Now that the Buccaneers have made drastic coaching staff changes, it is time to take a look at the leadership in the locker room and on the field. Lovie Smith and company took much of the blame for the team’s lack of discipline in 2014 and 2015, much of that deserved. However, at what point do we look at the guys that are actually on the field and hold them accountable? The mindless personal foul penalties are a direct result of the selfishness of the players and the lack of true leadership on the team.
Looking forward to the 2016 season, one would assume that 2nd-year quarterback Jameis Winston will be voted an offensive captain given his instant assumption of a leadership role last year. Vincent Jackson’s return will likely mean that he will again be named an offensive captain. The area of leadership that needs to be addressed before the season opener in September is on the defensive side of the ball. Quite frankly, it is time for the team to accept the fact that while Gerald McCoy is a good football player, he is not a leader and should not be looked upon as such by a team in this desperate of a need of quality leadership.
Lavonte David has established himself as the outright leader on defense, and the effort and passion of Kwon Alexander should be taken into consideration as a replacement for McCoy as a captain. Players must be responsible for holding each other accountable to eliminate selfish penalties and discipline issues. Gerald McCoy is not the guy to make that happen. Nor will he ever be. He just does not have that quality. With a new head coach and coaching staff in place, it only makes sense that Bucs go in a different direction with leadership on the field.
Naming Winston and Alexander as captains would send a message to this team that just because you have been on this team for any period of time you are not necessarily a leader. The hard work, dedication, and discipline of these 2 individuals have earned them C’s on their jerseys and they should be looked upon to lead. It is their team now.