What follows are a couple notable quotes from Head Coach Jon Gruden throughout the week:
Coach Gruden on Graham playing better late in games:
"That’s been the case so far. We haven’t done particularly well running the ball in the first half. 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." – Jon Gruden per the Tampa Tribune
It’s funny Gruden would say he’d like to see Graham start hot ‘one of these days’, because Earnest Graham started ULTRA HOT against the Saints in week one and Gruden still ignored him by calling 41 pass plays for his inaccurate and not-into-it QB in Jeff Garcia. The first half run production has been stymied in recent weeks, but that can also be attributed to facing run stingy defenses in Chicago and Green Bay.
I think it’s hilarious that Beat Writers continue to ask Gruden about helping Brian Griese eliminate his interceptions. It’s what the guy does. He’s done it his entire career. It’s the reason he’s Brian Griese, a journeyman Quarterback. There’s no solution to his problem. You can only hope the team’s successes outweigh his short comings and thus far they have. It’s the reason half of the fan base is clamoring for Jeff Garcia, they know ‘Three interceptions and Buccaneers Win’ do not and will not go hand in hand forever. Don’t think I’m knocking the beat writers as they do a fantastic job disseminating information to the fan base, it’s just a silly question to ask. Moving on...
Gruden on his team’s success and the key to sustaining it:
"We got a good football team. That’s a credit to these guys. We’re overcoming a lot right now. Without Davin Joseph, without Joey Galloway and without B.J. Askew, that’s a big chunk of key playmakers on offense. Obviously, Brian Griese playing quarterback for us has been a change. We’ve won three straight games. We’ve beaten some pretty darn good football teams and we’re excited about that. There are things we have to clean up to continue to improve and if we can do that we’ll hang around. If we continue to turn the ball over, it will be a tough year for us" – Jon Gruden per the Tampa Tribune
There’s been a lot of questioning of Gruden’s decision to sit Jeff Garcia. Initially I thought it was due to the phantom ankle injury he sustained against the Saints. I still think and abide by the idea that Garcia did not give 110% against the Saints in Week 1 and Gruden saw that and made an example out of Garcia. Gruden even said in those quotes above that the team has prospered even with player a, b, and c being injured. Player A, B, and C do not consist of Jeff Garcia. Gruden will have a tough and telling decision to make when (it’s not ‘if’) Griese officially loses games because of his propensity to the throw the game killing interception.
Gruden on potentially using Dexter Jackson on offense:
" Yeah I am eager to get Dexter Jackson in the mix, the Joey Galloway speed aspect we would like to have. I am proud of our receivers; I think they are doing a good job." – Jon Gruden per the Tampa Tribune
There is a Football God! I’ve been clamoring for DJax to see the field on offense since Week 1; I’m over joyed with the thought of him getting an opportunity on offense at some point this season. My guess is it happens after our bye week. At that point we will have completed the toughest stretch of our season match-up wise. Hang in there DJax!
Ready for the exchange of the day? Gruden was asked who the 2nd String QB against the Broncos was by a reporter. Here’s his response:
Gruden: "Don’t’ know that,’’ he said. "We’ll make that decision when we get to the stadium. But does it matter to you?"
Reporter: "Yeah, if it didn’t matter we wouldn’t ask. It matters to the fans."
Gruden: "Ok, we’ll let you know on Sunday. We don’t have any quarterback controversy at all. But Jeff is getting well and we’re excited about that." - exchange per the Tampa Tribune
Damn what a cop out by that reporter, ‘it matters to the fans’. Are you serious? Maybe I’m out of touch with the fan base, but I don’t think anybody gives a damn about who this team’s 2nd string Quarterback is. Jeff Garcia was the 3rd string Quarterback last week, did anybody care? The Media? Nope. The fan base? Nope. What a mess. Brian Griese please play flawless in the Mile High air Sunday afternoon. These Quarterback questions are getting ridiculous and they’re not even directed at me. Why not ask who’s backing up the place holder on field goals? I’m sure the fans care about that as well. Chucky does bring it upon himself though by insinuating that Garcia is recovering from some type of injury with his ‘Jeff is getting well and we’re excited about that’ type of comments.
Maybe I’m wrong and overreacting, do you care who this team’s 2nd string QB is? Would you rather have Jeff Garcia under center? Let’s hear it…