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Gerald McCoy: “I’ll never say anything bad about Tampa”

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The ex-Buc took the high road.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerald McCoy has joined forces with NFC South rival Carolina.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about Gerald McCoy for oooonnnnneeee laaaaasssstttt tiiiimmmeee Bucs fans!

(enter smile emoji)

But no, really, that’s what we are going to do, so if you don’t like it go ahead and close out, but I must go ahead and thank you for the click.

Anyway, the former defensive tackle for the Bucs over past nine seasons came on to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport’s podcast, Rapsheet + Friends to talk some football.

And of course, McCoy’s former team was brought up.

If you can’t listen to the audio, here is the transcript:

“You know, a lot of people think I – I don’t know – that I turned my back on them, or disrespected them. I’ll never do that, I’ll never say anything bad about Tampa, I’ll never say anything negative about Tampa. It doesn’t matter how much negative was said about me, it will never be reciprocated, because I know that organization changed my life and the time I had there was great. The fans, all the coaches I experienced, all the players I experienced. My entire time in Tampa was a joy and it was something I’ll never forget, but everything happens for a reason and my time in Tampa came to an end.

When I left Tampa, um, some people were happy and some people weren’t happy. You know, a lot of people were worried about what team I went to and I went to the best team that fits me and I’m going to give everything I have for the Carolina Panthers.

But I don’t want it to be misconstrued, the respect that I have for the Buccaneers’ organization and how much I appreciate what they’ve done for me.

Like, (Warren) Sapp. He played nine seasons in Tampa then he went to Oakland. It happens. Some people stay in one place their whole career, some people move around. Randy Moss was on four or five teams – he’s still Randy Moss. His home is always going to be Minnesota, you see what I’m saying?

So, just because we parted ways doesn’t mean I turned my back or will forget the time I had there. I’m always going to respect Tampa and I appreciate everything - all the fans and what the whole organization meant to me.”

It’s no secret that McCoy’s presence was pretty polarizing among fans for whatever reasons. Six Pro Bowls, three All-Pros, and countless days working in the community will be tough to replace.

But at the same time, unless the wheels just came flying off at the end, who would expect him to come out and say, “Oh yea, Tampa? F%$! Tampa.”

Business is business when it comes to the NFL. McCoy knows this and now he will get a chance to prove to the Panthers that they brought in a guy who can still play at high level - and he’ll get to face his old team twice in the same season.

Something tells me that McCoy’s tone and attitude toward his former employer will change just a little bit that day.