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McCoy Earns "Good Guy" Nod from Media

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Friday Notes: DT Gerald McCoy was honored Friday by the local chapter of the Pro Football Writer’s Association for his professionalism and courtesy...Plus, an updated injury report and more


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy may hear his name called on Friday night when the NFL announces this year’s Pro Bowl selections.  If so, there will be plenty of people applauding.  McCoy’s teammates, coaches, family members and fans will obviously be pleased…and even member of the local media are sure to be happy for him.  That’s what happens when you’re recognized as the resident “good guy.”

On Friday, in what was to be the last in-season open-locker room session of the 2013 season, the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association made McCoy the first winner of their new Good Guy Award.

As ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas explained on Friday: “The purpose of the award is to honor the player who is most helpful to the media in doing its job. Reporters who cover the team on a regular basis voted on the award and McCoy was an easy choice.
“In a locker room where most of the players are accommodating, McCoy still stood out. He’s charismatic, honest and always accessible -- even after losses.”

Indeed, McCoy’s interviews are often among the most informative and entertaining ones given each week in the Buccaneers’ locker room.  There is a certain amount of player-media interaction required by the NFL, but McCoy often goes above and beyond, demonstrating another way that he is one of the Buccaneers’ primary leaders.

- DT Gerald McCoy has emerged as one of the Buccaneers' strongest leaders
Yasinskas and his fellow writers on the Buccaneers beat intend to make the Good Guy Award an annual honor.  They eventually may just have to rename it after McCoy himself.

* McCoy wasn’t the only Buccaneer to receive a significant honor on Friday, well before the Pro Bowl announcements.  In the morning, wide receiver Vincent Jackson was informed that he is this year’s selection as the Buccaneers Man of the Year, an honor that goes to one player each season who makes a significant impact both on and off the field.

Jackson certainly excelled in both areas in 2013.  He is easily the Buccaneers’ most productive offensive player, setting a new career high with 74 catches and racking up 1,091 yards and seven touchdowns.  Despite the loss of many of the Bucs’ bigger offensive threats to injured reserve, Jackson has continued to produce on a weekly basis despite ever-growing attention from opposing defenses.
Off the field, Jackson works tirelessly to increase the impact of his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, which supports military families, with a focus on the educational, emotional and physical health of the families’ children.  In addition to spearheading his own community initiatives and foundation efforts, Jackson has participated in a variety of philanthropic efforts in Florida. From visiting local schools to promote the NFL’s Play 60 initiative to participating in Buccaneers fan events and supporting both current and alumni player charitable efforts, he continues to distinguish himself throughout the community and embrace his role as a leader both on and off the field.

Jackson succeeds guard Davin Joseph as the Buccaneers’ Man of the Year; Joseph had been the selection in both 2011 and 2012.  Other prominent Bucs who have won the award include Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Ronde Barber.

“It’s an honor,” said Jackson.  “There have been some great players [that have] come through this organization and some great guys that have won it. Obviously we’ve still got one here, Davin, who won it last year. It’s a lot of work, looking back at it, but it’s all worth it. We have such a platform to influence a lot of people’s lives in this community and they give so much to us. I’m happy to do it, I will continue to do so, and it’s an honor I share with my teammates and a lot of people in this community who have helped me.”

Jackson is now one of 32 nominees for the very prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.  The winner is always one of the most prominent figures in the league, a player who is known for his Pro Bowl-caliber performance on the field and for being dedicated to giving back to the community.  Jackson knows the two are linked.

“It’s a league that’s based on statistics so much, and everybody’s talking about yards and catches,” he said.  “All those things are fun and it’s good for the fans, but for us as players, we’re real people too. We know where we’ve come from and the people that influenced us, as young men and women, to be where we are today. For us to have an opportunity, now, to go back and influence some young lives is huge.”

Jackson’s commitment to the military stems from his own family experience, as he is the son of two parents who served in the Armed Forces.  He knows firsthand the challenges and rewards of the military lifestyle.  His parents also influenced him to be the type of citizen who cares about others.

“It’s just the way I was raised,” said Jackson.  “I’ve always been a guy who was giving back to the community. My dad was really big into it – he still is – and as a kid, we did a lot of community projects and community outreaches for people less fortunate than us. I’ve just carried that on my entire career and I try to not only do it for myself but try to maybe bring a few teammates and colleagues on whenever I do events just to show them how good it feels. When you do it, you think you’re giving back, and [to see] how much it makes an impact [on] them – you usually walk away feeling so much better about yourself and the things that you’ve done after you’ve done them.”

The well-deserved honors for McCoy and Jackson weren’t the only topics being discussed at One Buccaneer Place on Friday.  Below is an updated Friday injury report as well as some additional thoughts from Jackson and Head coach Greg Schiano.

Friday Injury Reports:

Buccaneers:

Player

Injury

Game Status

S Mark Barron

Hamstring

Questionable

LB Lavonte David

Elbow

Probable

LB Ka'Lial Glaud

Knee

Questionable

G Davin Joseph

Knee

Probable

G Carl Nicks

Foot

Out

DT Akeem Spence

Wrist

Probable

LB Dekoda Watson

Groin

Questionable


Saints:

Player

Injury

Game Status

T Terron Armstead

Shoulder

Probable

QB Drew Brees

Knee

Probable

S Rafael Bush

Ankle

Probable

WR Marques Colston

Back

Probable

LB Keyunta Dawson

Calf

Probable

G Jahri Evans

Knee

Probable

TE Josh Hill

Hamstring

Probable

LB Kevin Reddick

Shoulder

Probable

RB Pierre Thomas

Eye

Probable


Head Coach Greg Schiano

(Opening statement)
“Short yardage, goal line [today], go through and review some team script stuff – it was a good work out. I want to congratulate [wide receiver] Vincent Jackson who was named Buccaneer Man of the Year. Quite an honor for everything he does. I’ve often said he’s the epitome of what we look for in a Buccaneer player. [He] cares about his teammates, practices incredibly hard, he is truly committed to this community with all the things he does. We’re awfully proud of him. Injury-wise, [linebacker] Dekoda [Watson] did not practice, [linebacker] Ka’Lial Gaud was limited, and [safety] Mark Barron was limited. Everybody else I believe was full.”

(On if anyone will be listed as out on the injury report)
“We’ll see. When you’re questionable – we’ll figure it out.”

(On having to play backups with the injuries at linebacker)
“That’s all you can do. Hopefully, whether Ka’Lial or Dekoda can go, Danny [Lansanah can] and that’s what we’ve got. We’ll figure it out as we roll.”

(On how the linebacker injuries will affect the team)
“It hurts you on special teams and it can hurt – they’re about, I don’t know, when you look at them, somewhere between 45 and 55 percent you’ll be playing three linebacker schemes depending on what they choose to do. There’s a significant amount of three linebacker defenses we’ll play.”

(On New Orleans’ offense having a variety of options)
“I think more than that, it’s by design. They have more personnel groups than any teams we play all season long. You’re talking about different combinations exceeding 15 different personnel groups. You can see that, when you sift through and unpeel the onion, over and over again and layer after layer, there’s a method to the madness and they have a quarterback who reads things out better than anybody in the league. That’s why the ball gets distributed to all those different guys. By putting him in there you give him an opportunity to make plays and then by reading it out, not just locking on a guy, they get the ball when the ball is supposed to go to them.”

(On New Orleans head coach Sean Payton and the New Orleans offense)
“They’re very well-coached and Sean is a very aggressive play-caller. It doesn’t mean that he’s haphazard or that he’s reckless, he’s just aggressive and he’s going to push the ball down the field, but he has the patience to run the ball as well. That’s a rare combination and I think that’s what makes him so dangerous. No. 9 [New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees] makes him pretty dangerous too.”

(On what Tampa Bay’s defense did well against New Orleans in the teams’ Week 2 matchup)
“We took the ball away and we intercepted [Saints quarterback] Drew Brees [two] times, that doesn’t happen very often. Again, takeaways, we need to take the ball away right now, as a team that’s how we have an opportunity to win games. You’d like it not have to be that way but that’s the way it is right now so that’s how we go.”

(On the improvement in New Orleans’ defense under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan)
“Well Rob is an excellent coach, there’s no doubt about it. He knows what he wants to do, he’s very clear. I know guys that are on our staff who have worked with Rob, he’s a very good teacher. They’ve also added some personnel, they added at the corner position, they added at the safety position. All those things usually amount to being improved. But you’re right, it was a significant improvement from [2012] to [2013].”

WR Vincent Jackson


(On the season as a whole)
“It is one of the hardest years that I’ve ever been through, not only just statistics-wise and our record, but we’ve had a lot of things go on in this organization, in this locker room, and it’s not something that happens each and every year. If anything – [Head] Coach [Greg Schiano] talked about it – it’s calloused our skin, it’s made us so much tougher, and I think we’ve done a good job, as an organization, of sticking together. There never was a point where we started pointing fingers at each other as players or players pointing at coaches, coaches attacking players. It’s been pretty united throughout this turmoil, from things starting rough early in the year and where we’re at now. Hats off to the men. There’s something to be said [about] the men in this organization that are able to stand up and face it each and every week and continue to believe in what we’re trying to do and go out there and play hard each and every week. That’s what I love about this team: that nobody’s quit. It’s still been a fun ride. As hard as it’s been, with the record, it’s still been fun to go out there and compete with these guys each and every week. I’m excited to finish this one strong, on a high note, and move forward to next season.”

(On getting a win in the last game of the season)
“It always helps you going into the offseason. It’s a long three month break when you’ve got a little bad taste in your mouth. Is that going to set us back [at all] next year? Absolutely not. Once the games are gone, they’re gone, just like the losses we’ve [had] this year we’re not even thinking about. We’re going into this game thinking what a great opportunity [we have] to play this game again. We’ve worked so hard, going back to training camp and OTAs and all the stuff that we’ve done. It’s an opportunity to play an NFL football game, and each time you get that privilege to step out there on the field, you’ve got to appreciate it, take advantage of it and go out there and play hard.”

(On if Sunday’s game is their chance to play a playoff game this season)
“It is. It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere out there. It’s a great opponent, on the road. Can’t ask for a better environment for us. We have nothing to lose and so much to gain, personally and to feel good about where we’re going. I’m excited, I know everybody in this organization’s excited, our coaches are excited, energy’s been great this week and I think we’re going to go out there and give them our best shot.”
Game Rewind: Tampa Bay Buccaneers