and the front office, and they style in which they play. We've got our own diamond here in the rough. His name is Earnest Graham."

On Earnest Graham as a man and a leader

"Well, they don't get any better. They just don't get any better. The Warrick Dunns, Derrick Brookses, [Ronde] Barbers, some of the guys we've been fortunate enough to have here and coach, the [John] Lynches, all those guys, high character guys -- this guys right there with them. He's a team guy. He plays fullback, tailback, he'll run down, he's begging to cover a kick. He's as happy for Warrick Dunn and his success as he is for his own. And boy is he talented. He's a hard guy to bring down. He was 4-4 in short-yardage last week against the Green Bay Packers. That says enough right there, what kind of hard-nosed runner he is. And he's showing big-time playmaking ability as well."

On if Graham gets better later in the game as he gets more carries

"That's been the case so far. We haven't done particularly well running the ball in the first half. I think he had eight carries for eight yards at halftime the other day. That's not because he's not running the ball or not because we're not trying. We used up seven or eight early downs to try to get the run established. We have to do a better job. We'd like to see Earnest start hot and finish with a bang; one of these days he will."

On if he and Brian Griese have worked on eliminating interceptions

"We're going to be okay, I think. He understands that he can't turn the ball over. He knows where I stand and he knows enough about the position, that that's critical to our success. We're going to try to move on. Fortunately we were able to win the football game. But, yeah, there are some things that we talked about and there are some things that we understand clearly. We're going to move on, now. We've got to get ready for another game."


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