And despite the way his exit from Tampa Bay played out, the 2010 No. 3 overall pick said Tuesday that he is a “lifelong Bucs fan” who will be rooting for his former teammates every time they take the field—unless it’s against himself and the Cowboys in the postseason.
Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, McCoy had this to say (transcription courtesy of Blogging the Boys’ RJ Ochoa):
Dallas Cowboys DT Gerald McCoy said Tuesday on @TheHerd that he is a lifelong Bucs fan and is rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to go undefeated in 2020... until they meet his Cowboys in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/Gjr43IbHoT— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) June 9, 2020
Those are some nice wishes from McCoy to his former ‘mates, with a specific shoutout to close friend Lavonte David. Of course, as an active player and someone who hasn’t had the chance to take the field in the playoffs during his career, he’s obviously only going to root for Tampa Bay against the 30 teams that aren’t his. That’s a given. But regardless, it’s a nice sentiment from a guy who is still beloved by many Buccaneers fans (and still disliked by another portion of the fan base... for some reason). And, to an extent, it’s refreshing to hear some positivity from McCoy toward his former team.
At the time of his release, there seemed to be some hard feelings on McCoy’s end. He felt disrespected by the team, saying he had no communication with general manager Jason Licht and the entire coaching staff—with the exception of Bruce Arians—during the offseason prior to being let go.
It didn’t stop there, though. Tampa Bay signing Ndamukong Suh and giving him No. 93, which had belonged to McCoy, didn’t sit right with the veteran defensive tackle either. He felt like the Bucs didn’t show him much respect in that sense, saying in a June interview on FS1:
“When [Warren] Sapp left, John Lynch, [Derrick Brooks], Lee Roy Selmon, Ronde Barber, when all these guys left, nobody wore their number. They didn’t give their number away and it was a sign of respect. Well, six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times, this is Tampa Bay and I’m one of the best players to ever play in the organization. I’m going to say it, usually I wouldn’t, but I’m going to say it, so what. It kind of shows the respect and how they feel about me, I think it does.”
He also didn’t like that his number was being given to someone who had only signed a one-year deal with the team. Of course, Suh has since re-signed for 2020 as well. Not to mention, the No. 93 was important to Suh. It wasn’t just given to him on a whim.
Nonetheless, McCoy, despite maintaining that he had no hard feelings toward the Bucs, seemed to be unhappy with the way he was forced out. But the past is the past and it’s nice to hear that he still considers himself a fan of his longtime team.
Of course, this is all coming from a guy who did vow to retire as a Buc after his departure last year. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising.
It’s just refreshing.