TAMPA — The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said it's too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner.
"We haven't turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sunday's game at Atlanta. "It's just two wins. We turn a corner if we win out — that's turning the corner. Two wins is taking a couple steps toward the corner. … That's how we feel. There is a lot of work to be done."
McCoy said the defense in the second half was "terrible" Sunday at Miami, letting a 20-7 lead slip away before prevailing late, 30-20. The unit will need to play much better Sunday to stay close with the defending NFC champions.
"(If) we are going to play elite teams and compete (with) the top teams in the league, we can't allow stuff like that to happen," McCoy said.
The NFL continues to investigate an accusation that Bucs QB Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in March 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Winston has strongly denied the accusation. Coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday that he could not comment on the matter.
"I can't talk about it," he said. "That is in the hands of the NFL right now, and we're cooperating with that investigation to whatever extent that is. There is just nothing I can say about it right now. It's got to run its course and when it does, we will have more to say at that time."
The unnamed driver told Buzzfeed News that Winston, sitting in the passenger front seat of her car, put his hand on her crotch around 2 a.m. in the drive-through of a Mexican restaurant. Winston said he was in the car but not in the front seat, and his former FSU teammate, Ronald Darby, issued a statement corroborating his account, saying that "nothing inappropriate" happened in the car.
Pro Bowl voting
DT Gerald McCoy is the only Bucs player ranking in the top 10 in his position in early Pro Bowl fan voting. McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among defensive tackles and fourth among those in the NFC. Only two NFL teams have fewer players ranking in the top 10 at their positions — the Browns and Colts have none. Voting continues through Dec. 14.
This and that
DE Robert Ayers missed Wednesday's practice while in concussion protocol, as did OL Evan Smith. CB Vernon Hargreaves, who missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, also did not practice. … Three players were signed to the practice squad: WR Jake Lampman, T Givens Price and CB David Rivers. Lampman had six special teams tackles with the Saints last season. Rivers returns after being released last week.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected]m and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.