Mike Mayock Talks To JoeJanuary 21st, 2013
Saturday, Joe got a chance to talk with NFL Network draft guru and overall exceptional football analyst Mike Mayock after he worked the East-West Shrine game at the Fruitdome in St. Petersburg. Attired in a dapper 1920s Chicago gangster pinstripe suit, Mayock touched upon a few hot-button Bucs issues.
JoeBucsFan: What are your thoughts on the job done by Greg Schiano in his first year with the Bucs?
Mike Mayock: Coach Schiano, to me, did a nice job of changing the culture in that building. I think that is what had to happen. Now in Year-2, you have to build on some of that success and go from there.
Joe: Locally, a lot of fans and some radio types have been hounding Gerald McCoy as being soft, injury-prone and grossly overrated. This year, his first full year, he makes the Pro Bowl. Is this the type of player Bucs fans can expect to see or was this a fluke for McCoy?
Mayock: I had him rated ahead of [Detroit tackle Ndamukong] Suh because I thought he was a better pass rusher coming out of college — I thought they were the two best players that year. I think what you saw this past year is what he can be when healthy: dominant in both the run game and the pass game.
Joe: Josh Freeman is really catching heat locally for his meltdown the final month of the season when the Bucs had a clear shot at a playoff berth. When he is off he is really off. When he is on he is dynamite. Will Freeman ever be a top-tier quarterback that can lead the Bucs to the playoffs?
Mayock: I think you just said it. His inconsistencies are frustrating. When you get to the NFL level, inconsistencies cost you football games. With a good run game like they have with Doug Martin, with Vincent Jackson in town, I think they have to augment that offensive line to protect him. But he has to be a more consistent football player to win more games.
Joe: Freeman has had a rotating set of coaches with both his position coaches and offensive coordinators in his four years with the Bucs. Shouldn’t it be expected that he will be more consistent, more comfortable having a full offseason, and a second football season, to work with Mike Sullivan?
Mayock: Oh, yeah. I am a big believer in continuity. It’s partly about who your coordinators and who your coaches are but it is also about players who you play with and are surrounded with. He’s still a young quarterback. I thought his [first full season as a starter] he looked really good. I thought his second year was rough and this past year, he was both good and bad. We are at the point now where he needs to step up and become a more consistent player.