The Buccaneers are planning to put a lot on the shoulders of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in the coming season and he’s going to have less weight on his frame to carry the burden.
McCoy has lost 20 pounds this offseason thanks to a combination of “diet and working” and explained last week that it was part of his effort to continue improving after a breakout 2012 campaign landed him a spot in the Pro Bowl.
“I just want to build off last year. I don’t want to remain standing,” McCoy said, via Ryan Aber of the Oklahoman. “I want to keep moving forward, whether it’s baby steps of whatever, just keep moving forward and getting better, be the ultimate professional and being more prepared than the next man.”
There are questions about what defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn will do in expanded roles and the answers are more likely to be positive ones if McCoy dominates the attention of opposing blockers. Big shifts in weight can have unintended consequences, such as an increase in explosiveness and burst coming at the expense of strength that McCoy might need at the point of attack. That’s something we’ll find out in the fall, but the prospect of a quicker McCoy knifing through gaps up front is one that carries great promise for the Tampa defense.