Saturday, June 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Gerald McCoy fined for sack celebration

TAMPA — Bucs DT Gerald McCoy was fined $12,154 by the NFL for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he drew in Sunday's win over the Falcons for celebrating a sack.

McCoy had sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan in the third quarter and drew the flag after LB Kwon Alexander and other teammates joined him in celebrating.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday that he knew the group aspect of the celebration would yield a flag, as the league is trying to discourage premeditated group celebrations.

"Right when that happened, I said 'We're going to get flagged,' " Koetter said. "Not preconceived at all, but by what they're calling, the rule. Look, I don't make the rules. Whether I agree with it or not doesn't matter. They called it. They're going to call it. … It could've hurt us a lot more than it did. We talked to the guys about it (Wednesday)."

Time travel: The Bucs have a history of being all over the map when it comes to their approach to traveling and playing in the Pacific time zone. Koetter believes by leaving Friday to get adjusted to the time difference, his team won't suffer from jet lag when it plays Sunday in Arizona.

That said, it sounded as if Koetter would keep his team on mostly an East Coast-time routine.

"They'll be going to bed about midnight East Coast time (Friday)," Koetter said. "Most of those guys, if it stays with the pattern, they'll wake up earlier than they usually wake up because of the time difference. We'll take them out, get them a walk-through. We'll move our Saturday meetings up so it'll be saying by the clock that we're going to bed at 9 o'clock, but body clock, it'll be midnight. … This schedule that we're using, it's been tested. … I think it'll work."

2-0 START? How rare is it for a team to open a season with two games on the road and begin 2-0, as the Bucs will try to do? The league doesn't hand teams back-to-back road games to start a season often. Four of its 32 teams have them this year. Over the past five seasons, only the 2013 Dolphins have opened with back-to-back road wins. They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

The last NFC team to open with two road wins was the 2009 Vikings, who went 12-4.

In their first 40 seasons, the Bucs opened with two road games just four times. They went a combined 2-6, going 0-2 to open in 1984 and 1998, and splitting the two games in 1995 and 2001. And keep in mind, in Bucs history, they are 30-50 in Weeks 1 and 2. That's 17 seasons of going 0-2, 16 seasons of 1-1 starts and just seven of opening 2-0.

The Bucs were 0-2 at the start of eight of their first 11 seasons.

What can a 2-0 start portend for a team? Five of the seven teams to open 2-0 finished with winning records, and four made the playoffs. The exceptions were in 1980 and 1992; each of those teams finished with five wins.

The last four Bucs teams to open 2-0 earned at least 10 wins, including the 2010 team, which went 10-6 but missed the playoffs.

THIS AND THAT: All 53 players traveled with the team to Arizona, Koetter said. … The Bucs will face the 3-4 defense as many as eight times this season, in no small part because each team in the NFC South runs it.

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