on injured players
Brian Kelly did not participate today. Greg White and Barrett Ruud were limited today. And Michael Pittman will not play in the game, that is for sure.
on signing Zack Crockett
Well, we lost a couple backs. We'd already lost Mike Alstott, and Michael Pittman was a guy that not only played halfback but fullback. So Zack Crockett gives us a guy who could obviously fill in should something happen to B.J. [Askew]. He's also a guy that has carried the ball, and we're happy to have him here. He's got to learn a lot of things quick, get reacquainted with what we do here, but he's an NFL veteran player who has played fullback and halfback and contributed on special teams. And he does have some system background here, so we're going to try to make him a quick study and get him ready to play.
on if Crockett's role is more halfback or fullback
Both. His role is both. And it's a triple role – fullback, tailback, special teams.
on if he feels good about Earnest Graham and Kenneth Darby
Yeah. I feel like Earnest Graham's a very good football player. Ken Darby's going to get an opportunity, and obviously for a young back at this stage of his career it's a great challenge. But opportunity only knocks so many times and you've got to answer the door. Ken Darby is going to do that for us.
on how big a plus it was to bring in a player who had been in his offense before
It's a plus. We play Sunday, so if he had no background it would have been awfully difficult to get him ready to play. Sometimes you have to account, even though you don't want to, for the possibility of someone getting ill the night before a game, somebody possibly turning an ankle on Friday or Thursday. There are not a lot of people out there that have the background that this guy has. And Derrick Brooks insisted that we bring in another Florida State Seminole. Derrick had a lot to do with this.
on what he thinks Chris Simms' future holds
I think he's a young guy with talent. He's got to get himself centered and squared away physically where he can go out confidently and compete again. Until he does, obviously he's got work to do.
on Tennessee's defense
They are rugged. They've got Albert Haynesworth and it looks like Albert Haynesworth is playing better than he's ever played. He is a great football player, a totally disruptive player. [Kyle] Vanden Bosch is a great player; [Keith] Bullock is at the top of his game. He leads the league among all linebackers in interceptions. These guys are very good. They're physical, they're diverse – they're complete on defense. They have the whole package. They can rush the passer, they can mix up zones and perimeter pressures, and they can all tackle. They handled Atlanta pretty well last week. They played extremely well in a big win in the dome against the Saints. And they took the Indianapolis Colts to the wire. So it will be a great opportunity for us to see where we are.
on if Gruden is comfortable giving Askew carries
Yeah. Yeah, I do. I'm confident in B.J. He had a good camp and he's a good football
player. If he gets the opportunity to carry it, I know he'll be excited about it.
on Albert Haynesworth being so big
Usually when we play against Tennessee, we all get to the stadium and go out early just to watch him walk around. He's every bit of 6-5, he's really a great player and a former Volunteer, I might add.
on how Vince Young has improved
He's only been in the league for two years. No mistake – the Titans are 3-1 now and they won six straight to end the season or whatever it was last year. They won a lot of games at the end of the season. They're the real deal right now. Vince Young is coming on. Norm Chow deserves a lot of credit. You see moments where maybe he wishes he had a throw here or there back, but he's not afraid to pull the trigger. And when all hell breaks loose and he's got to create with his legs, there's nobody like him that I know. He's a winner.
on if Jeremiah Trotter might get into the mix on defense
Well, there's that possibility. Barrett Ruud was limited today. It's good to have Jeremiah here. He's learning our defense. He's been a leader in the clubhouse and he's in the bullpen. He's ready to go if needed.
on if the Bucs will continue to search for help at running back
We might be searching right now. It's just that ‘searching' and ‘collecting' are two different issues. You can search all you want, but there are not a lot of teams in football that are willing to part ways with good runners and good players."
Here is the complete transcript from Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden's post-practice press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007, including comments about Zach Crockett, Chris Simms and Vince Young:
Jon Gruden Transcript — Oct. 10