TAMPA - When the Bucs made DE Gaines Adams the No. 4 pick of the NFL draft, Coach Jon Gruden said he expected his newly acquired player to lead the league in effort.
Eight weeks into the season, Adams has not lived up to those expectations.
'He does give good effort. Is he leading the league in effort? 'Gaines, you're not leading the league in effort,'' Gruden said. 'Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch from Tennessee leads the league in effort. I saw that last week. I think Gaines Adams has had a half of a season to get a feel for this league, who's in it and how this game is played. I believe he's ready to take off.'
Adams has received limited playing time this season, which is leading to his mounting frustration. The rookie out of Clemson showed his disappointment on Tampa Bay's sideline after being pulled during Sunday's 24-23 loss to Jacksonville. He was used primarily when Tampa Bay expected Jacksonville to pass, but not when the Jaguars' offensive line was going to run block. It shows coaches do not believe Adams is physically ready to contribute on defending the run.
He did share a sack Sunday with DE Greg White, but Adams still has to earn the trust of his coaches before receiving any significant playing time.
'We're going to do what we feel is right for the entire group, and that goes for Greg White, Kevin Carter, all the guys,' Gruden said. 'It's not all about Gaines Adams here today. It's about our defensive line. We do expect Gaines to be an every-down player, and an impact player for our franchise for years to come. Whether or not that's this week or next week, we'll have to see.'
INJURY UPDATE: Gruden said Monday that DE Greg Spires suffered a calf injury against Jacksonville. Spires, who was unavailable for comment Monday, previously said he thought he may have damaged his Achilles tendon and could be out for several weeks.
In addition, KR Torrie Cox injured a knee during the game, but Gruden was unsure of the severity of that injury. Gruden also did not have updates on Patrick Chukwurah (shoulder), Alex Smith (ankle), Michael Clayton (ankle) or Michael Pittman (ankle).
'I just can't comment on it until I get the final word from our trainer,' Gruden said.
The loss of Spires is a substantial blow for Tampa Bay, which has struggled to apply defensive line pressure this season. It also means White could start Sunday against Arizona in place of Spires while he is recovering.
Cox, who was replacing the injured Mark Jones, was replaced by Chad Lucas, Phillip Buchanon and Maurice Stovall on kickoff returns against the Jags.
NO REGRETS: If Bucs QB Jeff Garcia completes a deep pass to Ike Hilliard in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and the Bucs end up winning, Gruden looks like a genius.
However, Garcia overthrew a wide-open Hilliard on a third-and-10 play from Jacksonville's 45-yard line with 37 seconds remaining, making some wonder if Gruden should have called a more conservative play to help the Bucs pick up a first down and move closer to field goal range.
'If you get a guy open, I don't think it's a low percentage play,' Gruden said. 'Aaron Glenn Jaguars cornerback jumped us early in the game intercepting a Garcia pass and returning it for a TD. Why don't you throw a quick gain pass against Aaron Glenn? Well, we did earlier and he intercepted it. He jumped it.
'We felt we had the right play and went after the right guy. The guy is a good corner. We double moved him. What can I say? I don't regret that call.'
STOVALL DELIVERS: Tampa Bay WR Maurice Stovall will deliver Meals on Wheels to senior citizens in the Brandon area today.
Stovall will depart from Apostles Lutheran Church, where the meals are prepared, at 11 a.m. and distribute the meals. The Meals on Wheels program provides nutritious meals to the elderly, homebound, disabled and frail.
Anwar S. Richardson