Gerald McCoy takes leadership cue from Jameis


Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has long been a leader in Tampa Bay, but he went out of his way on Wednesday to make one thing very clear: This is Jameis Winston's team going forward.

"I love Jameis, man," McCoy said of the second-year Bucs quarterback, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. "He's like my brother. I referred to him as the face of the franchise, because he is. When they show commercials of the Bucs, they're not showing Gerald. They're showing Jameis. That's for a reason, and I'm happy about that. If your quarterback is the face of your franchise, usually that tags to winning or going in a positive direction. I'm excited about it."

McCoy revealed that he and Winston spoke honestly about their respective leadership roles inside the locker room.

"People ask, 'Well, Gerald, what type of leader are you?' Whatever type my team needs me to be," McCoy said. "Me and Jameis had a private conversation about what he feels like this team needs me to be as a leader. I'm not going to say, but I think it will be obvious when it happens, because you guys are used to doing things a certain way."

Said McCoy: "That's going to change. The face of the franchise came to me and said 'Hey, listen. If we're going to win, we need you to do this. OK? My quarterback said this is what he needs, so it's what I'm going to do. If he feels like that's what our team needs in order for us to win, who am I to tell him, 'No, I'm not going to do that.' I want to win, too."

McCoy praised Winston as "very mature, very intelligent," echoing what we heard about the quarterback during his rookie season, when team officials were encouraged to see Winston embrace a vocal leadership role -- a role that will only expand in Year 2.