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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs pick Gerald McCoy lashes out at his critics



TP_321663_WALL_Bucs_9.JPG The pre-draft scouting process has become so scrutinized that even the slightest flaw can bring about questions about a prospect.

This was the case with Gerald McCoy's performance in the bench press test at the Scouting Combine in February. He managed 23 reps of the requisite 225 pounds, which is considered to be on the low end for players of his size and position. That touched off speculation that he lacked enough power to compete against stout NFL offensive linemen who presumably can bench press a lot more.

McCoy found the scrutiny laughable.

"Next question," he quipped when asked about it today. "Warren Sapp did 17 and he was dominating 330-pound men. It’s about the game. Can you play the game? No offense to the guy, but the guy who did the most reps at the combine, never heard of the guy. No offense to him. I hope he is very successful, but seriously, you have to be able to play the game. That’s what I’m about.

"I study the game and I love to play it."

McCoy said, despite assertions to the contrary, he is a diligent worker in the weight room but just hasn't ever been an accomplished bench presser.

"People say, ‘If he’s such a hard worker, why did he only do 23 (reps)? I don’t know," he said. "I work extremely hard at my bench press. That’s just always been a weakness of mine. I can squat a mountain, but I can’t lift a bottle of water. It’s always been like that. I work at it. I do pushups every night. I’m constantly doing pushups and different things to help build it up. But clearly I can do something right because now I’m a Buccaneer."

This whole debate is not as relevant with McCoy as with some other players because his game is predicated on quickness -- and he has plenty of that.

"My advantage," McCoy said, "is I get to people before they get to me."

-- Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer

(Times photo -- Daniel Wallace)

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 4:00pm]


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