Gerald McCoy wants to reach full potential

TAMPA, Fla. -- When he visited One Buccaneer Place earlier this week, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp said he sees a lot of himself in current Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

“It’s a great compliment," McCoy said Thursday. “He said I have the potential to be as good or better than him. A lot of people have potential. It’s about what you do with it. Do I have the potential to be as good or better? Yes. It’s up to me whether I reach that.’’

McCoy, 25 and in his fourth season, might be just starting to hit his full potential. After problems with injuries in each of his first two seasons, McCoy stayed healthy last season and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

“I do what I’m supposed to do and that’s get the quarterback off the spot whether I get the sack or not," McCoy said. “My job is to disrupt anything. They brought me in here from Oklahoma to disrupt everything that happens on offense."

In some ways, the Bucs brought McCoy in to be the next Sapp. McCoy, who has two sacks and 20 tackles this season, said he’s trying to follow in Sapp’s footsteps.

“A lot of guys made a lot of names around here off 99," McCoy said. “That’s a fact. That’s not to downplay anybody’s talent, but a lot of guys around here made a lot of names off of what 99 did. I’m just trying to help my teammates do the same."