Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gerald McCoy: Bucs defense wanted to 'set the tone' vs. Jaguars

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, right, watches practice alongside outside linebacker Lavonte David, left, earlier this month in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, right, watches practice alongside outside linebacker Lavonte David, left, earlier this month in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on 7 carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 win.

And they were disappointed.

"We want them to have negative-90, negative-80. We don't care," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "We want to keep it going. This is just one showing. We have to be consistent."

The Jaguars, with top rookie Leonard Fournette sidelined by injury, didn't have a run longer than 3 yards in the first half, but the Bucs said they need success against the run as the starting point for their defense.

"We've got to get better on stopping the run," said defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who had one of the Bucs' seven tackles for loss. "Our job is never done. We still have to work on things to improve and be a better defense. It's all about consistency in the NFL. You can't just come out and do it one night and expect to be a great team. We still have a long ways to go. We know where our mark is set now with what we did tonight. We have to do that every play."

McCoy said the team was motivated to come out stronger than last week, when Cincinnati was able to march down the field before their drive ended with a Vernon Hargreaves interception at the 1-yard line. The Bucs gave up just one first down in the first three drives, allowing the offense to build a 12-0 lead, a much more encouraging start than against the Bengals.

"I think it's obvious we didn't put on the performance we should have last week," McCoy said of the team's preseason loss at Cincinnati. "Coach has been talking about setting your will. That's what we want to do. We set the one. We dictate how the game goes. I think we were able to do that today."

McCoy pointed to the Bucs' success against the run in setting up third-and-long situations -- Jacksonville converted a third-and-3, then missed on third and 9, 11, 17 and 9 in the first half. He was most pleased by how the Bucs defense responded to adversity -- Bryan Anger had a 36-yard punt that was returned 31 yards, setting the Jaguars offense up at the Bucs' 23-yard line late in the second quarter. The Bucs gave up 1 yard in three plays, and a 40-yard field goal missed wide left to preserve the shutout.

"The biggest thing we did was the sudden change," McCoy said. "We came out and held them, and they missed the field goal. That was good. That's the kind of defense we have to be."

Sign up for Bucs Red Zone

A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.


Sign up for our other newsletters

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gerald McCoy: Bucs defense wanted to 'set the tone' vs. Jaguars 08/18/17 [Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2017 2:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  2. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — D Victor Hedman said the joke in the Lightning locker room before Friday's exhibition game was that the over/under on slashing penalties would be six.

    "It was the over again," Hedman quipped.

    Wing Ryan Callahan, left,  pursues the Predators’ Colton Sissons, being careful how he uses his stick given the crackdown on slashing in the preseason. “It’s hard to defend when you’re so used to doing something for so long and now it’s a penalty,” Callahan says.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.