Nobody likes how the 2017 season turned out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but nobody can argue the team never quit on each other. Leaders like Gerald McCoy help to ensure this with his personality, and his play.
Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com recently published an article on the team’s website looking at McCoy’s 2017.
For many fans of the team, the lack of a pass rush was the biggest red mark on a red marked season. Second-year pro Noah Spence exited the season early on and Jacquies Smith finally found the end of his rope as his time with the franchise ran out. This came after many years waiting for the super talented pass rusher to find a way to remain healthy, without success.
In his article, Smith points out several facts and stats which are well known.
For one, McCoy tallied just six sacks. His lowest number since 2012. On the upside, it’s the sixth straight season he’s tallied at least five sacks, and it was the fifth season in his career where he played fifteen games or more.
Another well known fact; McCoy is headed to his sixth straight Pro Bowl.
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Two things were mentioned by the team’s Senior Writer and Editor which the casual fan may not have been aware of.
First, in Week 11 against the Miami Dolphins, McCoy had three early hits on quarterback Jay Cutler helping lead to three interceptions while allowing just 83 passing yards. Those don’t show up on stat sheets, folks.
The second stat has to do with his impressive streak of five sack seasons, a statistic also mentioned in Smith’s article. With his 2017 total, the Buccaneers captain is one of just twelve players in the NFL to have five sacks of more each year since 2012.
Joining him on the list include names like defensive end Michael Bennett, Calais Campbell, and Minnesota’s Everton Griffin. Pretty solid company.
Smith did a great job of illustrating what we here at The Pewter Plank have been pushing all season long, and before it.
Gerald McCoy has been, and still is, the best defender in Tampa Bay and one of the best in the entire league.
As long as he’s wearing pewter, the Bucs defense has a chance to turn it around. If Jason Licht, the Glazers, or the fans were to ever give him enough reason to leave the team; it would leave a gigantic unfillable gap in one of the most crucial positions on the defense.
Fans of the player will get to see him play one more game most likely as he makes his appearance in this year’s Pro Bowl. We all hope, just like McCoy is surely working for as we speak, that he won’t be available for the 2019 Pro Bowl, because he’ll have a different game to play.
Check out the rest of Scott Smith’s great article about McCoy’s 2017 contributions to the Buccaneers here.
Then leave your comments for me, or find me on social media to further the discussion. Thanks for reading.