Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gerald McCoy: Cowboys' offensive line is formidable

The Bucs are already down two starters on the defensive line and coming off a game with no sacks, but DT Gerald McCoy made it clear how big a challenge awaits his group Sunday, facing Dallas and what he considers the NFL's best offensive line.

"The best. You can quote me on that," McCoy said Thursday as the Bucs prepared for the Cowboys. "It's the best offensive line in the league. They work so well together. Individually they are all talented, but what makes them so good is how tight-knit of a group they are. If one guy gets beat, he's never beat because there is always somebody helping him."

The Cowboys' line includes three recent first-round draft picks — LT Tyron Smith (2011), C Travis Frederick (2013) and RG Zack Martin (2014), as well as rookie LG La'el Collins, widely projected as a first-round pick before off-field concerns left him undrafted. He signed as a free agent.

Dallas doesn't jump out statistically as an offensive line — the Cowboys have actually given up three more sacks (17 total) than the Bucs have this season, and the team ranks 10th in the NFL with an average of 4.5 yards per carry, rushing for 1,029 yards in eight games.

McCoy said he likes the challenge of going up against what he sees as the best, of having something significant to measure his own position group against.

"You have to look at it as an opportunity and experience," he said. "I'm sure people who play in the NBA one day when they retire ... you're going to say, 'I played against Kobe Bryant.' 'I played against LeBron James' or whoever it may be. ... I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun."

Comments
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Updated: 5 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Published: 01/20/18
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Published: 01/20/18

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7˝; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Published: 01/20/18

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. today TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7˝; 46NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 tonight TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38˝Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p...
Published: 01/20/18
NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

TAMPA — So much for needing a franchise quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.Sure, the Patriots Tom Brady is back in his seventh straight conference championship game and his 12th overall. But check out the other schlubs under center SundayIt's ...
Published: 01/19/18
Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Fifteen years ago today, cornerback Ronde Barber made what's considered the greatest play in Bucs  history, returning an interception of Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb 92-yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 27-10 win in the NFC Championship...
Published: 01/19/18
Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, only weeks removed from a disappointing 2017 season, had a relevant but larger message for teenagers on Friday morning: Don't let small setbacks keep you from your dreams."If you have a phone, if you have a pen and pa...
Published: 01/19/18