At the end of his third NFL season, and his first complete pro campaign, Gerald McCoy made the Pro Bowl. In his mind, that is just the launching point of his career…and that isn’t a reference to any future Pro Bowls or other individual honors that may come along.
McCoy intends to be even better in 2014, but with a different sort of postseason action in mind.
“I just want to go up,” he said on Wednesday evening, not long after learning about his first selection to the NFL’s all-star game. “I don’t want to stay stagnant or take a step back. I want to move forward. I don’t know what those steps are but I know I will work my hardest to make sure I continue to move forward. It’s really just being as good as I can for my team. That’s my total focus when I go play, to make sure I’m at my best, so I play my part in where this team is trying to get to. I’m a team guy. I’m not really about me, so anything I do is about what I can do to help my team. That’s really all my focus is, to be at my best and to keep moving forward so I can be at my best for my team.”
McCoy was certainly at his best in 2012, as he got an opportunity to play in every game after missing a total of 14 outings to separate arm injuries in 2010 and 2011. The uninterrupted action allowed his limitless abilities to surface, and to catch the attention of his peers around the NFL.
“My goal was to be at my best for my team, but by doing that I was able accomplish [the Pro Bowl selection], showing people that I can actually play a little football. I had some issues with my injuries, but really my goal and focus this season was just to be my best for my teammates.”
Now he doesn’t have to worry about using a good portion of the offseason just to get back to a starting point following an injury. He can hit the ground running in 2013, and that’s exactly what he intends to do.
“This is just the beginning for what I plan to do,” said McCoy. “I talked earlier about what it’s like going into an offseason without an injury. I can focus more on the football aspect of it. That time I was putting into rehab, I can put solely on football and focus on that more. Then, when I work out, I can go full-steam ahead and not have to worry about taking it slow because of my injuries.”