Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

bucs Report

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy hopes to carry on Lee Roy Selmon's off-the-field legacy

TAMPA — Bucs DT Gerald McCoy says it physically pained him when he found out Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, McCoy's mentor and friend, died Sunday.

McCoy said he and Selmon were close and that the former Bucs legend was one of his biggest supporters.

"He's a once-in-a-lifetime type guy," said McCoy, who wore the same No. 93 jersey at Oklahoma that Selmon did. "I could never compare to him. I can only be me and pray that one day I'll be as great as he was."

The biggest thing McCoy learned from Selmon, and plans to carry on, came off the field.

"It's not really about yourself," McCoy said. "It's about what you do for others."

McCoy says Selmon was the greatest Sooners football player ever and that his legacy is even bigger in his home state. He remembered fondly the first time the two met, last year in rookie minicamp.

"Somebody said, 'Hey, I think that's Lee Roy Selmon.' And I was like, 'Where?' " McCoy said. "I just like ran to him, because I'm not one of those shy guys. If I see somebody I wanted to meet, I'm going to go up to you. If you don't like it, hey, get over it. He embraced me. He didn't even shake my hand. He immediately gave me a hug and that's just the type of guy he was."

Selmon, 56, died Sunday of complications from a stroke. The Bucs' Hall of Fame defensive end and former University of South Florida athletic director remained in the Tampa Bay area after his playing days. But his popularity never waned in Oklahoma, McCoy said.

"If you think he's big here, he's like — you can't call nobody a God, but hey, he's real close," McCoy said. "In Oklahoma, if you sound like you're about to say, 'Selmon,' they're like, 'Oh, my God!' That's how it is with all the brothers. But with him being who he was, he's huge, he's huge back home."

THE WINNER: As expected, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Earnest Graham won the job as third-down back. RB Kregg Lumpkin was his chief competition, and RB LeGarrette Blount has improved in his pass protecting and pass catching skills.

"We're really comfortable with Earnest and it's not a knock on Kregg Lumpkin or LeGarrette Blount," Olson said.

Olson said Graham, who typically played 8-10 snaps at fullback, will still have that role, he just won't start there.

NEW GUYS: LB Zac Diles, signed Sunday, said he's ready for a backup role and is expected to contribute on special teams.

Diles, who started 30 games for the Texans, said he has played weakside but also played middle linebacker for coach Raheem Morris at Kansas State, and that's where he's expected to back up rookie Mason Foster.

"It was fun," Diles said of playing for Morris at KSU. "It was his first year and it was my first year. We had a really good time."

Olson said they liked rookie TE Zack Pianalto, signed to be the No. 3, from his days at North Carolina. "We liked his athleticism, liked his size and his production," Olson said. "He's going to get thrown into the fire immediately, but we think he's mature enough to handle it."

MEDICAL MATTERS: WR Mike Williams jammed a finger Tuesday, but finished practice and Olson said it's "not an issue." Both CB Aqib Talib (hamstring) and DT Roy Miller (knee) practiced Monday. Miller, who missed most of preseason with a partial tear of his MCL in his left knee, said he's ready for game action.

parker promoted: WR Preston Parker has replaced Micheal Spurlock as the top kick and punt returner, making Spurlock more likely to be inactive Sunday.

Times staff writers Rick Stroud and Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at


Prices for single-game tickets range from $40 to $115 (some youth tickets are $25) and are available at the Raymond James Stadium ticket window (starting three hours before kickoff) or through Ticketmaster at or toll-free at 1-800-745-3000. For information, call the Bucs at (813) 870-2700.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy hopes to carry on Lee Roy Selmon's off-the-field legacy 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)