Tampa Bay defensive player to watch: DT Gerald McCoy

 How he beats you: The third overall pick of the 2010 draft, McCoy is off to the best start of his career. After battling injuries his first two seasons (playing a combined 19 games), McCoy finally is healthy and has three sacks in three games for Tampa Bay. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Oklahoma product is disruptive in both the run and passing games. McCoy also has recorded a pass breakup, a forced fumble and eight tackles.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has three sacks in three games for Tampa Bay. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

“Any time you’re that high of a draft pick, I think everybody knows how talented he is,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “I think he’s finally healthy. He’s playing hard, he comes off the ball, he’s quick, he’s big, he’s a handful.”

How to stop him: The Redskins’ interior linemen can’t get beat off the line. They have to try to keep McCoy out of the backfield so Robert Griffin III can effectively run the offense without taking the pounding he absorbed last week, when he was sacked six times against Cincinnati. If the Redskins can keep Tampa Bay’s defensive front off balance with a variety of running schemes and quick passes, they could have some success. But rushing yards could be hard to come by. The Bucs rank first in the league against the run, yielding only 47.3 yards per game.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · September 27, 2012

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