Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy understands why Bucs fans are disappointed and frustrated after the team’s 34-17 loss at the Vikings.
But some of the criticsm he’s seeing online from fans crosses a line for him into disrespecting him and his teammates, and he’d like to talk about it.
“There’s a bunch of people out there that say a lot of terrible things that I know they wouldn’t say to our face,” McCoy said. “These social media tough guys. I would love to meet them. Just being honest. … I would love to meet you. I work at One Buccaneer Place if you would like to talk to me. I’m not going to give you my home address, but I’ll meet you up here anytime you want to talk about it.”
And for fans even politely panicking after Sunday’s 34-17 loss to the Vikings: Don’t.
“It’s the NFL. It’s a week-to-week league,” McCoy said. “For everybody panicking and bad-mouthing us, let’s get some consistency going. If you’re going to root for us, root for us. If you’re not, then don’t. I’m serious about that. I’m tired of seeing the back and forth.”
McCoy said he understands being disappointed and frustrated by the Bucs playing well in a dominating opening win against Chicago, then falling behind 28-3 in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.
“It’s one game. We just have to make sure it doesn’t consistently be like that,” he said. “Nobody’s happy about it. We will fix it, and we’ll move on.”
McCoy said he tries to avoid social media because fans’ comments can go too far, and he doesn’t like what he’s seen.
“They cross the line, a lot,” he said. “We are professionals. Are we always going to be on point? No. But things they say about our quarterback and our defense, I can deal with me. I get very frustrated when you talk bad about people I care about, which is my teammates. I know a lot of this stuff wouldn’t be said around us. The same people that will stand in front of us and ask for your autograph, and then they bad-mouth us. I’m talking about disrespectful things. If you’re disappointed, I understand that. But disrespect, God forgive me, I get frustrated.
“If you’ve got something to say, let’s just talk about it. It’s not a threat. … I get so frustrated with it. It’s not a threat to anybody. The disrespect has to stop. If you’re frustrated, that’s fine, but disrespecting us, then you’re crossing the line. It’s no longer football. Now you’re disrespecting us as men. You calling me out my name over a football game? A football game? You serious? It’s one game. One. We have 14 more! One game, and you’re going to disrespecting us like that?”
McCoy again extended the invitation to fans who are upset and want to talk to him to better understand what went wrong Sunday.
“I’ll never put my hands on anybody. This is not a threat. But you know where I work,” he said. “There’s a front desk. Knock on the door. ‘I want to talk to Gerald about the game yesterday.’ I will see you out there. We can hold court.”