As exciting as it is to watch this young crop of Buccaneers players direct and moderate itself during this three day minicamp at IMG in Bradenton, there is a very real problem that could arise from all of this as well. I hate to be the guy who peed in your corn flakes but let’s face it, young players coaching young players isn’t always a recipe for success. Now, the Bucs are not completely on their own, IMG has its own set of coaches who are undoubtedly working with the Bucs players as well, but if you go on the reports of the media from yesterday you read two very interesting players stepping up and taking leadership over their positional drills. The first was Aqib Talib and the second was Gerald McCoy.
Aqib Talib in all likelihood is well-suited to direct the young Buccaneers on playing defensive back in Tampa. Talib is a stalwart, elected the NFL alumni corner of the year despite missing the last five games of the season last year. Talib is a Raheem Morris disciple, he’s been mentored by Ronde Barber, he has plenty of insight to offer.
What concerns me is GMC’s tutelage of Adrian Clayborn. This is both a fantastic and terrifying prospect. Here’s why, and we’ll start with the positives first. Gerald McCoy has been through it, he’s got experience being a top pick, coming into a city with expectations and adjusting to the NFL game. There is plenty of insight that McCoy can share with Clayborn (and eventually Bowers) about life in the NFL and playing on an NFL D-Line. This is a fantastic thing to see Gerald McCoy steps into his role as a leader of this defense.
The flip side of that, and what worries me is McCoy getting involved in showing Clayborn technique. There’s a few reasons, first of all, McCoy was one of the Bucs that was rumored to have had to kick it into gear in the middle of last year after skating by on ability in college. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know some very informed people alluded to this over the course of last season and it’s at least a point worth considering. Another issue was McCoy was displeased with his coaching last year under Todd Wash, that’s fine, Wash is gone, but McCoy hasn’t exactly had time to get much guidance from his new coaches (Keith Millard and Grady Stretz) either. It’s not like every coach teaches the same things. Would McCoy be drawing from his technique at Oklahoma or what Todd Wash taught him last year? It may not be what Millard and Stretz will teach come August…
McCoy is insanely gifted and this entire post comes with the caveat that I think very highly of the young defensive tackle out of OU. But last season, McCoy struggled, his technique wasn’t lauded by anyone, and I’m just not sure he’s the guy I want working through fundamentals with Adrian Clayborn straight out the gate. It may be much ado about nothing, it probably is. And I love seeing him take a leadership role. All I’m saying is beyond the leadership ramifications, don’t read too much into it.