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McCoy Is De Facto Leader Of Buccaneers Defensive Line

The average of the 14 defensive linemen the Buccaneers have either under control or club control (restricted free agents, unsigned draft picks) is 23.8 years, with 25-year old restricted free agent Frank Okam the elder statesmen in the room, and 2011 second-round pick Da’Quan Bowers (21) the youngest.

With that young a group, leadership could be an issue, and Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times writes that 2010 first-round pick Gerald McCoy has become the de facto leader on the defensive line, organizing defensive line lockout workouts in Southern California.

“Our biggest concern? Honestly, I’m concerned about us up front,” McCoy said. “My coaches, my teammates, Free (Josh Freeman) called me and few other guys to say, ‘Hey, make sure you get the defense out there.’ And then Davin (Joseph) texted me and said, ‘You need to get the d-line out there.’

“Apparently, these guys feel I’m the leader of the d-line room, so I take it upon myself that if the d-line is not running right, it’s something I need to get together. If we can get going, if the d-line can get rolling like we’re supposed to, it will change the whole team, not just the defense.”

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound McCoy was chosen with the third overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Oklahoma and started all 13 games he was active last season. The 23-year-old totaled 28 tackles, including seven for a loss and three quarterback sacks, with four passes defended and a pair of forced fumbles before landing on injured reserve with a torn left biceps last December.


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