Rice on Gruden: “I’m cool with him”

Former Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice drew a lot of buzz in Tampa on Wednesday after he unloaded on former head coach Jon Gruden during his visit with Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan on Sirius NFL Radio.

Rice called Gruden a “scumbag.” Not that being a scumbag is a bad thing. Really. Rice said that he was down with scumbags. Some of his best friends are scumbags.

“We’re cool,” Rice said, “If I saw (Gruden) I’ll be cool. I’d be like, ‘What’s up?

“I don’t have anything against Jon. I’ve got friends who are scumbags, and I’m cool with them. I know what lane they in. I know how to deal with them.”

Sure. Kirwan went on to ask Rice what advice he would have for Gruden in his next job. Rice said it would be to have integrity. Rice compared the way he was released by the Buccaneers in 2007 and the way he was handled by Colts, who released him after two games late in the season. Rice was told to come to Buccaneers’ training camp and was released without seeing Gruden. Conversely, Colts coach Tony Dungy gave Rice a personal message.

“As a coach, you have to have integrity,” Rice said.”Tony let me go, and he said, ‘Simeon, physically you aren’t right. You didn’t go to camp and you came out of surgery and you ran on the football field. You’ve got to get healthy. You look injured.’

“I can respect that. I wasn’t like he coddled me. He had honestly and integrity. You have to trust your coach because he has to trust you.”

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