That Hard Knocks season premiere was pretty cool, but one moment stood out to me: Gerald McCoy listing a bunch of Bucs players to emphasize that Jameis Winston is more important to the team than all of them.
That happened in an interview that was framed as taking place after McCoy accidentally brushed against Winston (a massive no-no—no one touches the quarterback in practice).
Here’s what McCoy said:
“3 is the franchise. Forget 93, forget 13, 11 and 1—I don’t know what he’s going to be on any given day—91, 98, 54, 58. Three. Three is the one. If three is not there.....yech”
So who’s who?
3 - Jameis Winston
93 - Gerald McCoy himself.
13 - Mike Evans, the big man who’s going to help Jameis Winston get to the next level.
11 and 1 - DeSean Jackson, the big free agent addition who should be
91 - Robert Ayers, last year’s big free agent addition at defensive end who get on the field enough last year. Wears #1 in practice, but #11 in games (because receivers aren’t allowed to wear #1).
98 - Clinton McDonald, who’s played next to Gerald McCoy for two years now. Probably relegated to more of a rotation this year.
54 - Lavonte David, had a minor down year but is still one of the best 4-3 linebackers in the NFL.
58 - Kwon Alexander, up-and-coming linebacker who was arguably better than David last year. Generally seen as the emotional/vocal leader on defense.
That’s a pretty good collection of core players. The most surprising inclusion is probably McDonald, but that’s the guy who plays next to McCoy so I get why he’s on there.
Absent from this list: offensive linemen and defensive backs. Best not to read too much into that, though. He’s just speaking off the top of his head.