I'm sure Buccaneers' defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is thankful for lots of things. He appreciates his teammates no matter how big the challenge on the field truly is. But there is someone he is particularly thankful for on Sundays.
Not many people can say veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald was going to make an impact when he was signed this past offseason, but this guy writing this very article can. Granted, the production has been about average throughout the season, but McCoy is thankful for many reasons to have McDonald lining up next to him on the defensive line.
“He’s great, man. I love Clint, man. When you get a guy next to you who, when you talk to him, you have a lot of the same beliefs and you play for a lot of the same reasons, it’s awesome," McCoy said. "And then when you watch him perform, more than just on Sundays, but from the time he stepped in the building, when we first got in the weight room we were training to OTAs, mini-camp, camp and now the season, he’s been very consistent with his effort and working to get better. It’s awesome playing next to him because you know what you’re going to get when he lines up next to you.”
McDonald has been surging as of late. Of his four sacks this season, he has recorded one in each of the last three games. The 27-year old had 5.5 sacks in the first four years years of his career and all came last season with the Seattle Seahawks. If he picks up a sack this week against the Bengals, he will be the first Buccaneer to record at least one sack in four consecutive games since Greg Spires did it in December 2006.
McCoy has done well for himself this season and could be well on his way to yet another Pro Bowl. His 7.5 sacks puts him just two behind his highest total for a season of 9.5 in which he obtained in 2013 and 2.5 away from hitting double digit sacks for the first time in his career. However, proof that the two work well together is that both McCoy and McDonald have 19 tackles for loss between them -- most by any interior linemen duo in the league.
Whether McCoy invited McDonald over to his house to share a Thanksgiving dinner with his family is unknown. But I'm certain that if the two continue to produce off of one another, they will be inviting each other over for several dinners to come. And not just for a holiday.
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