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Gruden's Thoughts on The Top Players of the draft.

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  • Gruden's Thoughts on The Top Players of the draft.

    PHOENIX - Jon Gruden was on his second cup of coffee at the NFC coaches' breakfast Wednesday morning at the Arizona Biltmore Resort by the time a question hanging in the cool desert air finally snapped him awake.

    Is it harder picking players in the top five of the NFL draft?

    "I'd rather pick No. 1 and do whatever I want," Gruden said. "Why would it be harder?"

    Gruden might have to wait until the Bucs pick fourth overall next month, but it's clear he would prefer not to. It's also becoming more obvious the player Tampa Bay would consider moving up for is Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson.

    Like many teams, the Bucs were blown away by Johnson's pro day workout March 15 in Atlanta.

    "You put his body on at the combine and you have this big guy looking at you on the big screen with his shirt off and he's chiseled and he's 6-5 and 240 pounds and he runs 4.36 for us," Gruden said. "Then he jumps 11-7 and he's mad as hell at himself. I've been doing this 16 years and I've never seen 11-7, especially from a 6-5, 240-pound guy. Then he jumps 44 1/2 inches and he's mad as hell, he thinks he should've gotten 47. And he's a great kid. He'll look you in the eye and he wants to be good. Everybody you talk to at Georgia Tech says that's a good kid right there, that Calvin Johnson. He's going to be a great player.

    "I think the next couple weeks when we get all the information and do all the behind-the-scenes, one-on-one work on these guys, there's a chance. You go and you get a private day with two or three of these guys, and there's a lot to learn when you work out a guy privately. But there's a chance we could move up."

    During a one-hour interview, Gruden basically professed his affection for each player projected to go in the top five.

    He compared the strength of LSU junior quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the savvy of Notre Dame senior Brady Quinn. He even said Adrian Peterson might be the "best back I've ever seen coming out of college."

    And, yes, he made a case for taking the Oklahoma junior, even though the Bucs drafted Cadillac Williams high in 2005.

    "Well, you never know. Look at the teams to win," he said. "You're looking at Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney. You look at Thomas Jones and (Cedric) Benson or Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai. This is an important trait. If you're going to run the ball 35 or 40 times a game, there's a lot of love to spread around if you've got two great backs."

    While Johnson didn't play in a pro-style offense, he demonstrated an ability to run crisp routes at his pro day workout. The Bucs plan to work out Russell and Quinn, although it seems unlikely they would take a quarterback after signing Jeff Garcia and trading for Jake Plummer. The only thing Gruden is sure of is that they will get a good player.

    "The draft is no perfect science," he said. "There's going to be error. But you try to find a guy with as few holes as you can. There's got to be something the guy can't do. ... If the guy don't make it then there's going to be a lot of guys that are going to be wrong. I'd say that about the quarterbacks.

    "And I personally think this running back might be the best back I've ever seen coming out of college. This is a punishing guy. You go back and watch him as a freshman. In nine games, he has 1,800 yards. This guy won't go out of bounds, every time he carries the ball he tries to hurt you. Bad. And he's fast and mean as hell. So we're going to get a good player there. It's just a matter of what we want to do.

    "The kid, Joe Thomas from Wisconsin, is a hell of an offensive tackle. Are you kidding me? He's got a lot of upside. This is what we need in Tampa. We need to get a good player. Then we need to get another one and another one. Then we need to go to training camp and win some football games."
    Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/03/29/Bu...at_move_.shtml

  • #2
    So he basically talked up the top 5 prospects, no big surprise. I'd pay more attention to the guys he isnt mentioning.

    If CJ is gone, I really dont have a feel for what the Bucs will do.

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    • #3
      I'll agree that it's probably a smokescreen, but I thought it was interesting the way he talked up a two-back system. We did use it with Pittman after all.

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      • #4
        Here is another quote from Gruden:

        "We hope it's very competitive, but at the same time, I hope it's so clear and obvious to everybody who the quarterback should be we don't even have to think about it. We're going to let Chris Simms break the huddle as the starter April 10 in our OTA days, try to teach Jeff Garcia the offense and keep bringing [Bruce] Gradkowski along."

        That should make etk happy, having Simms at the top of the depth chart. Although all it really means is that Garcia needs some more time with the playbook.

        Gruden is really a great interview, got to love the guy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Booger View Post
          Here is another quote from Gruden:

          "We hope it's very competitive, but at the same time, I hope it's so clear and obvious to everybody who the quarterback should be we don't even have to think about it. We're going to let Chris Simms break the huddle as the starter April 10 in our OTA days, try to teach Jeff Garcia the offense and keep bringing [Bruce] Gradkowski along."

          That should make etk happy, having Simms at the top of the depth chart. Although all it really means is that Garcia needs some more time with the playbook.

          Gruden is really a great interview, got to love the guy.

          Simms should be #1 on the depth chart right now. He's been in the system the longest, and has the most starts in Gruden's system. I don't think he'll be the starter once week 1 rolls around though. But the competition for starting QB should be really interesting this year.
          "If everyone liked the same thing everyone would be after your grandmother."

          My Grandfather

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          • #6
            This whole time I've been saying he's the obvious clear-cut starter, you guys were in denial if you thought he wasn't.

            sig by BoneKrusher

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            • #7
              Originally posted by etk View Post
              This whole time I've been saying he's the obvious clear-cut starter, you guys were in denial if you thought he wasn't.
              Yeah, if the season started tomorrow, Simms would likely start.

              However, there is 5 months for Garcia to overtake Simms, and I would be surprised if it took that long.

              The "clear-cut starter" Simms is not.

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              • #8
                Explain how you think Garcia will "overtake" Simms?

                sig by BoneKrusher

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by etk View Post
                  Explain how you think Garcia will "overtake" Simms?
                  The only reason Simms is currently slated as the #1 QB is because Garcia hasn't had a chance to learn the offense. When his level of comfort with the playbook and terminology is close to Simms, his playing ability will allow him to overtake Simms.

                  Honestly, throw some tape in of Simms from last season. I dont understand why you wouldnt want some QB competition.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Booger View Post
                    The only reason Simms is currently slated as the #1 QB is because Garcia hasn't had a chance to learn the offense. When his level of comfort with the playbook and terminology is close to Simms, his playing ability will allow him to overtake Simms.

                    Honestly, throw some tape in of Simms from last season. I dont understand why you wouldnt want some QB competition.
                    I would be terrified if we didn't have a good backup at QB. Simms might continue his bad play from 06, or he might get injured again. Having Garcia is a nice luxury, but I wouldn't expect him to win over a starting job for opening day.

                    sig by BoneKrusher

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                    • #11
                      If Garcia can continue his form from last season why would you not want him to start?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 24cadillac24 View Post
                        If Garcia can continue his form from last season why would you not want him to start?
                        Because he is old and balding, and I'd like to see and evaluate the performance of Simms, our possible QB of the future. I think they are about equal though in terms of helping us win, so starting Garcia would not hurt the team by any means, but we have to evaluate Simms one way or the other.

                        sig by BoneKrusher

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by etk View Post
                          Because he is old and balding, and I'd like to see and evaluate the performance of Simms, our possible QB of the future. I think they are about equal though in terms of helping us win, so starting Garcia would not hurt the team by any means, but we have to evaluate Simms one way or the other.
                          Old and balding has nothing to do with Garcia starting. If he is a better player than Simms and gives us the best opportunity to win, he must start.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 24cadillac24 View Post
                            Old and balding has nothing to do with Garcia starting. If he is a better player than Simms and gives us the best opportunity to win, he must start.
                            Okay, but we really have to see Simms play.

                            Garcia will retire soon, and if we don't see Simms play, we won't know whether or not he is the future. We could lose him, and then he becomes a Pro Bowler for X team. On the other hand, we could keep him and bypass drafting a QB, and then he absolutely blows and we are trapped for a full season.

                            sig by BoneKrusher

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                            • #15
                              We are obviously never going to come to a conlcusion, all we are doing is beating a metaphorical 'dead horse'.

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