TAMPA — Bucs DT Gerald McCoy knows it could have turned out much worse.
McCoy's home was burglarized last week, hours before the Bucs' home loss to the Falcons, and his father broke a wrist in a struggle with the teenager who was arrested and charged with armed burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
But when McCoy spoke publicly about it for the first time Thursday, it was not out of anger, but relief that his family was fine and he asked fans to pray for the accused, Justin J. Frazier, 17.
"That's a lost kid," McCoy said. "Probably just needs some guidance. It's nothing to be upset over. It happens. You could look at it at a different way, like 'I hate the person that tried to break into my house,' or you could look at it like somebody who needs help. I would just advise people to pray for this kid."
McCoy said his father, Gerald Sr., is doing well — already playing the drums — and he is upgrading the security system in his New Tampa home.
Defense scrutinized: Coordinator Mike Smith said the defense's effort was an issue in the second half of the 43-28 loss to the Falcons, following criticism from Bucs Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks.
"I think when the score got to where it was, our effort was not where it needed to be," Smith said. "When you don't force them to punt, let's be very frank: That's not a very good defensive performance. (There are) no excuses. … As I've said many times, let's not pin it on the players. Let's pin it on the coaches and on me."
The Bucs trailed 20-14 at halftime, but the Falcons pulled away with three consecutive touchdown drives for a 40-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
Brooks said on WDAE-AM 620 on Wednesday that he was surprised by the lack of effort he saw: "I felt our defense gave up to that Atlanta offense and it just was pure effort that we did not win. It wasn't scheme; it wasn't 'right play, bad defense.' It was just effort, of want-to, and that was a little bit concerning."
INJURY UPDATE: RB Doug Martin practiced for a second straight day with no apparent setbacks and said he would take "all the proper steps" as he returns from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the past six games. … WR Mike Evans was cleared from the league's concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. … LG Kevin Pamphile, who has been in the concussion protocol since the Falcons game, didn't practice, making it more likely that Evan Smith will play Sunday. DT Clinton McDonald was upgraded to full participation for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for four games.