Gerald McCoy is determined to lead the charge. After a Pro Bowl season, McCoy welcomes the responsibility of setting the tone on defense.
"It starts with me, with being the leader upfront. If I get rolling, everybody gets rolling," McCoy said. "It's my job, which I put it on myself. Nobody else has. I took it upon myself to set the tone and bring everybody with me."
For McCoy, it's long-term thinking.
"That's just our goal, for not just this week, but for every week and then that high powered secondary behind us can flourish. So it just starts with us," he said.
McCoy was voted one of the team captains by his teammates -- an honor that isn't handed out lightly. McCoy wants to take his place among the franchise leaders, following Selmon and Sapp.
"Yeah, he had a great camp," said Davin Joseph. "Of course, he didn't see much pre-season action, but the reps he's been doing here, outside in practice have just been impressive."
McCoy can't do it alone up front. The plan is to put pressure on opponents rushing as a group. A group that start with rookie Akeem Spence, Adrian Clayborn and Daniel Te'o Nesheim, but it doesn't end there.
"Spots here are interchangeable," said Daniel Te'o Nesheim. "Guys could be number two or number one. You just to have to work every day to show that you are a player."
From the front of the defense to the back, the Bucs have a complete defense to start the season with. Experienced players that know how to communicate and decipher what's lining up on front of them.
"That's probably the biggest thing," Schiano said. "There is great communication going on back there in the secondary, better than at any point last year. It's been my experience that when you have that in the secondary, and you have guys that can run and are athletic, you have a chance to make some plays."
They should have plenty of chances against a rookie quarterback making his first start on Sunday.
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