Lancer's Point

The Development of Gerald McCoy

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is widely regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.  Taken with the third pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Gerald McCoy came into the NFL with big expectations to live up to.

Coming off a Pro Bowl appearance in 2012 McCoy began his quest for another in 2013.

I had the chance to catch up with Gerald in late July at Buccaneer’s training camp. Not only was Gerald molding into a better player skill wise, but he drastically changed his physical appearance in shedding close to 25 pounds in the offseason.

When I asked Gerald; what were some of the things that you did training wise to help prepare you for camp? Gerald followed up by saying “I feel like when you train, a lot of people train hard. I don’t think people come to training camp not in shape, but training camp is always really hard, so I just try to figure a way to simulate training camp. So when I train I train with a weight vest and a helmet on.”

I then proceeded to ask Gerald how much the vest weighed and he quickly replied “Altogether it was like 25 extra pounds. And that is the only way to simulate a helmet and shoulder pads.”

The Buccaneers began camp in 2013 with multiple new faces and Gerald’s unit, the defensive line, had a lot of these new faces.

I asked Gerald how he liked working with the different guys out there to get the line’s chemistry down.

“A lot of us have been in this system for a year and we got a lot of new guys but the walkthroughs and learning periods and the film sessions; I think the chemistry is coming together and its starting to figure out everybody and it seems like everybody is starting to get it.” said Gerald.

The biggest move of the 2013 season had to have been when the Buccaneers acquired Darelle Revis from the Jets and on top of Revis, the Bucs added Dashon Goldson from the 49ers that both bring great talent to the defense. A good secondary will greatly help out the defensive line and especially when you have a player such as McCoy.

When I asked Gerald how it felt to see the secondary make some plays out on the practice field he simply replied “It’s great, that’s definitely going to help out.”

Not only has Gerald developed physically, but he has greatly matured into a leader and although 2013 was just his fourth year in the league, he felt that he must take the young guys under his wing.

After hearing this I knew I had to ask him how the young guys were progressing and so I did.

And when asked, Gerald came back with this: “Great, they stepped right in and they are really willing to learn. They are very coachable. I’ve been bringing them out every day early before practice. I get all the rookie d-lineman and bring them outside with me and we work because you know, if you can’t do it full speed when you not going against somebody you definitely can’t do it full speed when you go against someone.”

Gerald went to earn his first All-Pro spot in 2013 along with his second straight Pro Bowl. Gerald has definitely established himself as one of the league’s top defensive lineman and be sure to watch out for him in the Buccaneers 2014 campaign.

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The Development of Gerald McCoy