Monday, July 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Who stood out to Gerald McCoy? You might be surprised

I apologize for the tease headline, which stops just short of "what happened next will blow your mind."

Since all the key starters got Thursday night off, I stopped to ask Gerald McCoy who had gone unnoticed publicly and impressed him in training camp. His answer?

"One person I can say is J.J. Wilcox," McCoy said of the free-agent safety, signed in March. "He dominated camp. I don't know if y'all talked about it much, but he dominated camp. We tally up some things on the defensive end and see who's doing this, and J.J. was winning by a landslide. They'll find a way to get him out there. He's that type of guy. If I had to say one guy, it'd be him."

Wilcox, who has worked as the team's No. 3 safety throughout camp behind starters Keith Tandy and Chris Conte, started Thursday and had three tackles. He said he's worked in preseason to build a new identity for himself after being seen as a dangerous hitter, but not much else.

"I just control what I can control," Wilcox said. "I have to come in here positive, understand my role, come in here earn my chips and my respect from my team. I took this offseason to get respect and let them know I want to help this team keep climbing. I feel like I've changed my game around a lot. I was known for being a hard hitter, for being aggressive, but I want someone to know I can get the ball, too. In this business, safeties are known when they get the ball away. That's the name of the game. Hopefully it pays off during the season."

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