QB Jameis Winston was voted a team captain by his peers – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
The Bucs finalized their 53-man roster on Saturday. By Monday the team voted its six captains, with Jameis Winston and Vincent Jackson on offense, Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David as the defensive representatives, Russell Shepard on special teams and Joe Hawley as the rotational captain for Week 1 in Atlanta.
Coach Dirk Koetter revealed the selections at his press conference and said the rotational honor each week will depend on the Bucs opponent. Following Koetter’s address, members of the media spoke with three of the six captains – Shepard, Hawley and McCoy – about the recognition by teammates and what it means to them.
Vincent Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“That’s one of the biggest honors that you can get in this league,” said Shepard, known to be a special teams ace and now a returning captain. “It’s truly from your peers – the guys you come in and work with everyday, the guys you admire and guys who look up to you … It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m thankful for it.”
Like Shepard is to the special teams unit, McCoy and David are the backbone of the defense. McCoy spoke of the unique honor bestowed upon him by teammates.
“There’s really nothing bigger than to be recognize by your peers, and standing out as a leader,” McCoy said. “Not everybody is called to be that. But when you are, I think it’s right that you stand up and be that. My teammates are recognizing me as that, so now it’s my job to make sure I don’t disappoint.”
Joe Hawley, for his part, had just found out and said it “meant a lot” to him. As the rotational honoree this Sunday, his selection had to do with Tampa Bay playing Atlanta, his team of five years. While Hawley lined up against the Falcons twice last season, he still felt new to Tampa Bay after being signed in late September. Now he’s a Buccaneer, through and through, and ready to start the season off right.
“Last year, going back there, it was on short notice but I was excited,” Hawley said. “But now, having the whole offseason here with these guys, I really feel a part of a new team. We’re just excited to get started with the new season. There’s a lot of good talent on this team and we’re going to shock a lot of people.”
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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