Saturday, September 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gerald McCoy invites angry Bucs fans to talk face to face

TAMPA — Pipe down and listen up. Gerald McCoy is ready to take the troll call.

He knows how many remotes must have been thrown through flat screens during the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. But some of the criticism he's seeing on social media crosses the white lines and into disrespecting him and his teammates.

So he'd like to talk about it. In person. At One Buc Place. And he didn't appear to be joking.

The Bucs are off today; practice resumes Wednesday.

"There's a bunch of people out there that say a lot of terrible things that I know they wouldn't say to our face," McCoy said. "These social media tough guys. I would love to meet them. Just being honest. … I would love to meet you. I work at One Buccaneer Place if you would like to talk to me."

Football is now Inter-tainment. It's not enough to please the Bucs owners, the fantasy football owners who started Tampa Bay's defense on Sunday also got waxed.

The Bucs were beaten for the third straight year by perennial backup quarterback Case Keenum, who passed for 369 yards and three touchdowns. McCoy's reaction? Get off our Case!

"It's the NFL. It's a week-to-week league," McCoy said. "For everybody panicking and bad-mouthing us, let's get some consistency going. If you're going to root for us, root for us. If you're not, then don't. I'm serious about that. I'm tired of seeing the back and forth."

The NFL isn't a daisy chain league. The Bucs beat the Bears. The Steelers beat the Vikings. On Sunday the Steelers lost to the Bears.

"It is a week-to-week league," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.

RICK & TOM PODCAST: Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's comments and trouble in Gainesville

On Monday, Koetter scorched the Bucs secondary worse than Keenum did. That's saying something, because Vernon Hargreaves allowed seven receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown while fellow cornerback Ryan Smith yielded five catches for 118 yards and a score.

"Our underneath coverage didn't get deep enough in their drops and our deep coverage played too loose and let them throw balls not only behind them, but in front of them," Koetter said.

Of course, the Bucs had injuries on defense. Linebacker Kwon Alexander (hamstring), defensive tackle Chris Baker (flu) and cornerback Brent Grimes (shoulder) did not play. Defensive end Noah Spence dislocated his shoulder. Linebacker Lavonte David was carted off in the fourth quarter; an MRI exam Monday revealed he does not have a high ankle sprain and may miss only a couple of games.

McCoy tries to avoid social media because fans' comments can go too far, and he doesn't like what he has seen.

"They cross the line, a lot," he said. "We are professionals. Are we always going to be on point? No. But things they say about our quarterback and our defense …

"If you've got something to say, let's just talk about it. It's not a threat."

McCoy again extended the invitation to fans who are upset and want to talk to him to better understand what went wrong Sunday.

"I'll never put my hands on anybody. This is not a threat. But you know where I work," he said. "There's a front desk. Knock on the door. 'I want to talk to Gerald about the game yesterday.' I will see you out there. We can hold court."

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

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