Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy signed his near $100-million extension back on October 25. Since then, the face of the franchise has done nothing but produce on the field.
Of McCoy's 8.5 sacks this season, 6.5 of them have come after he signed his extension. But what is more impressing is how he is doing it. The team is reducing his snaps as part of a plan to keep their All-Pro defensive tackle fresher when it matters most -- at the end of games.
"We’ve had to deal with the injury bug at times, but now, I think we’re settling in a little bit with a rotation," head coach Lovie Smith said. "So we can take some of those snaps off of Gerald so when we do get to the fourth quarter, he’s able to play his best football – not just start fast and then we don’t really have the same Gerald in the second half of a ball game. So that’s the goal to make sure he’s fresh, especially in third-down situations and for sure in the fourth quarter. But when you don’t have the rotation, you get his numbers up too high and then you don’t get what you want when the fourth quarter rolls around.”
McCoy has been in on 592 snaps so far this season. In 2013 he finished with 9.5 after 963 defensive snaps per FootballOutsiders.com. He is on pace to pass his sack total from last season as well as his total tackles (50), which he currently has 32.
The 2010 third overall selection has proven how valuable he is. Even though he got off to a slow start this season he has surely picked things up. On limited snaps.
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