TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said Thursday that the team has had a good amount of talent in recent years but has been lacking at quarterback.
"Tampa's had [Michael] Bennett as a pass-rusher," Gruden said on Mike & Mike. "He plays pretty well for the Seahawks. LeGarrette Blount. They had Darrelle Revis. They've had a lot of quality players that didn't play well in Tampa and I think a lot of it goes back to the lack of quality quarterback play. They're not winning games. They can't keep these players. They can't understand why they're not playing great. They have to get the quarterback position right."
He said he believes Winston has learned from past off-field incidents and is ready to be the face of a franchise.
"He's a dynamic kid," Gruden said. "You don't go to Florida State and meet many people that don't love being around Winston. He is a polarizing player for some. Some people can't agree on what he is off the field. I've got a lot of confidence that he's learned some valuable lessons and he knows he's going to be in the spotlight for the rest of his career. It's up to him to get it done."
Gruden also was high on Mariota.
"If you don't like Marcus Mariota, you don't like human beings," Gruden said.
The one common criticism of Mariota is that he spent his college career playing in a spread offense. Gruden said he's not worried about that.
"He's not the offensive coordinator," Gruden said. "It's not his fault. What they do at Oregon is very unique. That type of football is on its way to the NFL. You're seeing more and more no-huddle offenses. You see a lot of intermediate passes from 10 yards and in, which is a big part of Oregon.
"When you watch Philadelphia [which is coached by former Oregon coach Chip Kelly] play offense, you see the Oregon Ducks. The No. 1 offense in football the last two years is Philadelphia. So the system works. Mariota can play in that system. Somebody is going to see a (6-foot-4) quarterback with 4.5 speed. This guy is quick, he's smart, he's the most humble, hard-working guy maybe in this draft. I want him on my team. I'll put my system in around him. I think personally Marcus Mariota can play in any system."