Coach, whats the word on Bidwell? Bucs in general?
"Starting right off with the injuries, we have Josh Bidwell, who won’t play this week, we’re still under evaluation for everything going on there. I’m going to tell you more information about Josh once I get a chance to talk with Todd [Toriscelli] and the rest of our medical staff and actually get a chance to sit down with those guys for a second. He won’t go this week.
Today, what we tried to do was more Tennessee preparation. We have a nickel blitz on defense, we have some short yardage on goal line on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball. We have some nickel blitz, we have some base blitz, we also had some two minute there at the end. Our two minute was a situation for the end of the half and possibly the end of the game, so I tried to get some realistic people who might be in that situation this week to go out there and execute some of their plays. But for the most part today’s practice was a Tennessee preparation deal, getting the guys ready for all of the situations that they might be involved in against Tennessee, just like yesterday afternoon."
Maybe next year have two punters?
"Again, I pride myself on it, not worrying about it and being mentally tough about it. We have one punter, we have to bring in some guys to compete, let some guys punt and deal with it that way. The same thing with the kicker, those things we can’t control, those things I can’t control. There was no sled that those guys had to hit, there were no tackling drills that they were involved in. You control what you can. Right now, I’m controlling the environment. I’m not going to let you guys go, ‘It was me because we have two guys hurt.’"
You threw a lot of blitzes at the offense, how did they hold up?
"Not bad. I put a lot of pressure on them. I don’t know if you guys noticed or not but that 40-second clock, I started it at 15 when they broke the huddle. That will put a little more urgency, a little more pressure on coordinators to call it, put some more pressure on our quarterbacks trying to make an adjustment. They don’t always get it, but if you can get it in 15 [seconds], you certainly can do it in 40 [seconds]. It’s kind of like my guy from the movie Dodgeball, ‘If you can catch a wrench, you can catch a ball.’ If they can get it in 15 seconds, we should be pretty good with 40 [seconds]. We won’t have delay of game penalties.
So we’re trying to get that tempo, that’s dealing with two minutes, that’s dealing with real live game situations. And you guys know as well as I do, in the game, you get caught up in emotions, the calls aren’t coming in time, people start looking at the sideline with signs of panic and get bad body language. I’m trying to eliminate that right now. Here is 15 seconds, here’s what we have to do, let’s go to the line of scrimmage, let’s get it up the field, let’s get our checks. Let’s give them whatever you’re going to give them. If we have to check the blitz, slot it this way or pick this guy up, great. If you’re going to throw hot off of him, then you better throw hot off of him because I have to hit you in the back on Saturday.
We didn’t miss a hot today but we didn’t throw it quick enough so you’re not going to get hit in the back with that one. But for the most part with the protection, the pickups and the nderstanding of the assignments, I’m very pleased."
How strong are all the units on this team?
"We’re so young. I wouldn’t call it a concern. It is more anxious to see them play. I want to see that young linebacker crew go. They have been exciting to me. To see Jermaine Phillips run around some of those goal line plays and make tackles and be just a blur at times. With the emergence of Quincy Black, [Adam] Hayward, Geno [Hayes] and Barrett [Ruud] leading this crew. Niko [Koutouvides] and Rod [Wilson], that’s a pretty exciting crew. They’re going to make it tough, they’re going to make it tough on all the Tampa fans. Who do you keep? Who are you going to keep? How does it fit best? Who plays special teams? Who doesn’t? All those things come into play, so I’m more anxious to see those guys play. I’m really excited to see our quarterbacks and this battle.
Those guys picking it up and understanding the system, being locked in and detailed and actually getting a chance to take those yellow jerseys off and letting them get hit a little. Who’s going to stand in the pocket and let them get hit a little? Who’s going to stand in the pocket and deliver the football? Who’s going to stand in there and make the check and get us into the right play and have a positive play? Who’s going to do all of those things? I’m pretty anxious to see all of those things. I wouldn’t call it a concern with anything because I’ve been seeing stuff I like, a lot of stuff I like. I’m just interested and anxious to see it."
A few years ago Gruden may have been forced to keep 4 QBs on the roster. How many will you keep?
"I see ourselves keeping three. I never want to rule anything out because you never know what happens. Like I told you guys before, you’re only allowed to keep 53 and if four quarterbacks are the best guys in that unit then I may have to do that. I may have to break those rules. You got to keep what’s best for your team however it works out. We have to keep the guys on our team that we believe are going to help us win. We have to do that."
Thats all for today! only a couple days to go bucs fans!