Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo: Getty Images
In his first game back since missing Week 5 in Carolina with a calf injury, Gerald McCoy recorded three tackles and a sack-fumble against the 49ers in the Bucs 34-17 win last Sunday.
For his efforts, which go beyond his own stats, the All-Pro three-technique was awarded the defensive game ball.
“Gerald not only makes plays, but he makes the guys around him better as well,” defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. “We talk about being a good teammate. He’s a darn good teammate, because not only will he make his plays but he’s going to demand resources from the offense, which allows other guys to have an opportunity to make some plays.”
Tampa Bay had three sacks from the defensive line against Colin Kaepernick compared to zero quarterback hits against Panther’s Derek Anderson, with McCoy sidelined.
“We thought we might have some rust on Gerald when he came back. There was no rust,” Smith said. “He was rolling. And we hope that our guys continue to get back. As each day goes on, we feel we have a better chance of getting guys back and that they’re going to help us win. It will help our rotation.”
While admittedly playing through a bit of pain last Sunday, McCoy said no one was going to feel bad or take it easy on him, so the only option was to go full-speed or sit out. And once the 49ers scored on their first possession, he felt the urgency to step up.
“I was back, and if you’re gonna play, you gotta go,” McCoy said. “My calf was fine, but the first with any injury, you always think about it. But when a team scores in five plays … If you’re gonna be out here, you gotta go. So then I was like, ‘forget it, man.’ If it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna hurt.”
McCoy credited the younger guys, particularly along the defensive line, for filling in admirably, not only for him but also at defensive end. The Bucs have been without Jacquies Smith (ACL) since Week 2 and Robert Ayers (ankle) since Week 3. The team hopes to return the latter this Sunday against Raiders, which should help Tampa Bay’s chance of picking up its first home victory.
And speaking of the elusive win at Raymond James, McCoy is even more motivated to take the field this week.
“I’m not about to downplay it. Winning on the road is great. To go into somebody else’s house and leave with a W is great, there’s no better feeling than that,” McCoy said. “However, it’s an even better feeling to win at home, go home and put my feet up on my couch within the hour instead of sitting on a plane all night, then get home and out my feet up.
“The fans are behind you and, you know,” he said. “His workday is better on Monday because the Bucs won. And to know you had something to do with that, it’s a great feeling. Not only that, but it also puts us a step closer to being the lead in the division and not to look too far ahead, but getting a win at home gives us some momentum going into a huge game on Thursday. We gotta get this one.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Congrats to Gerald! I am also ready for a home win and some more home wins.
Gerald McCoy is a Great Buc. He’s played through a lot of injury and pain over the years, and still contributes greatly whether the stat line says so or not. As Mike Smith said, McCoy makes everyone else on the D better just by being there and automatically drawing the double teams.
I am thoroughly disgusted with the small legion of McCoy haters who pretend to be Bucs fans. They know where the door is so they should use it to leave.
Now, if Ayers and McDonald play this Sunday against the Raiders, we have an opportunity to have an excellent day against a very good Raiders offense. This should be exciting, and it’s about damn time to start winning at home again.
Seems like all the serious haters have bailed on this site. I say good riddance.
McCoy is the man in Tampa.
We need a home win so bad. It’s been too long. Go Bucs!
After two road victories, finally a 1:00pm game, a rare Raiders visit and a “beautiful day in the neighborhood”; I expect we Buccaneer fans will be fired up for this one. Let’s hope the team doesn’t do as it has the past two “home” games and give the opponent an immediate spark while dousing the flames of excitement before many fans are even in their seats.
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