TAMPA – Safety T.J. Ward and defensive tackle Chris Baker may not be the only members of the Buccaneers defense unhappy with the way they’re being used this season.
Five-time Pro Bowl three technique Gerald McCoy doesn’t seem too thrilled with the way the team has been using him of late either.
McCoy spent about half the game last week working in a three-man front and while he didn’t come right out and say he didn’t like it, he certainly didn’t endorse the practice.
“I just play what they call,’’ McCoy said with a sardonic chuckle when asked about the strategy. “Whatever we run, I just kind of go with it. I’m a team guy so I do what they ask me to do.
“Do I feel like I could be more effective in a different way? Yes. But I’m a team guy. It’s not about Gerald. So whatever coach calls is what I’m going to run.’’
Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith acknowledge making more use of a three-lineman, three-linebacker, five-defensive back set in the Bucs 30-27 loss at Buffalo last week.
Smith admitted the approach neutralizes McCoy’s ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage and disrupt the passer but he said the scheme is designed to add more pressure to the quarterback overall.
In that regard, the scheme worked. The Bucs recorded 14 quarterback pressures in the loss to the Bills, including three from McCoy. But they only generated one sack, their league-worst seventh of the season.
McCoy isn’t surprised.
“Your rush has to be different for sure (out of a three-man front),’’ McCoy said. “You can be aggressive but not as aggressive (as you usually are) because when you have a guy like Tyrod (Taylor) or Cam (Newton) you really just have to mirror the quarterback.
“And for me, I make guys move. That’s why I give guards so much hell p- because once I get them in space it’s a problem for them. But when you’re in a three-man front, you really can’t do that.
“But hey, we’re just trying to figure out a way to win. I don’t think any coach is here trying to put clamps on anybody. That’s why I said it’s not about me. It’s about the team and the ultimate goal is to win.
“And if coaches feel like that’s the best way to win, then I’m going to go with it. I don’t’ game plan. I just play what the coaches call and if they feel lie that’s what’s going to help us win I go with it. No complaints just go play.’’
It’s not just the extended use of the three-man fronts that McCoy questioned. As he has in the past, he also questioned the team’s extensive use of stunts, twists and games.
“We can do less games and less twisting and more straight rush,’’ McCoy said. “But regardless of what it is, we just have to be better, We have to get him to the ground.
We’re getting to the QB, we have to get him ion the ground. It doesn’t matter how much you hit him. You can hit him constantly. We have to get him on the ground.’’
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