Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy talked about becoming a Buccaneer and why he wanted to go to Tampa Bay. McCoy said he grew up a big fan of Warren Sapp, and the Buccaneers. After his visit to the Bucs, McCoy said Tampa felt like home and this is where he wanted to be drafted.
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was ecstatic in landing with the team that he wanted to draft him. On Thursday night McCoy was the third-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Bucs. Friday morning he flew to Tampa Bay to visit his new team.
"It is God given. I said look put me where I need to be where I'm supposed to be," McCoy said. "I visited Detroit, and that was Detroit. I visited St. Louis and that was St. Louis. I came to Washington and that was Washington. I came to Tampa Bay and I felt at home. That is the God's honest truth. I told my agents that. I told everybody back home that, ‘look if I don't go to Tampa I'm going to be upset.' That was truth because I felt at home here, and Tampa picked 17 last year. When was the last time Tampa picked that high (third overall)? That is why I said it has to be God-given. And when they are they are looking for a three technique. It just worked out."
McCoy fills a huge need for the Buccaneers. The Bucs were looking for a dominant defensive tackle that can stuff the run and get after the passer. McCoy, 22, could give the Bucs a superstar defensive tackle that the team has missed since the days of Warren Sapp, who was drafted in the first-round of the 1995 NFL Draft. McCoy's strength is his lightning fast first-step, and his ability to put pressure on the quarterback. A number of draft pundits, including NFL Network's Mike Mayock, rate McCoy as the top defensive tackle and some suggest he is the best player in the draft. McCoy said he grew up a big fan of Sapp, and the Buccaneers.
"Well there was a guy who played here who wore number 99. I don't know if you guys know, but I was a big fan of his and my love for the team just grew," said McCoy. "It grew for the defense, but then the whole team as a whole. I was looking at who you guys were going to pick to, and really when you guys got Brad Johnson that's when I was like ‘okay now its time.' Then you won the Super Bowl. That was a big day for me. Me and my pastor's son we were at night service. Who has night service on Super Bowl Sunday I don't know but we were like trying to sneak out. My pastor's son is a little guy so he was running real fast ‘they got another interception' and I was like ‘good, good.' We were in the back in the church going like this [waving his arms]. The pastor was up their preaching and stuff. I grew up a huge Bucs fan and it is honor to be here."
McCoy had 14.5 sacks in his career with Oklahoma. He totaled 83 tackles, 33 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, two forced fumbles, and one interception in his career.
Last year, McCoy had six sacks, and did not record a multi-sack game during 2009. McCoy ended the season with 34 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted away, and one forced fumble. As a sophomore McCoy had a career-high of 6.5 sacks with 30 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted away, one interception, and no forced fumbles. McCoy was a leader on the Sooners defense that helped Oklahoma win the Big 12 and advance to the BCS National Championship Game as the number one ranked team in the nation. Oklahoma lost in the National Championship Game that year to Florida. McCoy had a disruptive first half of the game with an interception on a pass from quarterback Tim Tebow that he returned 12 yards. McCoy also had four tackles and one tackle for a loss in that contest.
McCoy has struck up a friendship with his idol Sapp, and McCoy said he was in awe of the statues at the entrance of One Buc Place that celebrate the Buccaneers Super Bowl win.
"Warren Sapp said ‘G when you get there check out the statue'," said McCoy. "I text him back why does he look so fat in his statue."
McCoy has described himself as a maniac on the field, which betrays his friendly, full-of-smiles, jovial nature off the field.
"Oh that was somewhat of a knock on me because I am so nice off the field and I am how I am," McCoy said. "They didn't know if I can be mean on the field, but the thing is God gave me a lot of ability to play this game. The reason why I stuck to it was because this is what I was best at. My parents my told me when I was younger what whatever you think you are good at or what ever you want to do pursue it to the best of your abilities and I try to be great at it, and I love this sport. I really do. I can't wait to play at the next level and that's what happens when I step across those lines. Football is what I do, and what I love, I have so much passion and drive. I don't know what it is but when I do I'll let you know."
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