Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Warren Sapp, and Hardy Nickerson were the leaders and role models for the dominant Buc defenses in the 90′s and 2000′s. Ronde Barber played a key role in those defenses, and developed into a leader as the previously mentioned veterans moved on from the Bucs. But with Ronde Barber moving on to the broadcasters’ booth, who takes over as the leader of the Tampa Bay Defense? Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson are both experienced players who can teach their teammates a lot about their positions, and Lavonte David has assumed the role of playcaller on the defense early in his career, but the torch of leadership is being rightfully passed to the 3-technique once again (as it was when the Bucs played in “The House That Sapp Built), as Gerald McCoy will be looked upon as the leader and role model for the Bucs defense in 2013 and beyond.
Ronde told the media during his retirement festivities that McCoy was the obvious choice to take over the leadership role.
“It’s very clearly Gerald McCoy. He’s the guy that needs to assume that role. Not only because he’s one of the best players on the team, but because he has the personality to handle it.”
Ronde said that it was not just his time spent with Gerald that led to this conclusion, but the feedback on the defensive tackle that he received from John Lynch, who spends time talking to coaches around the league as a part of his television job.
McCoy was twice named captain of the Oklahoma Sooners’ defense, and should have no problem assuming an advanced leadership role in Tampa Bay. He’s got a fun personality but also seems to respect the game, a balance found in most of the players that have previously led the Bucs D.
With a young core of Johnthan Banks, Lavonte David, and Gerald McCoy all set for hopefully long careers with the Buccaneers, there is character and leadership waiting to rise to the top. Combine this new core of leadership with the infusion of talent this offseason, and the Buccaneers could take a leap forward on the defensive side of the ball.
How do you think Gerald will handle being the main man on defense going forward? Let us know in the comment section below.