Bucs DT Gerald McCoy big fan of Falcons QB Matt Ryan

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — At the risk of riling some critics who insist he’s too nice on the football field, Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy concedes he has a deep admiration for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle stresses, however, that sportsmanship should never be mistaken for a lack of commitment to do whatever is necessary to win.

When the Buccaneers (3-4) host the NFC South-leading Falcons (5-3) on Thursday night, McCoy intends to do everything he can to make the NFL’s passing yardage leader uncomfortable.

The seventh-year pro is unapologetic about saying kind things about star players or occasionally helping another team’s quarterback to his feet after a sack.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.