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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Gerald McCoy: Bucs will stick together

By Pat Yasinskas

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Under ordinary circumstances, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is the most gregarious person in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' locker room.

But circumstances were far from ordinary after Tampa Bay’s 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots. The Bucs fell to 0-3 and they’ve already endured reports that some players don’t buy into coach Greg Schiano’s disciplined style.

That’s why it’s only natural that reporters were asking questions about the Bucs perhaps falling apart. It’s happened in plenty of other places through the years when teams have started badly.

“It’s not happening here,’’ McCoy said. “We’re not everybody. It may happen, but it’s not happening here.’’

The tone of McCoy’s voice was harsh. That’s the kind of attitude you want from a team captain.

“Losing, that’s not going to affect us at all,’’ McCoy said. “It’s going to make us closer. There’s something missing that we have to figure out. If you separate and start pointing fingers, it’s not going to get any better.’’

McCoy wasn’t the only prominent player saying the Bucs can’t fall apart. The offense hasn’t been very good all season, while the defense has played well. That’s a formula that has divided locker rooms in the past.

“Right now, we’ve all got to stick together,’’ cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “I’m not on offense. I don’t know what the game plan is. All I know is they’re my teammates, so I’ve got to stick beside them whatever the outcome is.’’

McCoy and Revis were saying all the right things. Besides, you wouldn’t expect them to say their team has big problems.

But it’s fair to wonder if the Bucs really will stick together.

“It’s definitely a choice,’’ Schiano said. “It’s their choice. I have great confidence this team will stick together and this team will win. I believe they believe that.’’