No Veteran Cold Shoulder For RookiesJune 12th, 2014
Apparently, Gerald McCoy has a like-minded teammate who brawls in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball.
Last year Joe remembers GMC telling him (Joe doesn’t have the notes in front of him; so this is paraphrasing) that there are more than a few NFL veterans who believe rookies should learn the hard way about the rigors of the league.
GMC told Joe, in so many words, “I don’t think like that. If a guy is on my team, he is here to help me win and I will do whatever I can to help him play better.”
Bucs center Evan Dietrich-Smith is of the same mindset. Joe had asked EDS yesterday what he thought of rookie guard Kadeem Edwards who, in Carl Nicks’ void, has been logging a lot of time with the first time at left guard.
EDS noted that veteran players who don’t help out the rookies are, well, wrong-headed.
“Kadeem is doing a real good job,” EDS said. “He does some nice things technique-wise. I am excited to see what happens when guys get the pads on. We have some guys they don’t know how to turn it off with the pads off. Lovie has been after us a couple of times about that stuff. Pads will make a big difference and I am kind of sure that we can see how it will shake out once that goes down and it is right around the corner.
“I am excited about that. The rookies are doing a real good job. “Hop” [Offensive line coach George Warhop] is pushing us real hard as far as us getting our technique down and doing the things he wants. I think we are headed in the right direction as far as the offensive line goes.
“I think a lot of [learning the NFL from a small school] has to do with the guys you are playing next to. I know I came from a small school [Idaho State], too, and it took me a little bit to figure it out. If you have veterans guys who are going to help you out and point you in the right direction, that will definitely work in your favor. But if you are a small school guy playing with a lot of young guys, it will take a little longer. I am not going to steer these guys the wrong way at any point in time. I know that the five guys with me, I will make sure we are pointed in the right way and not let our quarterback get hit in the back of the head.”
As an aside, Edwards is from Tennessee State.
Joe digs this mentality. Unless someone is so friggin’ paranoid and selfish, thinking a rookie will take his job, how could veterans not want to help the rookies get better? Veterans who stick their noses in the air when rookies drop by and have no interest in helping the rookies apparently have burned out on football, or at least winning football.
As Lovie Smith noted yesterday, you don’t have to be a screamer or a yeller to be a leader. Guys like GMC and EDS are proving that daily.