Gerald McCoy has enjoyed numerous trips to Hawaii, but no trips to the playoffs.
The Buccaneers’ defensive tackle made his fifth straight Pro Bowl this season, but an eye-opening conversation he had in Hawaii might have shed some light on why the Buccaneers haven’t made the playoffs since he was drafted third overall in 2010.
Three “unnamed sources” told him on separate occasions that he hasn’t done enough to lead the Bucs.
“It hit home to the point where I re-evaluated myself, my whole career, up to this point,” McCoy told the Tampa Bay Times. “It wasn’t devastating but it was a reality check. I wouldn’t have listened to them unless they were very credible sources and very successful in the things that they’ve done. I’m going to keep them nameless because it was a private conversation that happened between me and those other individuals.”
McCoy has 42 sacks in seven seasons. The closest he’s come to double-digit sacks is 9.5 in 2013, his only All-Pro season.
Of McCoy’s 22 sacks over the last three seasons, none have come in the fourth quarter when the point differential was eight points or less. Of McCoy’s 6.5 sacks last season, none came in the last four games. The Bucs split those games and fell short of the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
Because of this lack of game-changing plays and the Bucs’ inability to make it to January, McCoy often is lost in the shuffle in conversations about the league’s top defenders.
But the team’s franchise quarterback is in place and the Buccaneers made big moves in free agency. A fire under McCoy’s backside might be the thing that gets the Bucs into the postseason.