Gerald McCoy was a hot topic this past year.
He's a good player who is not elite, but he gets paid as if he is one of the most impactful players in the NFL.
He did have 8.5 sacks on the season, even though a majority of those sacks came within the barren desert of the late 1st or early 2nd quarter.
It was also another year of McCoy doing his best disappearing act during the crucial 4th quarter of games.
Of course, he was quick to let everyone know that he had a torn rotator cuff. It was an injury that the coaching staff refused to confirm, and an injury that never caused him to be taken away from contact by the training staff...a training staff that was overly cautious with most players under Lovie Smith.
Now, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport is offering slight jabs at the Bucs' captain.
After gushing about the hiring of Mike Smith as defensive coordinator, calling him the top defensive coordinator "on the board," and saying that the hiring of Jay Hayes as defensive line coach was a "huge, huge hire" and that he is "one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL," rapoport may have taken a shot at Bucs DT Gerald McCoy.
"I'm sure Gerald McCoy will not be thrilled," Rapoport said on WDAE-AM. "He's gonna have to work really hard, but it will make him a better player in the end."
There's obviously two ways to look at this. If you are pro-McCoy, you take this as a playful jab as if no player wants to work that hard. If you're anti-McCoy, you'll take this as a red flag regarding McCoy's perceived work ethic by one of the most tapped in NFL insiders out there in Ian Rapoport. Could Rapoport have insider knowledge on how McCoy is viewed nationally as opposed to what is fed through the local media in Tampa?
I sincerely doubt that Ian Rapoport would have said something like this about players like JJ Watt, Luke Kuechly, Fletcher Cox, etc...Rapoport is as well connected an insider as you'll find in the NFL. He does not just throw out statements without having detailed knowledge of what he is speaking of.
One thing is for certain, Rapoport believes the Bucs made out in a big way with the hiring of both Mike Smith and Jay Hayes. Despite whom the players are, or who they will be in the future, having this strong of a defensive coaching staff will be key to the future success of the Bucs moving forward.