Gruden Quotes

A TBO.com wire report
Published: Oct 15, 2004
October 15, 2004

(On if Ellis Wyms practiced)
''Yes. He'll be okay.''

(On other injured players)
''[Shelton] Quarles returned to practice today. We shortened practice obviously because of the weather but we think he's going to be okay, also.''

(On if Chris Simms could play)
''He's doubtful. I don't know what doubtful is; they say it's a 25 percent chance [he'll play], so I'd probably say very doubtful. There's less of a percentage chance of that until he can throw the ball. Obviously that's a big criteria we're looking for at that position.''

(On the week of practice)
''I've seen this team practice hard throughout the season. We've got a great group of guys here and we had a good week of practice.''

(On if he expects any lineup changes)
''I'm sure there will be some changes based on the health of the team. We've got a new starting quarterback – that's quite a change in itself. We'll see where Shelton Quarles here is in the next 48 hours. We'll see. There might be some changes. We'll see how that shakes itself out.''

(On if he is contemplating a lineup change)
''No, not really. We've played a lot of guys. The health of the team, how we rotate, who the opponent is, what package – obviously, we always tweak that.''

(On Jeff Gooch)
''It was a great performance by Jeff Gooch. It may have been understated by some of the coaches and some of the fans of the Bucs. He went in there and made nine tackles, played extremely well. It's great to have him back.''

(On what about the Rams brings out the best in the Bucs defense)
''It's pretty well-documented that they're as good an offensive team as there's been in football in the last five or six years. And there are some people out there who think our defense is pretty darn good, too. I think that brings out the best in both teams. You like to go against the best – I know they do and I know we do.''

(On the turf in St. Louis)
''What they do there is they have a staff of about 20 people that light it with gasoline and slick it with oil. That's the fastest surface there is. I can see these guys running real fast on it. It's a suped-up track, man.''

(On playing on turf)
''If you're drafting for your team, and you're an Astroturf team, you're going to play eight games of the season on an indoor surface, well-lit, no wind, 73 degrees Fahrenheit, you're probably going to accumulate some players to make it happen. I can remember talking to Napoleon Kaufman when we went to play a game on Astroturf. I'd call him on Monday morning and say, ‘Hey, Napoleon, how you doing today?' There's a certain edge that speed gets. When you work a player out for the draft, did he run that time on grass or Astroturf; that's one of the first questions you ask. Normally you're faster on Astroturf than grass.''

(On most teams switching to Astroturf)
''I believe everybody, just about, has gone with that FieldTurf. But if I was them, I'd stay with that slicked-up turf that they have. It works for them. I'm just being sarcastic; I'm not trying to stir anything up.''

(On kickoff coverage in New Orleans)
''We didn't just tackle a guy inside the 20. We tackled the premier man at that position. I was as impressed as I've been with that aspect of our team anywhere I've been at any time in my life. We had three or four great downs, and it was everybody. Right after Ronde Barber scooped-and-scored, he makes the tackle. Torrie Cox makes a great play. When we get four or five hats to the ball on other occasions is truly a tribute to Rich [Bisaccia] and certainly to the kind of players that we're sending down there.''

(On needing the same sort of effort against the Rams)
''There's no question, we're going to need a great effort. Obviously, Torrie Cox gave us a lift when he made a key play in our return game to help us win that game the other day.''

(On if Torrie Cox might get a shot at punt returns)
''Maybe. Maybe at some point. We've tried everybody else.''

(On if Tim Brown will still handle the punt returns)
''Yeah, Brown will do that and we've got some other guys who are working into that role. Torrie's one of those guys.''

(On whether ‘momentum' is overrated or underrated)
''Momentum's good to have, period, whether you're playing football or doing whatever. It's a good thing, a good thing to have. That will be part of the game; both teams have a little momentum. But when the ball is snapped and the whistle begins play it's Rams-Bucs. We'll see what happens.''

(On having an extra day of preparation)
''We got burned a little bit today. We had more of a walk-through today than anything, so you can throw that out as an advantage. I've always felt that the extra day of preparation is a positive thing, if you use the day properly. You don't want to wear your team out, but you might be able to get a backup quarterback some extra reps. Maybe a rookie flanker deserves some reps. Maybe you get an opportunity to work on some contingency plans a little bit. I think it's an advantage.'' (On Charles Lee getting yards after the catch)
''That's why he's here. That's one of the reasons he made our team. That's one of the reasons why he's playing. I don't care what offense you're in, you have to be able to make some yardage after the catch. Otherwise, it's going to be a long day, you know. He has generated some after-the-catch for us, and that's something he brings to the table. He takes pride in that. His size is a factor, his strength is a factor and his instinctive-ness is a factor. So, yeah, he brings that to the table.''