Gerald McCoy's a stud. He's the best player at his best position, and he's a perfect fit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' scheme. He should turn into a dominant cog in a very good defense this offseason, if everything works out. And Pro Football Focus gives us a little more data to be hopeful about McCoy's role going forward.
Gerald McCoy has been our highest graded pass rusher at DT in each of the past 2 seasons, registering 125 pressures. pic.twitter.com/KHTsmfu2Qe— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 14, 2015
Keep in mind that this happened with McCoy missing three games last year -- defensive tackles that stayed healthy had a slight advantage over McCoy in these metrics, but he was still the best pass rusher around. So yeah, Gerald McCoy is amazing.
The fact that the Buccaneers' defense hasn't been amazing over the past two season is a little disheartening, though. That's not McCoy's fault, but it demonstrates the limited usefulness of a single star player (or even two) if he's not surrounded by a quality supporting cast. As good as McCoy is, he can't carry a defense. No single player can, which is part of why the price the Dolphins paid for Ndamukong Suh was so ludicrous. There is no defensive equivalent of a quarterback.
The success of this defense won't stand with McCoy -- a lot more is going to be needed than just his quality play. But it may just falter if he's not around, because the rest of the defensive line and, indeed, the rest of the defense certainly aren't good enough to consistently make up for his absence. Here's to a healthy McCoy.