“Pop Warner” Fundamentals Doomed McCoy

November 8th, 2011

Raheem Morris implied that technique, or lack thereof, had a lot to do with Gerald McCoy’s latest torn bicep against the Saints. That comment came at Raheem’s Monday afternoon news conference.

But during The Raheem Morris Show on WDAE-AM 620 last night, the head coach was asked to elaborate and made it clear that McCoy’s season-ending injury was the result of sloppy fundamentals.

“It goes back to Pop Warner. All your Pop Warner coaches tell you, ‘Don’t arm tackle.’ And that’s exactly why,” Raheem said. “You gotta put your chest on people. You gotta have your eyes up. Sky your eyes and do the right thing all the time, or it’s going to happen in football. You’re going to get hurt.”

McCoy is a painful loss for the Bucs. Though the Bucs have won games — this season and last — with Frank Okam starting, McCoy was improved this year and a key piece of the puzzle.

And it’s even more painful to lose McCoy to a “Pop Warner” mistake when he’s earning Hall of Fame money.

37 Responses to ““Pop Warner” Fundamentals Doomed McCoy”

  1. bucsalltheway Says:

    Two seasons in a row man! Get it together go eat and do what suh is doing or you won’t be in Tampa too long. Maybe its your nickname gmc don’t you know nobody buys gmc trucks like that anyway and if u keep gettin injured no one will invest in you either GMC lol

  2. Dave Says:

    Not buying it. When you are in the heat of battle sometimes you just reach out because it is all you can do. This had nothing to do with technique.

    Anyway, they are going to miss McCoy ALOT. Contrary to what some people seem to think, the D-Line has been awesome most the time with him starting. Most their games that they shut the run down and most the sacks have happened when he is in there disrupting the middle.

    I saw Price getting the double teams alot against the Saints.
    It is going to be an uphill battle from here.

  3. Meh Says:

    It might be a combo of technique and arm strength. Remember the black mark on McCoy before the draft was upper body strength. Didn’t he get out benched by Benn?

    Poor upper body strength (by NFL DT standards) combined with dumb technique could have doomed him. Twice now.

  4. Eric Says:

    I guess i did hear that right.

    I wonder if he used the same poor technique last year when he hurt the other bicep.

    The bucs DL has not been “awesome” at any point this season no matter who has been playing. They are ranked near the bottom in every maningful category, including rush defense.

  5. Meh Says:

    Dave, the run hasn’t been shut down for ‘most’ of their games. 5 of the 8 games had opponents rushing for over 100 yards. And 4 of those 5 were really, really bad.

    I agree Mccoy will be a big loss though. Just look at how bad the interior line is when he’s gone to see how much we need him.

  6. bucfanjeff Says:

    He’s young, he’ll heal, and he’s not a “bust”. He’s proven effective and worthy of the pick, his only knock to this point is he could start to be labeled ‘injury prone’.

    For those that like to compare:
    Suh 8 games = 17 tackles 3 sacks
    McCoy 6 games = 10 tackles 1 sack
    It’s worth noting that Suh is not good against the run.

    While Suh gets the edge thus far, it’s not by leaps and bounds like some think. Good, yes, over-hyped – very much so.

  7. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I played football for years and if a player didn’t at least try to make an arm tackle the coaches would have been down his throat for lack of effort. If you are engaged with a blocker sometimes the only thing you can get out there is an arm. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes you might pull a muscle. But the last thing you do is just quit because you can’t get a shoulder out there.
    Some guys have weak spots on their bodies. Caddy had weak patellar tendons and McCoy has weak biceps. Hopefully it doesn’t affect his strength too significantly. But I’ll say this, if he is going to constantly be injured(see Bob Sanders) then we need to find someone else to man the middle because Price and Okam are not gonna do be able to do it on their own.

  8. Mauha Deeb Says:

    It would be nice to see the DL work as a unit instead of individual pieces as well. I was on fire after Brees ran for twenty.

  9. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    McBust is weak, he is soft, he is goofy, and his technique sucks.
    WTF was Tampa thinking when they wasted our number one pick on him ?
    Tampa should have traded DOWN, we could have had Jason Pierre Paul OR Terrance Cody, a REAL run stopper, both of those players are difference makers.

  10. Snook Says:

    Gaines Adams 2.0

  11. Snook Says:

    Just think, just because the Lions sucked a little more than the Bucs, they got Calvin Johnson and Suh… The Bucs got Gaines Adams and McCoy. Shiz sandwich right there.

  12. bucsalltheway Says:

    Gerald mccoy is the t.o. of our team he talks way too much and produces much less. I mean he makes a difference here and there but is he any different than geno Hayes when u talk splash plays. I was for Gerald but he’s not consistent enough for me. The only thing he’s consistent with is getting injured and updating his Twitter post lol real joke man. What Tampa need is ronde,tanard and like 9 more mason fosters. U know people who play like they wanna win.

  13. bucsalltheway Says:

    I just hope the glazers go after Matt forte after the season offer him some cash. What would they lose. Afterall he proved to them he can play well on London smh what jokes. That seems like what there after…

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    McCoy is a huge difference maker. Our defense, and our season are screwed without him. He gets hurt trying to do to much. If Dominick had gotten his head outta his butt, and gotten a real OLB or two, Gmc wouldn’t have to stretch out to grab guys running thru Quincy janes gap.if Raheem would quit playing Hayes and Black because they are his Buddies, and play somebody he actually tries to stop the run, Meybe McCoy wouldn’t feel like he’s alone out there. We have the worst OLbers in the league. They are useless, and we Wil never stop the Run as long as they are on the field. Never.

    McCoy has to stop trying to to be a one man defensive front. He is trying to hard to cover up for the inadequacies of others. That will get you hurt, with those kind of injuries, everytime.

    Watch the play where he got hurt. He is reaching thru his blocker, to grab a guy running atound the

  15. Steve From Oregon Says:

    I don’t buy into his fundamentals being the issue.

    Pick any sport that you want……football, baseball, softball, basketball…..everybody knows the ideal way to make any particular play, but in the heat of the moment, you are going to do anything in your power to try to make a play, using your arm, face, leg….anything you can.

    I think its bad luck more then anything else….I hope he comes back strong and not discouraged.

  16. Eric Says:

    Suh made the pro bowl his rookie year, voted in by his peers.

    Sometimes stats arent very reflective of performance at DT. Suh holds his ground and takes double teams, allowing others to make tackles. Mccoy could do the same, if anyone else could make a tackle.

    Gerald may become a good solid DT. But still trying to compare him to Suh seems silly, given Suh has played and started a lot more games, with better results. Durability is an important component.

    At the same time, he aint nearly as bad as Gaines. That one shows you how tough it is to determine draft choice success. No less than one of the best DC’s in history thought Gaines would be good. And who really knows if that enlarged heart hindered the guy.

    Now if Gerald gets hurt again next year, the bust label may have to be rolled out. At some point you gotta play a whole season and produce., especially if you are the third overall.

  17. Joe Says:


    Joe believes Dominik will have to look at defensive tackle in the draft, but not as a priority. Linebacker is a crying need for a first round draft pick there.

    GMC has pretty much proven to be brittle. That’s just the way some guys are. So Raheem can’t quite count on him to finish a season, or at least play a full season. You hope he can but there’s no evidence to suggest he can meet that goal.

    The time has come to turn the page on Roy Miller who is nothing more than a backup. And who really knows what will become of Brian Price with his strange injury. The guy is as tough as he is a beast though.

    Defensive tackle is thin for the Bucs.

  18. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Eric You nailed that last post. Golden words, sir.
    The thing that confuses me is that SUh was supposed to be the one with injury questions and McCoy was the one that never got injured. Oh, how things can change in a moments notice.

  19. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Ian Beckles nailed it today on McCoy:

    You cant tell me that he has done anything yet. 4 sacks and 20 tackles in 2 seasons is nothing. Fragility aside, nobody knows if he can play yet when healthy.

    The run play snaps when GMC played Sunday were big gains, every one of them – watch it again – I did – and he didnt do anything different or better than Price or Miller. The film doesnt lie. Further , Rah even criticized his tackling which explains his horrible stats.

    All at once now: “thomas you were correct all along” on this one.

  20. Greig Says:

    I’m sorry Raheem but as head coach and defensive coordinator it fall on you to teach him the correct way to play.

    “We drafted a DT made of glass and refuse to take any blame for any problems with the team, this latest injury was the fault of Mrs. Burton, Gerald preschool teacher. Rather than letting him stuff crayons up his nose she should have been showing him NFL fundamentals.”

  21. Jrock Says:

    So… during McCoy’s draft, it was said the only reason he was better than Suh was McCoy had much better technique and a huge upside over Suh because technique takes a long time to learn, whereas all Suh had was strength, which can be gained by anyone.

    Now his sloppy ass technique is torpedoing his career, seriously? Also, if anyone else has already posted this I apologize. Haven’t read the comments, lunch break quickie!

  22. Matt Says:

    Man there are a LOT of dumb fans out there.

    McCoy was very, very good this year when he was healthy. And was only going to get better. In fact, I’d say when he was healthy he was playing as good as Suh this year.

    In fact, why don’t we just take a gander at the stats when McCoy was in the game versus not this year.

    Week 1 – McCoy Plays Entire Game: 27 Points, 431 Points, 126 Rushing
    Week 2 – McCoy Plays Entire Game: 20 Points, 398 Yards, 196 Rushing
    Week 3 – McCoy Plays Entire Game: 13 Points, 325 Yards, 30 Rushing
    Week 4 – McCoy Plays Entire Game: 17 Points, 318 Yards, 62 Rushing
    Week 5 – McCoy Plays 9 plays: 48 Points, 418 Yards, 213 Rushing
    Week 6 – McCoy Doesn’t Play: 20 Points, 453 Yards, 70 Rushing
    Week 7 – McCoy Doesn’t Play: 24 Points, 395 Yards, 177 Rushing
    Week 9 – McCoy Plays 13 plays: 27 Points, 453 Yards, 195 Rushing

    For simplicity, let’s say McCoy played the first four and didn’t play the last four.

    Averages with McCoy: 19.25 Points, 368 Yards, 103.5 Rushing
    Averages without McCoy: 29.75 Points, 429.75 Yards, 163.75 Rushing

    In other words, based on the current NFL stats, McCoy is the difference between having a defense ranked:
    7th in points, 20th in yards, and 11th in rushing
    and one ranked
    31st in points, 32nd in yards, and 32nd in rushing.

    But you’re right, he’s a complete bust.

  23. Meh Says:

    Yes, Matt. All it takes is 5 minutes of watching Miller to realize how much we needed McCoy.

  24. MarkDS Says:


    It’s not up to a defensive coordinator to teach technic. That’s why they have position coaches.

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Matt- wow! Nice, real nice!
    Thomas- that should shut you up on McCoy for the final time. That was good stuff.
    Pick on Talib, Black and Hayes! I’ll not only agree with ya, I’ll help pile it on.

  26. bucfanlostiniowa Says:

    GMC is the perfect nickname for this guy, when I think of Gmc trucks I think of shiny chrome and trim packages, all show and no go that’s a GMC for you!

  27. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Oh yes, comparing a game with McCoy against the Payton-less Colts is the same as the Saints. The Colts are about to set a league record for offensive futility – yet you give that the same weight as the Saints game that the Bucs won when he didn’t play. Ridiculous.

    That is the most flawed conclusion ever drawn. Look at the last game, in his plays – they were gashed on running plays, after h got hurt again (4th time in 1.5 seasons) they were gashed.

    The team is 2-0 against the Saints without him playing at all. They also held the prolific Saints to below their average total points.

  28. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    How about this stat? The lions average 355 yards per game and 95 rushing – with Softy we allowed: 431 and 126 with them taking the air out of the ball in the 4th bc they had a lead.

  29. Blubber Price Says:

    He still has the upper body strength of a pop warner player , and that’s the real issue with his chronic injuries….

  30. MTM Says:

    GMC out again. I just want to know how GMC was listed just behind Suh in the draft. As if they were 1 and 1A. That’s some really good scouting. Those two couldn’t be any further apart. Hate to say it but GMC is starting to look like Gaines Adams. Who ever is scouting for the Buc’s defense needs to be gone.

  31. Matt Says:

    @Thomas: I didn’t compare a single game. I compared a four game average. A four game average does show something.

  32. SteveK Says:

    We should draft some more big body DL.

  33. Nate Says:

    Hansworth might be getting cut might as well bring him in I say… I know Mark tried to get him before

  34. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Well if Ian Beckles says it, it must be true. Is that what you are saying Thomas?

  35. Blubber Price Says:

    Thomas is right.

  36. Bobby Says:

    Look, the McCoy haters are never going to like him. I agree that Suh was a beast last year but this year he’s average at best. McCoy was really starting to come on strong this year. As far as injury prone…go back and look at the San Fran game and tell me he’s injury prone. I can’t believe he didn’t break his ankle. It looked as bad as Grimm’s and yet McCoy was able to pull his foot out of their and walk away with just a high ankle sprain. You usually only tear your biceps once so he’s got that out of the way. When he’s healthy he is absolutely the best D-lineman we have…period. I hope he spends his down time strengthening his lower body and studying technique and comes back next year ready to rock. Matthew Stafford seemed injury prone too but I don’t think the Lions care this year…..

  37. Bobby Says:

    By the way…Ian Beckles is a moron. Why is it that washed up whiney ex football players who don’t have a ring always end up with talk shows and spend their time venting on the young talent that is trying to go out and mature into contenders?? King, Sileo, Beckles,….total garbage.