Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Gerald McCoy to play full season for first time

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — It seems like a run-of-the-mill achievement, making it through all 16 games of a single NFL season.

And for some players, it is.

But when you're Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, and the lofty hopes with which you entered the league have been short-circuited by consecutive season-ending injuries, you gain a new appreciation for staying on the field.

When McCoy takes the field Sunday against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome, it will mark the first time in his three seasons he will have played every game. And it means quite a bit to the 2010 No. 3 overall draft pick.

"I just want to get through this game, finish the game and see that clock tick down to zero," McCoy said Wednesday. "Then I can say, 'Hey, I played a full season, guys. I made it.'

"I (had) always finished the season. For it to happen two years in a row, it's like now it's foreign to me to finish a season. It used to not be."

Once this game is over, McCoy's health will serve him well in the offseason, too. Lost in the conversation the past two seasons was the impact of his two torn biceps, one each season, on his development. The rehabilitation from the injuries affected his ability to improve.

"I haven't been able to focus on football as much," McCoy said. "Now I can actually get out there and work on it. The things I see on film, I can actually work on it instead of waiting until I get healthy. I'll have that much more time in the offseason to get better."

Now that McCoy is poised to play his first full season, here's a question: How has it gone? McCoy's five sacks, 15 quarterback hits and general disruption of offenses earned him a berth in the Pro Bowl on Wednesday.

Has the season been everything others expected? Maybe, maybe not.

But McCoy is encouraged by his production even if the numbers aren't as flashy as those of former Buc Warren Sapp, against whom McCoy often is measured.

"People need to stop expecting me to be No. 99," McCoy said. "The guy revolutionized the position. When you bring people in, you have to stop expecting people to be (Michael) Jordan. As good as Kobe (Bryant) is, he's still not Jordan.

"Once people realize that I'm not (Sapp) and that he revolutionized the position and that I can only be me, then I think people will begin to understand that I do a lot more than people give me credit for. It's just that people keep expecting me to be No. 99. He's gone."

REUNION COMING? Giants TE Martellus Bennett has floated the prospect of playing alongside his brother, Bucs DE Michael Bennett, in 2013. Both can become free agents after this season.

"You never know what is going to happen," Bennett told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger. "I would love to stay here (with the Giants), maybe even get (Michael) to come out here. But if not, we're both looking to play together at least for a couple years in the NFL like we did in college (at Texas A&M). I'll try to get him to come here first."

Michael has said he'd like to remain with the Bucs. But the team's financial investments in defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers don't guarantee it.

BARBER TALK: Neither side has had so much as a conversation about the future of S Ronde Barber. But coach Greg Schiano said the door is open for Barber's return in 2013 and a 17th season.

"That's up to him," Schiano said.

INJURY REPORT: CB E.J. Biggers (hip), TE Nate Byham (illness), TE Dallas Clark (illness), LT Donald Penn (not injury related) and G Jeremy Zuttah (ankle) sat out practice. G Roger Allen (groin) was limited.

Comments
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA — The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only p...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Tampa Bay Times has listened to a voicemail Jameis Winston received from Uber relating to the March 2016 incident in Arizona.The NFL is investigating the allegations that Winston grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch in 2016.In the call, someone...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Jameis Winston says groping allegations are ‘false’

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations by an Arizona Uber driver that he groped her in 2016. The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.Winston released a statement on his Twitter account saying the driver was 'confused,' by the n...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Asked if Miami's Ndamukong Suh is the toughest defensive tackle he's gone against, Bucs center Ali Marpet stops short of an answer."I'll let you know after the game," said Marpet, preparing for Sunday's game against the Dolphins as the Bucs seek thei...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday at Miami:LET’S GO STREAKINGRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: It’s been 11 months since the Bucs had a winning streak. That was when they posted five W’s in a row with a win ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones actually agree on their prediction for the Bucs-Dolphins game that will see Ryan Fitzpatrick make his second straight start in place of the injured Jameis Winston. They’ll give you the keys to the ga...
Published: 11/17/17
NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

Below are the Times staff picks for week 11 of the NFL season:GameTime/DayErnest Hooper, @hoop4youTom Jones, @tomwjonesMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyThomas Bassinger, @tometricsGreg Auman, @gregaumanRick Stroud, @NFLStroudAgainst the spread (last week)...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

Lavonte David is the Bucs’ quiet force

TAMPA — Lavonte David is a private, almost shy man whose goal each week until game day is apparently to remain invisible by NFL standards.Off the field, the Bucs linebacker doesn’t often raise his voice. But when he was called to do so by coach Dirk ...
Published: 11/16/17