The Bucs best players are setting the tone at practice and Dirk Koetter couldn’t ask for anything more at this point.
After laughing off the idea that Jameis Winston, who’s known to arrive at the facility at dawn, could possibly wear himself out by training too hard before practice, the head coach pivoted to the defensive side of the ball. At which point he praised Gerald McCoy.
“I worry about (Winston) staying out there after practice for an hour in the sun talking to too many people. But I don’t worry about him being in here working on his craft,” Koetter said Thursday. “I think that’s a huge, huge positive and you want the leader of your team to be one of the hardest workers.
“While we’re on that subject, Gerald McCoy could not be setting a better practice pace than he is. That guy is dominating in practice every day. When your best players are also your best practice-players, it sets a great example for your team.”
As it relates to team leadership, the focus over the past week has been on Winston – from his command of the offense to his motivational text messages to teammates off the field. But this wasn’t the first time someone deflected leadership praise from Winston to McCoy. In fact, Koetter seemed to be echoing Winston’s remarks from the first training camp practice last Thursday.
The second-year quarterback said he sought out advice from the four-time Pro Bowler this offseason.
“I talked to him after the season just to get his insight on how I was as a leader,” Winston said last Thursday. “Gerald is a great leader to this team. You should’ve seen him out here working with Noah Spence and Kourtnei Brown – the things he put into these players. Even me, when I first got here he put so much into me.
“I just told him, ‘Keep doing it, bring it up a notch, step it up’, just like I have to do, just like we all have to.”
McCoy hasn’t let up. The defensive captain can be seen running through extra reps after practice most days and it’s reflective of his continued dominance in his seventh camp.
“Gerald is playing tremendous football,” said Ali Marpet, who often lines up against McCoy. “I mean he’s so freaking fast and he’s messing up a lot of things were doing. But its only making us better, which is awesome. He’s going to give a lot of people problems this year.”
Added Lavonte David, who has a unique view of McCoy and the defensive line when they take the field: “His get off is amazing, his motor is amazing and he’s disrupting plays in the backfield. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. We expect Gerald to do that but it’s not going unnoticed.
“Great things to come from him this season.”
That would be a great start for the Bucs defense.
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]
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I just hope Gerald can stay healthy and injury free this year.
The guy showed a lot of grit last year playing with a bad rotator cuff and then a broken hand. A real pro.
Absolutely right. But there are still those detractors who blame GMC for getting hurt and only look to sack totals when evaluating his play.
Well scubog, u can tell how smart someone is when they blame a player for getting hurt.
Like the player went out of his way to get injured on purpose.
Most players have incentives in their contracts that pay out bonuses and the only way they can achieve those is by playing.
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