WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 1:08 am.

–Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is entering his ninth season, as many as Warren Sapp played for the Bucs. He’s been to six straight Pro Bowls and only two active defensive tackles have more sacks. But McCoy has gone largely unappreciated by a large segment of fans because he has been associated with seven losing teams and no playoff appearances.

McCoy wants to finish his career in Tampa Bay and hopes to play 13 seasons. He said he won’t be appreciated until he’s gone.

“I’ve never said this before, but I’m going to say it now: I think once I’m gone, people will understand,” McCoy said. “I really do. Because there’s a lot that I do that people don’t see. And it’s just you get to a point where you don’t know because you’re so used to seeing it, and when it’s not there, it’s like, well what happened with … ? My dad would always tell me, ‘When it’s gone, you’re going to see.’ And I would.”

–Whenever a running back has more rushing attempts than yards, there’s reason for concern. When that running back is Ronald Jones II, the Bucs’ second-round pick from Southern Cal, it’s confounding.

Jones had his most extended play in the Bucs’ 25-10 loss to the Jaguars in the preseason finale, but he had little more than a few new welts to show for it.

Two of his first three carries against the Jaguars each went for a loss of five yards. Jones finished with four yards on 10 rushing attempts. For the preseason, he rushed for only 22 yards on 28 attempts, a 0.8-yard average, with one touchdown.

Known for his explosive runs, Jones’ longest in the preseason was five yards.

The lack of production has raised some flags. Then you watch the tape of the plays and realize Jones had no chance to do anything with the football because defenders were being turned loose by missed assignments.

“Ronald Jones had three straight runs in the first half where we had a mental error by the blockers up front,” head coach Dirk Koetter said. “Then the fourth one is the one where we were backed up on our 1-yard line, and I’m sure if I was Ronald Jones, I’d be thinking the same thing: get this ball out of the end zone after I had just been hit for a 5-yard loss.”

TEAM MVP

–QB Jameis Winston. If the Bucs are going to have a chance to do anything this season, Winston will have to play lights out when he returns from a three-game suspension. He has improved each season statistically and is coming off his best preseason. He has done a better job of moving out of the pocket and keeping two hands on the ball and did not have a turnover in August. Winston will be highly motivated and is playing for his career in Tampa Bay.
TEAM ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

–RB Ronald Jones II. Even though he averaged 0.8 yards per carry in the preseason, the story will be different when he runs behind the starting offensive line. Jones is an explosive playmaker and can do it as a receiver, as well. Don’t pay too much attention to August football. Jones will be a great change-of-pace back from Peyton Barber.