Gerald McCoy Headshot

McCoy is determined to take his fourth-quarter production up a notch in 2017 following conversations with several fellow Pro Bowlers last January, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "It hit home to the point where I re-evaluated myself, my whole career, up to this point,'' McCoy said. "The gist of what it is, is I haven't done enough to lead this team. Simple as that. If this team goes to the next level, as much as you need a franchise quarterback and those things are great, this organization, this team to win a Super Bowl was built on defense. That guy in the middle is what makes everything roll."

Added 7:56 am (EST)
McCoy described his conversations with the unnamed players as a "reality check" as to what his impact, or lack thereof, had been in crunch time over the last few seasons. The multi-time Pro Bowler came to the conclusion that despite the well-deserved accolades he's received throughout his first eight campaigns, not enough of his sacks have come in the fourth quarter. In fact, only 31 percent of his 42.5 career quarterback takedowns have come in the final 15 minutes of contests, and a majority of those have occurred with the outcome of the game already decided. Last season, McCoy managed just two sacks in the final quarter of games overall, and he failed to notch any QB traps in the last four games altogether, a key stretch when the Bucs were in the midst of a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Motivated by the realization that he has plenty of room for improvement in key moments, the 29-year-old has already vowed to make the 2017 campaign a turning point in that regard. "My approach to everything will be different. The media. My workouts. Practice. The meeting room. Games. Something has to change...I was just always taught when more than one person is saying the same thing, there's got to be some truth to it.''
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