Bucs like the look of their newcomers

by Gary Shelton on June 15, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Bucs

McCoy likes his new linemates./JEFFREY S. KING

McCoy likes his new linemates./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 3 a.m.

As the Bucs look ahead to their next season, you can look at the 5-11 record from last year.

Or you can look at the possibilities for next year.

Bucs' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday that he likes the reinforcements his team brought in during the offseason.

"What we learned is the new additions are going to help us a lot, not only the free agents but the draft picks," said Koetter. "Jason (Licht, the general manager) did an awesome job with the guys he added to our team and I think the guys that are returning are really serious about putting their best foot forward.

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"When you’re 3-7 in one-score games, that really puts everything into perspective as to 3-7 and you’re sitting at home, 5-11 versus Atlanta [who was] 6-4 in one score games and gets in as a wild card and gets a couple of wins. So, everybody likes where they’re at this time of year. The good news is we’re pretty healthy and I’ll be anxious to get back in five weeks and start it up again.

"I think Jason went out of his way on everybody we added this year that that was on the checklist. You can’t always tell for sure but when the coaches worked guys out, when the scouts were meeting with guys, this is a fast-paced game and you have to be able to think on your feet. I’ve been impressed with what they’ve done thus far and we’ll see when the pads start flying and there’s real hitting.”

The most heavily addressed position was defensive line, where the team brought in Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Vita Vea, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said that going against other top-flight linemen such as Ryan Jensen helped.

"Everybody makes each other better," McCoy said. "And if you’re not, then it’s the person’s job that’s going against them to let them know that, ‘Hey, I need more.’ That’s how you hold each other accountable. That’s all we do. Professionals, the best teams in the league, the guys up front make each other better. The proof is in the pudding. Look at the past Super Bowl champion (Philadelphia Eagles). Both of the lines were top two or three in the NFL, offense and defense. Made each other better – (got) a Super Bowl.”

McCoy said he likes the group the team has brought in.

"Like I said, I’m excited about the progress that we’ve made up to this point," McCoy said. You can see guys’ improvement, guys taking to coaching. Coach Buck (Brentson Buckner) is teaching and we’re just going to keep building off of that. There’s a lot of work to be done. We did what we could without pads. Everybody knows (that when) training camps comes, it’s just different. It’s real football then. Even then it’s not real because you can’t tackle. D-linemen, we can’t finish until we get in the game. That’s the only time we can finish. But up to that point, you can do what’s necessary, but (when) training camp comes, we’ll see what we’re made of.

"The great thing about the guys that we brought in, they all – except for Vita since he came out of college – all of them have been to the Super Bowl. Three of them won it. So they know what it takes. They know what it is to be accountable. That’s why I haven’t had to do much up front with the D-line, because we brought in guys that know what that’s like. They know what they need to do so I don’t have to say this, say that, do that – they’ve been where I want to go. They’re teaching me. It’s going to be great.””





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