Better late than never: LeSean McCoy sighting sparks Bucs
He arrived Sunday at Raymond James Stadium as a bit player in an enigmatic ensemble. Tailback LeSean "Shady" McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowler in a previous life, had totaled four offensive snaps the previous six games. One had to hearken back nearly two months, to the home win against Green Bay, to find his last extensive action.

"Just to be honest, every couple of weeks, Tom (Brady) was always like, pointing to get me in there, telling (Coach) BA (Bruce Arians), 'Hey, get Shady in there, get Shady in there,'" McCoy said. "So I knew in a matter of time it would come up."

The reps resurfaced Sunday. With tailback Leonard Fournette rendered inactive, McCoy seized his limited opportunity with four carries for 32 yards and a 3-yard reception in the Bucs' 26-14 triumph.

"I love Leonard," Arians said. "I think he's a heck of a kid, great player. We wanted to get Shady back involved. He's fresh and he showed it today. He made it all pay off for me. I took the risk and he made it pay off."

All of McCoy's handoffs occurred in succession, on the third quarter's pivotal opening drive, ending with gains of 10, 5, 3 and 14 yards. The possession ended with Brady's 2-yard touchdown strike to Rob Gronkowski that gave the Bucs a 23-6 lead.

"I know he's been itching to get back in there and make plays for us, and he did today," Brady said. "Everyone appreciates how hard he works and the pro that he is, his mentality to practice and his prep for the game. And it was great to see him make plays."

Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times, published 14 December 2020