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Third-quarter catch McCardell's 600th

"There are a lot more catches in me, I hope,'' says 32-year-old Bucs WR who totaled six for 83 yards.

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 7, 2002

"There are a lot more catches in me, I hope," says 32-year-old Bucs WR who totaled six for 83 yards.

ATLANTA -- He did his best to underplay the significance of it. And for good reason, Sunday was teammate Keyshawn Johnson's day.

But in the midst of the euphoria over Johnson's dramatic 76-yard touchdown reception, were a few huge and one significant catch by fellow receiver Keenan McCardell.

McCardell, 32, in his 11th season in the league, entered the game needing four catches to reach 600 for his career.

On a first down at the Bucs 29 late in the third quarter, McCardell grabbed a slant pass through traffic for a 9-yard gain and a piece of NFL history.

Catch No. 600 was followed by two more for 15 yards each.

"I can't put it in words," McCardell said. "There are a lot more catches in me, I hope. There are a lot of guys ahead of me and I have to keep pecking away. But, I'm very proud of it. I was like, "Man, that's 600!' That's up there on the list. I would love 600 more."

McCardell quickly has settled into a role with the Bucs offense. Even on a day when Johnson finished with six receptions for 131 yards (including his careerlong touchdown) McCardell added six receptions and 83 yards. Coincidently, McCardell's former Jaguars teammate, Jimmy Smith, caught his 600th in a victory over the Eagles in Jacksonville.

McCardell, who signed a four-year, $10-million deal in June, said the Bucs offense is maturing and he is happy to be part of it.

"Like I've been saying since training camp, we want to get better every week and if we can do that, as a unit, it'll make us better down the stretch," McCardell said. "We want to be on the ascending graph toward the end and if we're there, then the sky's the limit.

"Let's just keep getting better, one week at a time. Everything can't come all at once. There's a lot of new guys playing together for the first time. Now we're realizing we can count on this guy or count on that guy and that's what we have to have. That's the confidence we want."

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Today's lineup

  • Monster's ball
  • Bucs offense makes strides
  • Bucs feel at home with crowd support
  • Keyshawn meets vertical challenge
  • Third-quarter catch McCardell's 600th
  • ucs/Falcons quotebooks
  • Sound bites

  • Lightning
  • Lecavalier turns over new leaf
  • Assignment upsets Alexeev

  • Other sports

  • F1 could weight points leader's car
  • For Earnhardt, 3 is a $1-million number
  • Da Matta locks up CART title
  • CART and Le Mans to share in future
  • Smaller fuel cells break up large packs

  • Baseball playoffs
  • A couple of survivors: Giants
  • A couple of survivors: Twins
  • NL: Rolen has multiple sprains
  • AL: Again, A's can't win when they have to

  • NFL
  • NFL notebook: O'Neal returns to Denver's good graces
  • Gramatica lifts Cards to best start in decade
  • Ravens stave off Browns comeback
  • Saints balance well in victory
  • Chargers' unbeaten run ends in Denver
  • Jags leave McNabb, Eagles in ill health
  • Dolphins defense responds
  • NFL roundup
  • Chicago to run into its greatest nemesis: Favre

  • College football
  • After win in 6 OTs, is UT ready for Dawgs?
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  • Bulls gain ground on the ground
  • Miami strengthens position as nation's best

  • Golf
  • Howell earns his first win in 68 starts

  • NHL
  • Wild puts Thrashers away in OT

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