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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Haters have Buccaneers DT McCoy riled up and ready to go

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA – It appears as though the Gerald McCoy haters were out in force again today. Something certainly got the Buccaneers defensive tackle riled up, and he took to twitter to voice his frustration.

McCoy, who we remind you is coming off a fifth straight Pro Bowl season, posted several responses to what appears to be a string of negatives jabs that were throw his way. Here they are:

Again, it’s hard to tell what it was that got McCoy so worked up, but we know he has a tendency to get a little frustrated with those who don’t appreciate all he’s done for the Buccaneers.

Granted, he has yet to take this team to the playoffs, but that’s hardly his fault. McCoy has certainly done his part to give the Bucs a fighting chance at breaking their post-season slump.

Keep in mind that a year ago, McCoy ranked fourth in the league in sacks by a defensive tackle with seven and that since 2013, no defensive tackle in the league has had more sacks than McCoy, who has 33.5 in that span.

Look, McCoy will be the first to admit that he’s not Aaron Donald, who just may be the most disruptive D-tackle in the game, but he’s in the same category and he’s right that he’ll be missed when he’s gone.

If you think he’s wrong about that just think of what this team would look like right now and what’s its prospects would be for the season ahead if he weren’t a part of it.

It’s a bit of a stretch to say the prospects would be gloomy, but there’s no question the Bucs would be seen as a team with a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line.

The truth of the matter here is that in McCoy the Bucs have had not just one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles but one of the NFL’s best football players period for years.

And in a large way, the Bucs have squandered the opportunity McCoy has presented. Though it may all finally change this year, the Bucs have so far failed to build a dominant defense around one of the best defensive cornerstones they’ve ever had.

That’s not McCoy’s fault. He’s done his part, but as a result he now stands not just as one of the best Bucs players never to have reached the playoffs but one of the best NFL player never to have reached the playoffs.

 

 

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs will put former defensive coordinator Kiffin in Ring of Honor

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs are looking forward to their future with a second year under new coach Bruce Arians, but on Friday night, they reached back to their past to honor one of their top assistant coaches in franchise history. And. this fall they will put him in their “Ring of Honor.”

Monte Kiffin, who along with coach Tony Dungy were the architects of the Buccaneers “Tampa 2” defense will become the team’s 14th member of their Ring of Honor in the 2020 season:

The Buccaneers made the announcement Friday night as Kiffin was being honored by the organization, his former players, friends and family, as part of his 80th birthday celebration.

Kiffin who came with Dungy in 1996 to the Bucs and led the defense for 13 seasons, helped Tampa Bay’s defense become one of the youngest fastest and fiercest in all of the NFL in just a few short seasons.

Led by now Hall of Famers, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, plus Hall of Fame finalists John Lynch and Ronde Barber, the Bucs defense rose to the number one in the NFL in 1999 and again, in 2002. That season, led by new coach Jon Gruden in his first year and Kiffin’s defense, Tampa Bay won their first and only World Championship cementing Kiffin’s legacy.

Kiffin left the Bucs to go coach at the University of Tennessee, when his son Lane became the head coach for one season in 2009. He then left Knoxville after that season when Lane Kiffin took the USC  job. He has spent recent years, as a defensive coach/consultant with the Cowboys and also the Jaguars.

The last couple of seasons he had been with Lane Kiffin in an advisory role at Florida Atlantic.

The Bucs have put 13 previous former players, coaches and even owner Malcolm Glazer, in their Ring of Honor. And, that list includes Sapp, Brooks Lynch and Barber, who was inducted a year ago. Kiffin will be the first assistant coach to be honored. Previously, Gruden (2017) and Dungy (2018) have also both been put in as head coaches, with the architect of the original Buccaneers, John McKay also being inducted also back in 2010.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Should RT Jack Conklin be on Bucs free agent radar?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As NFL teams continue to do their due diligence on not only their own potential free agents, but what others might be out there too, an interesting name has emerged that could give the Bucs, and other teams, some offensive line help.

It appears that the Titans, fresh off a tremendous playoff run into the AFC Championship game may be willing to part with former number 1 pick, starting right tackle Jack Conklin. And if they’re going to let the former Michigan State star test free agency, Tampa Bay may have a real interest.

First, the Bucs are looking at options on their line, as the senior member of their roster, right tackle Demar Dotson, who’s played his entire 11 year career in Tampa and will be 35 years old this fall, is slated to be a free agent, as well.

And while Dotson has been a mainstay over the course of the last decade on the Bucs offensive line, GM Jason lick and Coach Bruce Arians maybe looking to get younger and some better play out of that position.

Tennessee elected not to pick up Conklin’s fifth year option on his rookie deal and there are some concerns about his ability to pass block. However, there’s no doubting that with power back Derrick Henry, Conklin was part of the unit on offense that played “smash mouth football” throughout the postseason. And, they scored upsets of the Patriots and the Ravens in part behind their tough ground game before falling at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game.

Next, earlier this week, NFL.com’s reporter/writer Nick Shook, matched Conklin as a possible free agent fit with Tampa Bay, as free agency begins in March.

Conklin did suffer an ACL injury in his second season but is fully healed from that now, and he could be a very cost-effective option four teams looking to solidify their offensive line. Conklin made only $2.7 million in the final year of his initial four year deal with the team declining his $12.9 million option.

As for the Bucs, they already have massive money invested in center Ryan Jensen, guard Ali Marpet and left tackle Donovan Smith on their line, but at the same time, the Bucs also have close to $85 million under the cap once free agency begins.

Clearly, their top priorities are figuring out whether to bring back QB Jameis Winston (and at what price?) and also, how many free agent to be defensive linemen out of Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre Paul and Ndamukong Suh they can also fit under their cap.

Still, you cannot have enough good lineman, and perhaps grabbing the Titans former starter off a playoff team would improve their run game, which sputtered a lot of 2019.

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