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McCoy says Bucs stunned by speed of Brady, Patriots' offense

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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After Tom Brady and his starting receivers sat out the New England Patriots' preseason opener, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't sure what they'd get from last season's NFL MVP.

What they got Thursday night was a 31-14 beatdown, with Brady and the Patriots torching Tampa Bay for two quarters, something for which defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admitted his Bucs teammates weren't prepared.

"(The Patriots) did not treat this like a preseason game," McCoy told WDAE-AM after the game. "That's why they are who they are.

"I'm telling you, man, they came out, they'd turn around huddle, snap, oh, 'There's the Mike, go!' I was like, 'Dang! Um, Mr. Brady, can we line up? Please?' "

McCoy tried to find hope in a game that offered few bright moments for Tampa Bay.

"This is not a setback. ... This is actually positive," McCoy said. "We needed this. Last weekend was a false sense of security. 'We good ... We beat Kansas City. We shut them out.' No, we're not."

The Bucs' 25-0 victory over the Chiefs in their preseason opener became a distant memory as New England built a 28-0 lead on their first five possessions, confusing Tampa Bay defenders with the speed of its offense.

"A lot of times, we'd get the call, but we couldn't get lined up," McCoy told The Boston Globe. "They were moving the ball so fast. Now we have to learn to recognize formations to attack quicker."

McCoy praised Bucs coach Raheem Morris for keeping younger players in the fray during the Patriots' assault, saying he "made things more difficult tonight for us on purpose."

"Usually it's easier to teach 'em after a big loss because you can whup them and do whatever you want to do to them and everyone is accepting of it," Morris said Friday. "But for us, whether it's been a big win or a big loss ... it's been the same general approach every time I talk to the team. I don't think it really applies to our football team."

Morris wanted to evaluate his young players "without any scheme or anything of that nature," and the early pace set by the Patriots was a big problem for the Bucs.

"We felt like we didn't come out with the same intensity as last week, the same intensity that they had," quarterback Josh Freeman said. "They came out and they took it serious ... you can see that with the intensity they had on the field. It is something for us to take and learn from."

Rookie linebacker Mason Foster might have learned a lesson from an unnecessary-roughness call that kick-started the Patriots' second touchdown drive. Foster separated Chad Ochocinco from the football with a perfectly timed hit, but he was penalized either for "launching" himself at the receiver or for hitting him in a defenseless position.

"There's going to be questionable (calls) like that all year," Morris said. "The human element is definitely going to be a factor, but the way they explained it to me and all the other teams, they're going to err on the side of caution. I don't have a problem with it."

Morris credited center Jeff Faine and offensive tackle Donald Penn for making adjustments to New England's blitz, and noted that defensive back Elbert Mack "had a big game" that included a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. Corey Lynch, Larry Asante and Dekoda Watson also were singled out for defensive plays.

But Morris said many of the Bucs' regulars were outplayed by their individual opponents, and he made a point of telling them that.

"They'll take it personally, and they'll come out and win those one-on-one battles," he said. "Who can stand up and win one-on-one versus (Devin) McCourty, a Pro Bowl corner? Who can stand up and win one-on-one versus this elite secondary with the blitz and the pressure coming after Josh? Let's find those things out."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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