For a long time now, the Buccaneers have been Gerald McCoy’s team.
He was the third overall pick back in 2010 when the team was still trying to recover from its Super Bowl fall out (which they’re still recovering from today), and was crowned the prince of the next era in Bucs football from the get-go.
Since then, McCoy has been a five-time Pro Bowler, and has indeed become that face of the franchise over the last six years.
But that hasn’t come with many wins, and, to some, a lack of wins means a lack of confidence in who you have as a leader (unfortunately).
This week the Tampa Bay Times has been focusing on the phrase, “a badass football team,” something Bucs head coach, Dirk Koetter, said he hopes his team is known as soon.
Over the weekend, Martin Fennelly of the TBT, spoke to former Buccaneers great, Ronde Barber, and asked if he saw any badass qualities on the current Bucs team. This is what Barber had to say.
“Nobody like that jumps out on today’s Bucs. They’re not there. I would say the quarterback (Jameis Winston) fits the mold. He is clearly that guy, the leader.
But you see an attitude emerging, especially at linebacker. Those two guys, Lavonte (David) and Kwon (Alexander) have to be able to drive the bus, especially Kwon, because he has so much energy. If he can consistently be that guy, it will raise the defense. I love Gerald (McCoy), but for a defensive tackle to drive a team, he has to have a huge personality. I mean like the personality of (Warren) Sapp or a John Randle.”
Barber didn’t say anything bad, but whether he meant to hurt feelings or not, but it was his observation of McCoy.
McCoy had already been going through a bit of a shocking revelation when someone at the Pro Bowl this year told him he wasn’t doing enough as a leader. McCoy wore that shot to his pride on his sleeve during one of the team’s offseason press conferences and told the media that he now knows he has to be better – but still seemed taken back by it all.
With the core of who he’s been as a player already shaken from that event, I assume that reading Barber’s comments this week sparked this series of tweet from him this morning.
They won't appreciate you until you're gone. Soon enough though. Then we'll see.
McCoy doesn’t call out Barber’s comments specifically, but McCoy referencing no longer keeping quiet right after Barber said you have to be a bit of a loud-mouth to lead as a defensive tackle sort of paints the picture.
Whatever the reason truly is, whether it was Barber’s comments or not, it seems as though McCoy has been pushed over the edge just on the eve of training camp.
Perhaps we’ll see a side of McCoy we’ve never seen before.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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