After the Bucs 48-17 loss to the Ravens, which was the Bucs 2nd blowout loss in 4 games, it was written on this site and said on 98.7 The Fan that the supposed leaders, in particular Gerald McCoy, should be held accountable for their failures as leaders.
Gerald McCoy had his chance to respond on Tuesday to that criticism and took full advantage.
"People are looking for leaders – [the] outside is looking for leaders," McCoy said. "My performance on Sunday was not the performance of a leader, so I have to do some real soul-searching and some heavy evaluation on myself because I have to improve.”
I believe McCoy is a little misguided in the criticism he has received, which can happen if you're a little too sensitive to such criticism.
No one has ever said that McCoy is not a talented player. No one blamed his play alone for the final outcome on Sunday. The talent is there with McCoy, but there is a distinct difference between just having talent and being a leader.
A leader is someone who inspires the best out of the people around him. A leader holds those accountable who are not doing their job and is hurting the overall performance of the team. Warren Sapp was a leader. Ask any Bucs player during the Bucs' glory years and they'll tell you they hated making a mistake on the field, not because it made them look bad, but because they had to face the wrath of Warren Sapp when they got back to the huddle.
The jumbotron never lied. As soon as the Bucs defense in the late 90's or early 2000's would make a mistake, those players could immediately look to the jumbotron and know who made the mistake and hold that player accountable. Warren Sapp's personality and natural leadership allowed him to do that. It is very possible that Gerald McCoy's personality might never allow him to be the demanding leader this Bucs defense needs right now.
"That's who I am and that's who I'm going to be," McCoy said of the criticism that he's too nice. "If you don't like it, get over it."
Gerald McCoy was also criticized by me and others for helping his opponent off the ground after the Bucs had fallen to a 28-0, 35-0, and a 38-0 deficit by halftime.
"If anyone has a problem with me helping people off the field, that's a personal problem," McCoy said on Tuesday.
"I'm gonna help people up because I'm a good sportsman."
Not one person asked McCoy to stomp on a player, grab someone's groin at the bottom of a pile, intentionally twist an opposing player's ankle, or spit in another player's face. All fans are asking for is for their "leader" to show that losing by that big of a margin pisses him off as much as it pisses them off.
Yes, Reggie White and Lee Roy Selmon both picked opponents up off the ground, but that was after each of them knocked those same players to the ground. McCoy is helping offensive linemen up who double team him off the ball and fall over, or a running back that gets an 8 yard run after gashing the defense again. You want to help someone up? Help the quarterback up after you knock him to the ground. That's what Lee Roy Selmon did!
I can not control if Gerald McCoy is sensitive to a little criticism. When you're paid the way he is and builds himself up the way he has, then you have built quite the platform to be criticized when things don't go right. As the "leader" of the Bucs, he should try and get as mad on the field as he did having to respond to this criticism on Tuesday. Perhaps, that might be just what this Bucs defense needs.
Currently, the Bucs are last in both total yards and total points given up on defense, and that's not changing until they do.
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