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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

With McCoy gone, slimmer McCargo looks to make quick impact for Bucs



The Bucs watched helplessly on Sunday as defensive tackles Brian Price and Roy Miller, both winded from their increased workload, struggled to finish the game after Gerald McCoy's season-ending injury in the first quarter.

With Frank Okam at home with a calf injury, the Bucs had just two healthy defensive tackles remaining.

Help arrived on Tuesday with the signing of former Bills first-round pick John McCargo. Now, in his first day at One Buc Place since the preseason (when he was released by Tampa Bay), McCargo is looking to make a quick impact, and the Bucs could use him.

McCargo said he's ready and willing to play "as much as they need me," he said. "I put in a good workout for these eight weeks. So, as much as they need me, I’m ready to go. I think it helps to come in in shape and I think it helps to come in at a stable weight. When I came in the first time (during the preseason), I was a little heavy. I didn’t give myself the best opportunity to stick around.

"I don’t want to do that again. I wanted to make sure I lost weight and did everything I could to make a team. I think the biggest thing is coming in underweight and coming in in shape, ready to rock."

McCargo, Buffalo's 2006 first-round pick, said he's gone from 324 pounds in the preseason to 306 currently. He used the past eight weeks while at home and without a team to rededicate himself to conditioning. That, coupled with his small level of familiarity with the Tampa Bay defense from his preseason stint here could better position him to have success.

"I feel like I still remember a lot of the plays," he said. "It’s just getting the feel back. I’m going to be a little rusty, but we have a couple of days before the game. It shouldn’t take me too long to get into the swing of things.

"Football has always been football. It’s just learning the plays and trying not to make too many mental mistakes."

Meanwhile, Okam is not practicing today, though he said he hopes to return on Sunday against the Houston Texans and their potent running game.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 3:10pm]


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