Brooks: McCoy Gets His VeteranApril 1st, 2014
Is Bucs icon Derrick Brooks taking a shot at Gary Gibson and Stylez White in the latest Pewter Panel video on Buccaneers.com?
Joe won’t go that far today, but Brooks was clear that Gerald McCoy is finally getting a veteran presence that can impact him in a big way.
Brooks was discussing how moves of the Lovie Smith regime issued a clear statement that its team will be built from the trenches, particularly on defense. Brooks is very high on the two, proven entities added to the defensive line: Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald.
“Michael Johnson, a proven pass rusher, a veteran in this defensive group that they’ve never had before. I think from a leadership standpoint it’s going to help those young players, particularly Gerald McCoy,” Brooks said.
That leadership line really stood out to Joe. Johnson has one more year in the league than McCoy but Johnson has made fewer starts than McCoy. However, Johnson has been on a perennial playoff team and surely knows much more about what winning football looks like than McCoy.
Brooks doesn’t waste words or toss out blind takes, so clearly he believes McCoy will benefit from what Johnson’s work ethic and experience offers. This is very encouraging.
Joe also will stand up a bit for Gibson, the Schiano/Rutgers man who was a veteran backup for the Bucs the past two seasons. McCoy told Joe on a handful of occasions about how “Gibby,” as McCoy called him, was very helpful in teaching him technique nuances and pointing out things from the sidelines over the past two years.
Gibson was a real undrafted overachiever, one of the last remaining NFL Europe guys still in the NFL. McCoy made back-to-back Pro Bowls with Gibson around. So that’s got to mean something.
But Johnson brings a new element, one Brooks has seen first-hand. McCoy now has a proven leader, who’s also an elite-level player, alongside him. In addition to system better suited for McCoy, Johnson could drive No. 93 to new heights.