Gruden Speaks….About Everything


(On the mental makeup of Jeff Garcia in regards to the constant rumors about Brett Favre)

“You know what, I don’t know what we’re talking about,” Gruden said. “I’m so tired of it, really. He’s one of the most mentally-tough human beings I’ve been around. If you know Jeff Garcia, you know what I’m talking about.  I really don’t think this is worth talking about, personally. He’s doing a great job as he always does.  He’s one of the most mentally-tough guys I’ve ever met and I’ll leave it at that.”

(On the wide receivers as a whole)
“I’m really impressed. Granted, it’s early and we haven’t played deep into training camp, but the versatility that these guys are showing is very impressive. With Galloway out, guys have stepped up. Paris Warren is playing well. Antonio Bryant is a good receiver. Maurice Stovall has been impressive. Really, from top to bottom, any guy you want to talk about has done a nice job for us. Hopefully it continues.”

(On if he’s seeing more speed and quickness from Michael Clayton)
“Yep, I sure do. That’s a 208-pound man right now and he’s running all kinds of routes. You see him as an outside receiver, he’s working the slot, he’s playing three different positions and he’s been very, very good to this point in training camp. That’s what we’ve talked about, just string days together and if he does that we all know he’s a heck of a football player. We like what we see so far.”

(On Donte Nicholson and Sabby Piscitelli making big plays)
“Yeah, they sure did. We’re trying strategically on our scripts to not only work the offense, but as the head coach you try to take a good look at this player here and that player there. So Monte Kiffin and I meet early, early in the morning and try to get what we need to see not only from a scheme standpoint but to try to put some players in vulnerable, playmaking positions. And we have very good safeties here that can cover grass in a hurry. That’s a strength of our football team right now. Phillips is playing great and Tanard Jackson, I think, could be one of the game’s best safeties. I believe that.”

(On the other safeties like Piscitelli playing well)
“That’s the way it is. We’ve got competition at every position and hopefully he continues to do what he’s doing. Who says we can’t play three safeties at a time? Other teams have played dime defense here and there. He’ll work his way onto the field if he keeps doing what he’s doing.”

(On how the offensive line improved in 2007)
“They blocked better. They executed their assignments better and they were much more physical than we’ve been. And to be honest with you, we had continuity really from left guard to right tackle for most of the year, with the exception of [Luke] Petitgout. They’re very accountable, physical guys and they have a lot of pride.”

(On if the current O-Line is one of the best in team history)
“No, I wouldn’t go that far. We’ll get what we deserve. I like to keep it that way. Offensive linemen – the last thing you want to do is let these guys get their own press agents and have their own little world of compliments. We like to yell at them and keep them normal. They regulate the team. They’re regular guys and they get no credit for anything.”

(On Matt Bryant’s camp)
“He’s been awesome. He’s putting it between the goal posts. I even saw him punt the ball inside the three today. He’s really been good and we feel great about both our specialists – Josh Bidwell. And obviously [Andrew] Economos is a key there, too. He shoots it back there with good time and accuracy.”