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Gruden Friday Quotes

Posted May 2, 2008 by The Tampa Tribune

Updated May 2, 2008 at 06:10 PM

Head Coach Jon Gruden

(On the first day of the rookie mini-camp)
“We had a nice beginning here to our mini-camp, a lot of new energy, a lot of new faces.”

(On if the young players were pressing)
“Well, there’s obviously a lot of pressing going on. It’s a tryout camp for a lot of guys. Right now with the mandated rule, the way I understand it you’re only allowed to bring 80 guys to camp. So throughout the NFL roster spots are at a premium, they’re hard to get, so guys do want to impress. I’m sure there is some pressing going on. At the same time, they’re learning a brand new system and meeting a lot of new faces. So this is tough. There’s no question – around the league, this is tough. But I did see some guys really do some good things today.”

(On how small-school players Josh Johnson and Dexter Jackson looked)
“Oh, it’s going to be a work in progress, but you see athletic ability. We’ve got a long way to go – that’s about the best way I can sum it up. But work will get done and it will take some time. They’re two good kids; I think they will continue to improve.”

(On how the rookies look in terms of being in shape)
“Well, we’ll see. You can only judge that based on the next couple of days. None of them are in the kind of shape they need to be in; I hope they understand that. It’s going to get a lot hotter here and the speed is going to really pick up. I think they understand that. But in fairness to a lot of these guys, they’ve been making a lot of travel circuits around the country, visiting with other teams. They’ve got a long way to go to get their conditioning; I say that every year.”

(On Aqib Talib)
“He made a couple of splash plays today. He’s obviously a very talented player. He’s just got to discipline himself in learning our defense and being able to apply the energy that he needs to apply on a daily basis.”

(On Talib standing out in terms of size)
“Yes he does. He has the measurables that I think everybody’s looking for at that position. He’s long and linear, he’s got quickness and natural coverage ability. I don’t want to say much more than that. He’s still got a long way to go to master the defense, but we have a good start. Between [Defensive Coordinator] Monte [Kiffin] and [Defensive Backs Coach] Raheem [Morris] he’s in good hands, I think.”

(On if there is more of a learning curve for players from small-school programs)
“Oh, I don’t know. You could say that maybe, but for all these guys it’s a big learning curve. Some of these guys are in a spread offense and have never even been in a twoback set. A lot of college football teams we study don’t even use a fullback, so for some of our linebackers to read a two-back set, it’s almost impossible to do. They’ve never done it. So you put it all into perspective. Obviously the level of competition in Division II or Division II or I-AA isn’t quite the caliber as what it is at some other places, but I think it’s all relative.”

(On what the team is looking for from a tryout player like USF WR Amarri Jackson)
“Well obviously we’re looking for a young guy that can make plays, number one. Number two, a guy that has some versatility to help us on special teams and be a guy that can play split end or flanker, a guy that can learn a couple positions. That’s what most guys, backups or young guys, have to do. Along the way, we’d like to see a guy that can reach up, grab the ball and make some plays.”

(On a logjam at receiver)
“I don’t know about the receiving corps, what the logjam is. We’ve got to establish ourselves at that position and it’s wide open right now. Joey Galloway obviously is the starter at split end but we’ve got a lot of competition everywhere else.”

(On Elbert Mack)
“I know he was a real productive guy, he’s quick and he was very overshadowed by [Leodis] McKelvin, maybe for obvious reasons. [McKelvin] was a heck of a player. But this young guy can make plays. In a zone scheme like ours he’s very effective. We think he has some talent.”

(On Tommy Blake)
“We want to just look at him. He’s had some well-documented ups and some well documented downs. But he’s a young guy and we want to look at him for ourselves and try to get all the evaluations done in our minds that we can, and give the kid an opportunity to present himself as a pro football player. We’ll judge our conclusions when we get them.”

(On if he threw the whole playbook at the rookies)
“No, not really. We introduced concepts, our base fronts, some base coverages on defense and some basic principles on offense, running and passing. To try to get 42 or 44 new faces on the same page, just understanding the snap count and getting the centerquarterback exchange can be challenging. But I was pleased with it today. The coaches did a great job getting their guys ready to play. Hopefully we can polish it up a little bit tonight and look better tomorrow.”

(On tryout players not having much time to impress)
“Well, you’re only allowed to have them so many days. We got in late Thursday night, we got them physicals, we got them a little information and we worked them hard today. We’ll try to do the same tomorrow and send them home hopefully a little bit sore. Hopefully we have gotten their attention.”

(On the players being eager to learn)
“There’s some real eagerness. The blend between your veteran players and your young players has always been unique. You’ve got to have a certain chemistry and these young guys have got to fit in. But they are eager to learn – bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as they say. It’s a little more fun to be around these guys; they’re not quite as grouchy as some of the veterans this time of year.”

Reader Comments

Por (Bruce Conley) on May 02, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I realey like Josh Johnson QB. He remind’s of a yong Mickel Vick whin he was in college,. and a quick draw like Bret Faire when was a rookey.I felt better about him than I did any of the other’s.

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Por (Dan) on May 02, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Bruce, you are right this kid just might surprise everybody.

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Por (Todd Smith) on May 02, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I’m with you guys on Josh Johnson. He is a dangerous threat to defenses. I watched a bunch of his highlights on Youtube. He is tough in the pocket. Under pressure, he hardly even flinches. He sees the field so well and can take off running in a heartbeat. I believe he might just be the Steal of the Draft. He is like a Mike Vick with brains, but much smoother and makes his passes. Oh ya, I think he is our guy, and will be the #2 QB by September. I sure hope so. I also like another back that the Pats just signed, Ben Jarvis Green Ellis. Maybe its the name, but he’s another tough kid.

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Por (SANDY FERNANDEZ) on May 03, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Not another ala VICK,please can someone just PASS the damn Ball!!

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Por (Bill Mac) on May 03, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Sandy, what r u afraid of?  He’s a 5th round pick.  If he turns out to be Vick minus the dog scandle and can handle Gruden’s system you will eat your words.  Lets give him at least two days in rookie camp before we get too jerky.  OK?
I guess if this kid got a speeding ticket he would be labeled as PACMAN instead of Vick? Right….

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Por (eugene downshaw) on May 03, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Josh will be a force one day but you guys wont see him on the field for anoter 3 or 4 yrs. And thats only if simms hasn’t won the job back which i belive he will be the number 2 this yr.

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Por (SANDY FERNANDEZ) on May 03, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Bill,I’m not questioning his charachter or speeding tickets or dog scandles,just a QB who can run an offense without trying to run 80yrd to 100yrds a game,they don’t last(injury)I’m not in the least comparing him to Pacman.Its just these running QB’S don’t seem to win often.Even Steve Young would run sometimes but he mostly played QB.Hey,if this kid turns out to be the real deal i will be the 1st to eat my words!!

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Por (Bill Mac) on May 03, 2008 (Suggest removal)

OK, I agree about the injuries but that happens to all QBs: simms, garcia, griese, McKown have all been on IR the past few seasons (I know griese was in chicago but he got hurt here).  It doesnt seem to be a function of their scrambling abilities but I think its the offensive scheme and its ability to protect the QB.
Bottom line: If used correctly this sort of offensive weapon will keep defensive coordinators awake at night.

Remeber: a fifth round pick.  Only time will tell.

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Por (steve) on May 04, 2008 (Suggest removal)

vick sucks sucked and is sucking.  he provided a great highlight reel and made some unbelievable plays but it didnt translate to wins. i hope this kid is nothing like vick other than his run ability.  pass first qbs get it done right and win championships.

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Por (Quentin) on May 04, 2008 (Suggest removal)

For what it’s worth, Johnson has a reputation for having a pass-first mentality. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t take off at the first sign of pressure, though. I prefer a QB who knows how to keep rushers at bad angles my moving around within the pocket, not a jittery scramble-happy guy who takes off running when simply taking one step forward would have allowed the tackle to push his man right past him. Hopefully, Johnson can develop into that kind of a player and only run when he truly needs to (or when the D is just asking for it).

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Por (Tommy) on May 04, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think Johnson is going to start sooner then everybody expects. He is probly going to need 2 yrs. then he’ll probly be ready to go. As long as we can get a QB that can get 10-15 yrds. at a time passing and thats mobile thats all we need. They say this kid can read the field well and has good speed. All we need is a smart QB. We don’t need a QB that throws 60 yrds down field to nobody except possibly the defender.

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Por (George Leslie Hicks) on May 05, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The more I look at what Tampa got in this year Draft. I don’t Rate them a C+, I’ll give theman A. Why not, There are a couple of reaches, But isn’t every playera reach. Plus some of these undrafted rookies coming in. All I can say Is some of the veterans that’s been on the Team more than 3 to 4 years. They could loose their jobs. I am looking forward to follow these rookies throughout the pre-season. And I think that after training camp I would take 4 qb’s into season. Garcia,Griese,Simms and Johnson. Then if Simms beats out Griese. Thats the NFL way of life. GO Bucs. Playoffs to the 2nd Round and Above. GO BUCS-BUC FAN SINCE 0&26. GLH

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