It didn't look like it on the stat sheet, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made what his coach said was an impressive return to the lineup Thursday during a 31-14 loss to the New England Patriots.
Playing for the first time since he tore a biceps in a Week 14 game at Washington last season, McCoy committed one glaring mistake but turned in an otherwise exemplary effort, according to coach Raheem Morris.
"McCoy actually was the bright spot for me,'' Morris said. "He got off the ball great and he was very active with his hands. He missed one big play … but for the most part his play was the bright spot for the D-line.''
McCoy registered just one tackle on the night, but caused some disruption in the backfield, including a play that resulted in Patriots running back Danny Woodhead breaking free for a 29-yard gain.
"He actually missed the (initial tackle) on that play, but that play still should have been stopped,'' Morris said. "We had a breakdown in our chute awareness there.''
Morris said rookie defensive end Adrian Clayborn had a difficult night against the Patriots, as the team's first-round draft pick struggled to adjust to the Patriots quick-snap offense.
"He had a tough night lining up and some assignment busts, but for the most part, McCoy was really the bright spot up front,'' Morris said. "He got off the ball and caused some disruption and did some different things for us up front.