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Gerald McCoy is Expected to Thrive Under Lovie Smith’s Defensive Scheme

July 13th, 2014 at 6:23 PM
By Michael Compton

Pat Yasinskas, ESPN’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter, says Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is the team’s best player in 2014.

Citing McCoy’s fourth season in 2013 as the best of his career—McCoy led the team with 9.5 sacks and had 50 tackles while earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors—Yasinskas ranked McCoy as Tampa Bay’s best player last year and expects the 6’4, 300-pound tackle to thrive in coach Lovie Smith’s defense.

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“Coach Greg Schiano often had his defensive linemen running stunts,” Yasinskas wrote. “Several defensive linemen have implied that tactic limited production. In Smith’s defense, the linemen will be allowed to power rush. That should play to McCoy’s strengths. Keep in mind this is basically the same style of defense the Bucs played back in their glory days. Warren Sapp made the Hall of Fame playing in that system. The Bucs believe McCoy can be just as good.”

Hampered by injuries early in his career, McCoy spearheaded the Buccaneers’ top-ranked rushing defense in 2012 and enjoyed his first injury-free season last year, playing in all 16 games.

Tags: ESPN, Football, Gerald McCoy, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith, NFL, Pat Yasinskas, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Warren Sapp

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