A year ago, Dexter McCoil was a former CFL standout hoping to make his first NFL roster. Fast forward to 2017, and McCoil is hoping luck will strike twice.
His play Sunday night helped back up his case.
Down 10-0 in the fourth quarter, Saints quarterback Ryan Nassib and his squad faced a 1st-and-goal from the Chargers' eight-yard line. Nassib then stepped back and fired a pass intended for Tommylee Lewis. From the end zone, Dexter McCoil read the QB's eyes, crept up and picked the ball off at the one.
McCoil then ran the ball back 99 yards for the Chargers' sole score of the night.
"He has a big body, he can move with long strides," Korey Toomer said of McCoil's 6-4 frame. "I congratulated him. I'm happy for him."
"(I knew I had to) just catch the ball and I saw field (so I had to) make it to the end zone," McCoil said after the game. "That was all I was thinking about afterwards. I saw a defender, and I think it was the quarterback, so I was like I could cut inside and try to get into the end zone the best as possible."
Head Coach Anthony Lynn said the safety's play "did not surprise" him. What it also did was add a jolt of energy to the defense.
"Anytime you get a turnover like that for a touchdown, it gives you a little momentum," Lynn said.
With a defense predicated on creating turnovers, McCoil said that the goal for the unit is to get the ball and score. Needless to say, he was glad he put the practice plan into fruition on Sunday.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and shoot, I just tried to make a play," McCoil explained.
Knowing that roster spots aren't given but earned, McCoil is once again fighting to prove why he belongs on the Bolts' 53. Having only three tackles in the first preseason game, McCoil elevated his play in week two to lead the Chargers with six total tackles and one pass defensed along with the interception.
With two games left to prove he's worthy of a spot, McCoil is taking each game in stride. Still, he knows at the end of the day, it's all about making plays like Sunday's.
"Every rep is on film. Everything you do, you're evaluated every day. Everything I do, I'm trying to do the best I can to make this team and help us win some games."