Buccaneers: Four veterans that should see a rise in their statistics in 2017
We wrap this group up with the big guy.
This young man has been showing his talents in Tampa Bay through a lot of lean years, and now he is finally receiving the benefits of waiting. Gerald McCoy is finally on a team built to do some damage both in the NFC South and in the NFL at large. He has talented players around him, giving him room to roam and make plays.
Making plays is something McCoy has done throughout his career so far. He has averaged six sacks per season, and if you remove 2011 when he only played in six games, the average is nearly seven. McCoy has also averaged 31.5 total tackles per game. Remember that number drops as an interior lineman. He often has to take on more than one guy, leaving the tackling duties to his teammates.
The one thing McCoy hasn’t done, however, is have that one dominant season. He’s been good, but never over the top great. He has never topped ten sacks in a year, though he has gotten close (9.5 in 2013). This should be the year he finally gets it done. Noah Spence is in his second year, and already had a 5.5 sack season. He should take a step forward. Robert Ayers is back to help open up space as well. McCoy will face more one-on-one blocking, giving him ample opportunity to get to the quarterback.
That means big numbers and big excitement for Bucs fans.
Next: The five biggest games of the 2017 season
What do you think? How good will these players be in 2017? What other veterans are going to get better? Let us know in the comments.