After reviewing the film of Thursday night's loss to the Patriots, Buccaneers' defensive tackle Gerald McCoy found a few bright spots and was just happy to get back on the field.
After having a few days to reflect on the 31-14 Thursday night loss to the New England Patriots, Buccaneers’ defensive tackle Gerald McCoy explained how this week will be different, at least from a preparation standpoint.
“Well this is a mock-season week,” McCoy said. “We are doing everything you would do in an average week of the season. Scout teams prepare. Our regular practice week, how we would do it, [that] is how it is going. So this week is kind of giving us a feel of how the season [game prep] will go.
“This is getting us ready for what we are going to be facing all season. [It] kind of gives the young guys a view of how things go. Even if they change some things up it kind of gives us a sense of how things are going to go all season.”
After falling behind 28-0 in the first half to New England, the Buccaneers offense and defense were able to make some progress with their second- and third-team units. But McCoy didn’t make excuses for the play of the starters.
“We just have to be more aggressive from the start,” McCoy said. “We came out in the second half and picked it up. We just got out-physicaled. That was the main issue.”
After missing the last four games of his 2010 rookie campaign with a biceps tear and sitting out the first preseason game against Kansas City with a rotator cuff strain, the former Sooner felt great finally getting back into game action. McCoy assessed his play after viewing it on tape.
“I felt good, I knocked the rust off,” McCoy said. “I lost my footing a few times I could have had sacks. I lost my footing and missed a big tackle early in the game. I have been working on tackling drills for me personally because when I go at guys I go with my hands wide, and I have to have them a little tighter. So I was knocking off the rust after being knocked out last year against Washington. Even missing the first preseason game, it was a long time coming. But it felt good. I felt like I was moving pretty well and I’m just going to try and build off of that.”
Fellow 2010 draft pick Brian Price, who missed the majority of his rookie season with a pelvic injury is getting closer to also seeing game action. McCoy commented on his defensive line partner and his eagerness to see Price back on the field.
“You know he is knocking off the rust, too,” McCoy said. “It has been a while since he has had any game action. So if he comes out and dominates then that’s great, or if he doesn’t dominate that is still fine. He is still trying to get all his movement back and everything. He is working off rust too. We just want him to come out get some snaps, get a feel of the game speed. That way he will be ready for game one.”
With the acquisition of Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers in the April draft, McCoy sees the Buccaneers’ defensive line possibilities as endless and has some recent history to validate his expectations.
“Just like when Sapp and those guys were young, they all grew up together,” McCoy said. “And eventually became a Super Bowl caliber defensive line and we have the ability to do that here. They put the right coaches around us, and we have coach Morris staying on us. The guys upstairs have a lot of trust in us with the last two drafts being defensive line. It’s going to take all the work we have and all the effort we have to get there.”
For those who are critical or skeptical of last year’s success, McCoy says bring it on.
“We love the fact people think we had a fluke year and our schedule is so much harder this year,” McCoy said. “Let’s see if Josh Freeman can do it again, see if the defense can hold up; we aren’t worried about it. We just worry about what we do inside this building. And what goes on around here. We aren’t worried about [what critics say]. We take it all as a challenge.”
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