Tag:Gerald McCoy
Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 6:55 pm
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Offseason checkup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Freeman is the face of the Tampa Bay franchise (Getty).  

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If you know anyone predicted that the Buccaneers would challenge for a divisional title and/or the playoffs, you should stop reading this immediately, buy that person a plane ticket to Las Vegas and go get your Biff Tannen on.

And even though Raheem Morris' Tampa Bay squad shocked the world, people still aren't ready to believe. That's okay, and probably a little fair until the success becomes consistent, and perhaps more, um, explicable. But sometimes wins aren't borne out by stats and Josh Freeman, an absolute star of a quarterback in the making, is a good sample of that. Freeman led the Bucs on several incredibly impressive fourth-quarter comebacks in 2010, and there's little question that he's the face of the franchise going forward.

All optimism aside, though, there's still plenty the Bucs need to address before going head-to-head against the Falcons and Saints seems like a fair fight.



Defensive line, secondary

Tampa Bay burned its first two 2010 picks on defensive tackles -- Gerald McCoy and Brian Price -- and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Bucs use some early selections on the defensive line again this year. Defensive end is a big need, and there's plenty of depth at the position heading into April's draft.

The secondary could be an issue for the Bucs, but it's really up in the air at the moment. That's because would-be-star cornerback Aqib Talib is dealing with "violence issues" that have manifested in the form of a "felony arrest warrant," and Tanard Jackson, suspended for substance abuse issues in 2010, is a total wild card. Ronde Barber's fine when it comes to behavior, but there's little chance he'll play after 2011.



1. Defensive end
After spending two early picks on the interior defensive line in 2010, it actually makes a ton of sense to also address the ends in 2011. And this is the perfect draft to do so with a pile of DE talent that should fall to the back end of the first round. Perhaps guys like Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and Iowa's Adrian Clayborn would entice the Bucs.

2. Cornerback
It wouldn't seem all that prudent to suggest that the Bucs look for a "problem child" type of corner to beef up their secondary, but if someone like Jimmy Smith falls to them, they'd have to at least consider the move. (And, really, it's not fair to make any comparison with Smith's reported attitude problems and the legal issues for the current Bucs' secondary.) Alternately, don't be shocked to see them beef up the position's depth via later rounds.

3. Running Back

LeGarrette Blount had an absolutely fantastic season for Tampa (and he's blatantly going to be the guy who gets drafted too early in 2011 fantasy drafts) but there are still questions as to whether it was Tampa's scheme or Blount's skills that propelled his year. Even if it was the latter, the Bucs should look to build backfield depth in a year that's prime for doing so in the draft.



Its relatively easy to be bullish on the Bucs heading into 2011, but it's also important to remember that there is room for improvement and growth in Tampa, and with such room can come some growing pains. Of course, it's not terrible news that the draft sets up nicely in terms of depth versus need for this roster.

A repeat of 10 wins in 2011 might be a bit of a stretch, especially if Atlanta and New Orleans improve in the offseason. But discounting Morris' ability to motivate this team would be a foolish move, and there's good reason to expect continued improvement.

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:44 am
 

Gerald McCoy & Co. visit Africa

Posted by Andy BenoitG. McCoy

It’s not all gloomy news in the NFL these days. Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is heading to war torn African countries Uganda and Rwanda for a two-week mission with the nonprofit group Pros for Africa on Tuesday.

The organization is based in Oklahoma; McCoy is one of several Sooners (including Tommie Harris and Mark Clayton) who have been involved with it over the years. Joining McCoy on this African trip will be Santonio Holmes and Vernon Davis.

"I've always wanted to go to Africa anyway, and when I learned about what they were doing over there, I thought it was something great to get involved with," McCoy told Stephen Holder of TampaBay.com.

The players will spend part of their time in Uganda working in houses that provide shelter to hundreds of displaced women and girls abandoned by their villages because of pregnancies resulting from sexual assault.

"Having a little girl, I couldn't imagine her being kidnapped and raped," McCoy said. "I couldn't imagine losing her -- period.”

He added, "I think (volunteering will) open my eyes a lot to see there are other things outside of America. And I think it'll encourage me to encourage others to get involved and help others besides yourself."

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:29 am
 

Hot Routes 12.14.10 no snow problems here

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit & Josh Katzowitz


Cardinals rookie QB John Skelton certainly wasn’t great in the first start of his career Sunday, but he was good enough to earn another start from Ken Whisenhunt.


Colt McCoy is optimistic that his return from a high ankle sprain is near.


If the Vikings want to play next Monday’s game at the University of Minnesota, they need to let the school know by today. It’s because removing the snow from the field would take 5-6 days.


Buccaneers rookie DT Gerald McCoy tore his biceps muscle vs. the Redskins on Sunday. He’ll need surgery to repair the damage.


Redskins SS LaRon Landry, who actually had been having a pretty strong season, has been placed on the IR list.


Is it really that big a deal that Tashard Choice got Michael Vick’s autograph after the Eagles-Cowboys game Sunday?


They just won a Monday Night thriller on the road…now John Harbaugh wants his team to get a Monday Night game at home for a change.


Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer questions the constructiveness of Steve Smiths’ comment about Jimmy Clausen. (He ain’t at Notre Dame anymore.)


The Bengals placed underrated run-defending safety Chinedum Ndukwe on IR (knee).


If Flynn had gotten hurt last Sunday, the Packers would have turned to Jordy Nelson at quarterback.


Dolphins NT Paul Soliai has had a surprisingly good season. Now there’s pressure on the Fins to pay the man.


Tom Cable refutes the report that he and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson aren’t seeing eye to eye.


Mike Singletary intimated that Brian Westbrook’s time on the bench earlier this season was a blessing in disguise, as now the veteran RB is fresh. Westbrook doesn’t exactly agree with that, though he’s not raising a stink over it.


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Posted on: November 29, 2010 4:37 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.29.10 Sunday box score tidbits

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Mike Tolbert had 26 carries for 103 yards.

Chargers inside linebacker Kevin Burnett has been one of the most pleasantly surprising players of 2010. He led the team with 10 tackles Sunday night.

Matt Ryan threw just four incompletions against the Packers Sunday.

Greg Jennings continued his dominance with 119 yards on five catches. Jennings averaged 36.6 yards per outing the first five games; he’s averaged 106.5 in the past six games. (One factor has been increased opportunities resulting from the absence of Jermichael Finley.)

The Steelers ran 83 plays against the Steelers, seemingly all of them coming on the first drive.

The Steelers also had over 100 yards in penalties for a second straight week.

Hines Ward had 107 yards receiving. Fred Jackson led the Bills with 105.

Donte Whitner had 18 tackles for the Bills. That speaks well for the safety and poorly for the front seven’s run defense.

Another strong outing for Peyton Hillis: 26 carries, 131 yards against the Panthers. Oh, and three touchdowns. Hillis has 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. If 131 yards rushing aren’t enough, how about the 63 yards Hillis added through the air?

Abram Elam, a safety, led the Browns with two tackles for a loss AND two sacks Sunday.

The Jaguars rushed for 207 yards against the Giants, with more than 140 of them coming in the first half. Maurice Jones-Drew had a career-high fourth-straight 100-yard game. Backup Rashad Jennings (seven carries, 53 yards) continues to look better each week.

Brandon Jacobs got 14 carries (87 yards). Ahmad Bradshaw got nine (49 yards).

Giants wide receivers caught a total of five passes Sunday.

Despite being without Adrian Peterson most of the day, the Vikings outrushed the Redskins 137-29.

Toby Gerhardt had 76 yards on 22 carries. In a startling display of consistency, Gerhardt’s longest carry was just six yards.

Jared Allen recorded a sack and three tackles for a loss. He has 5.5 sacks his last three games after getting just one sack his first seven. (A few of his 5.5 sacks have been cheap, though.)

The Titans had just nine first downs at Houston, two of them coming from Texan penalties.

Randy Moss got his first, second and third catch as a Viking, though even listing them one at a time like that doesn’t make the total sound at all substantial.

Arian Foster: 30 carries,143 yards; nine receptions, 75 yards.

Miami Dolphins: 82 plays. Oakland Raiders: 45. What does this tell us? Oakland’s run defense still isn’t good. (Dolphins had 186 yards on the ground.)

Worth mentioning is that the Raiders run offense doesn’t appear to be very good, either. The Raiders ran the ball 12 times for 16 yards. Darren McFadden was stifled for the second week in a row.

The rushing disparity in Oakland almost pales to that in Seattle. The Chiefs: 270 yards on the ground. The Seahawks: 20. The Chiefs had the ball for more than 41 minutes.

Fantasy owners, take note: Seahawks wideout Ben Obomanu was impressive for a second straight week. The willowy fifth-year pro had 159 yards on five receptions.

Michael Vick’s 333 yards passing marked his second 300-yard game this season and just the fourth of his career. The Bears held Vick to 44 yards on nine runs.

The Bears’ top three wideouts, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox, all went for over 55 yards receiving.

The people calling for Josh McDaniels’ head can’t use the Jay Cutler trade as part of their argument. Kyle Orton threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams. Clearly, offense is not the problem in Denver.

Joe Flacco continues to quietly post big numbers. He had 289 yards through the air against the Bucs, with two touchdowns and only one pick (the Aqib Talib interception between the knees).

Bucs rookie DT Gerald McCoy had two sacks and two tackles for a loss.




Combed through all the box scores to bring you any nuggets that may have fallen through the cracks. Enjoy.

No need to read the Colts-Chargers box score too closely – only one stat stands out: Chargers zero turnovers, Colts five.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 2:07 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.21.10 over the moon for Moss return

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit


If you have a Hot Route, hit us up on Twitter @CBSSportsNFL.


David Garrard (concussion) was not at the team facilities again on Thursday. It’s highly unlikely he’ll play against the Chiefs.

Chris Cooley took part in a few light drills on Wednesday. Cooley suffered a concussion Sunday night against the ColtsR. Moss (US Presswire).


Randy Moss’ appearance at Lambeau Field Sunday night will be his first since the 2005 mooning celebration.


Titans cornerback Jason McCourty has been cleared for contact after rehabbing the fractured forearm suffered September 28. It could still take a little time for McCourty to return to game action, though. And when he does he may no longer have his starting job, considering how well rookie Alterraun Verner has played.


Gerald McCoy has fellow rookie Sam Bradford in his sights.


Alex Smith wouldn’t mind being left alone on the sideline a little more during games.


Kris Brown will fill in as the Chargers kicker for at least one week while Nate Kaeding nurses a groin injury.


The Cardinals are getting healthy (including at wide receiver, with Steve Breaston and Early Doucet).


Terrell Suggs keeps firing shots at Tom Brady.


We’ll keep one eye open on Kyle Boller and the Raiders quarterback situation. If healthy, Jason Campbell is expected to start. But will he finish?


The 49ers are delaying the opening of their new stadium until 2015, due to financing and labor issues. The team originally expected to open in 2014.


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Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:16 am
 

Bucs run defense is awful

Posted by Andy Benoit

Just how bad is the Buccaneers run defense these days? Before Sunday’s game, Sean Payton told FOX Sports iC. Ivory (US Presswire)n the broadcast meeting that he’d be irritated if Saints running back Chris Ivory failed to top 100 yards on the ground. Payton surely presented his expectations as confidence in his player rather than disrespect for his opponent. But come on: how often does a coach place such high expectations on an undrafted rookie?

Ivory, of course, lived up to those expectations. Quite easily, in fact. He topped the 100-yard mark on his 10th carry, which came with just under 12 minutes left in the third quarter. Ivory finished the day with 15 carries for 158 yards. And it wasn’t a Barry Sanders-like 158, either. Ivory’s stats weren’t buttressed by one or two breakaway runs; his longest carry went for 33 yards.

Ivory shows some encouraging traits. He’s compact and runs with very good balance. He’s not a burner, but he accelerates well enough. That said, this was a classic case of a good running offense gashing a very poor run defense.

Ivory wasn’t the only Saint who had success on the ground. The box score shows Julius Jones gaining just 32 yards on nine carries. But a lot of those yards came late when New Orleans was running out the clock. When Jones got touches within the flow of regular offense (i.e. when the Bucs couldn’t load up the box and only think about defending the run), he consistently found daylight.

Tampa Bay currently ranks 31st against the run. Last season, it ranked dead last. The Bucs spent their first two draft picks on defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. McCoy was a complete non-factor against top-echelon guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks. Price is still coming off the bench behind Roy Miller (who, by the way, was manhandled on more than one occasion Sunday).

As weak as the Bucs are inside, their real problems are outside. If anyone has footage of defensive end Michael Bennett NOT getting stood up and locked by a run-blocker, please send it this way. Playing behind ends that can’t set the edge, finesse-oriented outside linebackers Geno Hayes and Quincy Black are easily exposed as liabilities in traffic.

The Bucs run defense will get better at some point. After all, it’s not uncommon for defensive tackles to struggle as rookies. And Hayes and Black are both capable players when operating in space (at least Hayes is, anyway). But from the looks of things, “some point” won’t come until at least 2011.


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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm
 

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: July 31, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: July 31, 2010 2:58 pm
 

Bucs make two major signings

The Buccaneers have signed two key tackles – one on each side of the ball. As expected, left tackle Donald Penn received the long-term contract he has been pining for. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Penn has received a six-year deal worth $48 million.

The Bucs also signed No. 3 overall draft pick Gerald McCoy. We know McCoy's deal is for five years, but it’s not yet known how many dollars are involved.

UPDATE: McCoy got $36.5 million guaranteed.

-- Andy Benoit

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