Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers
Since the NFL Scouting combine back in February, when Jameis Winston used it to describe what he wants to become in the NFL, the term “Face of the Franchise” has been talked about often in Tampa Bay circles. This week FOX 13’s Kevin O’Donnell sat down with Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy – the Bucs current “Face of the Franchise” – and talked with the former first rounder about what Winston will face.
“There is a lot that comes with that,” McCoy said. “When things don’t go right. They look right at you. Trust me, I know. If things are not right in the locker room, they look at the ‘Face of the Franchise’. They need to go fix it. He can’t do that as a rookie. He has a lot to learn.”
“Eventually one day, he is going to be that guy, because it’s a quarterback-driven league,” McCoy said. “Can’t win in this league without a quarterback. When your quarterback is a good player, great player, your team has a great chance of winning. Then I’m sure he’ll take on that role. But until then, we just need to get around him and kind of carry him through this.”
McCoy went on to share his thoughts about Winston and his impression of his college career.
“He’s a great player,” McCoy said. “He’s a great leader. He’s a winner, lost one game in college and he did it as a young guy. He wasn’t in his third or fourth year. He was a young guy doing it. He’s just a winner and I’m happy to have him.”
Despite the pressures that will be put on him by the fans, media and coaching staff, McCoy said Winston can’t do it alone.
“What I don’t want him to do is to feel like and I think he already has an understanding of it, is that it’s not going to be all on him,” McCoy said. “Just because you’re the first overall pick, people expect you to come in and to be ‘the guy’. People expect you to come in and be…flip the whole organization. It’s not going to happen like that.”
Already one “Face of the Franchise” has reached out to the future “Face of the Franchise.”
“I have,” McCoy said. “I talked with him. I got to meet him the day after the draft. I came in, got to meet him. Got his phone number. We’ve been talking a little bit. I just let him know. I let him and his parent know. I got his back. I’ll take care of him.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Just to get this out of the way: I wanted Mariota. I think he’s going to put the arm, the feet, & the brain ALL together for the 1st time in the NFL. He needed a QB friendly place to go, and he got it. Now that’s done. EEB said whomever got drafted, QB, he was going to support them. I embrace this statement. I am Winston’s newest #1 fan. As a football nerd, I love listening to this guy talk football. Coverages, protections, scheme. Everything the Gold Carpet is not. He’s amazing. McCoy has Winston’s back? I’m not surprised. That’s who he is. I love the Staples of our Defense. They play 60+ plays in the FL sunshine; so many of them after 3& outs. So,”Despite the pressures that will be put on him by the fans” Yeah, that’s Gospel. O is where it’s at. I’ve wanted one desperately for years. We’ve (the Bucs) never had one. EVER. Not a real one, not a serious one, never a dangerous one. I’m watching this season w/ hope, patience, and perseverance. Work on your craft young man, throw your INT’s, figure out where the line between playmaker and goat is. I need you, and Evans, and ASJ to give our D a 2 TD lead. Give them the prize of playing ahead on the score board. Let them go hunt. Let them pin their ears back and take no prisoners. That’s my pressure, my expectations. Bring some instant Karma to my Defense. Go Bucs!
well said Moody. I know a lot of people were in Mariota’s camp, but it’s good to see some of you stay the course and root for your team.
Having read the words of a Bucaneer fan, I’m happy to say I’m one of those too! Couldn’t have said it better, MJM. If Mariota had been the pick, I would have voiced the same support. Draft is over, time to man up, let’s go play some football. (not saying that everyone who doesn’t share this sentiment isn’t a fan, just nice to hear one who is!) GO Bucs!
Well said mj! I for one am on board with whomever they decide to put in there. As long as they’re wearing red and pewter they are on my team and will get my support! Will there be growing pains and a few misses? Sure, but we will weather the storm and take the division within 2-3 years, if not sooner. Can’t wait to see Koetter’s offense with Winston in the driver’s seat! Give our defense some help and let them rest up so they can stomp out the other teams’ offense. Go Bucs!
It is great to see support for the Bucs! I despise going onto fan sites and seeing the negative comments from so-called fans. I am with you mjmoody and those that commented on your post. I just want to see some good hometown football. Go Bucs!
Once a Buccaneer, always a Buccaneer! Rick Stroud is reporting that Tony Dungy said he ‘feels good,’ about the Bucs decision to draft Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
This is good, always been a huge GMC fan. We now have a humble defensive captain and his opposite in our new outspoken offensive captain. They can split the “face” duties and appeal to both sides of the fan base. Go Bucs!
I am so happy for McCoy. I remember well the criticism he endured his first three years. He had some tough times with injuries. I also am aware that Sapp helped and supported him behind the scenes as well. Winston should be alright with all the support he will have. Here’s to the realization of a stellar career as part of more than one Buccaneer championship. Now to work … Go Bucs!!!!
Wouldn’t expect anything less. I’m sure David, Evans, Jackson will have his back too. Gruden, and Dungy who both were screaming for the Bucs to take Mariota, won their superbowls with pocket passers. Take everything the talking heads say with a grain of salt, Dungy, and Gruden are just that now. Watched some of Oregons spring game. This kid Kelly, trying to replace Mariota, went 9 for 9 232 yds, and 3 touchdowns. In one half!! Is it the system?
Lol why so sweaty, Gerald?
I know Winston doesn’t need it, but Scubog has his back too. At least one a day someone will make a remark about him based on a lack of knowledge or understanding of certain situations. As Dungy always said, “perception is reality”. But I go to the Rhonde Barber school of “It is what it is.” I’m hoping the oft mentioned incidents of two and a half years ago quickly fade into irrelevance and we can judge the young man on today’s rather than yesterday’s news. Nice to see some of the folks who favored the new Titan’s QB are willing to give “our QB” a chance.
I would assume all the players on the Bucs would accept ALL the new players and “have their backs”.
If having Winston’s back meant keeping him out of trouble, why would they need to have to do that when Lovie has no concerns about him off the field.
I don’t understand the need for this thread.
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