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October 6, 2011 @ 5:45 pm
Current rating: 4.33 Stars/3 Votes

Faith And Football: McCoy Improving In Both

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Playing the best football of his young NFL career, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy credits his strong faith for his transformation as a player and a person. While still learning, McCoy said he has found something to rely on during the difficult times.

Being the third overall draft pick in the NFL draft brings many things, like money, notoriety and fame. But the one thing that being a first-round pick probably brings more than anything is expectations.

Through his rookie season and the first four games of 2011, no Buccaneers player has taken more criticism than defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. From sports radio hosts, to those on Internet message boards like the ones on PewterReport.com, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft has had his fair – or not-so-fair – share of abuse.

Why McCoy is suddenly starting to come on as a player is up for debate, but in McCoy’s mind there is one reason and one only.

“People ask me, ‘Why doesn’t the criticism bother you anymore?’ McCoy said. “Last year I was playing for all the wrong reasons. I was playing to not make a mistake, playing to live up to the expectations of Warren Sapp and Mr. [Lee Roy] Selmon – all wrong reasons. After I got hurt late in the season I kind of got a revelation: ‘Gerald, you aren’t living the life the way you are supposed to be.’

“Not that I was living bad, but I wasn’t living my life for the Lord 100 percent. So when I was playing, I was playing for the Lord, but I wasn’t giving my all for Him. It was like, you don’t want this person talking bad about you, you don’t want the media … this year all glory goes to God and everything I do is for Him. The Bible says 'Do all that you do with all your heart unto the Lord. Because you do it for Him, not to please human masters.'

“That is the difference. And that’s how I deal with the media and expectations and all that. I don’t pay attention [to the media or negativity]. As long as I feel like I am giving all to the Lord, that is all that matters to me.”


Defensive line coach Keith Millard didn’t comment on the religious angle but told PewterReport.com that McCoy, along with the entire defensive line, are finally starting to get what the coaches have been preaching.

“For the last couple weeks they are starting to feel what we want,” Millard said. “The light is starting to come on, so to speak. We still aren't where we are going, but we are on our way and definitely starting to see progress the last couple weeks. Each week has gotten better. They are seeing it on film and are starting to see it and feel it. It’s all starting to fall into place. We talk about in this league you have to play with a nasty disposition. You have to play angry, but with a calm mind. It’s not fun and games. It’s trench warfare out there.

“We had a little heart-to-heart in our meeting last week. It wasn’t nice, but there were a few players in there I was trying to drive that through to. It’s not nice-guy game. You are all great guys. God-loving people. I would have you over to my house and you could date my daughter. But I don’t want that person on game day. And that is the bottom line.”

Tampa Bay’s starting defensive tackle has taken Millard’s words to heart.

“They say when you are playing for the Lord you should be the most vicious player out there,” McCoy laughed. “So I’m out there just tying to kill everybody out there in front of me.

“Everybody is starting to play angry. That is something I said early in camp is he (Millard) has changed our mentality. He said you guys have to be angry and vicious and strong-willed to get there.”

In the last two games McCoy has done enough to quell the critics, at least temporarily. Against the Colts on Monday night, McCoy had arguably his best game as a Buccaneer with six tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss. On the season, the former Sooner has 10 tackles, one sack, four tackles for a loss and is leading Tampa Bay with 13 quarterback pressures.

Millard says the work McCoy has put in is starting to pay off.

“He’s coming, I mean he is coming,” Millard said. “He is very disruptive right now. Everything he should have been and they drafted him to be – it’s coming. He is growing as well – he is still a young player in the NFL—he is taking the proper steps, and each step he takes he is getting better and better. Each time he has success based on what he has learned and what he has worked on motivates him to work harder and to keep going. And that is right where you want him. You see it every week. He is a huge factor in what we are doing.”

“Having a year under my belt I now know how the game is played,” McCoy said. “I’m still getting better and still learning. I don’t think you become a veteran until your third or fourth year. Your first year you experience some things, then your second year you experience the same things, but you know how to fix them.”

Teammate Adrian Clayborn is one who appreciates having McCoy as a mentor.

“He makes everything a little bit easier because he has been through it recently,” Clayborn said. “Going through those first two games and not having any sacks and kind of struggling to get a grasp of the game mentally, and having him there after games to tell me what to do and focus on for the next week. He knows what the feeling is like.

“He is not a selfish guy at all. When I got my first sack, he was the first guy to congratulate me. That is just the type of person he is both on and off the field.”

McCoy said the “walk of faith” isn’t an easy road although he never expected it to be. But the inner peace he has found helps him.

“Last year I was trying to be somebody I wasn’t. I came into all this money and this new league. Just trying to be somebody I’m not. I realize you are supposed to be different. You have to dare to be different. You have to be willing to pay the price to not be in the 'in crowd.'

“It is definitely hard to do. You don’t want to feel like an outcast. You want to be part of the 'in crowd.' Most people on this team come from their respective schools where they are the stars on the teams. They are just used to being popular. Sometimes when you do things the right way – there aren’t very many people (in this world) doing that – so you have to find a group of guys who are doing the same things you are doing. It is hard sometimes because you can be an outcast. But it is worth it in the end.”

McCoy said having teammates with a similar faith helps him stay grounded and they all share the same bond.

“Adam Hayward, Roy Miller, Frank Okam, Corey Lynch, Demar Dotson, Micheal Spurlock, Mosis Madu, Michael Koenen, Sean Jones, Derek Hardman and Dekoda Watson,” McCoy named. "They are all guys you see in there [chapel] faithfully."

Lynch has seen McCoy grow as a person since his rookie season.

“I’ve seen him mature a lot over the past year,” Lynch said. “As a rookie you come in as a first-round draft pick and you have so many expectations. You want everyone to like you.

“This year he is kind of like, ‘I don’t really care who likes me, I just want to play for God.’ And he has been dominating on the field. It’s a good thing to see it come to pass in how he is playing on the field and how he is living off the field.”

While McCoy, like any player, wants to leave a legacy on the turf, McCoy says there are more important things to be your final testimony.

“People ask me to how do you deal with the comparisons to Mr. Selmon,” McCoy said. “I told them if I want to be compared to Mr. Selmon, then I want to be compared to what he did off the field. And what he did for other people and how he lived his life.”

Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2011 08:11
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    Hey guys, I certainly didn't intend to create a firestorm with this story. Let me give you some background on how it happened. First of all Gerald has been talking about his faith since last season and even more since training camp began this summer. Over the last couple weeks I believe his play has really excelled. I was curious about what exactly has happened. Was it the light turning on? Was it some new training regiment? Did he buy a lucky rabbits foot? Another thing that I wanted to know was how he handles the scrutiny that he has endured, valid or not, from some fans and media members. I talked to him on Wednesday and again Thursday. Thursday he kind of pulled me in closer to his locker and just talked for 10 minutes about what his faith means and how he uses it to not worry about what the outside is saying about him. Whether people believe in God or not, Gerald does and he truly believes it has helped him off the field but even more so, on it. Now if he would have told me he was doing yoga, I would have written it. If he told me it was due to a new style of shoulder pads, I would have written it. But he told me it was about his faith, and I wrote it. In my opinion it is news. He told me directly that faith is the leading force. And whether anyone believes in it, it was the story. We at PewterReport.com have no secret agenda to promote or disgrace a person's faith. We believe it is a private matter. But if someone chooses to share it and attributes it to his play, we must report that. I personally applaud McCoy for being willing to speak candid and openly with PewterReport.com about the subject that is important to him. And for the record had McCoy been a Muslim, Atheist, or a Mormon and attributed it to him playing better, and helping him handle the pressures, I can assure everyone we would have written the same story. We honestly do appreciate the views and comments of each reader. Hopefully we can all respect each other and no hard feelings will linger. I have learned very quickly that PR readers are the most informed and intelligent about football of any segment of the popular media outlets. Thanks guys. If anyone wants to discuss it in more detail feel free to send me a message. Sincerely, MC
  • avatar


    drt1066, Yes I do and I am 100% Disabled withthe VA and diagnoised with "Extreme Severe PTSD". I have trigger points that set me off. Thank goodness none of it is violent. One of the triggers is when religion comes into play where it shouldn't as a topic to report like a sports program. I do respect everyone's belief, but I believe it should stay with just them. I understand others don't feel that way and have a mission to spread their message; then I will respond. I can assure you God had nothing to do with anyone getting their heads blown off has you try to get to them.
  • avatar


    Mark, I believe you that you were focused on your Story and thank you for responding. I do disagree with you that you would have really ran this Article if McCoy was Muslim. I would hope that this might help you in future Articles. Politics and Religion really have no place in sports reporting. I know I jumped on this Article but I am very sensitive to "blind faith" and "faith". To me real faith is when "you expect nothing in return and do it for the good of all". Knowing me I will still read the PR Article's because most of them are informative.
  • avatar


    Horse, as an American thank you for your service. As a physician, I believe you have a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you have not already sought help for it, please do. By the way, Bucs? 49ers? Let's get back to some football.
  • avatar

    Leave it to religion to divide unified Buc fans from across the nation. Some things will never change.
  • avatar

    I think some people's definition of faith is as different as we are. I like the Bibles' definition:" Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)" I believe the same God that allows good people to die, is the same game God that allows evil men to find Salvation. Our definitions of Good and Evil mean NOTHING to God. It is our FAITH in Him, our belief that he is in control that allows us to deal and cope with situations that we don't understand. We are all called to do things different things on Earth. For me, it's taking care of the military's Sick and Injured. For Gearld, it's using the platform of the NFL to give thanks and glorify to the God who created him. I, for one, am glad PR ran this article. If someone isn't interested in hearing about a man's faith, then I'm not sure why they would click on an article titled "Faith and Football....."
  • avatar


    Horse, your point is well said and I can't even imagine the things you have seen. Why did you do what you did, for something greater than yourself. That's all GMC is saying, i play this game to the best of my ability for something greater than himself, his God. I am not sure what you meant by the Florida history lesson, maybe that it took faith to live through those times. Like many of you, I do not read this site for religious material, I read it to learn about my favorite football team, if their personal lives are talked about, it is part of what I learned.
  • avatar

    All I can say is....awesome. The young man is on his way. Hallelujah. God is good. I'm Gerald's biggest fan now. Go get 'em big boy.
  • avatar


    Horse: I've always respected you for the sacrifices you made in your military career that you often share with us. But here, you criticize the religious/faith based article demanding that Pewter Report stick to football. Maybe you should practice what you preach. I can't imagine having to do the things you've done or witness what you had to see. But why do you feel the need to lash out and belittle anyone who hasn't walked the path you did? I'm reminded of the ETrade baby singing "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and there is no doubt that most of us do not have any idea what it was like for you and many of my friends and family who joined you in Viet Nam. But Horse, we all have difficult periods in our life and some are helped by their faith. Our son had leukemia and developed fungal pneumonia. The doctors' last resort was to give him a white blood cell transfusion. They told us if his body rejected it he could be dead in 15 minutes. Sitting there waiting was the toughest thing I had to do. I'm not a religious person but I suspect I could have been comforted if I had been. Let's stick to football like you said.
  • avatar


    This Artcle to me was just so sad. I have responded in such a way that many will never understand about faith and the lessons learned about faith. It is a simple word that so many might want think about that they think. Without getting anymore upset; I would like to say that think before speaking unless you really know. I know I don't know and I have seen a lot and thank goodness none of you will ever have to go through whatI I have seen and done. It doesn't make me better, but it sure makes me say something about those who think they know and they nothings about "faith' at all. No, you really don't.
  • avatar


    Oh yea those who have no knowledge of real faith. Want to know about real faith? Talk to me! I saw so many die; I saw so many dead; I processed so many dead: I knocked on so many doors that it destroyed my life and theirs: I processed, embalmed, dressed, escorted so many of our Fallen Soldiers and DO NOT AND HOW DARE ANY OF YOU TELL ME WHAT FAITH IS ABOUT. It is not about the game of foot ball. That much I know. Those who know, know. The rest of you shut up! You know know nothing about faith. I know. I know enough that Idon't know.
  • avatar


    rrsrq, Wow! Just Wow! I grew up in the Clearwater area in the 1940's and on. I am a 6th Generation Florida Cracker. This area was a racist and anti Jew area. On US 19 in the 1960's a very large sign in the Palm Harbor area on US 19 said "Home of the KKK". I graduated from Clearwater High School in 1964. I graduated from Flordia Southern College in 1968. I was the very first Jewish person to join a college fraternity to join called SAE in the South. I went to a War in Viet Nam 1969. I am the LAST SURVING OFFICER THAT EVER HANDLED A GRAVES COLLECTION POINT FACILITY. All of the others are Dead. Wake up and realize why! I received a Bronze Star and I should have gotten a "V" for it so stated by my Company Commander in writing as I received my well deserved 100% Disability. He later committed sucicide because what little he saw and I saw so much more. Thousands of our soldiers killed in Northern I Corp. Home of the Dead of the 3rd Marine Division, 101st Division, and the 5th Inf Division and many many many more detachments. NOT JUST THAT, I KNOCKED ON THE DOOR AND DESTROYED MANY FAMILIES LIVES as a CAPTAIN in 1970 & 1971 and told them that their loves ones were dead and to have faith in God. OH by the way I recovered them, I processed them, I embalmed them,I identified some of them who were my friends and roomate's. I DRESSED OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS & I BROUGHT THEM TO THEIR LOVE ONES. I BURIED THEM. Faith ? What is that really. So many of you have no clue what it is like to have real faith and hope. Football, it is a simple game of life and I am insulted by many who know nothing about faith.
  • avatar

    Horse, you speak about so many of us having no idea of what it's like to have real faith and hope..... Faith...it really is explained in the Bible. It is believing in something even though you can't see it, it truly is the 'evidence' of things unseen. We don't see God and yet we do. The Bible says all creation points to the fact that there is a God. You criticize Gerald's faith, which is shared by many of us that post, and then you wonder why we respond in appreciation of Gerald and are happy an article like this is included in Pewter Report?? You don't believe in God...fine, but you yourself are passionate about your faith in something...you just haven't done a very good job explaining what that' something' is. We all appreciate your service in the military but that certainly doesn't give you a corner on' faith' or life's experiences for that matter. Life is difficult for nearly everyone, harder for some than others, but difficult. I for one can't imagine trying to deal with the trials and turmoils in life without the help and guidance of God but that's just me. Whether on the football field or off, I believe Gerald is just saying he relies on God to get him through. What is so offensive about that??
  • avatar


    rrsrq - well said. Thank you.
  • avatar


    How many of you faith believers that have posted would have been supportive if it was all about faith and the Koran? I hope in the future we keep these kind of subjects out of this Web Site. I really don't want to know about a man's religion, his race, his creed, his family, his dislikes and likes. I would just like to have football questions asked and answered.
  • avatar

    Kind of a shallow approach to people isn't it?
  • avatar

    I don't care about anybody flexing their "God or no God" muscles towards this article. Unleash your opinion and force whatever you think is right on everyone. 90% of us don't care. What IS annoying is everyone whining about this faith based article on PR's website. The name of the article is "Faith and Football". Use your adult brain and don't read it if you don't want to hear about it...
  • avatar

    Thank You Mark Cook!!!!!!!! There are a million other things you could have took the time to write about, but not one of them would have been more important! I pray that everyone that took the time to read it, will be moved into action. If they are curious or confused by what Gearld is talking about, I pray that they continue to ask questions and that God reveals himself to them in a way that they can understand. Well Done Gerald!
  • avatar


    Horse and HereComesDaBoom - Gerald does not believe God makes him a better football player. He believes his FAITH in God makes him a better football player. IF you can't understand this, then you don't understand the Christian faith. He feels like he was an "outcast" because he was not part of the "in crowd." I am sure Aqib Talib is part of the in crowd. I am sure former Buc LB Broderick Thomas was part of the in crowd. And he got shot in the chest early in the morning at a Club in Tampa. Must have been shot by a guy who went to the same firing range that Talib went to many years later since neither one of them can shoot straight!
  • avatar


    http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/312953_273486599339349_272312449456764_956029_1725819590_n.jpg
  • avatar


    Yes BucLover1988, I too am but a wee ignorant lad... Only 4 years old. But you sir, apparently lack the capacity to distinguish a criticism of the content of the article from a judgment about the man's religion. I don't think we need to be hearing about god on a football website. If he believes, that's fine; I don't care. I also reserve the right to make fun of people who start spouting off about jeezus in a football conversation. And I don't have any problems with GMC's play. I like him. BTW, atheists have just as much interest in the quality of character as you kreistophiles; we just don't believe these traits derive from a magical super-being, or as another user put it, "skydaddy". You kreistophiles would do well to become more acquainted with reality. This devotion to an invisible super-being would be considered a mental illness if you didn't call it 'god'...
  • avatar

    Oh my I couldn't wait to come back to this article. I'm sorry if my opinion of religion in sports offended the believers. @Buclover1988, I am 5 and know nothing. Wait a minute, can you not hear the other side of reality? Bless you.
  • avatar


    First off, I'm glad McCoy is becoming the great player I thought he would be. I told you guys not to give up on him so early! Oh, and as for McCoy's faith if you don't like his answers stop listening to the responses to the questions everyone insists on asking him. I for one love honesty so it's refreshing to me. Why else would you read PR every day if you aren't interested in finding out the truth on what's going on with the Bucs and their players? I'm a Christian and an active church member, but that has nothing to do with my opinion that every player has the right to answer any question they're asked as honestly as they see fit.
  • avatar

    Gerald, thank you for being a role model that kids can look up to. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and the fool says in his heart "there is no God." We see the same 'fools' that always post on here exhibiting their ignorance once more. You realize that you can be so much better, both as a player and a human being, when you do everything for God and want Him to get the glory. You are so right about Leroy Selmon. Had he been a great football player but not a great human being, the accolades at his funeral would have been hollow because the impact that he had on the community would have died long ago, after his last football game as a Buc. Leroy had a far greater impact as a great 'man' than as a great football player. He used his platform wisely and knew the One from whom his talents came. Proud to have you as a Buc Gerald and know great things are in store for you both on and off the field.
  • avatar


    This post will change no opinions and is not intended to. One, somewhat lighthearted, interpretation of the photo sums up the variety of opinions on this subject. McCoy and Hayward appear to be thanking God for the win or good health or both. #24 walking toward them may be saying - "Let me join you guys, I've got a nut for a coach and can't buy a win, I could use some heavenly help". #53 walking away may be saying - "I can't believe god would favor one team over another, it's your training and preparation that counts, nothing else". #23 standing over them may be saying - "I'm trying to figure out what just happened, I don't know whether to join in or tell you guys to go get a church". There are probably a 1,000 other interpretations. There is one god (some say none), 10 major religions (some say 30) and thousands of denominations within the Christain religion alone. You can understand the divergence of opinion. I am Christian, and I'm also tolerant and pragmatic. If you believe laughter is the best medicine, I think you should laugh a lot. If McCoy and others believe that faith is a part of and helps their game, by all means use it to personally inspire and motivate themselves. I draw the line only when you insist that everyone else must act and believe as you do. The one thing I think we're all united on is the old-time religion of Al Davis - "Just win, Baby, Just win"!!
  • avatar


    macabee, that was very well put.
  • avatar

    God has given us all talents to use for His glory. It doesn't matter whether you are an IT specialist, a construction worker, a sanitation worker, a soldier, a football player, and etc., if you do it to the best of your ability and do it for His glory and not your own, you WILL be successful. In the end earthly success and possesions mean nothing if you are doing it for yourself. Mark 8:36 - And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
  • avatar


    PalmbayBuc, Amen to that. It's a simple message to follow; very few really do though.
  • avatar


    simply what GMC is saying come straight from scripture: Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. this is the call for all Christians, he is just applying to his profession of football. Keep it going Gerald and the Bucs, and we will keep cheering you on, with all our heart
  • avatar


    rrsrq Simply put if it was being read from the Koran, you would be taking it differently. Lets leave God out of this and lets just discuss football. Gerald you are doing a good job as a football player. You are starting to learn how to play this game at this level. Now lets all get down on our knees and bow tothe football god and the son of the football god that showed him the way, In the name of the holy foot field and the endzone where one really fines salvation.
  • avatar


    Wow, a guy even gets criticized for his religious beliefs and wanting to live his life the way he believes is Selmon-like.
  • avatar


    scubog, wow a guy who thinks it's okay to push his religious views out to others. Those are usually the people who aren't that comfortable about the knowingness of spirit. In others words, take care of yourself and let others take care of themselves with their relationship with God.
  • avatar

    Two Words Reggie White
  • avatar

    and for those of you who dont know how much mccoy is impacting this team dont understand football....hes having a really good season thus far and is allowing guys like clayborn and bennett to make plays....ignorance really pisses me off and thats what some of you are showing.
  • avatar


    buclover1988, I agree that McCoy is having a good season. Any player who gets into the religious stuff is going to have some of us respond in a way that you may not like. Everyone has their right of religious freedom. Be it, act it, but don't announce it like you are are the only one who is on the right track of faith. Christians, Muslims do this all the time and that is why we have so many wars? The my religion is better than yours stuff. Hey I am glad you are a Christian and believe in Jessus Christ. I'm happy for you. I believe in a God and I know isis so vast and difficult to pin point unless I try to stay in the love, kindness, sharing arena. Ii have never seen what you see and that doesn't make you or me better or worse.
  • avatar

    and horse..you read way to much into things. i cant believe you either...would you rather read how he believes in drugs and guns? he believes in god and that god is the reason for all the things in his life. he isnt wrong by any means for believing in what he believes in. you need to check yourself man and get off his case.
  • avatar


    buclover1988, I would rather he talk about football and his skills there. I would rather religion stay out of this because then it becomes something else.
  • avatar

    those of you hating on gerald for his beliefs are disgraceful. How in the hell do you hate on someone thats does everything for god? its his faith and faith is what drives him to be the best he can be. its sooo terrible that you all are even talking smack on him. IMO, you all have no sense what-so-ever. NONE. hes playing great, hes getting penetration and already has 1 sack and 13 qb pressures when he had 17 all of last year and didnt record his first sack until much later in the year... Herecomesdaboom and buccaneernw, how old are you? 5? because both of you sound like children who dont know anything. he believes in god and thats what drives him, he doesnt care what ppl like the both of you think and thats exactly his point...live for god, not measley human beings who dont know anything. get over yourselves, you both make me sick.
  • avatar


    Nobody said hate. If you honestly believe that God cares about anybody's football performance then I can understand relationship between God, Allah, and Buddah? It's all make believe in your mind. Why can't we just face this fear of dying and accept it as part of life. I know there is some kind of spiritual meaning in my small life contribution and I will not waste it on praying for strength to play football, make money, or try to justify that I am a good person because there is suppose to be a son of god that sent us a message to shape up or we're going to hell and oh yeah that guy was jewish too. so I guess God is really Jewish then? You see how silly all this really is.
  • avatar


    And why do we have a jeezus-themed article on a football website? If he wants to believe in some kinda magic super-being, that's his right, but I don't really wanna hear about it. I don't come on this site to be sold a pile of jeezus BS. My interest is in how much damage he can inflict on the opposing QB.
  • avatar


    Yeah Gerald, that magic jeezus dust will help you get to the QB, cuz God is all about having a 300 lb. man run into a 250 lb. man to achieve maximum damage.
  • avatar


    I appreciate reading testimonies like this. I too am a fellow believer in Jesus Christ. It's great to see that there are professional athletes who recognize who gave them their skills and talents and are giving the focus and praise back to Him. All of us are sinners, including Gerald and myself. Most people will deny that they are. However, God gave us the 10 commandments to abide by. It's impossible to keep and obey all 10 for our entire lives. If we lie, we're a liar. If we steal (even a pack of gum) that makes us a thief. The Bible says if you hate someone in your heart, you're a murderer. God gave us the 10 commandments because He knew we wouldn't be able to obey and live by them 100% of the time. That's why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the sins of mankind onto Himself. If we admit to God that we are truly sinners and ask for forgiveness, and we accept Christ and place our utmost faith in Him, we will have the same peace in our lives. I can testify to that. Too many religions require you to pay a certain amount of money, or do certain deeds, or go to a religious site, etc. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ- God in human flesh- requires NOTHING except placing your faith in Him and committing your life to Him. If you truly mean it, your life will be transformed. Many, I am sure, will comment on here telling me to lay off the religious slant. I am not religious. Religion requires acts, money, rituals, etc. I am not that religious, but I am that sinful. I have a personal relationship with God who saved me from myself and from my sins. I am glad to see that Gerald doesn't hide his faith for fear of getting teased, harassed, or mocked. Keep living the faith, brother. You have many people with their eyes on you. As long as you live a faithful life for the Lord, it will direct their eyes onto Him. God- the Creator of the universe and Savior of all men; not the "invisible sky daddy" as some would hope He is. Why is it that when we read or hear of pro athletes living wild lifestyles of money, sex, drugs, and run ins with the police, we all get frustrated and that they're bad role models for our children. Yet when athletes are open and outspoken on their faith in Christ and devoting their lives to living and serving Him, a life of love for people and concern for their eternal souls, many people get even more angry and offended? What's wrong with this picture?
  • avatar


    Well can you Imagine if Bowers ever get untrack-Lookout world tampa has come to play on all cylinders. If it doesn't if it First team,@nd Team or third team defensive line. THey are a difference bunch of players NOW-GO BUCS
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    2 words. Arrogance and delusional. Arrogance that he believes his actions make an invisible sky daddy proud / happy. Delusional because he dismisses all his hard physical and mental work in college and in the off-season. All for not because He wasn't playing his all for God. Wow, that's called getting them when their young cause if you don't they actually think later on in life. I'm sure he is a great young man and a good player but this thing we call religion gets to much credit. Hopefully I'm wrong and the God he speaks of is Raheem. FA!
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    Horse, now, now. What is the strong resentment towards Gerald's faith regardless of what he believes? Should we all have your ideology? I am a veteran also and quite honestly carry a different ideology than you. Therefore I'm stupid also right? Some people enjoy reading articles relating to God. If you're not one of them do yourself a favor and don't read it. That Horse, is an American freedom I fought for.
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    Dbuc63, I agree with you and this has nothing to do with what I have seen or you have seen. I saw the same people with me go different ways in different beliefs, but most of them did not go out and about and now declare that the reason that bullet hit me was because of my faith was not strong enough. I am happy for Gerald's faith for him. Really he needs it. The idea of faith helping you to be a better person is good and I recognize that many people need this kind of push or help to do better. That's okay. I just think we don't have to tell the world about it because not everyone does it that one. We're talking football and I would like to keep it about football.
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    Horse, you might want to reread the article, you might see it a little differently. I don't think that is what he is saying at all. He has refocused his life on the LORD and not trying to prove himself to others. We might all benefit from doing the same.
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    jacg, I re read a couple times. I understand what he was attempting to say. I disagree that God has anything to do with football. It's so easy "to thank god" when things are going good or decide that things aren't going so good because I wasn't focusing enough on God. The thought that God should even be put in this context with football is absurd to me. I know I am not going to be popular here, but if you had seen what I have seen and have done what I have done you might also have a different perspective of what God is about. To me, too many people set God up to fail because they expect if they "do this and that" then all will be okay. God has nothing to do with how you live your life. It is up to you how you live your life. Why? Because we all are a part of God already and will always be.
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    Horse I agree we are all part of god. At the same time everyone has the right to see things as they want to and it is fine with me. I hope you don't leave. Let it go.
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    This is a great story and testimony - so much better to read than some of what we hear on the other side. Gerald, I am glad you are on our team, and appreciate the quality of character you demonstrate. Thanks for naming some other believers, too. I knew about Adam and Corey - that was a special moment on the field Monday night when a Colt was injured. THAT's sportsmanship. Play hard and live right. May you find joy in the journey and strength in the trenches. Be who the Lord designed you to be. I'm liking this particular team a lot. Go Bucs!
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    That's some agenda, Horse. I don't hear Gerald say any of the things you are attributing to him. In a nutshell: he's focused on God. It's centering him and inspiring him and he believes it's making him a better player and person.
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    Dy-nasty D So for every football player who has succeeded and not acknowledge God could not have been a better person and player?
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    Gerald, What are you saying? I appreciate some of what you have done so far, but I hope you are not that stupid that you actually think that your faith in God has anything to do with success in football? If it did then God would be making sure that everyone of our soldiers would make it back alive. Now that is important, not how you play a game of football and if you are doing good because now you are focused on God. Please do not insult what God is about. If you really want to be a person of God then give all that you have earned to help others. Go join the military or sign up for the peace corp. You are so obvious of the real world. Other than that please leave God out of this. Too many people have prayed for God to save them and they still died or failed. The message I would like to believe is that God appreciates those who try harder and expect nothing in return and continue to live a life of love.
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