The Game Changes & Best Friends Become Strangers

Gerald McCoy was a big name during his college days playing for Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners. He played in Norman from 2006 to 2009, then entered the NFL Draft where he was projected to be a top ten pick. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and spent the first nine years of his career in Tampa Bay. On May 20th, 2019, the Bucs decided to part ways and release the all-pro defender. There were a few teams lined up for his services. The Baltimore Ravens were one which I thought would be a great fit for him and so were the Cleveland Browns. Gerald met with both teams but left without a deal. Today, he’s signed with a team. He’ll be staying in the NFC South to play for the Carolina Panthers.

When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best interior defensive linemen in the game. He commands many double and sometimes triple teams but takes them on like it’s another day at the office. I’ve seen him shed blocks and get into the backfield before the football can be handed off to the running back. Having played on the defensive line myself, those guys must work for theirs in the trenches. Gerald is one of the best at what he does to make plays. He has a phenomenal first step when the ball is snapped. He’s so quick off the line and every time I’ve watched him play, he always wins his battles up front. He’s very powerful with the strength to push offensive linemen around in the backfield then he sacks the quarterback. He has an excellent rip move when rushing the passer, he’s fluid with his hips to get to the quarterback and he’s a smart player so whatever you present yourself with, he’s going to take it. Normally, he plays inside in the middle of the defensive line, but he’s able to play wide which allows him to get his sacks. He creates chaos each time the ball is snapped which teams must pay close attention too. I remember a play when the Buccaneers played the Saints. He shed his blockers and was able to get pressure on Drew Brees. He hit Drew as he was throwing the ball which forced him to throw an interception. He does things that have wowed me. I’ve watched him knock guys down on their backs, then proceed to make the snap. That right there shows you the guy doesn’t quit on any play.

I approve of this signing a lot. It gives the Panthers a lot of talent on their defense with Luke Kuechly, Bruce Irvin, Mario Addison, Kawaan Short, Dontari Poe and Eric Reid. Adding Gerald to the fold gives them a disruptive force on the inside of their defensive front. The defense is in good hands, now let’s see what their offense can accomplish.