Despite all of the personal success he has piled up throughout his first eight seasons in the league, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has yet to experience playoff football. For those eight years, he has been one of just a few bright spots on some pretty bad teams. The 2018 Tampa Bay defensive line promises to be one big bright spot, thanks to some new additions.
The Bucs brought in Vinny Curry, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein through free agency, Jason Pierre-Paul via trade and Vita Vea with the draft. Three of those guys (Curry, Allen and Pierre-Paul) have significant playoff experience and Super Bowl victories. Plus, Unrein played in one and new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner played in two. When asked about whether the success of the newcomers has him feeling envious, McCoy noted that he was getting motivation from those guys:
“Nah, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Not doing that. Nah, I’m not envious. If anything, it’s motivation because I wanna be able to tell my story. It’s great to hear them. Let me tell you something about me. People may think it’s weird, but I don’t really care. In the offseason, one of the things I do is like YouTube documentaries on Super Bowl teams. They have those America’s Game [documentaries], where they tell the story of the season and all that. I watch these things because it motivates me. Like, ‘man, I want to experience that. That sounds great.’ So, I’ll ask Beau, I’ll ask Vinny, I’ll ask JPP, ‘how was it playing with [Justin] Tuck? How was that Super Bowl? How was the transition?’ I love it. I’m still a fan, so I love hearing these stories. I’m not envious at all, it just makes me like ‘all right, since you’ve done it, I’m gonna need you to help me be able to do it. So, I’m going to need you to bring it so now I can have a story to tell.’ That’s how I look at it.
This kind of stuff is what makes McCoy such a good teammate and leader on this team. Some guys might feel that envy. There could be resentment from a different type of player and person. But McCoy isn’t like that. He’s not preoccupied with any jealous feelings. Instead, he’s focused on what he needs to do and learn in order to reach that point.
The veteran is hungry for playoff football. Considering the organization and its fan base haven’t seen a playoff game since 2007 (or a playoff win since the 2002 Super Bowl season), he certainly isn’t alone.