Earlier this week Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud opined on his radio show that Gerald McCoy appeared to have some jealousy issues in regards to the attention that Jameis Winston was receiving as the face of the franchise.
On Wednesday, I wrote an op ed wondering if McCoy maybe had developed some sort of rift with Winston.
Friday morning, Scott Reynolds of the Pewter Report reported in his Fab 5 that he too believed that Gerald McCoy was showing some signs of jealousy.
McCoy had seen enough. Frustrated, he texted Reynolds to set the record straight, which led to a call that Reynolds then relayed in an article on Pewter Report.com.
Is McCoy jealous of Jameis Winston? McCoy told PR -
"I don’t want to draw attention to myself at all, but what I do want is clarity. I didn’t want anyone to think I was jealous of my own teammate. That’s not going to happen. I love my teammates and I want them to be as great as they can be. The better my teammates are the better the team is, so why would someone be jealous of getting publicity and having success?
"If my teammates are successful that means the team is winning. I love all my teammates. I love them. I’ve rented out theaters for my team. I do stuff with them in the offseason. I’m buying gifts for my teammates. I even took the entire team to dinner. These are the things that I’m doing for my teammates because I love them. I love being in Tampa and I want to win. That’s what I’m about. For anyone to say that I have a riff with Jameis or I’m jealous … come on, man. I know that things go on in Tampa and a lot of stuff can happen to where stories get written – it’s been like that since I’ve been here. But for people to say that I’m jealous of our franchise quarterback? No."
Is he upset that he's no longer the face of the franchise?
McCoy told Reynolds:
"I said in the offseason that this face of the franchise would be shifted to Jameis. Now we just want him to enjoy being a rookie, but once the face comes, once it’s his team, there is a lot that comes with it. I’ve said this in an interview at the podium. For people to say that I’m jealous, I’ve already said it’s going to shift. I believed it and I said it early because I knew how successful this kid was going to be. I don’t get jealous. There is no point in being jealous."
What type of relationship does he have with Jameis?
McCoy tells Reynolds:
"I got Jameis’ number before the draft and after he was drafted I immediately sent Jameis a text welcoming him to the team and saying that we love having him on the Bucs. Before his press conference the next day I met him in the player’s lounge. I met his parents and his family and told them to his face, ‘I’m going to take care of your son. You don’t have to worry about him while he’s in Tampa.’ The reason I did that is because I know the pressure that comes with being a first-round pick. I may not know what the pressure is like being the first overall pick or a quarterback, but being a first-round pick, I knew the pressure. I just wanted to be in his corner and let he and his parent know that I was here for him. Jameis and I have had numerous one-on-ones at his house, at work, at various places and on the phone. I wanted to let him know that I’m a veteran and I’ve been through this. I told him to enjoy being a rookie. Eventually this was going to be his team.
"I love Jameis like a brother. I’ve gotten to know Jameis and we’ve grown pretty close. I’m so happy that Jameis is our franchise quarterback. If you have a franchise quarterback and they become the face of your franchise that means that you are winning. That’s a positive thing. I’ve been wanting that since I’ve been in Tampa. If anybody is happy about it, it’s Gerald. I’m so happy he’s on our team."
McCoy went on to talk about the reason he doesn't participate in the pre-game huddles (he's silently praying for the safety of himself and his teammates) and that he's never been the rah-rah guy.
The bottom-line that Gerald wanted to get a crossed is there is absolutely no jealousy and no rift with Jameis Winston.
I highly recommend all Buc fans check out the Pewter Report article. It was truly an enlightening look into the thought process of the Bucs' perrenial All-Pro tackle.
I, for my part, would like to apologize to Mr. McCoy. Part of our job here is to provide opinion and speculation on what information we have available. When you hear disturbing things like that of what Stroud and Reynolds reported and you see things that seem to corroborate those beliefs, it can lead you down the wrong path. The truth is, you never know what is in the mind of a man. If you're not walking in his shoes or at his side, you don't honestly know the truth.
The only way something like this gets corrected is if the principles involved set the record straight. Gerald did that.
I'm glad there is no issue between Gerald and Jameis and I thank Gerald for taking the time to address it and put it to rest.