Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has established himself as a leader on the Bucs defense and told the media this week he came into camp lighter than last season. McCoy also talked about his teammates, including rookie Akeem Spence.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had an outstanding 2012 campaign, and is hungry to play even better this year. On the eve of the first practice of training camp earlier this week, an eager McCoy answered questions for the media at One Buccaneer Place.
The former Oklahoma Sooner looked extremely lean standing at the podium on Wednesday, prompting the media to ask a few weight related questions.
“I actually came in 10 pounds lower than my goal weight,” McCoy said. “People are always asking me, what are you going to do differently now that you made the pro bowl and all this. The only way to repeat and keep it going is to work harder than ever before. They gave me a weight and said come in at this weight, and I came in 10 pounds lighter than what they wanted.”
After making the Pro bowl roster and attending the game in Hawaii, McCoy pushed himself through a rigorous offseason workout plan that allowed him to see great results.
“They fed us well at down there at the Pro Bowl. Since April, I’ve lost 25 pounds.”
McCoy didn’t reveal what his current weight stands at. He credited the Buccaneers offseason program for his dramatic and quick weight loss, but the Pro Bowler also went on to talk about why he chose to lose more than his original goal.
“I trust my coaches, McCoy said. “I love the program and I trust what we do here. However, I know my body better than anybody. So I know what I feel good at and where I’ll be the most confident. So that’s why I came in lighter.”
Losing former Tampa Bay nose tackle Roy Miller will be a tough transition for the McCoy, but he seems to feel good about how he will gel with the rest of the players up front.
“Yeah, although I think did a pretty good job in the spring," McCoy said. “I really took the spring as an opportunity because I knew the defense and the coaches. I took it as an opportunity to know who I was going to be playing with. I think I have made that adjustment in the offseason. Going into camp it’s just going to be making that better."
There will be a battle at the nose guard position on the Buccaneers’ defensive line between rookie Akeem Spence, and veterans Derek Landri and Gary Gibson, but Spence seems to have caught the eye of McCoy the most heading into training camp.
“He’s a worker, he is a mini Hercules," McCoy said. “I’ve never been the strongest guy. My strength went up this offseason. I was in there and he was two racks down. I almost left the weight room because I didn’t want to keep watching him. When he was doing my heavy weight, he was just warming up. He’s ridiculously strong but he’s a hard worker on the field. He’s like me because he despises making mistakes. That’s what I love about him. He’s a perfectionist. That’s a good attribute of his.”
When practices start tomorrow, McCoy and the rest of the Buccaneers will have to go against the Tampa Bay offense, an offense that has loads of talent. While the defensive tackle likes to practice against them, he knows it isn’t easy.
“This offense is ridiculous, even when you just go across the board on paper," McCoy said. "I’ve competed against these guys at the highest level, medium level, and the lowest level, and their lowest level is still ridiculously hard to face. When those guys on the other side of the ball get rolling, especially with those guys up front, that is not something you want to face all game. I love facing them because it makes me better, but it’s not something that I look forward to. Those guys are good.”
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