Holding court with members of the media after Monday's practice, Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy talked about what he has seen so far from his young teammates and why he loves the Bucs organization.
Coming into his second season in the NFL, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy knows Tampa Bay’s defense will be better. Although a player that has yet to start 16 games in the league, McCoy also understands he will be looked upon to help develop the young players the Buccaneers drafted this year in defensive end Adrian Clayborn (first round) and Da'Quan Bowers (second round). There is work to be done for McCoy, who will see his first action of the preseason on Thursday at home against New England after missing the preseason opener at Kansas City with a shoulder injury, but he is up for the challenge.
“We can't get complacent I guess you could say,” McCoy said. “We are never satisfied, and now that everybody knows we are coming we need to be even more on top of our game.
“Last year we got to 10 wins, and that was our goal. You guys (the media) heard it all year. This year, our goal is to win our division. Anything less than a championship or a Super Bowl and you are always going to be disappointed [if you don’t win]. But when you set out to make goals ... last year it was 10 wins, we got 10 wins. This year, our goal is to win our division, we know it’s not going to be easy. Nobody said it would be easy.”
The former Sooner also hopes to show the detractors the 10-win Buccaneers from the 2010 season were for real last year.
“People outside of here, they think it was a fluke year,” McCoy said. “[Other people say] I don’t know if they can do it again, now they have to face this team or that team. We love that [doubt]. We can’t take it for granted, though. We have to work even harder.”
McCoy saw signs of the improvement even in the Buccaneers’ first preseason game, a 25-0 win at Kansas City last Friday night.
“We aren’t where we want to be, but I think we showed signs of what we can be,” McCoy said. “ I mean [look] at how fast our linebackers moved. Last week (the Kansas City game) we had six sacks with me missing, Brian Price missing and Roy Miller missing. See what I’m saying? Last year we couldn’t sniff a sack. So, that’s a good sign.
“Our linebackers are all over the place. [Mason] Foster doing his thing. Quincy [Black], I watched one play when he was lined on the right side and made a tackle on the left sideline. When you watch the tape and you see 11 jerseys flying around the ball, jumping up and down playing with energy in the preseason ... I can go ahead and say it - this defense [last year] didn’t have an identity, but we are going to get one.”
Even while being slowed down so far this camp with a rotator cuff injury, McCoy can't wait to see his initial action of the preseason this Thursday against New England when he can take the field with his new teammates for the first time.
“I love my teammates,” McCoy said. “I love what our guys upstairs have done. I love our ownership. Our G.M. and coaches make the smartest decisions. Like this year with Bowers and Clayborn, and Foster and Ahmad Black. Those guys [in front office and coaches] knew this lockout would hit. And they never knew when it would end. So they needed to draft guys that could come on the field and get it right now. And they did that.
“That’s why I love this organization. You can never find another coach like Raheem Morris. Look around the league. You are not going to find anybody like that.”
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