The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense has two of the best players in the NFL in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and third-year linebacker Lavonte David, with McCoy being the crowning jewel of the unit. McCoy had a phenomenal 2013 season, and it’s made all the more impressive when you look at the lack of quality at the other positions on the defensive line and the terrible coaching by Greg Schiano. The stunts Schiano ran did much more harm than good, and it’s a testament to McCoy’s incredible ability that he was able to dominate despite being constrained by poor coaching. Not only will he have Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald to help him next season, but he also has a much better coach in Lovie Smith.
According to the Tampa Tribune’s Roy Cummings, McCoy stated that the Buccaneers won’t be running the same number of stunts that they did under Schiano, “We’re running way less stunts than we used to. It’s not even close to what we were doing.’’
Although it’s not surprising at all to hear that Smith is much smarter than Schiano and won’t run stunts that hurt players like McCoy, it’s still great to hear confirmation that this is the case.
McCoy added, “We’re an up-field, penetrating defense now. We don’t sit on the line and wait on nobody. They have to adjust to how we play. And that’s the freedom we’re talking about.”
He certainly sounds excited to play under Smith, and that’s not a surprise either. He, McDonald, and Johnson are all talented players on the Buccaneers defensive line, and it will be exciting to watch those guys go to work next season. McCoy was downright nasty last season, and it’s scary to think just how good he’ll be under Smith this year and with better players around him.