It was just last summer when the defensive tackle admitted his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates weren't prepared for the speed of New England's spread offense in a 31-14 preseason beat down. Brady and the Patriots were in regular-season mode and the Bucs were stuck in neutral, leaving McCoy to ask out loud after the game: "Dang! Um, Mr. Brady, can we line up? Please?' "
One year later, and little has changed.
The Bucs and Pats practiced against each other this week in Tampa ahead of their Friday night showdown, and McCoy remains in awe of Brady.
"When you watch a team the caliber of the Patriots, it opens your eyes to a lot of things. Tom Brady, his focus was just different," McCoy told the Boston Herald. "Tom Brady, his focus was just different. Literally, once he crossed those white lines, he went into a trance. once he stepped back off, and he wasn't on the field no more, he came out of it. That's what we need to get. He's not who he is just because. He's put in all the work and he does it. He's never satisfied. You can see it when he's out there practicing."
The hope in Tampa is that coach Greg Schiano -- who Bill Belichick has widely praised -- will be in town for a long time, building this young team into something sturdy. The difference between New England and 88 percent of the NFL comes down to consistency. Same coach, same quarterback for a decade-plus. McCoy would like to see Tampa follow suit.