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Clayton To Start? Don’t Be So Sure

Posted Sep 18, 2008 by Roy Cummings

Updated Sep 18, 2008 at 03:28 PM

TAMPA - Don’t go penciling Michael Clayton into the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Chicago just yet.

During his post-practice press conference on Thursday, Bucs coach Jon Gruden sounded none too pleased with Clayton’s claim that he expects to start in place of Joey Galloway against the Bears.

“I understand a couple of players have already spoken that [Galloway is] not going [to play], but I’ll make that decision,’’ Gruden said. “And I’ll decide who starts, too. As along as I have the title as head coach here I’ll do that. The decisions we’ve made here, whether it be at the quarterback position or at flanker is going to be based on performance and we’ll leave it at that.’’

Gruden was obviously making reference to Clayton’s claim Wednesday that he has been told he’ll start Sunday’s game at flanker. Clayton also said Antonio Bryant is expected to start at Galloway’s split end spot, but it appears those decisions have yet to be made.

As we told you earlier, Galloway did not practice on Thursday and his status for this week’s game seems questionable at best. It’s possible, though, that he could still play.

In other injury news, LB Derrick Brooks and CB Aqib Talib are questionable for the game as well. Both were limited in practice on Thursday. The likelihood is both will play, but we’ll leave it to Gruden to make that call.


Reader Comments

Por (George L Hicks) on September 18, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Well I agree with the Coach. Clayton thought he would start. Well there are other WR on the roster. Besides He may dress 3 running backs. DUNN,GRAHAM and BENNETT. He has to realized that those running backs can also move to a slot back/wr position. I think Dunn and Bennett are two excellance ball catchers. Besides we do have KR/WR Dexter Jackson also. Plus there will be some great WRers coming out of colleges who operate a pro type offense. GO BUCS

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Por (Don Jackson) on September 18, 2008 (Suggest removal)

If Clayton was told he was starting and wasn’t told to keep it quiet, then Gruden has no right to whine about this.  If, however, Clayton wasn’t told he was starting or was told to keep it out of the media, then Gruden has every right to be irked.

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Por (Sam Shukovsky) on September 18, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Lets face it, Gruden does not have many good options despite all the receivers he has collected.  Bryant in all the games drops as many as he catches.  Galloway cannot stay healthy.  HIllard is getting old.  Clayton has yet to get out of Gruden’s doghouse.  Who does that leave?  A hurt Stovall and a rookie on the roster.  The roster is bare and Gruden can say what he wants, but he really does not have many options right now at WR.

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Por (tatmanfish) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

i didnt hear what clayton said, but from what been published here he said that he was getting starter reps. never specificly, did he say he was starting on sun. he also said that bryant had been getting a lot of starting reps as well. it somewhat implies they will start but it was not definative. either tbo didnt publish all the juicy parts(unlikely,they love controversy) or the media is making more out of it than they sould by reading into his comments. either way i hope whoever starts shows up to play and catches passes thrown to them.

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Por (James) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The team will be better without Galloway.  He has speed to be sure, but nothing else.  He quits on plays, too many plays.  He is over rated in my opinion.  Jackson seems scared to be hit, he adds nothing.  Let’s see someone new at WR.  Let’s give someone else a shot, we might find another Graham in the process.

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Por (MrNegative1) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

When will Bucs players stop talking to the media.  Of course, our media will crucify Gruden for his statement of “title of coach”, especially a certain DAWG who will rail against “ruining Mikey”.

BUCS PLAYERS: Shut-up.  Use cliches with the media, reveal nothing of injury or gamplean, and you’ll get along better with the coach.

Take a lead from Mr. Brooks, when asked about his injury made light of it and wouldn’t give an answer to anyone…...

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Por (Joe) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The title of this article should be “Clayton to Drop? Be sure!”
Why that fatass,hypocritical Duemig has a job in this town is beyond me. Who the heck is paying this guy to trash the home team on the airwaves everyday?I just don’t get it. Fire the stupid jerk already. Stop listening to him people. He is a clueless, self opinionated,jerk who ruthlessly trashed Stevens character and then got a DUI the station and tell them you’ve had enough of that ignorant fool.NONE of us know what goes on behind closed’s the coaches JOB to make those decisions.I know Gru has a way of rubbing some players the wrong way by belittling them, but he has my full support as a coach and i haven’t forgotten the Trophy he delivered for us.

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Por (Michael Harris) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

<b>GOOD FOR GRUDEN!</b>  These frickin primmadonnas who haven’t performed up to their potential or their high priced first round draft pick, need to be humbled; and realize this is a team sport. The Championship Teams, such as the Bucs in 2002/03, were a Team that played together. Clayton should look at himself and his own motives to determine if he’s ON the team; or content to collect splinters with Garcia, because of the wrong mental attitude.

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Por (BigBucFan) on September 19, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Michael, I agree with everything you said & Mr Negative truly sums it up. Why would a coach want to tip an opponent. Never give your enemy information they can use against you. Player’s comments are often taken out of context and spun by Reporters. Gruden needs to Gag the players during the week, & give media access after games only. This Problem was Created by the Media & they should pay for being irresponsible. As a Customer(reader) of TBO, they are out of touch with our needs. Remember who your helping & who your hurting when you report. Everything comes with a price.

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Por (Kurt) on September 20, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I still like the kid from Tampa. He played very well in the preseason and has size and speed! I believe he’s on the practice squad; bring him up!

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