Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

He's a good guy and a heck of a football player.

What we won't miss? Moments like Monday when we are reminded, once again, that his skin is too thin for a player this good.

In a Twitter rant, McCoy talked about not being appreciated, followed by a veiled threat of leaving town.

"No more being quiet,'' McCoy wrote, while apparently still on vacation. "I'm done holding my tongue. Believe that!!''

Here's what you should believe: McCoy spends too much time worrying about what other people think.

In this case, it isn't even clear who he was talking about.

Was it former teammate Ronde Barber, who suggested in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times that maybe McCoy doesn't have the personality to be one of the baddest players on the team?

Was he hurt by Twitter trolls who are constantly knocking him?

Was he upset that, for the millionth time, he was reminded that he is not and will never be Warren Sapp, as if there will ever be another Sapp?

Whoever his target, McCoy needs to know that this is a bad look and one that has become all too familiar.

He comes off like a diva, a drama king, an attention hound. He looks like someone searching for sympathy and begging for approval. The fact that McCoy went on his temper tantrum just as HBO's Hard Knocks is about to turn on its cameras doesn't feel like a coincidence.

Then again, none of this is new.

It just feels as if there's always something with McCoy. It's a running off-field soap opera. There's always something going on behind the scenes that overshadows all the wonderful things he does on the field.

Is it his team or Jameis Winston's? That became a controversy a while back, right?

Is he soft because he helps up opposing players?

Is he worth all that money?

All of it silly and not worth McCoy's time or energy. Yet these mini-controversies start in newspapers and blogs and talk radio and usually end with McCoy getting his football pants wadded in a bunch and lashing out.

Or how about last spring?

McCoy, unprovoked, went on a long speech about how he hasn't been a good enough leader. He talked about how three guys pulled him aside at the Pro Bowl and told him so. He talked about how — as if seven seasons in the NFL wasn't enough — those few minutes in Orlando changed him. He talked and talked and talked.

Lots of talking. No playing. Just talk. Yet, everyone walked away acting as if McCoy made some big stride of a football player without a playing a single down.

While his honesty is appreciated, you couldn't help but wonder if the point of McCoy's speech was to make himself look better. And, more so, a push back at his critics even though he doesn't have as many critics as he thinks.

Yes, he needs to keep getting better. No, he will never get the credit until the team has playoff success.

But no one thinks he's a lousy football player. No one wants him booted out of Tampa Bay. He has played well and has played hurt.

On the list of reasons of why the Bucs haven't been good over the past decade, McCoy is near the bottom if he's even on the list at all.

One could argue that he drums up this supposed slights for motivation, to give him a chip on his shoulder.

But it feels as if he really is bothered when anyone — and I mean anyone — speaks about him in less-than-glowing terms.

He needs to realize that there are going to be haters, that criticism comes with the territory. He can't control that.

But he can control how he reacts to that criticism and addressing is just not worth it.

This off-the-field drama needs to stop.

McCoy is a leader on the Bucs. He is entertaining. He is smart. He is a good quote. We are interested in his thoughts on the team, the league and the game. In media circles, he's known as a "go-to'' guy.

Here's hoping he keeps being that guy, but he needs to ignore his critics.

McCoy needs to simply do what he does best: play the game.

Contact Tom Jones at [email protected] Follow @tomwjones

Comments
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18
What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

ST. PETERSBURG — When Kevin Cash called team president Matt Silverman Sunday morning to wish him happy birthday, he expected to get back some form of an "attaboy" for implementing the Rays' latest unorthodox pitching strategy in using reliever ...
Published: 05/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Published: 05/20/18
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Published: 05/20/18
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Published: 05/20/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18