Gerald McCoy is too nice.
According to the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, lending a hand and helping an opponent off the ground is a big no-no in Tampa Bay—just like winning games.
Yahoo! Sports' Anwar S. Richardson spotted a story that seems peculiar unless you have been following Bucs football this season...then it's just par for the course.
McCoy gave quite the intriguing interview on Wednesday evening on Sports Radio 620 WDAE. Thankfully, JoeBucsFan.com transcribed the key moments of the interview:
I had my D-line coaches get on to me the other day. Well, not get on to me, try to get on to me. There’s no way they’re going to get on to me for this. They got upset with me because I helped somebody up [in the game.] So what! I don’t care. Kiss my butt. Listen, if I want to help somebody, I’m going help somebody up. Because right on the next play I’m going to knock him down again. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.
That doesn’t change how hard I play. As long as in between the whistles I’m not helping anybody up, it doesn’t matter. So what if I help them off the ground? ‘Good job; we’re out here competing. But as soon as they snap the ball, I’m going to kill you again.’
McCoy is following up a strong season wherein he garnered 30 combined tackles and five sacks. This season, despite the tumult and lackluster play around him, he's well on his way to replicating similar numbers.
As Richardson reminds us, this is hardly the time for coaches to nitpick at a player who rarely takes a play off for something as benign as helping an opponent to his feet. The Buccaneers are 0-7, have suffered from quarterback upheaval, a myriad of health concerns and one big question mark when it comes to their head coach Greg Schiano.
Even with all that going on, coaches think chiding a player, and a veteran at that, for something so meaningless is still worth their time. It's enough to make Buccaneers fans throw up their hands, shake their heads and roll their eyes. Actually, don't do that, because it sounds painful.
The report from JoeBucsFan.com states the impetus behind the rant was a previous caller who claimed that McCoy didn't have enough, as the reports states, "dawg" in him.
The next portion of the interview is rather pertinent. We have come to a point in the league's history when hard hits, dirty play and off-the-field impropriety is scrutinized and vilified. Still, there are those who want their football players to be monsters in small tenable doses:
People think I play relentless and I’m really talented; they just think I’m not evil. That’s ok.
I don’t take that personally at all. That’s been said by more than just him. No. 99 tells me that on a regular basis. Sapp tells me that all the time. My wife has told me that. So I don’t take it personal. I don’t know.
I don’t have to be angry to play. When I get angry, that’s when I make mistakes. And that’s when I can’t be at my best. But I don’t think [the fan caller] is talking about playing. It’s hard to explain.
Fans, coaches and anyone in between shouldn't care if Gerald McCoy delivers a gift bag to his fallen enemy on each and every play. As long as he continues to yield positive results, much as he has, he can play the game the way he sees fit.
If you ask me, he is playing it the right way.
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