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June 11, 2012 @ 1:34 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

McCoy Declares Himself 100 Percent Healthy

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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After suffering his second biceps tear in as many years, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy reports that he is 100 percent, just seven months after the latest injury. McCoy also talked about new Buccaneers Eric LeGrand, and his friend and teammate Brian Price, who has been struggling with a personal tragedy.
Former Tampa Bay first-round and the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Gerald McCoy, suffered his second biceps tear in as many years last November against New Orleans and was placed on injured reserve for the second time in his young NFL career. Seven months later, the former Sooner has declared himself ready to go.

“I am good,” McCoy said. “Recovery went well and I am ready to go. Yes, I am a 100 percent. I am ready to go.”

Since that afternoon at the Louisiana Superdome last year, McCoy, who has been an active participant in the OTAs (organized team activities) has witnessed a complete remolding of the Buccaneers.

“This is a great offseason for us because you get to learn how to be a true professional with all the things we are going through with coaching changes, system changes, players coming in and players going out,” McCoy said. “Faces we were used to are not here anymore. You get to learn how to be a true professional and it has been fun. It is a fun experience.

“Everything is going great. Everything is running smoothly. I won’t say we have hit any road blocks because we have not. Everything is running smoothly, but change is not easy. So with us, learning new stuff everybody is just adjusting to the change.”

McCoy, who will be entering his third season in the league, has been limited to just 19 total games over his first two seasons (while collecting just 29 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles), and said not being able to contribute has been difficult.

“I love the sport,” McCoy said. “I always want to be on the field. Whether it was from an injury, whether I played a full season, whether I was hurt or whether I wasn’t, I constantly want to play. Do I love breaks? Yes, but not those type. I love the sport. I was watching the playoffs this year and I couldn’t even sit down on the couch and watch it because I wanted to play that bad. So I am just looking forward to being back out there.”

Since the end of the season the Buccaneers roster has been somewhat overhauled, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. After a 4-12 season and finishing last in the NFL in total defense and points allowed, Tampa Bay added safety Mark Barron, linebackers Lavonte David and Najee Goode, and defensive back Keith Tandy, through the draft. Other new faces expected to contribute defensively are free agents, Eric Wright, Amobi 
Okoye and Gary Gibson.

McCoy said despite the new teammates, the transition has gone well.
“You just kind of can’t tell it is a bunch of young guys because of how the system is ran,” McCoy said. “There is not any place for a young guy. He (head coach Greg Schiano) doesn’t separate the young and the vets. Everybody is just one. So when practice goes on and you see guys run into the locker room you just kind of can’t tell who is young and who is not because everything is just running smooth.”

Another new face that got McCoy’s attention – and admiration – is that of former Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed covering a kickoff while at Rutgers. The Buccaneers added LeGrand as a free agent after the draft, and despite knowing LeGrand will never put on pads again, his impact on the team has already been felt, according to McCoy.

“I just met him,” McCoy said. “He is a great guy. He had a chance to address the team and if you never found any type of motivation before listening to him talk it was definitely a confidence- and motivation-builder. He is a strong-willed guy. He is just a great person.

“We always complain about a bunch of nothing. You know? And for a guy to have this sport he loves taken away from him completely you know to be as happy as he has ever been, what can we really complain about?"

While everyone knows McCoy must stay healthy to live up to his potential, fellow defensive tackle Brian Price may be just as an important key to a defensive revival. Price has also had his share on injuries, and most recently an off-the-field tragedy, with the loss of his older sister in a car accident. McCoy talked about Price and the struggles he has faced.

“When I talked to him (recently) he was doing good,” McCoy said. “He was doing good. I have had family issues similar to that before so it is not easy to deal with, but he is in great spirits. You never want an incomplete team. We need every piece if we are going to reach our goal. So with him being next to me [and] being one of my partners up front I am really excited to see his return.

“If he is anything like me this (football) is a getaway,” McCoy said. “You know Coach Schiano always says he never comes to a day of work because he is getting paid to do something he loves. It is the same thing for me. I love this sport and I am sure he (Price) does, too. So when he gets back I figure it will be a good getaway for him.”

Last modified on Monday, 11 June 2012 07:57

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  • avatar

    Guys this is not trash talk. This is simply an observation and I can assure you I am not the first person who has pondered on this subject with McCoy. If he becomes a stud I will be his biggest fan, but personally I think he is a bust until he proves otherwise.
  • avatar

    Man, I can't believe the negative talk about the Bucs. I can only believe those who talk trash about the Bucs players are sheep in wolf clothing! Some times people forget that this is a team sport. No one player should be held responsiple if the Bucs win or lose. I think I'll wait until the season starts before I pass judgement on the Bucs or its players.
  • avatar

    Hey nybuccguy - I'd sell your soul to see Price and McCoy for a full 16 too. Let me know if you find a buyer.
  • avatar

    Dude, chill on the steroid accusations. McCoy does not have a steroid-looking body. His arms just look like he hasn't done enough heavy curls, not like they have been overworked. He's going to be fine. Let's not start unfounded rumors for no good reason. He, frankly, doesn't seem the juicing type anyway, and, yes, this is something i know a bit about.
  • avatar

    Seat: McCoy hasn't played two years (32 games); he's played a little over one year (19 games). Granted his statistics on the field have been something less than overwhelming. I, like most who paid attention in 2011, saw a lot of improvement until he got injured. Your accusation about steroids is just a little irresponsible and pure unfounded speculation. Surely someone in the media would have been on a witch hunt if there were any hint of that being the cause of the injuries.
  • avatar

    McCoy will be 100% when we stop the run, someone gets double digit sacks, and opposing team QB's are forced to throw the ball away or to Rhonde Barber. TALK, TALK, TALK, TALK, TALK. The only thing that is 100% sure is for the next few monthis football and scrabble will be interchangeable contest. Go Bucs.........
  • avatar

    I am glad McCoy has a positive attitude and has spoken to Price and he is sounding good. However if I hear one more time how much McCoy adds to the Team when he is on the field I am going to hurl. This guy has never shown anything when he was healthy. 29 tackles and 3 sacks in two yrs is embarrassing. This is make or break for him. Price probably has a little more leeway because he started injured and this recent tragedy is obviously going to slow him down but McCoy came in healthy and has had two injuries in both arms that are identical and smack of a player who has a Steroid problem. He is pushing his body beyond what it can do which is typical with players who use steroids. If he lights the field on fire this year I will be his biggest fan, but if he stubs a toe and misses one game and has another lackluster year with few tackles and even fewer sacks, If he is not gone we are making the same mistake we made with Michael Clayton.
  • avatar

    Great! We can always count on you for a thoughtful incisive comment. Oh? Were you joking?
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Here's hoping that all will be well.
  • avatar

    I think Bowers is going to be a real asset to the Bucs once he gets fully well and gets some experience, but lets not forget, he was a backup to Bennet last year, and Bennet is a good player as well, and will only get better as he gets more experience, and he will get plenty of it before Bowers gets back. I fully remember as great a talent as Sapp was, it took three years before he was great on the field, and the same was true for Lych as a Safety too. In time our front defensive line is going to be outstanding, I believe. And remember this year they are also learning a new system too, and that will take a little time to master as welll.
  • avatar

    he will tear his triceps in week 8 so he can keep his streak alive
  • avatar

    Great! We can always count on you for a thoughtful incisive comment. Ho? Were you joking?
  • avatar

    I agree with all comments below in terms of wanting to see McCoy, Clayborne, Price and Bowers on the field at the same time. Also about the impact having McCoy on the field has on the defense. That's why I feel cursed as a Bucs fan because Bowers' injury has possibly robbed me of that for at least the first half of the season. Also, by the time Bowers gets back someone else could be hurt. I'm so glad he's spoken to Price recently and he was in good spirits. It gives me hope he'll be at the mini-camp this week.
  • avatar

    Seeing Matthew Stafford explode this year after 2 injury-shortened seasons gives me hope that McCoy will be able to put it all together this year and be that "elite" DT that we drafted him to be. If McCoy plays a full 16 games this season, the Bucs could have a top-15 defense. That's how much of an impact he has on this team when he's healthy.
  • avatar

    I am soooo with you on that one mybuccguy. Add Bowers to that list also. It has so much potential. Just need to see it on field for 16 plus games. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Id practically sell my soul to see McCoy and Price play side by side for a full season.
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