An animated and excited Ali Marpet took the presser stage Thursday answering questions from a rain-soaked press corps. Coach Koetter and coach Warhop have been openly pleased with the progression and work ethic of Marpet. Marpet was quite hyped about the play of veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
“Gerald is playing tremendous football,” Marpet said. “He’s so freaking fast, he’s messing up a lot of the things that we’re doing. It’s only making us better, which is awesome, and he’s going to give a lot of people problems this year.”
Last season, McCoy was the one who was impressed with Marpet as a rookie. This season, after the Winston meeting no less, McCoy is receiving the admiration from his teammates. In fact, praise is being presented by both sides of the ball.
Linebacker Lavonte David is also charged up regarding the play and attitude of McCoy. David, who has a prime view of McCoy’s play in front of him, can’t say enough about the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. David, a Pro Bowl player himself, was questioned on McCoy setting a strong tone in practice.
“I notice it a lot,” David said. “Nine-on-seven, 10-run drills, watching it on film, his get-off is amazing. His get-off and motor is amazing, he’s disrupting plays in the backfield and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We expect Gerald to do things like that, and it’s not going unnoticed, everybody sees it and we expect him to do that down in and down out and he’s doing it. Great things to come for us this season - a nod to him.”
The words spoken by teammates about McCoy speak volumes to what the Buccaneers drafted him for in 2010. Now that players are vocally acknowledging the evident effort exerted by the 6th year pro is coming at a time when the defensive line needs a leader. Free agent signee Robert Ayers has been instrumental in leadership, but it’s essential to hear it coming from a high draft pick of the Bucs. Hopefully, this effort and production continues through the preseason and continues into the season itself. Bucs fans know that McCoy can be a disrupter in the backfield, but they are starving to see him disrupt the backfield for 60 minutes.