After tallying the votes, the 2013 Bucs Nation Most Valuable Player goes to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
It's 2010, and Gerald McCoy is shedding tears and hugging it out with Roger Goddell after being drafted 3rd overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Immediately, Gerald McCoy and Warren Sapp were being spoken about in the same sentence. McCoy was supposed to clean up the putrid run defense and to bring a pass rush from the interior. But as we all know, that didn't happen...
McCoy suffered from torn biceps his rookie year and his second year. The dreaded "bust" word began to creep from the mouths of fans and media pundits, and his draft mate Ndamokung Suh gathered accolades and a Defensive Rookie of the Year award. McCoy, unwavered by it all, continued to work and work and by 2012, he finally showed the stellar play we expected from him, gathering 5 sacks and being a force against the run while earning his first Pro Bowl nod. But even with that, there was still more to come.
In 2013, Gerald McCoy put the entire package together, and displayed a dominance and presence for the Bucs that showed he was the undisputed best player on this team. McCoy, for the second straight season, started all 16 games and registered 50 tackles, once again showing a strength against the run. But his pass rushing was the key, as he recorded a career high 9.5 sacks, being the ONLY consistent pass rush threat on the team. His 3 sack game against the Falcons was the icing on the cake, and fans began to think Sapp when they thought of McCoy.
Gerald McCoy is the Bucs leader, the Bucs voice, and the Bucs heart. McCoy earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors and established himself as the best defensive tackle in the game (yes, that includes you Geno Atkins and Suh). One couldn't have imagined from that draft day in 2010 until now we would see the evolution of....yes, we can say it now...the next Warren Sapp.