The NFL world found out on Wednesday that Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy is a Pro Bowler. Roy Miller, McCoy’s fellow starter in the middle of Tampa Bay’s line, has known it for years.
Miller was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2009, one year before the team brought in McCoy with the third overall pick. Both players have had career years in 2012, forming the immovable wall in the middle of the line that has been so critical to the league’s best run defense. Both players have appeared in all 15 games so far, which was a victory in itself for McCoy, who missed 13 games in his first two seasons due to a pair of freak arm injuries.
According to Miller, that fact alone is what has allowed the rest of the world to discover what was obvious to him some time ago.
“For three years we’ve been sitting here saying it – ‘Hey, this guy is a major part of this defense,’” said the former Texas standout, who plays the tilt-nose DT spot to McCoy’s three-technique. “When he went down, you saw the downplay across the board. To have that man on the field and to see him go out there this year and do what he did…I’m just glad he was finally able to finish a season and be recognized for the talent that he has.”
It was suggested to Miller that his own strong play helped his teammate reach his potential this year and earn that Pro Bowl spot. Miller didn’t disagree, but he also didn’t respond. He clearly just wants McCoy to enjoy the moment.
“That man, he’s been called every name by everybody, from “bust” to whatever, and now he’s in the Pro Bowl,” said Miller. “I’m just excited for him. I’ve seen his struggles. I was here when he came in as a rookie and I got to see him progress and continue to be the man that he is, resilient and all those things. To see his name on [the Pro Bowl list], it did my heart good.”