Gerald McCoy sees 'great' future for Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- The competitor in Gerald McCoy didn’t want to let the knee injury he suffered in Sunday’s game end his season. But the rational side of McCoy knows it's best that he sits out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' final two games.

“I believe this is the best decision because it’s more long-term,’’ McCoy said. “I think we have a lot of great -- not good -- great ahead of us with this team and this organization. A big part of that will be my health. I need to be healthy if we’re going to be successful.’’

McCoy suffered a sprained knee in the loss to Carolina and the injury will not require surgery. The Bucs are 2-12, so why is McCoy so optimistic about the future?

“We have a lot of great pieces in place,’’ McCoy said. “We’ve made a lot of great strides. But, in order to make all that happen, I have to get healthy.’’

There’s no question the Bucs and McCoy are making the right decision in shutting him down for the rest of the season. He’s the most valuable piece of the team’s foundation and there’s no sense in exposing him to further injury when the playoffs are out of the picture. McCoy will rest the knee for a few weeks, but he already is looking forward to starting the process of getting ready for next season.

“I’ve already talked to my trainer out in San Diego and told him to get his head together because he’s got a madman coming,’’ McCoy said.