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Bryant Quick to Speak Out on Firing of Gruden


Moving quickly to line up reactions to the news that Bucs coach Jon Gruden has been fired, The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio scored an interview with Bucs receiver Antonio Bryant.

Bryant, who spent the 2008 season in Tampa and will be a free agent as of February 27, calls the news “shocking.”

“I’m very surprised, you know I felt very comfortable, especially in the environment,” Bryant said. “It’s a family atmosphere and everybody got along well, and it’s shocking, but that’s the nature of the business.”

Asked whether Bryant feels a strong sense of loyalty to Gruden, Bryant said, “I feel a sense of loyalty to anything that is Buccaneer. John Gruden was definitely a Buccaneer, he gave his all in everything. He was very devoted and a passionate guy about the game. I’m still a Buccaneer until March 1st and just the opportunity that he gave me, the organization, the ownership and the Glazers, I trust their decision in knowing that they feel they made the decision to do the right thing.”

There has been speculation that the cap-rich Buccaneers could use the franchise tag on Bryant in order to keep him from hitting the market, or to trade him from under the tag.

That’s a decision that now will be made by someone other than Gruden and G.M. Bruce Allen. And there’s a chance that Gruden will be coaching a team that is trying to land Bryant.

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