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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gerald McCoy: I'm not Warren Sapp



Gerald McCoy, the Bucs' first-round pick, had a few things to get off his chest this morning.

For starters, he said he wanted to be clear that he is not Warren Sapp, despite the many comparisons that have been made.

"I can’t be Sapp," McCoy said. "I don’t know why people keep expecting me to be. I’m Gerald McCoy. That’s Warren Sapp. He’s 5-nothing, I’m 6-4. That’s a big difference. We are who we are."

The topic came up because the Bucs were shown film this morning of the team's vaunted defenses of the past, an effort to get players to display the same kind of attitude and demeanor.

McCoy said that this young group, though it's struggling now, can be great, too. But he said fans have to understand that it takes time.

"We’re going to grow as a family," he said. "We’re the second youngest team in the league and we’re going to grow that way. Everybody talks about how the old Bucs did it, blah, blah, blah. That’s fine. They did do it their way and they did it great. But they grew to that.

"Sapp wasn’t always Sapp. He picked up on it fast. Ronde (Barber), he’s a Hall of Famer, but he wasn’t always him. (Derrick) Brooks wasn’t always Brooks. (John) Lynch wasn’t always Lynch. Those guys grew to that, the same thing we’re doing."

McCoy added that he's had something of an epiphany this week, realizing that he is allowing his efforts to play within the scheme to handcuff him.

"The thing about the 3 technique in the Tampa 2 defense is he can’t be wrong," he said. "Everybody else has to read off him. Whereas I was thinking, 'I can’t get out of my gap.' You just have to go out there and play reckless. You have to play smart. You can’t just go do anything. But you have to play reckless. You can play with structure but (sometimes) you just have to say, ‘Whatever. I’m going.’

"I was playing like, ‘Oh my gosh, don’t make a mistake.’ Instead of , ‘Oh my gosh, I made a mistake but I made it going 1,000 miles an hour.’ That’s the difference in what I was doing and the difference in what I will do."

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:43pm]


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