In pitching their first preseason shutout since 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unleashed a relentless pass rush at Arrowhead Stadium, sacking Kansas City quarterbacks six times as rookie defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers made their pro debuts.
"For the most part, they rushed as a unit,'' Coach Raheem Morris said after Sunday's afternoon practice. "They were flying around and they played with great energy and great aggression. It looked nice. I liked the effort. We have to improve on some of our timing and precision things, which you knew would be missing a little bit.''
Tampa Bay posted only 26 sacks last season, prompting the Bucs to choose Clayborn and Bowers with their first two draft picks.
"It felt good to go against another team,'' said Clayborn, who had two stops at K.C. on Friday night. "My first start was a little shaky. … I missed some assignments but I'll try to get better this week. My pass rush wasn't that great. The run game comes easier for me because there's less thinking.''
Bowers was on the field for only 10 snaps in the 25-0 victory as the Chiefs were limited to only six first downs.
"We're looking to increase his (Bowers) workload this week,'' said GM Mark Dominik. "Obviously, Clayborn played very well. He was physical, aggressive and attacking. I think they were both excited to get out there.''
Second-year DT Gerald McCoy returned to practice Sunday after missing the exhibition opener with a strained rotator cuff.
Morris said he expected both McCoy and DT Brian Price (pelvis) to play against New England in Thursday night's preseason matchup at Raymond James Stadium. CBs Aqib Talib and Myron Lewis, both sidelined by hamstring injuries, are listed as day-to-day.
Rookie TE Luke Stocker, who injured his hip two weeks ago, and WR Arrelious Benn (knee) are unlikely to play against the Patriots.
Sunday's workout marked the final public practice for the Bucs, who wrap up training camp Tuesday afternoon.
A huge turnout greeted the Bucs despite sweltering conditions. Players spent extra time before and after practice signing autographs and Morris expressed his gratitude for the support.
"We have a lot of consistent fans,'' said Morris, "and sometimes there's new faces. It's really been wonderful to have that kind of commitment from our fans.''
The Bucs signed WRs Aundrae Allison and Maurice Price, released rookie QB Mike Coughlin and placed rookie WR Raymond Webber (hamstring) on injured reserve. …Two former Bucs found jobs Sunday, with Jacksonville adding P Brent Bowden (sixth round, 2010) and the Patriots signing LB Niko Koutouvides, a special teams standout in Tampa for the past two seasons. …Thursday's preseason game at Raymond James Stadium is not close to being a sellout and will be blacked out locally. …The parents of Bucs QB Josh Freeman attended Sunday's practice.