Bucs’ McCoy swears his team won’t let up

by Gary Shelton on December 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

McCoy says that the Bucs won't pack it in./JEFFREY S. KING

McCoy says that the Bucs won't pack it in./JEFFREY S. KING

Not many wins. Not many weeks to go. What the Tampa Bay Bucs do have, however, are a lot of playoff teams left to play.

Still, said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the Bucs will not roll over.

McCoy, in the running for his sixth pro bowl, said that the Bucs will still give effort in the season's final month.

"It gives us an opportunity to finish the season strong – going into

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the offseason with a great taste in our mouths," McCoy said. "You don’t want to give up. Often times you see on ESPN, all these analysts say, ‘Oh, the team gave up,’ or, ‘They packed it up.’ That’s not going to be us. We are never going to pack it up.

"We’ve got plenty of toughness, plenty of people ready to go fight for this thing and we are at home. We are in front of our fans. I know they have been disappointed with us the past few games, but we are at home. We like to put on a show for our fans, so we’ve just got to make sure we do that well, especially against a team of the magnitude of Detroit.”

The Bucs play their 13th game of the season this week when the Lions come to town with quarterback Matt Stafford. Detroit is tied for second in the NFC North with Green Bay, a team that beat the Bucs a week ago.

“I think you have to be consistent in what you do in your leadership," said defensive coordinator Mike Smith. "You don’t change your leadership style. I think that we have a group of guys that at times have played football at the level that we need to play for us to be successful and then there are other times that we’ve been well below that. The bad thing about it is that it happens in the same game. You can say that on a number of occasions this year. For the most part, I think that our effort has been good. It’s been good. We do have good leadership in the room. You’ve got guys like Gerald (McCoy). You’ve got guys like Lavonte (David) and Kwon (Alexander) that are out there playing every down. We miss some guys, but you can’t complain about missing guys because everybody in this league after the first week – the first time you put pads on or the first time you practice – somebody is going to be down, somebody is going to be missing. This is a no-excuse business.”

The Lions will look to quarterback Stafford to attack the Bucs' defense.

“He is a very difficult guy to defend," Smith said. "He has got probably top three in terms of strength of arm. If I was going to say, we are going to go out and see how far you can throw this football, he is top three. He can flip the ball when he is off balance a lot further than you anticipate. It gets there a lot quicker. He is a tough dude.

"He has gotten rocked a few times this season and he just keeps getting up. That is why we are anticipating – I am not sure what his status is going to be, it’s questionable – but we are preparing like he is going to go. He is one of the tougher dudes. I’ve been very impressed. I’ve had the opportunity to compete against him. He is a competitor. You can’t get him rattled. You hit him hard and he just keeps on going. He is one of those elite quarterbacks when you start talking about the top seven or eight quarterbacks in this league, in my opinion.”

Said McCoy: “What I know about him is that he makes a lot of money. It’s well deserved. He has earned it and he is young. Matthew Stafford is young to be in his ninth year, so he’s got a lot of years to come. He is an excellent passer. His toughness is unquestioned, in my opinion. (He) is very dangerous and he is never out. (He) may be down, but he is never out. He has proven that with how many fourth-quarter comebacks and second-half comebacks he has in his career. You’ve got to get after him. You can’t let him get comfortable. You can’t let the offense get any momentum because he is one of those guys (that) once his group gets rolling, it’s hard to slow him down. We’ve got to get on him early and often."

The Bucs will try to stay in the game behind quarterback Jameis Winston.

“We are all judged by wins and losses," coach Dirk Koetter said. "That is the ultimate judgement. The best quarterbacks help their teams win and the best quarterbacks make other players around them better. Jameis is going to continue to get better and better at that as he gets more experience. We’ve been over it several times – he is still an extremely young player in this league. I think he is going to do nothing but get better and better. It was great to have him back out there again. This is the first year in his career – and the first time in his entire career – that he has had to deal with injuries like this and it’s something that you go through. Detroit’s quarterback is going through it as well right now.”

The Bucs have been handicapped by the NFL's worst pass rush this season.

“I think coverage and pass rush have to work together and they go hand-in-hand," Smith said. "The secondary can’t cover forever, but at the same time, you’ve got to be able to cover them to allow the guys to get to the quarterback. That’s the thing that we’ve been very inconsistent with. We felt like the guys played hard. Then we went out there in the overtime and really did not play very well. It was way too easy. We’ve got to be more resilient. We’ve got to make the plays. There are positives that came out of that game for us, but we didn’t get the result we wanted. Ultimately, that is what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to get Ws. We’ve got to get wins.”

The Bucs play the Lions at 1 p.m. at Raymond James.






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