It all starts up front: Bucs' new defensive line must shine

New Buccaneer Vinny Curry made two pronouncements on the team’s first day in full pads. First, the Bucs’ defensive line group has "just as much talent on our defensive line here in Tampa as we had in Philly" -- with whom Curry won the Super Bowl last season.

Curry's other observation was, "By this time next week, we'll be a totally different team than today." Meaning the transformation of the Bucs’ defensive line will be ongoing. 

Three new starters along the defensive line are working with the first-team defense in Bucs training camp. Curry is at the left defensive end slot.  Bo Allen is one of the defensive tackles -- he comes over from Philadelphia's championship defense, as well as Curry.  And Jason Pierre-Paul is the other defensive end. 

Pierre-Paul starred at the University of South Florida before a stellar stint with the New York Giants.

This re-vamp of the defensive line distills the game down to its most basic premise: If a defense can stop the opposing team from successfully running the ball, that defense will have a greater opportunity to win. 

Curry, Allen and Pierre Paul all have great run-stopping prowess, which makes the job of rushing the quarterback in third-and-long situations that much more effective.

So where does six-time Pro Bowler defensive tackle Gerald McCoy fit in this scenario? Right in the thick of it. McCoy is the most important cog in the machine. Everything emanates outward from his 
tackle position along the defensive line. 

McCoy couldn't be happier with his new teammates -- and their Super Bowl pedigrees. 

"It motivates me," he said. "I'll ask Vinny, I'll ask Bo, I'll ask JPP, 'How was that Super Bowl?' Since you've done it, I'm going to need you to help me to be able to do it." 

The Bucs will show off the new front line for the first time in game action when the team visits Miami in the August 9 preseason opener. Meanwhile, training camp continues at One Buc Place, with the following dates open to the general public:

- Saturday August 4 at 8:45 a.m.
- Tuesday August 7 at 8:45 a.m.
- Saturday August 11 at 8:45 a.m.
- Tuesday August 14 at 9:45 a.m.
- Wednesday August 22 at 8:45 a.m.

Fans are asked to visit to access a free digital ticket required for entry.