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June 13, 2012 @ 2:17 pm
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

McCoy: "The Injuries Will Make Me Play Harder"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy says he and his teammates are buying into head coach Greg Schiano's new system and will reap the rewards of success if they continue to do so. McCoy also says his injury history won't affect his play on the field or his technique.
Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the former overall No. 3 selection in the 2010 draft, knows the key to improving the league’s worst defense will start with the play of the defensive line, including keeping him and his linemates healthy. McCoy talked to the media following Wednesday’s second day of mandatory mini-camp and gave his thoughts on what is needed to turn the Tampa Bay defense around.

“If we can all stay on the field – when we are all out there – we are trouble,” McCoy said. “When everybody plays together and when everyone isn’t playing individualized and not playing for themselves [we're good].

“Coach Schiano says the sooner we buy in, the sooner we will win. Well, if our whole defensive line buys into the system and the program that you go where you are supposed to go – even though it feels uncomfortable – it will all work. There will be enough plays to go around for everybody to make. If everybody buys in – which we are doing – then we will make the right strides, and we have been doing that.”

McCoy is entering his third year in the league, but due to injuries he has played basically just the equivalent of one full season (19 games). With two torn biceps in two seasons, some have wondered if the fear of injury could make McCoy more timid or change the way he plays football. McCoy scoffed at that notion.

“That will make me play harder,” McCoy said. “People get injured when they slow down. If you are going full speed you don’t usually get hurt. So to prevent injuries you have to go harder. That’s enough motivation. Two injuries in back-to-back years? It’s motivation to finish a full season.”

McCoy, who has recorded 56 career tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles, went onto to explain the circumstances behind the injuries.

“Those are all freak accidents,” McCoy said. “I think it was interpreted wrong how everybody took it – me reaching out to make a tackle or whatever. Most people don’t realize that as a defensive tackle, it is rare where you are going to come freely like a linebacker will. So you try and get a hand out to slow them down so your guys can come up. That’s all I was doing.

“The last time (against the Saints in 2011) our new Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks was pulling, I threw him past and there is the running back. I’m either going to jump out of the way or try and slow him down. Well, I tried to slow him down. I don’t think I slowed him down that much, but it is just me playing hard. I don’t have to change my technique.”

The 2011 Buccaneers defense was the NFL’s worst statistically, and after surrendering 494 points, it was the worst in franchise history. McCoy talked about how the getting back to basics and fundamentals should help him and the entire defense improve on last season’s dismal performance.

“The one thing I will say is with Coach Schiano is that we do a tackling circuit before every practice,” McCoy said. “I have never done anything like that. So it is teaching me how to tackle. (In the past) I was just playing football. Him putting us through the tackling circuit is really helping.”

McCoy seems to be enjoying playing under Schiano’s new “attention to detail” system.

“He said if anything, we are going to be the most football-smart team,” McCoy said. “Everybody wants to talk about football smarts, but he is actually teaching us the game of football and how to play it. If all else fails and you can’t do it – you are at least going to know how to do it. He is making us a smart football team because smart football teams win those championships. That is what he is turning is into.”

When asked if he was ready for some good luck in referencing his injury-plagued NFL career, McCoy told the media he doesn’t believe in luck – good or bad – and puts his trust in a higher power.

“Man, I am just going at it full steam ahead. That’s all I am doing,” McCoy said. “Whatever is behind me is behind me; all I can see is the future. Whatever comes my way I will attack it full steam ahead.”
Last modified on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:56

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  • avatar

    The biggest problem for Gerald McCoy goes back to the expectations of being the third choice and the immediate impact of draft classmate Suh. It was never that McCoy played so poorly in a ill-conceived defensive scheme with no other productive line-mates. It was that he didn't have the highlight film of Suh before he was hurt; in what people want to claim was because he is "weak". A lot of weaker guys than McCoy never experienced that injury and I never heard a doctor state that as the cause. Then as he clearly was starting to be a force, he gets injured again while Suh's play appeared to decline some. For me it's been disappointing that a player expected to be a key to the success of the defense has been unable to be that because of injury. No different than Price and Bowers. No one should ever complain about McCoy's desire, work ethic and attempts to lead. And surely shouldn't complain because he allows himself to be accessible to the media and smile. Let's see what happens this year if he can stay on the field. Same goes for Suh, whose behavior on and off the field has Roger keeping a close eye on him. Might just get a Suh-spension.
  • avatar

    Scubog, I agree and I hope he comes thru as a good player. We need him to be good. He doesn't have to be anything but a good player; if he stays healthy I believe he can do that. This also includes Price and Bowers; time does matter here and either they make a difference or we move on to other players who can.
  • avatar

    Maybe playing in God's defense would make him feel less "uncomfortable" WTF is that about?? This guy needs to put it on tape, and do it consistently plain and simple. I certainly wish him the best and hope he earns part of the $$ he's already been paid. One more seriously injury and his soft *censored* will be following God's plan out of TB.
  • avatar

    McCoy better look over his shoulder. If his injuries are going to make him play harder that is great. Cause he wasn't brought in to be the leader of the worst Defense in the NFL. He needs to lead by getting sacks and collapsing the pocket and stuffing the run.
  • avatar

    Thanks Mark I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he comes through this year
  • avatar

    It sounds like his normal talk the talk but not walk the walk. Mark how is he really doing? Is he standing out at all? Does he appear to be any stronger?
  • avatar

    He looks like an All-Pro future Hall of Famer – in shorts and a T-shirt. No way to tell anything until the pads come on. I know for a fact that the coaches loved what little they have seen of his tape. I also know Warren Sapp said it takes three years before you have a clue how to play that position, and he expects McCoy to have a great year. There is no question the guy is super talented. You aren't the consensus no.3 guy in a draft unless you have talent. But putting it altogether is another story. I wouldn't get too down or too excited about any player yet. Again, like Schiano said, wait until they put on the pads to truly evaluate.
  • avatar

    Thanks mark I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it comes through this year
  • avatar

    Its not freak accident, its you are too dam weak accident, to reach out and grab nfl backs that is. Gerald get stronger and quit seeking microphones, you will never be on espn flapping your never ending gums after your career unless you make several pro bowls.BTW you may get injured in camp by Nicks just for talken bigger than your play. The only time you will be attempting to throw Nicks off you will be from your back while killing practice field grass.Get stronger or you will be injured again. Sapp wasnt that strong at the combine but by his third year he was probably one of the strongest d lineman in the league and that coupled with his talent allowed him to dominate. That goes for Selmon also,very very talented but could also destroy a double team with strength if need be. Suh ? R White ? Randy White ? John Randle ?
  • avatar

    I like Gerald. I think he's a good guy. But for the life of me, why does he continually say things that eventually come back to bite him. Sometimes I think it's better to SHOW us that the injuries are making him play harder, than for him to TELL us.
  • avatar

    I wonder what aspects of the defense "make him uncomfortable"?
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