Gerald McCoy leads Bucs' defensive effort
If there was one constant during Sunday’s game, it was DT Gerald McCoy’s presence in the Carolina backfield.
The third-year player who is in something of a make-or-break season applied unyielding pressure to star QB Cam Newton while also dismantling the Carolina running game (10 yards rushing).
“It’s just relentless effort,” McCoy said afterward, still sweating through his dress shirt. “If I’m tired, I’ll get a break. But while I’m out there, just play with relentless effort.”
It was vintage McCoy, the kind of game the Bucs envisioned when they drafted him third overall in 2010. His career has been sidetracked by consecutive season-ending injuries, but McCoy showed no signs of slowing against the Panthers. One example came in the second quarter when Newton was flushed from the pocket and began running to his left. One lineman continued giving chase – 300-pound McCoy, who seemed to gain on the elusive, athletic quarterback. CB Ronde Barber pushed Newton out of bounds on the play and was credited with his 28th career sack.
“It just motivates you that you that you can play even harder,” Clayborn said of the play. “If a guy that weighs that much can chase down Cam Newton, you’ve got to do it too.”
McCoy later netted a sack of his own when he dragged Newton down after bull-rushing through a blocker. He also recorded two tackles for losses and two separate quarterback hits on Newton.