The veteran defensive backs, who were acquired in the offseason, bring leadership, which is something the team hasn’t had an abundance of in recent years. Cornerback Ronde Barber, who retired this offseason, led quietly by example. Other than Barber, the Bucs haven’t had many obvious leaders.
That has changed with Revis and Goldson. Both are vocal leaders. Even though Revis has been limited as he comes off of knee surgery, he’s been mentoring the younger defensive backs. Goldson already has established himself as a vocal leader in the secondary. And throw in the fact that both have been on winning teams and played in some big games.
“They bring work ethic,’’ coach Greg Schiano said. “Both of them are very strong, hard workers. They don’t take the shortcut; they do it the hard way. That’s a great example for our guys. And they’ve won, they’ve done it at the highest level. They’ve been recognized by their peers, so when you have guys that have those accolades and yet work and are passionate about it, that’s the best kind of leaders.’’
There’s another leader emerging on Tampa Bay’s defense. That’s defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who has been getting rave reviews during camp.
“That’s what was great about Gerald’s transformation and becoming a Pro Bowl player,’’ Schiano said. “He always worked like crazy but now he has the accolades to back it up. He actually worked harder this year. I think when you look at the leaders we have some guys that are both talking it and walking it, which is the key.”