Ayers on Simeon Rice playing at 43: 'He can't do it no more'
The Bucs already had problems with their pass rush -- a league-low seven sacks -- but having 43-year-old Simeon Rice volunteer to help out his old team hasn't been well-received by those trying to get to the quarterback themselves.
"Come get his ass beasted. Trying to come out here, some young killas out here," Ayers said of whether Rice could still play, nearly 10 years removed from his last NFL game. "All due respect to him, but he can't do it no more. He better leave it to the young guns."
Those young guns, of course, are struggling to find answers on getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Rice has 122 career sacks, and looked to be in great shape when he spent two days at Bucs practice in preseason, working with ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell. But could he still get it done on the field?
"If he said he can, you know, by all means," a polite Gerald McCoy said Wednesday. "I think that's just a lot of talk. He's 43. Your body changes. But I love Simeon, man. Within a couple of years, he'll have a gold jacket. ... Person like that, it ain't like his track record isn't great. I don't know if he's serious, but I just kind of laughed at it. ... We always have a good time when he comes around and he's given me some great advice about things he and 99 used to do."
Defensive coordinator Mike Smith, asked about Rice's offer, was tactful in his response.
"I don't want to comment on that," Smith said. "He was a great pass rusher. I know when I was 43, I couldn't do what I was doing when I was 25."