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Sunday, April 25, 2010
Gerald McCoy already a face of Bucs

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

I was driving on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa last night, when I saw a billboard with a message that said something like “Welcome to Tampa Bay, Gerald McCoy."

Pretty impressive that the Bucs already were featuring their first-round pick on a billboard where Dale Mabry Highway intersects with Waters Ave. But it was one of those electronic billboards, so they didn’t have to wait a few days to get it painted.

Then, as I watched the NBA playoff game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers a little bit later, the camera flashed on McCoy sitting in the stands back in Oklahoma City. He’ll be back in Tampa Bay in a few days for rookie camp and I expect to see a lot more of McCoy’s face around Tampa in the coming months.

The Bucs are going to showcase this pick because McCoy’s got some charisma and this team needs all the star power it can get. Speaking of billboards and marketing campaigns. Everywhere you look in Tampa these days, there seem to be billboards for Bucs’ tickets. I also liked the television commercials the Bucs were running during the draft. The theme was something like the Bucs are coming back and they want you there when they do.

I won’t go as far as to say I think the Bucs are ready to turn the corner, but I think this draft was a good step in that direction. In a town where it’s tough to sell tickets, you’ve got to promote the positives and the Bucs are going to use McCoy and this draft class to try to accomplish that.