Bucs' McCoy, Revis honored as Pro Bowlers
TAMPA -- For the second year in a row, the Bucs have multiple players in the Pro Bowl, as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and cornerback Darrelle Revis found out Friday night they're headed to Hawaii.
McCoy is Tampa Bay's first back-to-back Pro Bowler in seven years, while Revis is going for the fifth time, though his first with the Bucs. As excited as McCoy is for his return trip, he's disappointed that linebacker Lavonte David -- among the league leaders at his position in tackles, sacks and interceptions -- wasn't among the names called.
"I don't like that at all," said McCoy, confident David will join him in Hawaii next month as soon as a spot opens up. "I told him and I want to say it publicly: If I could get back my opportunity to go and give it to him, I would. That's my little brother and he's more than deserving. I don't think it's fair. He got snubbed."
McCoy, who made the Pro Bowl last season with six sacks, has nine this season, just 1.5 shy of the NFL high among defensive tackles. He's been off the field for only eight defensive snaps in the Bucs' last five games, including none Sunday against St. Louis. He said last year when he went to Hawaii, former Bucs star Warren Sapp challenged him to make it a habit.
"He said 'Now that you got in once, what are you going to do with it?'" McCoy said. "Now you have an opportunity to be perennial. ... I've been blessed enough to do it back-to-back years. Can I keep this going? He was telling me getting one is good, getting two in a row is great. When you put a streak together, that's elite. That's what he's trying to motivate me to be."
For Revis, it's his fifth Pro Bowl, following four straight trips from 2008-11. After missing most of the 2012 season with a knee injury that required surgery, it's a sign that the Revis of old has returned, even if the 28-year-old has admitted he's been at less than 100 percent much of this season as his knee gets back to full health.
"It's always an honor to get selected to the Pro Bowl," Revis said in a statement. "While I still believe I'm capable of more, this selection shows that people around the league respect the way I prepare and play. I'm excited to be able to share the experience with Gerald, and I'm still holding out hope that Lavonte will be able to join us, because he's very deserving as well."
David, a second-year pro from Nebraska, was a surprising omission, having built on a strong rookie season by contributing all over the field at a level no other NFL linebacker can claim. He's one of 12 NFL players with 120-plus tackles, but he's the only player among those 12 with six or more sacks, or five or more interceptions. All six of the outside linebackers chosen to go to Hawaii were from 3-4 defenses, where the position is used more for pass-rushing than in a 4-3 defense like Tampa Bay's.
McCoy is the Bucs' first player to make the Pro Bowl in back-to-back seasons since 2006, when cornerback Ronde Barber went for the third time in a row and linebacker Derrick Brooks went for the 10th straight season.
The Bucs had been relatively quiet in the fan voting that comprises one third of the Pro Bowl selection process -- David finished fifth among outside linebackers with 197,428 total votes, though the four linebackers finishing ahead of him were all from 3-4 defenses. McCoy finished ninth among defensive tackles with 152,671 votes, and Revis finished 10th among cornerbacks with 187,634. Barron had ranked among the top 10 in strong safeties as recently as last week, but missed the final top 10.
A year ago, the Bucs had three players go to Hawaii in McCoy, Jackson and running back Doug Martin. From 2009-11, the Bucs had a total of two Pro Bowlers, missing entirely in 2009 and sending single players in 2009 (tackle Donald Penn) and 2010 (guard Davin Joseph).