Remove The Blinders, Gerald

July 26th, 2017


You don’t suddenly transform yourself into a leader by hitting the weight room, kissing babies or watching film.

You either have it or you don’t — and it’s not the kiss of death if you don’t.

Gerald McCoy may not appreciate Ronde Barber’s remarks to the Tampa Bay Times, but the Hall of Fame candidate meant no disrespect. Barber didn’t suggest McCoy isn’t an outstanding player, he simply suggested McCoy is not a natural leader.

Guess who agreed with Barber, only three months ago?

Gerald McCoy.

In April, McCoy acknowledged that prominent people he respects told him he needs to elevate his game.

“It hit home,” McCoy said from the podium at One Buc Place, knowing the cameras were rolling. “It wasn’t devastating, but it was a reality check. The gist is I haven’t done enough to lead this team.”

That was McCoy, not Ronde Barber.

Read The Paycheck

The questions regarding McCoy’s leadership skills have haunted No. 93 since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, just behind Ndamukong Suh. A significant segment of Buc fans want McCoy to play with more of the badass attitude that defined Warren Sapp.

They want McCoy strutting through the opponent’s pre-game stretch routine, brashly announcing his presence and letting them know in advance they are in for a long day at the office.

That’s not McCoy. Never has been, never will be.

McCoy appears to be bent out of shape by what he perceives as a lack of respect for what he has accomplished. He needs to get over it.

In 2014, the Bucs showed him $51.5 million worth of respect in guaranteed money. His image is still up on a mural in the northwest corner of Raymond James Stadium. Teammates and coaches talk him up constantly as an impact player.

Isn’t that enough?

So he’s not Warren Sapp. Anybody hear Lavonte David lamenting the comparisons to Derrick Brooks?

Like McCoy, David is a very good player who isn’t a born leader. No big deal.

Jameis Winston was a leader the moment he strutted through the door at One Buc Place.

Live with it.

Wrong Blinders

And guess who has come flying to McCoy’s defense? None other than Rays pitcher Chris Archer, the poster child for pro athletes who yearn to be leaders but just don’t have the right stuff.

At least McCoy has done enough on the field to command esteem. Archer hasn’t done squat, so his support for McCoy is rather comical.

McCoy is the second-best defensive tackle in franchise history, ranked No. 52 on the NFL’s current Top 100 list in voting by players.

If the Bucs are to end the nine-year playoff drought that includes McCoy’s entire pro career, he will need to be a big part of the effort. McCoy has played hurt and he has played hard, but he needs to drown out the “elevator music” that Jon Gruden used to warn about.

He needs to Tweet a little less and understand that everyone in the organization has his back. And he certainly doesn’t need to suggest that his days in Tampa are numbered, like he did this week.

The Bucs made him the highest-paid defensive tackle in NFL history, and if Suh, Fletcher Cox and Kawann Short have passed him by in terms of salary, that’s more about timing than McCoy’s skill package.

On the brink of training camp, McCoy has made himself a natural focal point for Hard Knocks. He’s already been the star of a one-minute trailer that shows him running up the steps to the top of Raymond James Stadium.

But instead of enjoying the view from the summit, McCoy has chosen to wear blinders. He sees only the skeptics, and that’s a shame.

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at world headquarters for a full year. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out his columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays.

46 Responses to “Remove The Blinders, Gerald”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “…he simply suggested McCoy is not a natural leader…” – Ira

    Wrong, Ira. That isn’t what he said at all. Sorry, love ya, but gotta call you out on that misquote.
    It’s not a misquote. –Joe

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    Mccoy does this every year… Gets butt hurt runs his mouth before season and then disappears when his team needs him most… 7 years of lip service and not a single meaningful win to show for it. Ice cream man is a good player nothing more. All the compliments from his peers and meaningless pro bowls do not offset the embarrassing performances and blowouts followed by smiles and celebrations… Just shut up and do your job and let the real leaders do thier job.

  3. Buc50 Says:

    Some people are Batman and some are Robin. GMC is a very good Robin and there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s still a Super Hero (Pro-Bowler) on this team. Much ado about nothing.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think McCoy isn’t whining…he’s using the skeptics to fire himself up. Nothing wrong with that.

    But there are guys who misjudge him unfairly.

    He’s a leader…just not the same kind of leader Sapp was…and that is the real reason there are skeptics. Guys like TMax miss the days of Sapp, who was a good player but a horrible example of manhood.

    All Barber was saying is that a team needs fiery leaders as well as good example-types of leaders.

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    Twitter, Facebook, all that social media garbage is becoming the bane of our existence along with the inability to tune it out. A grown-a$$ man shouldn’t give a flying you-know-what what anybody thinks of them outside of their immediate family. GMC is darn good player but he needs to tune the idiocy out and play football. This just perpetuates a dialogue which is so inane and fruitless. It only encourages the moronic diatribe that is seemingly inherent in Buc “fans”.
    Get over it GMC. Your play speaks for itself.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    tmaxcon Says
    “…7 years of lip service and not a single meaningful win to show for it…”

    Okay, time to put this claim to rest. I have seen it many times, and sorry, it just does not wash.

    How about 11-17-2013, Bucs vs the Falcons???? McCoy showed up with THREE SACKS and shut down Ryan. Remember that? Or were you hoping no one else would actually remember?

    Bucs won 41-28.

    There is one game.

    Or how about 11/16/2014? Vs the Redskins? Shut them down too. Win.

    OR 10/11/2015 vs Jacksonville? Win.

    He has had some meaningful wins. You just hoped no one would mention them.

  7. tmaxcon Says:


    Raise your standards fool the entire organization has NOT WON A MEANINGFUL GAME IN CLOSE TO 15 YEARS…. we get it mccoy goes to church so he’s above legit criticism.

    Mccoy is NOT a leader in any sense of the word. Leaders take responsibility, leaders make others better and most importantly leaders don’t quit on coaches

  8. Johnnie Says:

    McCoy is more of a leader by example! He is s greatplsyer as well. But bad ass I can’t grant him that, I’m sorry. He isn’t going to grab a player by the throat and say wake up! He isn’t going to look a guy in the eye and test his soul! He isn’t going to address a team concerning effort post lost! He isn’t going to hv a player on his team fear the consequences of returning to the huddle or sideline post a bone headed play! Ayers is more badass just lack the too end talent to like Winston or mckoy! Bada$$ is grabbing Winston and telling humble he a duma$$ for head butting someone! Bada$$ don’t whine for being told he ain’t bada$$. But mckoy is maybe best talent on team or just after evans right now!

  9. Baz Says:

    Ira Kaufman… THANK YOU. Barber never once questioned McCoy’s impact on the field, or his leadership by example. He simply pointed out that there aren’t many bada$$ personalities on this team, and in particular if you’re going to lead from the DT position, you have to have a powerful and overwhelming personality, ala Sapp and John Randle. It’s called the truth, and it’s good to see it.
    I am not a McCoy detractor; he is a beast as a DT, and hopefully now has more weapons around him to allow him to flourish even more. But he is NOT, nor has he ever been, a natural vocal team leader that inspires. Jameis is passionate and inspires; Kwon is passionate and inspires; McCoy tried to pump the team up prior to last year’s game against Dallas, and he had a goofy smile the entire time while he was cajoling, not inspiring or passionate. He just needs to stay in his wheelhouse, continue smacking the QBs that are in front of him, and leave the “rah rah” to the natural team leaders.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I agree with Bonzai!

    meant no disrespect

    BS!!! Football is a very “macho” sport. Saying someone is not a b@dass is calling out his manhood…his very standing in the sport.

    Think about it…we could say a lot of negative stuff about Joe Hawley…limited talent…bad wheels…but all agreed he was a b@dass when he played.

    Saying players don’t have heart is just as bad…it’s all very disrespectful!!!

    I’m not that fired up about this story because I don’t really care what Ronde thinks. Respect his career…never been wild about his analysis.

    At 69 years of age I shall say that Ronde violated a rule I set for myself back in my 20’s. I would see all the old farts in their “golden years” say…”well when I was young….when I did something…when I played the game..”

    I never wanted to be that guy that Ronde has become…an older dude who criticized the younger generation. We can criticize ALL generations for various things including Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation”…but it’s as old as time.
    I suspect in caveman days older guys (25 would have been old then lol) were telling the younger cave dudes how much tougher they were than the next generation.

    It’s just such an old worn out meme and IMHO it says more about the older person criticizing the younger generation than the kids themselves.

    Again I’m not saying young people don’t have issues….just pointing out so do the older generations…EVERY generation goes through it’s own aging and issues.

  11. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I’ll admit that there was a time I wanted him gone. As a leader of men, you can’t have that (I’m just here for a paycheck) attitude. Can’t get work goals achieved like that. And he can miss me with that “when I’m gone” nonsense. I have RESPECT for you. DON’T threaten us tough. Man up homie!!!

  12. Lamarcus Says:

    This guy gmc is having a meltdown. What a mess

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Geez… take the spotlight off of GMC, He is who he is and will be who he can be. He is good enough to contribute as a team player or otherwise he would not be here. Constant belittling of one player does not fit well with Buc fans anticipation of a winning season. GMC directed disgust gets real old real fast. Everybody needs a scapegoat.

  14. DB55 Says:

    STOP writing Sapp name!

    AINT NOBODY COMPARING HIM TO SAPP. ITS A RIDICULOUS COMPARISON. we compare him to ice cream. Write ice cream. See cuz ice cream is hard when it comes out the freezer but after a few pokes and hits and some heat it melts. Melts to soft drippy goo. And that all he’s being compared to soft drippy goo.


  15. Buc15 Says:

    the real question is simple Ira. Are you ready fir this epic season? This has been an off season like no other.

  16. tmaxcon Says:


    Speaking truth….. Great and very accurate analogy of the leader of the losing culture cancer93

  17. ATrain Says:

    Hey McCoy shut up and carry a Big Stick


    No Words

  18. rayjay1122 Says:

    Chris Archer who? Oh,, yeah now I remember. He plays for that boring little team across the bay that tries to hit little white balls with a stick. Well, the only sticks that matter are the ones the stick carriers are toting around. I will be glad when the sports radio finally has more Bucs stuff to talk about then wasting my time of the Rays talk.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    He has had some meaningful wins. You just hoped no one would mention them.

    @bonzai….sorry but tmax is right…..those aren’t meaningful games….meaningful games are played in December and January….

    ronde said nothing wrong…he said nothing new….he said what most fans already know….GMC does not have that DOG in him….he is a very good player but as far as being an ALPHA DOG or leader of a team, he is not….

    now he may be the leader of the dline, but its evident that the leader of the defense is kwon….the leader of this team is Winston….

    GMC has been with this team for how long?….why is that dirk is insisting that we need to change the culture?….its because he knows the supposed leaders of the team as mentioned above (GMC & LVD) are not ALPHA DOGS….very good players but not ALPHA DOGS….with the addition of JW, ALI, KWON, AYERS we are starting to build that ALPHA DOG/WINNING CULTURE….

    I just wish GMC could grow some thick skin….GO BUCS!!!!

  20. BurgDweller Says:

    September 18, 2014 – Bucs vs. Falcons. Blowout loss 14-56. McCoy was out of that game with an injury. I remember watching that train wreck of a game and the cameras kept showing McCoy on the sidelines. A leader would be trying to fire his team mates up, doing whatever he can to get them back into the game. You know, every time they showed McCoy, he was sitting on his butt with an I don’t care attitude look all over his face. I lost what little respect I had left for him that day. So yes, McCoy is not the leader he thinks he is in his mind. Sapp wouldn’t stand for that non-sense, heck not even Winston, you know, REAL leaders.

  21. Call Me W Says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think GMC is a very valuable player is a fool and needs to actually watch the game actually rather than run their mouths about WINNING. GMC helps win games because he frees up other players (LBs) ro make plays.. He can’t help that the only one there to make plays for most of his career was LD and LD ALONE.. Watch how the perception of GMC will change in he next couple years as his teammates start doing that… I just hope GMCs career doesn’t end before That’s too late……

  22. Frank Pillow Says:

    The fact of the matter is Ira is spot-on…back in April McCoy held court in front of the mic and offered us a look inside where his mind is at heading into this season. It was a weird, wacky account of how he’s perceived by key peers and what’s missing from his toolbox to get this team to the next level. At the time I took it as a self-motivation thing, combined with some amateur grandstanding. Now, with his latest rant, it’s clear there’s a giant chip on his shoulder that he’s been carrying around for years. We’ve peeked it before- particularly when Jameis began to take-on the “face of the franchise” role on and off the field. And even waaaay back in his first training camp when it was clear that Brian Price was looking like a baby Sapp.

    Gerald has been a very good player for this team and I think we all get frustrated b/c we know that he has the talent to be a great player. He’s right, time is ticking on his career. Is he willing to honestly self-assess and take that next step? I sure as heck hope so…it’s about time he does.

  23. Maze Says:

    If social media is too tough for McCoy he should probably just stick to his comic books.

  24. darin Says:

    People want McCoy to have that Sapp attitude…but they also want him to be McCoy in public. People will always whine. When “they” had Sapp they wanted him to be McCoy off the field. If there was social media back then people would have tried to run sapp out of town for that. Best DT in league history for my money, but still wasnt enough for some. You hit it Ira. He needs to stop reading that crap and put that focus on the field. Go bucs

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    Why do people keep harping on the “meaningful game” mantra? In more than a decade, the Bucs have had 2, TWO seasons over .500! The last time I checked, the DT does not play WR, QB, K, etc………
    Someone please explain to me how it’s the fault of a singular DT that he has not played in a playoff game!
    Do you guys even listen to yourselves?!

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    Two thumbs up for Ira.

    This is turning into one massive joke, and GMC laid the ground work for this whole mess with his bitchy little presser this spring. Hes acting like a player that’s been coddled by the organization for way too long and every bodies been afraid to tell him the blunt truth.

    Leadership was thrust upon him when Rah and Dom released all the leaders of the team and drafted him to be the face. Since, he has been the face of failure and mediocrity, not all his fault obviously, but he’s one of the only guys that has survived through this epic failure for the last decade and has rarely taken blame or had blame placed on him for the product on the field.
    Winning or losing, he shows the same emotion with either outcome. That to me is unacceptable, even in pee wee sports. It says to me that he realizes he’s still going to get the same pay check, no matter the outcome of the game, so why should he care.

  27. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    gotbucs, I hear you my G.

  28. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    And if like stated his days here are numbered then.. So be it. TeddyRucksbin @$$ muthaf@$!a.

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    Winning or losing, he shows the same emotion with either outcome.


    GO BUCS!!!

  30. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Oh Ira, what a treasure you are. For my taste the only good content produced on this site anymore is stuff produced by you good sir.

    Seemingly all the other content on this once great site reeks with the stench of agenda driven biases, and tabloid level journalism. Yet you continue to read because you know that’s inaccurate.–Joe

    You should start your own site, call it

  31. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Actually my readership has declined sharply, I used to read every article everyday. Now I come mainly for Ira’s podcast, Ira’s column. And then if I get super bored I’ll read some of the click-bait.

  32. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Must be nice having all that.. Free Time.

  33. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    ^Must be tough having a Forrest Gump level IQ and no balls.

  34. GMC hater Says:

    Like Ira said, less tweeting, more performing!! Every player is going to have their group of haters, and McCoy is no exception!! His motivation should be a superbowl ring, not to satisfy a bunch of trolls on the internet!!! I have a feeling he will silence many critics this season!!! Go BUCS!

  35. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    You stated, “McCoy appears to be bent out of shape by what he perceives as a lack of respect f,or what he as accomplished. He needs to get over it.”
    You mean he needs to get over it the same way you and the rest of the Joe Bucs posse got over the shot Scott Reynolds took at you?

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Winning 31-28 against a division rival is not meaningful????

    Dude…you are completely delusional.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Winning 41-28” I mean.

    Typing in the dark.

  38. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    813bucboi Says
    “those aren’t meaningful games….meaningful games are played in December and January”

    Are you saying finally beating the panthers TWICE last year was not meaningful?

    Come on now. You guys expect McCoy to do it all himself. Tell me, did Winston get us into the playoffs last year? Did Kwon? Evans? ANYONE????

    Stop laying it all on one guy. It takes a team effort. Blaming one guy for team losses is ignorant.

  39. Reach87 Says:

    Moronic to continually deride a key player on the team you say you are a fan of. Not helpful at all. The ice cream analogy is particularly moronic. To me it demonstrates some have no real concept of “team” or “fan.” Go Bucs!

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Just laughing my butt off here….Blake are you freaking serious?

    Neither you nor I mean squat to Joe’s business success. We could both leave tomorrow and never be missed.

    I know it’s now become fashionable to simply SAY one is the greatest or successful…but just look around Blake. Are you deaf dumb and blind?

    Why do you thnk this site is attracting some of the biggest names in Tampa sports coverage like Ira…like Rock…the Commish…but the real proof is the ads…does this site seem too clean to you? Lacking in banners and ads all over the place. It’s clear these two dudes are doing something very right if you pay attention to the markers that really count….CLUE…NOT our opinions. LOL

  41. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Stpete, my comment is strictly based on my own personal opinion, and my opinion is that there has been a sharp decline in the overall quality of the articles.

    I could care less about the ad revenue he is receiving. In fact I would say your argument defending Joe based on monetary success would be analogous to saying that McDonald’s is the best restaurant in the world because they make the most money.
    Annually, there is a small faction of readers who complain there’s a decline in Joe’s quality during the summer. They want more meat. That’s nice, except it’s the summer and the meat is limited, but Joe continues to follow the same model every day: to write about what Joe finds interesting in the world of the Bucs. And that written, Joe has delivered a ton of newsy, quality content this summer. The proof is in the archives. Keep complaining and you won’t be commenting any longer. Joe has no time to babysit comments for malicious attacks. –Joe

  42. Destinjohnny Says:

    Ira is the best….

  43. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Yup, threaten to ban any person that expresses a descenting opinion. That’s your M.O. Won’t change the fact that Ira is the only one who consistently produces top quality content.

    Oh and while you’re banning people, be sure to ban that Nole guy who constantly verbally attacks other posters and slings around profanity.
    Joe doesn’t ban dissenting opinion. Joe enjoys it. However, when it is incessant and malicious, or bordering on malicious and/or hateful toward Joe, Joe is forced to babysit it. That babysitting takes time that Joe won’t invest because it takes away from Bucs coverage. So there you go. –Joe

  44. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Keep up the good work Ira, whatever Steve is paying you, it’s not enough.
    Ira is paid well and he knows he is free to pursue any and all opportunities. Joe would be pleased if Ira got a better job. Joe just wants what’s best for Ira. –Joe

  45. Jordan Michael Johnson Says:

    I just wanna thank Ira for having the best podcast on here. That “Bucs Uncensored” podcast is trash. Shout out to the Sage!

  46. C. Alaka Says:

    I can’t believe ppl REALLY care about if McCoy is “Warren Sapp attitude like.” The guy McCoy is our BEST defender! We can talk up Alexander who is on his way, we highlight David who is special in his own right & we mention Grimes for all his gifts & big play ability BUT none of them are top 5 in their position group in the league. McCoy is & it’s rather sick that we spend this much time debating how great a player he is.

    Joe I’m all for freedom of speech but I recently told freedom isn’t really free. W/ that being said I say you block anybody speaking on McCoy being a subpar player. When did foolish fanatics get the balls to think their words x opinions are more valid than coaches, GMs & (some) writers.