July 24, 2008

McCoy hoping to step in at TE

When the USC offense needed a big reception last season, more often than not, it looked in Fred Davis' direction.

The tight end led USC with 62 catches, 881 receiving yards and eight touchdown receptions.

This year, though, the offense will have to look somewhere else. Davis, a second-round selection by the Washing Redskins in the 2008 NFL Draft, won't be lining up when USC takes its first snap of the year.

Just because Davis is gone, though, Anthony McCoy said things don't have to change.

"I picked up a lot from watching him - his work ethic, the way he came out everyday before and after practice, watching film, his work in the weight room," McCoy said. "I learned a lot from watching him for two years, and now it's time for me to take over."

McCoy could react to the chance ahead of him a few different ways. Instead of backing down, he's stepping up and into the vacancy.

"I don't see it as pressure. It's more of an opportunity," McCoy said. "Fred was a great player, and when he was in there, he did his thing. Now, it's time for (the tight ends) to take over from where he left off.

"We want to start a whole new thing."

But to get to his chance, McCoy had to sit and be patient. It wasn't quite what he used to.

"I see it as a learning experience. Sitting down over these past two years, I can't lie, was hard. I'm not used to sitting down; I'm used to playing the game," he said. "Watching guys who have been here, guys who know the system and what to do, I just picked at it and learned all these aspects of the game."

Instead of being on the field at every chance this summer, though, McCoy's been slowed by an ankle injury.

"I've been rehabbing some stuff on my ankle," he said. "It's all right; it's just a little tweak. I just want to make sure it's all right before camp."

But there's value in the time missed. McCoy said the summer workouts have helped new quarterback Mark Sanchez and his receivers connect.

"It's extremely important to be out here. We have to try and get that connection," McCoy said. "It's not just important for me; it's all the tight ends and the receivers. When we're out here, we can work and try to all get on the same page."

McCoy returned to throwing drills Tuesday this week, and he's focused on improving all aspects of his game. He's also taken to teaching freshman Blake Ayles - just like Davis taught McCoy.

"I'm focused on every thing. I'm focused on getting the unity with all tight ends. It's great seeing Blake out here, and I try to show him the plays and stuff," he said. "I'm really working on getting that connection with Mark and the other quarterbacks. They'll be in there."

With camp getting closer each day, McCoy and his teammates are excited for his opportunity to come.

"We've been waiting for this," he said. "It's been long - too long. It's been months.

"With camp coming around, we're sure we're ready for it."

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