Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is putting his name among the greatest in franchise history, and he's solidifying his deserved reputation as one of the NFL's best at his position.
The rosters for the NFL's 2018 Pro Bowl were announced Tuesday night during an NFL Network special, and for the sixth straight year McCoy's name was on the list. He is currently the Buccaneers' only representative in this year's all-star game but tight end Cam Brate and linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander are all alternates.
The only two players in Buccaneers history to go to more Pro Bowls and more consecutive Pro Bowls than McCoy are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: linebacker Derrick Brooks and defensive tackle Warren Sapp. McCoy's overall total of invites and his six-year streak match those earned by another Hall of Famer, defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, as well as fullback Mike Alstott.
DT Gerald McCoy was selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl.
"I have a great mentor, another defensive lineman that played here that I talk to on the regular, and he did seven," said McCoy, referring to Sapp. "So I have something to chase. I just try to give this city, this team, this organization, this game everything I have, year-in and year-out. It's not easy, it's very stressful at times, but I love it. It's an honor."
McCoy is one of only nine NFL players to have been selected for each of the last five Pro Bowls, joining Cleveland tackle Joe Thomas (10 straight), New England quarterback Tom Brady (8), Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green (6), Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson (6), New England special-teamer Matthew Slater (6), Baltimore guard/tackle Marshal Yanda (6), Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (5) and Washington tackle Trent Williams (5).
From that list, McCoy, Brady, Green, Peterson, Slater and Williams are the only ones going back to Orlando this winter to make it six straight. McCoy is the only defensive lineman in the NFL to have an active streak of six straight Pro Bowl selections.
McCoy missed the Buccaneers' Monday night game against Atlanta due to a biceps injury but remains the team's leader in sacks (5.0), quarterback hits (22) and tackles for loss (12). He ranks seven in the NFL in quarterback hits and second among defensive tackles in stops for loss. Since the start of the 2013 season, McCoy has 38.5 sacks, second-most among all NFL defensive tackles to Donald's 39.0.
After several seasons of experimenting with different formats, the NFL is going back to an all-star game that pits the AFC against the NFC. McCoy will be joined at defensive tackle on the NFC squad by the L.A. Rams' Aaron Donald and Philadelphia's Fletcher Cox. Philadelphia and New Orleans led the conference with six Pro Bowl selections each, while the Rams have five. Only the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears failed to place a player on the initial NFC roster, though they may have alternates that could be chosen later when other players drop out.