Bucs might have a fresher Gerald McCoy

TAMPA, Fla. -- In many ways, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is different from predecessor Greg Schiano. There could be yet another difference coming.

Schiano played defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on about 90 percent of the defensive plays for the season. Schiano’s logic was that a tired McCoy still was better than his backup. But Smith might see things a little differently.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier hinted Tuesday that the Bucs might rest McCoy a bit more than Schiano did.

“You want him on the field as much as possible," Frazier said. “But, also, you want to make sure in the fourth quarter that he’s fresh and able to finish games the same way he started games."

Frazier’s comments came as he talked about how the Bucs have been giving defensive end Da'Quan Bowers some practice time at defensive tackle.

“We’ll see how Da'Quan does inside, but we think he’ll give us that relief that we’ll need sometimes when we want to take Gerald off the field," Frazier said.

Although Bowers has yet to make much of an impact in his NFL career, Frazier said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen in camp.

“His strength sticks out," Frazier said. “He’s a stout player on the inside and we need a guy who can come in when Gerald is not on the field, so we don’t have a big drop off. But we’re also going to use Da'Quan at end as well. He’s one of the few guys that can give you the dual purpose on the defensive line. With his strength inside and his movement and athleticism, if he stays healthy, we’re counting on big things from him."