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The Buccaneers’ Gerald McCoy is done with people disrespecting him

The Bucs defensive tackle lashed out on Twitter.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald McCoy is usually pretty congenial on Twitter, but every once in a while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle shows a sharp tongue and lashes out. As he did today, when he chastised some unidentified people for disrespecting him.

What triggered these comments? Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times suggests Ronde Barber’s comments in that paper on Sunday. Plausible, though there’s no shortage of people disrespecting McCoy every day on social media and elsewhere. Here’s what Barber said, at least.

I love Gerald (McCoy), but for a defensive tackle to drive a team, he has to have a huge personality. I mean like the personality of (Warren) Sapp or a John Randle.

That’ that controversial? Defensive tackles just don’t drive any NFL team. Ndamukong Suh doesn’t, Geno Atkins doesn’t, maaaaybe J.J. Watt does but even there I’d be doubtful. The only defensive tackle who actually drove a team in recent memory that I can think of is Vince Wilfork when he was with the New England Patriots. Maybe.

I’m not sure why people get obsessed with what they perceive to be individual players’ leadership qualities. The truth is, you don’t know how a player works in the locker room unless you’re actually in the locker room. Everything else is just fantasy and idle speculation. Evaluate a player by what he puts on the field. And if you do, you shouldn’t be disappointed in McCoy’s play.

What’s most ominous here is the “soon enough” voiced by McCoy. Is that a reference to his inevitable departure from the Bucs? McCoy is 29 years old and won’t be around forever. His contract runs through the 2021 season, at least, which is pretty far off, but the Bucs are slowly moving away from a base 4-3 defense, which is where McCoy really shines.

Hopefully, the “soon enough” refers to the Bucs actually turning into a dominant defense and McCoy getting the universal praise he deserves.

Of course, there’s always a chance this is about some private stuff and not in reference to the Bucs. In which case all of these words don’t mean all that much.