What Else You Got?

March 7th, 2018

Sage Ira addresses the Gerald McCoy rumors in detail


When Buc fans want to vent, they often turn to their 300-pound piñata.

Yes, Gerald McCoy is tired of being disrespected. After eight years of toiling in the trenches without much help, who can blame him?

The latest salvo came from ESPN’s Mike Sando, who offered up a recent column dripping with juicy speculation. Sando said he based the article on potential NFL trades after discussions with league executives, adding these are deals that are either proposed, vetted and/or heard rumors about.

And there was Mr. McCoy, possibly on his way to Oakland for a second-round draft choice.

I’ve known Sando over the years and consider him a respected NFL reporter. He used to cover the Seahawks before joining ESPN, where he spent a lot of time following Jon Gruden around on his broadcast gigs. The same Jon Gruden who is now supposedly interested in McCoy.

I’m not buying this speculation. I doubt the Raiders would offer a second-round pick for McCoy and I doubt the Bucs are in the mood to let him go.

What I find most distressing is the eagerness of some fans to ship McCoy out of town.

Even with No. 93 on the roster, the Bucs have no depth at defensive tackle. Zero.

Perspective, Please

What little pressure Tampa Bay generates up front comes primarily from McCoy breaking down the pocket with his rare quickness off the snap.

What we need is a little perspective here.

McCoy is not a transcendent player, never has been. He’s not J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald or Von Miller. Most of all, he’s not Warren Sapp. So what?

Lavonte David isn’t Derrick Brooks, but I don’t hear anyone punking Tampa Bay’s weak-side linebacker. Like McCoy, David is a very good player who should be appreciated.

The difference is McCoy has been the face of a defense that needs a facelift. So when Buc fans need a place to express their understandable frustrations about a lost decade, they target McCoy.

Sapp was a generational talent, a two-time All-Decade player. That puts him in select company with Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Bob Lilly and Merlin Olsen among defensive linemen during the Super Bowl era.

McCoy has a good chance to be named to this All-Decade team, and that’s not too shabby.

When new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner was asked about his building blocks up front, he first talked about the real McCoy.

“Well, you start with Gerald McCoy, which is a great place to start,” he said. “There are 31 other coaches who would love to have that type of piece in there.”

McCoy has missed only six games in the past six seasons and he loves to practice. Imagine what he was thinking when he saw Swaggy Baker sitting it out in the Tampa heat, time after time.

Help Over Hate

“No one ever talks about it, but the guy who dominates practice every day is Gerald McCoy,’’ Dirk Koetter said early in camp last summer. “You can’t block that guy. You think he’s offside, (but) I’m sitting up there (in my office watching the practice tape) and I’m clicking the tape back 20 times. I mean, the guy has got the best get-off. He’s tough to stop. He wrecks half of practice.”

McCoy’s equivalent at quarterback might be Carson Palmer, who just announced his retirement after 14 seasons. Palmer made the playoffs only three times — which is three more times than McCoy — but he was a standout pro who finished with 294 TD passes and 46,247 passing yards.

The Bucs shouldn’t even consider unloading one of their best players … they should be beating the bushes for guys who can help McCoy make a difference.

Attention, all you McCoy-bashers out there: He’s not Sapp. Agreed.

What else you got?

Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in town. He has hung his hat at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Wednesdays during football season, and see him now on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sports 360. Ira also is part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday and enjoys beet salads, Riesling, Chiefs victories and needling Joe.

53 Responses to “What Else You Got?”

  1. Mike Johnson Says:

    Thanks Ira. If only GM had the help Sapp had. Or that great Defensive effort we had back in the day where teams feared playing us. Nobody is fearful of Jameis Winston. Its why I’ve said all along a great defense inspires play from an average offense. It was our Bread and Butter once upon a time. This last seasons Defense was shameful and unacceptable. McCoy deerves better. Get the guy some help. And if we don’t see great improvement this upcoming season? Get us some new coaches too!!

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    “The Bucs shouldn’t even consider unloading one of their best players … they should be beating the bushes for guys who can help McCoy make a difference”

    Preach it Sage. Get this man some DL help.

    Re-sign McDonald for depth. Keep Ayers for depth. Get the best DE possible in FA (slim pickins). Assuming Chubb and Nelson are off the board – target Vita Vea in the 1st to put beside McCoy and shore up the middle. Draft a DE in rds 2>4 and run with that – while looking forward towards next years much better crop of DEs. Hope Noah Spence stays healthy and Buckner coaches all of these guys up and just MAYBE we can get some semblance of a pass rush in 2018.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I think a lot of fans were OK with the idea of a trade for the sake of a culture & attitude change / leadership change.

    That’s at least why I’d be OK with it. He’s our best D-lineman but he’s also been the leader of terrible D-lines year after year.

    Part of me wonders if there’s an issue scheming rushes around his skill set for other players? His first step seems to be used against him in the run game as he won’t maintain his gaps a lot of the time.

    Or it’s very possible/likely the D-line talent around him has really been that bad all this time. Either way – keeping him or not – we need to add a ton of bodies to that line

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    McCoy does his job and takes up 2 OL on double teams. It’s up to the remaining pass rushers to do their jobs. Which isn’t being done.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Vea would be ideal next to McCoy. McCoy could focus on shooting the gap still while Vea just shoves 2-3 bodies at the point of the attack/collapse the pocket/maintains gap integrity.

    We were really bad against the run last year

  6. tnew Says:

    What I’ve got is that the Bucs for too long built the defense around him. I remember I got into it with JP Peterson on a call in show as his draft approached. JP’s take was production based. McCoy was never a big production guy and that should be expected from the #3 overall pick. My opinion was that he would flourish in the Buc defense and his production would elevate. Even if I could redraft in 2010, I probably would still take him (although JPP would be intriguing)

    He is a very good player, a very good cog but not the type of player that an entire squad is built around and for too long this has been the case. This isn’t on him, this is on the organization for the last 6 years of his career. (I don’t blame them for doing that for the first few years of his career). Yes he has had more than his share of splash plays, but I want a number 3 drafted DT to take over a few games every season, but I just never saw that. Maybe my expectations are just too high but I think the skillset for that kind of player was in him.

  7. Couch Fan Says:

    Part of me wants to trade him simply to see what he can do on another team because frankly im sick of all the excuses season after season for his non impactful ways.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    LC- I respect your viewpoint but as Ira alluded to, GMC is NOT that guy. We’ve needed to put big, angry dogs around him and we keep reaching for chihuahuas.
    Our expectations have always exceeded the reality of GMC. Much of it is because they plastered his face wherever they could and hoped that he would emerge as a true leader. Here we are 8 years later, the same GMC, and people still expect him to be something he’s not.
    He stands out because this defensive line IS that bad. Most likely, he’s closer to a “good” player than “great”. I’m OK with that. But lets stop blaming ONE guy for our problems. This TEAM has been horrendous in most phases.
    It’s not that we wasted GMC’s talent, it’s that this ownership has allowed this team to be a laughingstock through blatant incompetence at every level. Forget about surrounding him with talent, worry about putting talent on the field. GMC has NEVER been THEE problem. It starts at the top.

  9. ndog Says:

    If we could get a two for him I would have done it the second those words came out of the other GMs mouth. He is basically done, not that he was every great, and with a second round pick we can get his replacement or just do that in the first with Vita Vea. McCoy is never going to lead this defense to anything that has been proven time and time again.

  10. Joe Blahak Says:

    he certainly has the press behind him and reads his press clippings…gets off the ball, yep, but the problem is the finishing and making plays, throughout his whole career!…not enough from a guy who goes to the “no bowl” every year…so overrated!!! …just plain tired of his “act”…last chance to get something for him this year…no depth is real, so maybe the switch to 3-4 should happen this year..

  11. ndog Says:

    See one difference Ira missed between McCoy and LVD is that McCoy walks and talks like a leader but he is not. LVD knows who he is and plays his role while McCoy ACTS like he is a leader or should be a “special” player when in reality he is just a good role player. In fact he is the kinda guy you put next to Sapp, Donald or Cox he is not a center piece player, he just isn’t that but he acts like he is and that’s the problem.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Plus the biggest thing u are missing is he didn’t and doesn’t have stable mates.
    Sapp had two hall of famers maybe 3
    He also had 93, booger,spires
    Awful drafting and planning.
    Thank you glazer boys for not knowing what you are doing.

    Now we could have had playing along side of him…
    Aaron Donald
    And Luke keachly

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    Trade McCoy? How about trading the coaches!

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    I like the Dalton comparison. That’s because neither are clutch. You can throw all the numbers about McCoy you want into the conversation but what will always be missing is the big plays that close out games. The big plays that you really remember.

    At least in McCoys case he’s just a DT, unlike Dalton who has to carry a much bigger load. But at the end of the day you need clutch plays on both sides of the ball. I never saw clutch ability from McCoy so I never expected it but unfortunately when the guy is the face of your franchise he will be the one most fans are looking at to make a big play when needed.

    Would he be better of in Oakland? Probably, those fans would be looking at Mack when it’s crunch time.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Nobody even seems to consider that McCoy’s play could actually elevate in his 9th season if some of the right pieces are put around him.

    Put Vea next to him. Instant difference.

    Gholston and Ayers in on run downs. Spence on one edge and find another legit speed rusher for the other side (maybe Josh Sweat in the 3rd?) on passing downs. That could actual work for this year at least. Grab 2 more DEs from a much better crop in 2019. Boom – Cookin with gas….

  16. Eric Says:

    If I owned the team I wouldn’t be happy with McCoy’s comments.

    He complained about not signing Quin. Has called out fans to confront him at OBP.

    His job is to play football and not opine on FA signings. All that does is make the team look bad and make it harder to sell tickets.

    Play football and be dang appreciative of those paying you millions IMO.

    Perhaps a minor point but id like less talk more action. Stay in your lane.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    Eric- It’s the primary reason he has so many “fans”. If he kept his mouth shut, it might not be as bad!

  18. BFFL Says:

    He’s not Sapp? No chite..He’s not even Sapp’s left pinky.

  19. tmaxcon Says:

    coming from the same guy who pimped a one dimensional coach with a career losing playoff record I doubt the sage would recognize a great player if he tripped over sapp! but hat tip for one of the greatest sales / snow jobs of all time…

    mccoy’s soft approach is exactly why this team can’t hold leads and ends up in the nfc south basement every year. get the bum out of town.

  20. darin Says:

    Theyve got nothing else Ira. The fact licht has got nothing else for Mccoy is getting to me. The Quinn miss was huge. Gota get Bennett or someone who can get the qb off his spot. Mccoy is a great player. Everyone who knows football knows that. Without a DE or 2 he will always be double or tripled. After missing on Quinn what else ya got Licht? Thats what i wana know. I dont give much thought to insecure people (cyber) bashing the best defender on the team.

  21. BFFL Says:

    why pay an average player 12mil when you can use that money (and potential draft pick) elsewhere to fill holes. Ira..go watch the 2nd Atlanta game when McCoy didn’t play. You tell me if there was any real drop off.

  22. BrianBucs Says:

    I would take a complete team of Geralds over a complete team of Clown Winstons any day

  23. Mr. Ed Says:

    Happy to see a rebuttal, Ira. The Joes were enamored with Sando’s “credentials” and posted the rumor eagerly like some gossipy girl. Why make stuff up, and take a shot at Joe? And meanwhile, Ira adds to Sando’s credentials with more background on his relationship with Chucky. You now have a fresh seat in moderation for malicious acts against Joe. –Joe Sando’s preposterous spit ball has even less credibility than the ones about Gruden coming to the Bucs.

  24. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Trade McCoy while his status is high, McCoy has not helped the bucs except when Schiano had the defense ready to turn the corner and since then he has rested on being called the next sapp, trade him, get a 2nd rounder for him and move on this regime will be gone in 2019 so might as well start building again

  25. Mike Johnson Says:

    You spout a bunch of BS Eric. McCoy has every right to complain. He wants to win more badly than we do. We missed on Quinn because we really did not go after him like we should have. Hell, I’d be mad to if I were McCoy. Quinn is a difference maker.

  26. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Good article. McCoy is a very good player that has lacked D end talent and a solid rotational piece behind him for a breather. His burst off the line is still phenomenal and maybe be the best in the NFL still. Constant double teams and lack of pass rush on the outside has hindered his skill set. Sapp is the in the HOF for a reason. He was one of the best to ever do it. McCoy has been one of the best for a decade but will never be able to take over a game like Sapp or has he had the talent around him for us to ever find out.

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    “You now have a fresh seat in moderation for malicious acts against Joe”

    here come da judge… LOL get em Joe.

  28. DB55 Says:


    Sir with all due respect I’m questioning your credibility, I have to assume you actually watch the games rather than eating beet salads in the press box.

    The difference between LVD and GMC is that LVD has no quit in him or suga for that matter. LVD is constantly around the ball, if a big play happens on def LVD is right there making it happen. When we need a big play or a big stop it’s LVD that we can count on.

    You always bring up sacks but you completely ignore the lack of run stopping gmc gives you. Unless you’re blind or in denial you know gmc is single-handily responsible for at least 3-4 losses specifically at Buff and vs Carolina and I’m positive at least 2 others.

    Who cares if he gets a sack in the first qrt if he’s always giving up rushing TDs (for the win) late in the fourth qrt.

    And as for building a team around him I say only a poor craftsman blames his tools. No serious GM is parting with a 5th round pick for ol buttercup much less a second, but wtfdik?

  29. Not there yet Says:

    That’s like saying suh was irreplaceable in detroit. They got nata and they were much better until he was injured. Everyone is replaceable, I’m a fan of the team no matter who is on the roster which is why I rooted for Martin and baker. If he’s gone and we get something for him I believe our defense will be better than last year’s. He was here all year still had worst defense

  30. DB55 Says:

    I think Ira is just afraid of losing one of the good guys who always talks to him after a loss.

  31. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Thank u Joe for putting that assclown Mr Ed on timeout.

  32. Bucs55 Says:

    There goes Michael bennett

  33. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Yea man…Damn we’ve been losing with him…dead last!!!!! Trade him to a playoff team..let him shine with that quick get off somewhere else. From wanting to fight fans, being told you should be here by other Puerto bowlers

  34. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    You shouldn’t be here by other pro bowlers to crying to disappearing in games. TRADE HIM NOW!!!

  35. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    “Nobody even seems to consider that McCoy’s play could actually elevate in his 9th season if some of the right pieces are put around him.

    Put Vea next to him. Instant difference. “


    People are also assuming Spence will not get healthy and stay that way. While I can understand that, McCoy was out his first two years as well, and his refusal to give up paid off.

    I am all in on Vea being our first pick. Take a DE in the second or third round. Draft a decent CB, and sign a RB in free agency.

    Boom. The team is almost completely upgraded. All other spots are good enough that with the right pass rush they can do very well…or at least buy us a year to replace them.

    And we could do much better in the division as a result.

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The only reason or team that I would trade McCoy to would be to the Browns for their 4th overall pick and they would get McCoy. Even up.

    People saying he’s only worth a second are insane.

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    GMC wont make a difference…..never has…never will…..I don’t no why folks are scared to lose without him…..makes no sense to me…..

    what does make sense is addition by subtraction…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  38. cgmaster Says:

    Mccoy is an average D tackle that some Bucs fans think is way better than he is. The guys sack total has dropped every year the last three. I don’t want to hear about double teams, Aaron Donald faces them ever game and makes a difference.
    Mccoy NEVER makes a big play when needed, unless you count on him touching Matt Ryans foot a year or so ago for a win. No one fears Mccoy, and if youc an get a second rounder for him you jump at the chance. The guy has NEVER led a playoff caliber defense in ten years and all I hear is he needs more help. The bucs have brought in mulitple D tackles and D ends and every one of them fails next to Mccoy. And on top of that, you can’t run a 3-4 as Mccoy bitches the minute you do. FACT.
    A second round pick would win us more games this year than Gerald Mccoy and that’s the hard truth.

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    813bucboi Says:

    “GMC wont make a difference… …never will…”

    He’s never made a difference? How bad do you think that line would have been without him there all these years?

    And how can you even think that if we got a good DT next to him and one good DE on the line, he would not flourish?

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    cgmaster Says
    “Mccoy NEVER makes a big play when needed”

    You people just don’t get it.

    Let me ask you this…if you were in a team race, and the other three on your team ran like snails so the other team put 2-3 guys in front of you to block you, are you telling me you should still win the race for your team?????

    Get real, man.

  41. Horse Liver Says:

    I for one am hoping the strong rumor about McCoy to the Raiders is true! What a steal! A second rounder for a cancer that makes pro bowls and stuff.

  42. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    @Bonzi …you are one the big homies on here but c’mon man. Dead last…DEAD LAST with him. An 8yr failed project to get him help. I agree. But it’s time to move on from him. I’ve said it before…blow out the entire line. Switch to a 34. REALITY is this team isn’t ready for a playoff run. Hell, still got problems on offense. Special teams? In what way. Coaching..fugetaboutit. Trade him
    I don’t think the Glazers let Licht spend big or make moves he REALLY wants to make, since we’re SO close. They’re like yea well work with what ya got then
    2019 the rebirth
    Wade Phillips for HC…LOL?

  43. Horse Liver Says:

    I think there must be merit to the rumor. Even though players and coaches around the league, including the Bucs new DL coach Buckner think McCoy is a stud, and the Bucs need an upgrading to the DL, we should listen to these fans who know better and go get that 2nd rounder for McCoy. Maybe we could even get Aguayo’s brother with the pick!

  44. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Thanks for writing this, Ira.

    There are a lot of fans who scream and shout but whose football knowledge doesn’t really extend beyond the top 10-15 names on the team.

    McCoy does his job. His only fault is he’s had arguably the worst collection of DE talent alongside him for the past decade.

    He’s the equivalent of a pitcher who constantly eats up innings and keeps his ERA under 3.50 every season – but who always has a bad won-loss record because his team around him can’t field or score runs.

    Less knowledgeable mouth breathing fans simply look at the won-loss record and then write a bunch of ALL CAPS nonsense blaming the wrong guy.

  45. NFLNut Says:

    Good, even great, players get traded … not everyone who thinks it would be smart to trade GMC thinks he’s a bum. I think he’s a fantastic player and I’m still in favor of trading him as I think his cap number and the pick(s) one could get in return for him could garner the team three starters and I’d rather have those three starters than ONLY Gerald … it’s kind of common sense, no?

    I said the same thing about Watt in Houston AND I WAS RIGHT … the team should have traded him when his value was sky high.

  46. Herb Says:

    Trade McCoy for a 2nd rounder? I”d take that deal in a heartbeat. It’s not personal, it’s business.

  47. DanBucsFan Says:

    So many Vita Vea fans who say he is a cant miss player. Does the name Danny Shelton ring a bell to anyone? Same school as Vea and almost the same hype aroind Shelton outta college. Shelton was picked by Browns # 11 or 12 i believe and was no where near the player in Nfl that he was hyped up to be. Im just saying that Vea may not be such a star that most are expecting him to be. I for one am not of the mindset that Vea is worth a #7 pick, but that is just my opinion. Great article Mr. Ira, and secondly, we have GMC who is not appreciated by many in town and Vea would possibly be run out of town before his rookie contract is over unless he leads us to the playoffs. Take a sure thing at #7 , hopefully Nelson lasts that long and everyone will appreciate what he brings to the table. Especially Winston and Barber\ new rb we aquire.

  48. NFLNut Says:

    ^ I would NOT even consider Viti Vea at #7 … if we trade down, sure, but NOT at #7

  49. DanBucsFan Says:


  50. Pickgrin Says:

    If Chubb, Nelson and Barkley are off the board and no decent trade down offers come – who else is truly worthy of that #7 pick with the remaining field?

    Don’t say Minkah – he is not what we need. I’d take Derwin James over Fitzpatrick.

    Vita Vea may well have the most positive impact on our defense of any rookie available after Chubb. That’s my opinion. We HAVE to get better up front on defense. HAVE TO. This year’s crop of true 4-3 DEs sucks aside from Chubb who will be long gone and too expensive to move up for. Take Vea – supplement the DL as well as you can through free agency and hit next years better class of DEs hard and early.

  51. John meeks Says:

    Vita vea is not worthy of a number 7 over all pick.he is a gifted athlete for his size no question.the problem is he is nothing but a power guy,no pass rush moves.everyone is strong in the NFL so he isn’t over powering any offensive lineman.this isn’t college!his numbers are not great versus college guys.furthermore,I don’t believe he could play 45 snaps in the Tampa heat!I seen Penn state linemen blocking him one on one.give the vita vea crap a rest!!

  52. John meeks Says:

    I would take Harold landry,will hernandez,Fitzpatrick, nelson,all before vita vea.thats just players who may be there at number7.vita vea will be a run stuffer in the nfl.we have one already In gholston.

  53. Duke Says:


    You make the case, Correctly, that Vea didn’t dominate against PAC 12 opponents . At times He did, not the same thing as continuously. The way He’s talked up here is unrealistic. He’s expected to be dominant, unstoppable and toss NFL guys around as if they were a sack of kittens . But Not a single member of the vea vita fan club can explain why He was not that guy in college. They can’t because they didn’t know about him from watching the team but instead heard about him from another party.

    That said, the guy is something special and I expect that in short time He will be a good to great player. Is He worth a #7 pick? I say, yes. But that’s contingent upon who selects him and how creative they would be willing to incorporate his skills into a scheme. A creative d coordinator = a #7 pick.