Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Opposing Teams to Circle Gerald McCoy on the Depth Chart

As part of the NFL Network’s endless coverage of NFL training camps across the country, former Buccaneer Warren Sapp is in Tampa Bay covering in the start of Bucs training camp.

Sapp has spoken to Revis, he’s talked about Freeman and his need to become consistent, and he’s seems to lead almost every statement he makes with calling the Buccaneers an offensive driven team.

In his endless pursuit to talk about defense, and defensive ends in particular, Sapp left us with this nugget about Gerald McCoy.

McCoy had his best season as a professional a year ago, and has really become the face of the Buccaneers defense (aside from the Revis hoopla). But Sapp makes a great point, things are going to get a lot tougher on Gerald this year because he’ll become the marked man.

McCoy will draw even more double teams, he’ll be the target of some elaborate blocking schemes, and he’ll have to deal with all that comes with offensive coordinators game planning against him. So this will be a great test for not only how McCoy can deal with the added attention personally, but also how he can use it to open up opportunities for his teammates.

The Buccaneers have not one, but two young highly talented defensive ends in Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn. McCoy’s emergence should allow for numerous chances for Bowers and Clayborn to see single coverage on the outside and give them both many possibilities to get to the quarterback. Both need to prove they can stay healthy, and exploit these chances.

It will be interesting to see what effect McCoy has with the added pressure of being “the man” along the defensive line. If he can improve upon last season, the Buccaneers defensive line will become a strength, but if he takes a step back or gets hurt, the d-line will struggle.

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