Trips to the NFL’s annual all-star showcase are becoming commonplace for Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and this year he’ll get to pal around Orlando with a first-timer in wide receiver Mike Evans.
The Tampa Bay duo was voted Tuesday night and they might get joined by a few more Bucs when it’s all said and done. Linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, cornerback Brent Grimes and punter Bryan Anger were all selected as Pro Bowl alternates.
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
“I am honored and grateful to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time – it’s a dream come true,” Evans was quoted as saying in a team press release. “My teammates and I have worked very hard and it is truly humbling to be recognized by my peers and the fans for the results that came from that dedication. I would like to express my appreciation for my coaches, my teammates, everyone in the Buccaneers organization, and our fans, that share in this achievement.”
Evans is playing in his third pro season and has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark each year. His 84 receptions and 1,159 receiving yards rank fifth in the league through 14 games and he’s in a third-place tie with 10 touchdown catches.
According to the team, Evans is the first Bucs receiver to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Vincent Jackson went in 2012. He’s also one of only five wideouts in team history to be voted in, joining Mark Carrier (1989), Keyshawn Johnson (2001) and Keenan McCardell (2003).
DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
For McCoy, the defensive captain is making his fifth straight Pro Bowl appearance. His five total selections are tied for fifth-most in team history, alongside CB Ronde Barber, S John Lynch and LB Hardy Nickerson. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Derrick Brooks (10 consecutive selections), Warren Sapp (seven) and Lee Roy Selmon (six) and Mike Alstott (six) have more consecutive selections in team history.
“I would just like to say how honored I am to be selected to my fifth straight Pro Bowl,” said McCoy. “This is an honor that can never get old or be taken for granted. I have to commend and thank all of my teammates for all their hard work and dedication to this team and this game. Without them none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank the fans for all their support all season long especially when keeping Raymond James Stadium rocking. We’re nothing without you guys and are going to need your support as we continue on this playoff push. Once again, this is such an honor and it is only because of God that this has been possible. Go Bucs!”
Earning McCoy this year’s vote is his team-high seven sacks, which ties him for second-most in the league among defensive tackles.