On the first day of OTAs, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy didn’t waste any time getting to the bottom of things and telling the media what he really thought, starting with himself.
After a heartfelt talk about where he thinks he need to be better as a leader for this team, McCoy opened up and was very passionate when describing a few of his up-and-coming teammates.
The first was offensive linemn Ali Marpet, who is entering his third year. Marpet played mostly right guard for the Buccaneers last season, but with the return of fellow guard J.R. Sweezy, there has been question as to whether or not the Buccaneers should move Marpet to center. The idea of this isn’t fueled by whether or not Marpet could play center (the team knows he can). It’s more a matter of getting the most out of whatever starting five the team put on the field.
On Monday, McCoy weight in on that debate with his thoughts from a defensive lineman’s perspective.
“Just from my analysis I think Ali is a great guard. I really do,” McCoy said. “I think he would be dominant, like, next-level center. He’s a small space guy. If you get him in a small space, you’re in trouble; once he puts his hands on you, you’re in trouble. I truly believe, and you can stamp this or quote it: I believe Ali Marpet would be a dominant – not [just] good – a dominant center.”
Bucs DE Noah Spence and DT Gerald McCoy sack Seahawks QB Russell Wilson – Photo by: Getty Images
McCoy didn’t stop there with his talk of the young guys. He went on to answer a question about Noah Spence, last year’s second-round pick, and how he believe Spence is in for a big sophomore season after recording 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles as a rookie. Spence was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November after recording 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in helping the Bucs go 3-1 in that month.
“He’s been texting me and calling me a lot this offseason,” McCoy said. “He knows it’s time to take it to the next level going into Year Two. He knows he missed out on a lot of opportunities due to a lot of things that we discussed. I think he’s going to be ready to go. I guess what [the media] calls a breakout year by Noah Spence. He’s going to play a couple of different roles for us and it’s going to be fun to watch. I truly believe it’s going to be a big year for him.”
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
A dominant center in front of the franchise, a much needed defensive end wanting to take it to the next level, and dominate. Oooh I’ve got goose bumps!
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