Lay Off Gerald McCoy

October 28th, 2010

gerald mccoy 1028Joe can already hear the whispers from various sources and it is disturbing him.

Local morning sports radio show hosts have stopped just short of saying it. Some crazed Bucs fans have not.

Perhaps with the memories of the late Gaines Adams all too fresh in people’s minds, some impatient, impractical Bucs fans are already calling Gerald McCoy a wasted draft pick.

One fan even had the nerve to suggest this to eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, in a recent TBO Bucs question-and-answer feature.

Q: With us being six games into the season and Gerald McCoy having 0 sacks and only 8 tackles so far, what’s your opinion on his play so far? Do you think Raheem moving him around on the line has anything with him not getting sacks?

Buco Pat, Tampa

A: The Bucs believe McCoy played his best game of the season Sunday against the Rams. He was active across the line of scrimmage and perhaps the sight of former Sooner teammate Sam Bradford motivated him. I think his days of lining up everywhere on the line are behind him. The Bucs want him to settle in at the crucial under-tackle spot. That’s why they drafted him.

— eye-RAH! Kaufman

Joe has been over this too many times to count. Much more learned NFL men such as Gil Brandt and Pat Kirwan have detailed how difficult it is for rookie defensive tackles to make the transition from college to the NFL.

In college, it’s not uncommon for a defensive tackle to go against a glorified child, a freshman or sophomore still unable to buy a beer legally in the United States. In the NFL, often, the same player is going against grown men, skilled in the art of blocking.

It can be a huge, difficult leap.

Kirwan earlier this calendar year documented just how difficult it is for rookie defensive tackles to do anything their first year. Last year, Roy Miller had better stats than any defensive tackle selected in the first round.

Sure, Joe knows someone will bring up Manbeast Ndamukong Suh. He will always be the benchmark for McCoy, which is rather unfair as a guy like Suh comes around once a lifetime.

Oh, and Suh is playing alongside Kyle Vanden Bosch, one of the better veteran defensive ends in the league. Don’t think that’s doesn’t help Suh out? How much better would GMC be if he had someone like Vanden Bosch playing next to him?

In short, lay off GMC. Expecting him to do anything this year is premature.

Not even Warren Sapp — who GMC is often compared to — did much if anything his rookie season.

23 Responses to “Lay Off Gerald McCoy”

  1. JDouble Says:

    I get so tired of hearing that Sapp sucked his first year. He wasn’t dominant like he was later in his career, he wasn’t consistanly great, but he was a force immediatly. His pressense was felt immediatly. He had flashes eveery game. He only had 26 tackles that year, but registered three sacks, a forced fumble, 5 deflected passes, an interception, and a touchdown his rookie year.

    Even if you don’t remember watching his rookie year, the stats show he was a factor. If you do remember watching his rookie year, then you know that he was 10x the DT McCoy has been thus far. I’m not saying McCoy can’t be good, I’m just tired of hearing Sapp wasn’t good his first year. It’s a lie.

    I will agree that in college McCoy was often going up against glorified children. I believe that is why he looked good at times. Truth is we should all be hoping Prices hip is not a serious issue, because he is the better prospect and has more potential as a dominant under tackle.

  2. Jerrjenn2 Says:

    Blame it on eye-rah! The headline says Bucs Q & A: Is it too early to call McCoy a bust? But nowhere in the question does it say that. Just another attempt for ratings.

  3. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I agree, Sapp was more of a force in his rookie year.

  4. Joe Says:


    eye-RAH! is not a copy editor; he doesn’t write headlines.


    Like I’ve said before, Suh is playing on a line that has 20 years of experience in the league, McCoy is playing on a line that has 6 years of experience…

    Fans are fickle

  6. gitarlvr Says:

    I said this in an earlier post but no one should even be expecting big sack number from a defensive tackle. Name another DT in the past 20 years with consistent double digit sacks seasons other than Sapp or Randle. There are 10 games to go and McCoy only needs to post a handful of sacks by the end to be considered a successful rookie season. Its more important that he improves his run defense than to rack up sacks. Stuffing the run is what really matter for that position. Really, its truly rare for d-tackles to put up big sack numbers. The guys that put up big sack numbers are DE’s and linebackers that blitz a lot. Comparing him to Sapp is ridiculous. Is Josh Freeman a bust because he will never be Peyton Manning?

  7. Jerrjenn2 Says:

    Whoever wrote it is misleading us.

  8. Posey99 Says:

    sapp was good his rookie year. Suh was drafted as a senior, mccoy was drafted as a junior- look at suh’s numbers his junior year compared to mccoy. suh is older, with more experience and time to develope along with playing next to vandenbosch, as joe already mentioned. bottom line is we have no other player on our defensive line thats worth a double team. i think i saw stylez get a chip block a few times from a RB but that was rare. we need a DE that draws doubles or a least a considerable amount of attention.

  9. d-money Says:

    So lets see…if were going to judge people now based on the first six games of their career then I guess then Cadillac Williams is going to be a sure fire hall of famer and this guy Brett Farve will probably never make it in the NFL.

    The fact is Players develop differently. Mccoy is not Warren Sapp or Ndamukong Suh. There is no reason to believe that he’s going to be a bust after 6 games.

    Next year when he has 10 sacks I’m sure all these jackasses getting all over him wont come back and admit they were wrong.

  10. safety Says:

    d-money is on d money.

  11. JDouble Says:

    I would love it if McCoy had 10 sacks next year. Won’t happen, but I’d love it.

  12. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’d be happy if he only had 6 or 7 sacks next year and the D was holding rushers to less than 3.8 yards per carry (as of right now, that would make us a top 10 rushing D)

  13. javto24 Says:

    JDouble how do you know McCoy wont have 10 Sacks next year .. or maybe even 8 ?? You talk like you are a Internet Board Guru that knows all .. Kareem Huggins is gonna explode .. I like Huggins but he has yet to stay healthy in back to back games in his career .. Being Healthy is part of being a Great player ..

    And someone PLEASE show me the last Junior DT to be drafted anywhere in the draft and produce even 5 sacks as a rookie … It may be year 3 before the light comes on for McCoy, and if he doesnt match Suh’s numbers during that time .. Hes a bust right ??

    Warren Sapp saw something he liked in McCoy but said it will definitely take time .. I will take Sapp’s opinion over “I can predict a career after 6 games Message Board GMs”

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    They often said Gaines Adams’ problem was his work ethic. I don’t think McCoy has this problem and he surely has strong faith and belief. In every job, you have to be willing to put in the work, the extra time and effort to distinguish yourself from the rest. It will take time but Freeman is the shining example for the rest. If these young linemen stay in the weight room, film room, and continually improve their cardio, they can excel. That leaves teaching and experience and one massive gray area. Another good thing is size and speed usually matters in the NFL.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    Biggest question. How much has Suh improved the Lions? Not at all. They are 1-5 . He was a wasted draft pick. The lions needed a OT. What Suh does is irrelevant. Stafford is out with a dislocated shoulder, and Suh and the lions loss 12-14 games again. Bucs drafted McCoy, and they’re record seems greatly improved. Sooo, a DT with Great stats, but doesn’t improve the team one bit, or a DT with quiet stats, but team improves from 3-13 to possible playoff team? Easy choice for me.

  16. Ish Says:

    First, as a Math Teacher, I note that people are comparing Sapp’s Tackles (which is a summation of Unassisted and Assisted Tackles) with McCoy’s Unassisted Tackles. In 10 more games, Sapp only had 9 more UATs than McCoy has now and 8 more ATs. Only 1.5 more Stuffs (Tackle for Loss), 4 more Passes Defended and 1 INT. An INT is rare for a DT, so it probably shouldn’t factor into consideration.

    Here are the numbers:
    Year Tkl Asst Sack Stf FF FR PD INT
    1995 17 10 3 3.5 1 0 5 1
    2010 8 2 0 2 1 0 1 0

    Actually, if you extrapolate McCoy’s numbers out to 16 games, his line will read:

    Tkl Asst Sack Stf FF FR PD INT
    21 5 0 5 2 0 2 0

    How many of McCoy’s QB pressures will turn into Sacks? Only the season will tell, but McCoy is on track to produce comparable numbers to Sapp.

    Also, nobody has said that Sapp wasn’t good as a rookie, they simply stated that it took him a few seasons to become the standard for DTs that he became. Again, that is borne out by the stats:

    Year Tkl Asst Sack Stf FF FR PD INT
    1995 17 10 3 3.5 1 0 5 1
    1996 41 10 9 7.5 1 1 0 0

    Sapp’s Unassisted Tackle and Sack totals jumped significantly in his second year. That justifies people to say, “Rookie Sapp wasn’t as good as the veteran Sapp we remember,” and therefore to continue the comparison between the two players with hopes for McCoy to be dominant in the future.

  17. SkookumSmitty Says:

    Wow, Ish…I was told there would BE no math! Get outta here with your fancy logic and book learnin’! 😉

  18. Tampa2 Says:

    From The Detroit News:
    Suh has 18 tackles, three sacks, one interception and four tackles for loss.

    Neither Sapp nor McCoy qualify to tie Suh’s cleats! Suh will make people forget all about Sapp. And, in the long run, Price will be better than McCoy. And remember Dominik & Raheem saying that McCoy was better than Suh? Suh has more tackles than Raheem’s whole defense does! Luck only lasts so long. And Raheems defense is giving up lots & lots of yardage each and every week. It won’t be long before you guys stop making excuses for Raheem and see him for what he is, an amateur in over his head! And McCoy is right behind him!

  19. Fatcracker Says:

    Mc Coy is the best dt in the league. There I said it

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    JDouble & Tampa2,
    Funny thing about Suh…he is on an experienced line. Sapp was playing with a still developing defense, on which the key players (future) were rookies.

    GMC is on a very young line, and playing next to 1-2 rookies at times.

    Say it’s an excuse all you want, but it’s a valid point. No one is denying Suh is good, but to say he’s better than Sapp? Please, lol.

    GMC will be fine. By the end of this year, he will have 4 sacks. Next year he will do better.

    People say the “light just has to come on”. I myself have said that. But as of now, I think the “light came on” in hte last game. From that game on, we will see rapid improvement. In fact, there is a good chance he will get his first sack this weekend.

    And as far as comparing Sapp and GMC…it’s because both were/are Bucs. Sapp was the best DT in Bucs history. So naturally there will be comparisons.

    And before you say Suh will have a better career than GMC, I would like to point out that even if that were to happen, the chances of Suh getting a superbowl in Detroit are non-existant…whereas GMC has a great chance here in Tampa in the coming years.

    The best Detroit can hope for is more early draft picks…although with Suh they MIGHT end up at pick 10 sometime soon.

    And finally…I wish people would stop wishing ill on the team just to so they can say they were right about negative predictions. You don’t like Raheem? Fine. But if you like the Bucs, you should be promoting success, not predicting doom just so you can say Raheem will get fired.

    Year after year we see people like this…for some reason they think it lend credence to their existance. It doesn’t.

  21. Patrick Says:

    Um.. Sapp was pretty good his rookie year. He had 3 sacks and that wasn’t even in the Tampa 2 defense yet. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if McCoy has 0 sacks at the end of the year.

    I never was crazy about the McCoy pick. I knew we needed a DT so I wasn’t mad or anything when we drafted him. Just wasn’t that excited. He never was that spectacular in college. If you put his stats next to Suh’s, they’re not even close. Suh is going to be a dominant player in this league. When all the Suh vs McCoy talk was going on in the offseason, Suh just seemed like a guy that destroyed everyone in his path while McCoy seemed like the guy who was just being mentioned as a guy “that fit our system.”

    With the exception of Mike Williams and Cody Grimm, our 2010 draft class has sucked bad. And it’s pretty sad when a 4th rounder and 7th rounder are your best rookies.

    Why don’t they try that Alex Magee out and see how he performs? Didn’t we give up a draft pick for him? Use him. Don’t see how it can get any worse.

    Here’s to hoping McCoy, Price, and Miller get it together. I know McCoy and Price have that “I’m a rookie” excuse, but if they don’t show any promise and bring any excitement to the defense by the end of the year, that’s not something the team can ignore going into the offseason.

    Miller has no excuse. Being in his 2nd year already, he should be playing much better after having a decent rookie season last year.

  22. The White Tiger Says:

    I also said we shouldn’t expect too much from GMC…

    …but I was also one who voiced the opinion that the Bucs should trade-up in draft position to take Suh. Id we’d given our 1st & 2nd this year – we’d have twice as many tackles and 5 times the number of sacks…(additionally, I’d say we’ve settled that whole debate about who was the most explosive, and who was “the most NFL ready”…).

    Regarding Kyle Vanden Bosch…I think the Bucs had every opportunity to sign someone to help our rookies adjust. Someone (or groups of someone’s), felt Vanden Bosch wasn’t worth signing…

    One could make the case that signing KVB THIS season and coupling him with Suh on OUR defensive line – would have made a trade (this years 1st & 2nd and NEXT years 1st OR 2nd rounder) more than acceptable…and our defense would be as advanced as our offense. That sounded like a LOT…
    …before Suh demonstrated he was a BEAST of a rookie (coupled with a DE like Vanden Bosch).

    Since we did NOT get the “once-in-a-lifetime” player (Suh), all us fans should just be happy to patient…without the production Suh is contributing.

    …even though we pay similar pricing for tickets, and even though we had a “once in a lifetime shot” at getting a “once in a lifetime player”, at the precise time we had “once in a lifetime CAP room” to sign Suh and Vanden Bosch…

    Yeah, we don’t want our media types drawing any comparisons between GMC and Suh – because our guy isn’t performing as well. We should all just be happy and satisfied that we have a player that will probably be OK.

    I’m only partially kidding…afterall, McCoy is playing as well as I figured he would and that’s after he’s been played out of position a LOT this season…just don’t tell me to be happy with the 2nd best, AND don’t expect me to be happy with the fact that our team refused to add a real free-agent DE to ease the adjustment of the 2nd and 3rd best DT’s in this seasons draft…

  23. christopher Says:

    Ok, whoever said our draft this year has sucked is truly smoking crack…
    McCoy will be fine. All has to do is flash upfield, that’s the scheme…you need a quick guy to do so, & he & Price have shown that. We need a new MLB. IMO, Ruud *never was* a MLB.
    Ronde “sucked” as a rookie too…most rookie corners do in our system. I think Lewis will be fine.
    Drafting Bowden was a mistake, flat out, esp. when there were some good DEs on the board.
    Benn will be fine. Right now the offense is running through Winslow, Williams, & Stroughter. Benn is already a starter, & has shown the ability to catch the ball.
    Watson is going to start next year, pretty sure, & has been fine on special teams.
    Frankly, Dominik is a maestro of the draft. Just like people still criticize Josh(even though he only has 3 picks…most every other QB is turning it over more), the fact that most of the picks are contributers is RARE…