The last few weeks there has been a lot of talk and speculation of what is wrong with the Buccaneers defense. Is it coaching? Is the Tampa 2 scheme a thing of the past?
Standing at the podium in the Bucs media studio on Thursday, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy cleared things up. It isn’t the scheme or coaches, but instead he said it falls squarely on the players. McCoy went as far to say the Buccaneers defense is soft.
“I mean if you look out there on tape and you see a bunch of guys sitting on blocks, are you not earning the title of being soft?” McCoy said. “Guys get so sensitive around the league, but we have to be men. This is a man’s league. This is a man’s league and we’re professionals. Guys have issues with criticism. I’ve been getting criticized since I’ve been in the NFL and I don’t even feel it anymore. It is what it is.
“We have to accept what happened,” McCoy continued. “Like I did last week, if you don’t have a good day at the office, just say that. Not everybody has great games. I believe Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player in history. A lot of people might not agree with me but I think so. And he’s had plenty of bad games, but so what? What he does is see what he did wrong, accepts what he did wrong and he fixes it. I don’t think we’re doing enough of that.”
“I think we’re making it too many excuses,” he said. “There’s always a reason why this is happening or why that’s happening. It has to stop. We just have to say, ‘Okay, I did [something] wrong, I didn’t win that one, I have to win the next one and the one after that.’ If you win 70 percent of your battles, you have a shot to win, simple as that.”
McCoy also quickly deflected blame away from head coach Lovie Smith, again placing the issues on the players themselves.
“He’s an awesome coach,” McCoy said. “He’s a player’s coach and he’s a hands-on coach. Actually, coach Schiano was a hands-on coach, too, but they just go about it in different ways. A lot [of the losing] is not his coaching. I’ll just be honest.”
“You see a lot of [player] interviews from all around the league. Players say it’s this or it’s that. No, it’s us. We just have to be tougher. I’m just going to say it; we have to be tougher. Mentally and physically. A lot of times you look on tape where guys are just sitting on blocks. Why? [There are] a lot of times where guys are just holding up blocks. No, that’s not the way. Get open. If you’re the corner, get off the block and come help out. If you’re supposed to drop ten yards then drop ten yards, don’t drop at eight.
“It’s just mentally and physically we have to get tougher. It’s not coach Smith; it’s us. He prepares us well every day. He comes in optimistic regardless of what happened every day. You won’t ever hear him raise his voice but when he speaks everyone listens and you feel what he’s saying. But us as players, we have to have much more of a killer’s mentality. When that whistle blows and you step across that white line, you just have to turn into something else. We have to do it across the board.”
McCoy said the rah-rah speeches are played out.
“I’ve been seeing talking for five years,” McCoy said. “We’ve done enough talking; it’s time to play, simple as that. Everyone’s given speeches. I’ve given speeches, Lavonte [David] has given speeches, Vincent Jackson has given speeches, Josh McCown has given speeches, but it’s enough talking. We have to start playing, simple as that. The talking is not going to get it anymore. I’ve been hearing talking and speeches for five years. It’s time to start seeing action, simple as that.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
GMC is saying all the right things but as he said we as fans have heard talking for 5 years as well ! We want to see it on the field
Strong words…much needed…from a good leader. Except for the Pittsburg game, there has been no intensity whatsoever…on either side of the ball.
Good, glad McCoy said it. This next sentence sums it up.
A lot of times you look on tape where guys are just sitting on blocks. Why? [There are] a lot of times where guys are just holding up blocks. No, that’s not the way. Get open. If you’re the corner, get off the block and come help out. If you’re supposed to drop ten yards then drop ten yards, don’t drop at eight.
I like what Gerald said but if Lovie is a “player’s coach” is that working? Not from what I can see. Maybe they’ll turn it up this Sunday but I’ll still have to ask……why not from day ONE?
Read where Brooks said after watching the Ravens game, he saw to many defenders on the ground. Holding up blocks would be an improvement. It’s been fun in the sun so far for opposing teams coming to Tampa. So how does a soft team become fearsome?
Brooks also said before the season that you don’t learn the Tampa 2 overnight and it will take a while before they start playing it well.
It has been a few years without professional coaching Garv – lost a lot of professional role models at the start of 4 years of less than pro HCs and staffs – going to take a while to make it right, if they can.
Ugh, people panicking when its been what, 6 games? Probably the same idiots saying Dungy should have been fired after his first 6 games. Lets just see where the team is at the end of the year, how it has improved. People, including myself, overrated the team going into the season, but its going to take longer than we thought to get rid of the stench that was Schiano.
I hear the words, but at some point McCoy has to step up his own game. Lead by example!
I like what McCoy is doing here. We’ve all been guessing at what the problem is and he’s coming right out and telling us what it is. I hope he and the rest of the defense (and offense) start doing it on Sunday. But this speech sounds like it should be coming from the DC. Reminds me of that sorry QB coach we had last year. What exactly does Leslie do for this team? If Lovie is going to be good cop then someone has to play bad cop. Every Ying needs a Yang. McCoy can’t be the only guy telling the players what to do on defense.
Im confident this defense will play much better once they get a better grasp of where to be and the nuances of the defense. GMC’s speech was right on point and should have been said by no one else. If 5 years of losing hasnt made him sick of hearing the same old “its them not us” lines then we have the wrong leader on our defense.
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