Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Perfect Fit

It may not have been the biggest surprise that Gerald McCoy wound up as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, but that may have simply been because the pairing between franchise and draftee was such a great match


Mock draft after mock draft pegged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as taking Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

When the lights came on at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night and the real show began, things played out just like many of those projections suggested they would, with McCoy becoming the newest member of the Bucs.

An expected result? Perhaps. But when a rare talent at a position of need is available when you're on the clock, sometimes the simplest choice is the best one, and the Bucs couldn't be happier about the way things went.

"We are very excited, I mean extremely excited to land him," Head Coach Raheem Morris said. "This is exactly who we wanted. This is exactly who we went out to get and we got him."

"We were certain that Sam Bradford was going one, or at least fairly certain," added General Manager Mark Dominik said. "Once the card went in we knew we were going to get our guy, and that was exciting. We've been zeroed in on him."

But what made McCoy so attractive to the Bucs? In addition to his special blend of speed and strength, McCoy also has a high level of familiarity with the Bucs' defensive scheme, which should ease his transition to the pro game.

"It was the fit," Dominik said. "The natural three-technique fit was so important to this organization, how important it is for this guy to be able to hit the ground running and be a productive football player for this team in many ways.

"He's got great use of his hands, he's got a high motor when he's playing and attacking both in the run and pass game," Dominik continued. "He chases and pursues like Buccaneer players that we look for."

Said Morris: "He's a perfect fit for what we do. He's a three-technique. You saw it in college, he did it at Oklahoma. He's going to come here, just change the lingo, and be able to fit right in with our system and what we want to do and how we want to do it. We're just excited to have him."

But perhaps most importantly, what made the attraction between McCoy and the Bucs so strong is something can't be quantified by statistics, 40-yard dash times, or knowledge of a defensive system.

Character is of the utmost importance in the Buccaneers organization, and McCoy aced that test as well.

"The make-up of the man, that's an important element that we're trying to establish here on this football team, the character of this football team," Dominik said. "He checked the boxes in many, many areas, which made this an easy selection for us.

While the Bucs' brain trust lavished praise on their new No. 1 pick Thursday night, don't think for a second that the attraction wasn't mutual.

McCoy, who was wearing a shirt, tie, and socks that were interestingly similar in hue to the Bucs' pewter and red color scheme, admitted that he was overjoyed with the pairing as well and ecstatic to be headed to Tampa Bay.

"I wanted to be a Buccaneer, I'm not going to lie," McCoy said. "I couldn't just openly say that, but now that I've been picked, I want to be a Buccaneer and I always wanted to be a Buccaneer.

"I couldn't wait to be a Buccaneer. I grew up a fan and I knew a lot of the history of the team and I'm just glad that I can come in here to help and do what I can."

A special talent, with an outstanding makeup, at a position of need, who has long admired your organization - a match made in heaven for the Buccaneers, right?

Time will tell, but for now, the excitement is at a fever pitch for McCoy and his future in Tampa Bay.

"We got a guy today that's going to come in and provide for us," Morris said. "[He's got] all the things you look for and those are the things that got a smile on my face. We look forward to getting him down to Tampa and getting a chance to introduce him to this town."

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