DT Gerald McCoy
The interior of the Buccaneers offensive line is in bad shape. Vita Vea still hasn’t seen the field, Mitch Unrein is out for at least another five weeks, and Beau Allen left Sunday’s game with a foot injury.
Gerald McCoy will get all the attention up the middle. This wasn’t supposed to be the plan. General manager Jason Licht spent big money to bring in Unrein and Allen, then followed it up by selecting Vea in the first round of the draft.
At one point, the interior of the Bucs defensive line looked to be the defenses greatest strength; now, it’s probably a weakness.
There’s no doubt that McCoy is an elite defensive tackle, but asking him to take on that much of a load could be a problem against the Steelers.
Even without Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh’s running game hasn’t missed a beat. James Conner has already racked up 152 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Add in his 105 receiving yards; he’s proven to be a unique weapon for Ben Roethlisberger.
McCoy needs to be the anchor up the middle. He needs to control the trenches and make sure Pittsburgh turns into a pass-first team. Roethlisberger will get his numbers, but he is an interception machine at this point in his career.
‘Big Ben’ has thrown double-digit interceptions in each of his last four seasons. Tampa Bay can use his aggressiveness to their advantage. The defense will likely give up plenty ground, but turnovers could be the difference in what could be another shootout in Tampa Bay.
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