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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Haters have Buccaneers DT McCoy riled up and ready to go

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
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TAMPA – It appears as though the Gerald McCoy haters were out in force again today. Something certainly got the Buccaneers defensive tackle riled up, and he took to twitter to voice his frustration.

McCoy, who we remind you is coming off a fifth straight Pro Bowl season, posted several responses to what appears to be a string of negatives jabs that were throw his way. Here they are:

Again, it’s hard to tell what it was that got McCoy so worked up, but we know he has a tendency to get a little frustrated with those who don’t appreciate all he’s done for the Buccaneers.

Granted, he has yet to take this team to the playoffs, but that’s hardly his fault. McCoy has certainly done his part to give the Bucs a fighting chance at breaking their post-season slump.

Keep in mind that a year ago, McCoy ranked fourth in the league in sacks by a defensive tackle with seven and that since 2013, no defensive tackle in the league has had more sacks than McCoy, who has 33.5 in that span.

Look, McCoy will be the first to admit that he’s not Aaron Donald, who just may be the most disruptive D-tackle in the game, but he’s in the same category and he’s right that he’ll be missed when he’s gone.

If you think he’s wrong about that just think of what this team would look like right now and what’s its prospects would be for the season ahead if he weren’t a part of it.

It’s a bit of a stretch to say the prospects would be gloomy, but there’s no question the Bucs would be seen as a team with a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line.

The truth of the matter here is that in McCoy the Bucs have had not just one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles but one of the NFL’s best football players period for years.

And in a large way, the Bucs have squandered the opportunity McCoy has presented. Though it may all finally change this year, the Bucs have so far failed to build a dominant defense around one of the best defensive cornerstones they’ve ever had.

That’s not McCoy’s fault. He’s done his part, but as a result he now stands not just as one of the best Bucs players never to have reached the playoffs but one of the best NFL player never to have reached the playoffs.

 

 

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs will face two former head coaches at once Sunday

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, the Bucs matchup with the Falcons that has both teams sitting at 3 – 7 doesn’t appear to have a lot of intrigue or subplots However, it is history-making for Tampa Bay and for their opponent.

That’s because, for the first time In franchise history the Bucs will go against a team that has two of their former head coaches on the opposing sideline at the same time.

Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter (above) was previously Tampa Bay’s head coach from 2016 – 2018. He was fired at the end of last season after back-to-back 5 – 11 finishes. Koetter has returned to Atlanta, where he was the offensive coordinator prior to coming to the Buccaneers in the same role in 2015.

The Falcons offense had been struggling, as the team began the year 1-7, but has come on strong the last two weeks behind perennial Pro Bowl QB, Matt Ryan.

And, Tampa Bay will see another one of their former coaches, Raheem Morris, on Sunday in Atlanta, too. Morris  has been switched in midseason to the new secondary coach for the Falcons. He had been serving as the wide receivers coach for the past few seasons under coach, Dan Quinn.

The move has already paid off, as Atlanta’s secondary has seen improved play, as has the defense overall, in back-to-back victories at New Orleans and that Carolina. In those two games since the switch was made, Atlanta has not allowed a touchdown in either.

Morris was the Bucs head coach from 2009 – 11 and is the last coach to have a 10-win season for Tampa Bay. That came in 2010 when the Buccaneers finished 10 – 6. Greg Schiano, and Lovie Smith were both fired after two losing Seasons at the helm. Then, Koetter actually had a winning season at 9 -7 in 2016, but then the team regressed.

For his part, the new Falcons offensive coordinator said to the media this week that he will approach this game with his most recent team, as just any other game. And, that he’s actually a fan of Jameis Winston’s “except for the two games out of the year.” Those would be the ones where, they play Atlanta starting now.

Morris has kept a low profile and hasn’t had much to say, but his defense has done the talking the last two games.

If you are wondering, the last time the Bucs faced a former head coach before this weekend was in 2003. That’s when they very famously suffered a 21-point fourth-quarter collapse and lost to Tony Dungy (whom they had fired two years before), Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in overtime on Monday Night Football.

As for Winston, he currently leads the NFL with 18 interceptions and despite having thrown for 300 yards or more in each of the last five games for the Buccaneers, they have only won one of them.

So now, the pressure will be on for he and his teammates to try to get back on the winning track in a hostile Mercedes-Benz Stadium with two of their former coaches staring back at them.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coordinator Leftwich defended his offense Thursday

Florida Football Insiders

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of a 34 – 17 defeat to the Saints that dropped the Bucs to 3 – 7, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich had his weekly scheduled media session Thursday. And, he did his best in trying to defend some of their shortcomings they’ve had.

Leftwich was on the podium for approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers:

Most interestingly were when the subjects of the Bucs lack of run game balance came up and the struggles with Jameis Winston’s interceptions.

First on the lack of mixing the run (Tampa Bay ran it only six times with running backs in Sunday’s defeat) Leftwich told the media,

“We were just down early (13-0 in the first quarter). When you’re trying to win the game when it’s like that? You’re not going to have a lot of rushing attempts in that situation. It’s just how the game went.”

Still, the lack of a consistent run game has been obvious all year for Tampa Bay, and it also hinders them wanting to use play action passing.

Next, when he was pressed about Winston’s career-high 18 interceptions through 10 games, Leftwich deflected off of that by saying,

“I think we’re better as a whole…We’re trying to win football games. We’re doing things to put ourselves in the best position to win football games. When that doesn’t happen, it allows you guys (the media) to have this conversation, right? But, if we’re winning football games, it’s different, because all the numbers are not bad, right? …It’s just what you choose to pick. We got to have awareness on where we are not as good and try to improve on that.”

Some of the numbers are good, as Winston has thrown for 300+ yards, five games in a row, which is Tampa Bay record. And, WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are at the top of the NFL in combined receptions and yards.

As we wrote earlier this week, it’s the first time that coach Bruce Arians has not called the plays while being an offensive coordinator and a head coach over the course of the last 15 years in the NFL. And, there are many wondering if he shouldn’t take back over the play-calling down the stretch of this season?

For his part Leftwich made it clear in a joking manner that Arians has not let him know that anything is wrong, but that he would if he did feel that way,

“I know if he felt I was doing something wrong, he’d let me know. (Laughing) if he (Arians) felt something wasn’t going the right way, he’d let me know. That, I know.”

The Bucs head into Atlanta with a Falcons team that has stifled the Saints and the Panthers in back-to-back games, holding each without a TD.  And, it will be a challenge for Leftwich, Winston, the Run game and the offense as a whole, to get it done this week.

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