Back in 2010 the Bucs were coming off another bad season, a theme that has run on a seeming continuous loop for as long as many Tampa fans can remember. The Buccaneers were sure to take one of the blue-chip defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy. Fans were split between the raw power and intensity of Suh and the speed and intelligence of McCoy.
Ultimately the third pick was Gerald McCoy out of Oklahoma. The former Sooner declared his love for the Bucs and fan hero Warren Sapp. Things looked like they were improving, like fans might have that player who would be a force that opponents would fear.
As the 2010 season progressed McCoy looked like he would improve. Some fans were happy, some were frustrated. That season ended prematurely for McCoy with a torn biceps injury. Come 2011 and the word “bust” started to be used. Appearing in only 11 games, McCoy mustered just 10 tackles and a single sack after tearing the biceps on his other arm forced him to play another reduced season.
Fast forward to 2013, and McCoy reached the pinnacle of his career in Tampa. Playing in all 16 games and registering 9.5 sacks, this is the best that fans would see out of McCoy. He never again completed all 16 games.
Since that night at Radio City, NY Gerald McCoy has been selected for 6 Pro Bowls and has been the focal point of the Buccaneers’ defensive line.
Many fans are still split over McCoy. Some think he’s done more than anyone else could have with the complete lack of talent around him. Others feel he has been largely ineffective outside of one season. If indeed McCoy is taking his last snaps as a Buccaneer against Atlanta, the legacy of Gerald McCoy will be a hotly debated issue.