TAMPA, Fla. -- There has been a lot of flap about some comments defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made on his radio show Wednesday night.
That had McCoy trying to clarify things on his Twitter account and through the media on Friday.
Before we go any deeper into this, I highly encourage you to listen to the audio (save yourself some time and go to right about the 34-minute mark). It's important to listen to the tape so you can get the whole context. A caller basically said he likes McCoy, but wishes he would play with more of a mean streak.
"I appreciate that," McCoy said. "I take advice from anybody. ... A lot of people don't think I'm evil enough.
"People think I play relentless and I play really hard and I'm very talented. They just think I'm not evil. And that's OK. ... [Hall of Famer Warren] Sapp tells me that all the time. My wife has told me that.
"I don't have to be angry to play. ... When I get angry, that's when I make mistakes and that's when I can't be at my best."
McCoy then followed that preface with an anecdote that caused a bit of an uproar about a coaching staff that has been dealing with lots of ridicule this season.
"I had my D-line coaches get on to me the other day," McCoy said. "Well, not get on to me, try to get on to me. There's no way they're going to get on to me for this. They got upset with my because I helped somebody up. So what? I don't care. Kiss my butt. Listen, if I want to help somebody, I'm going help somebody up. Because right on the next play, I'm going to knock him down again."
Meeting with the media after Friday's practice, McCoy said his quotes were taken out of context.
"People just find a way to twist words and make things a lot worse," McCoy said. "So I was asked a question, or somebody made a comment on the radio show, about me not being -- he said he didn't see any dog or any mean or whatever, and my whole reason for bringing anything up was just an example of who I am, which I don't mind helping people up. I don't see anything wrong with that.
"Where it went from there, me saying people can feel how they want about that, that’s fine. But ... I never said anybody's name; I never said I was yelled at and I never said I was bashed for it. So where all that came from, I don't know."
For the record, coach Greg Schiano was asked if he discouraged his players from helping opponents up.
"I don't dislike if a guy helps him up, nor am I a proponent of helping a guy up," Schiano said. "I worked for Coach [Joe] Paterno for six years. What I learned is, 'Hey, you help a guy up, you look him in the eye and say I'm coming back to get you again.' That’s just my personal [belief], but I think that is totally an individual thing -- how you like to play the game. Certainly, we don't have an overriding policy on how you deal with that. I think that's an independent thing."
In his Friday chat with the media, McCoy said the talk with the members of the coaching staff was not confrontational in any way.
"They felt one way and I felt a different way," McCoy said. "That's all it was. You don't always feel the same way someone else feels. It's personal preference, that's what it is. But we didn't have an argument, there wasn't any anger when we talked about it, there wasn't anything negative. It was just talking."
The bottom line here is that McCoy's not doing anything wrong. There’s nothing wrong with helping a guy up after you've done your job and knocked him down in the first place.