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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Buccaneers' RB LeSean McCoy Quotes 8.4.20


(On why he decided to continue playing and how much QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski attracted him to Tampa Bay)

"I think the biggest thing – where I'm at in my career – I had a couple teams reach out. No disrespect to the teams, but it didn't fit. I wanted to win. I wanted to contribute. I needed something to push me. I want to be with a group of guys that want to win and I think this is a perfect place. You talk about Rob [Gronkowski] – I've been friends with Rob for so long. Just seeing how he came back – you get that itch to compete. Then you bring Tom Brady here – with the group of guys they already had as far as young guys – I want to be a part of it, I really do. It's a mixture of leadership with age and also the youth and talent."

(On where his motivation comes from at this point in his career)

"That's the thing, also. I started out pretty hot in [Kansas City] when I got there. Then some things happened, which happens in football. I think another part of that is to go out there and show players and teams that I still can play. I think [there are] a lot of questions about guys here like that. You know, I want to fit in. I want to be a part of that group that, 'Hey, we've got things to prove.' I've done a lot of great things in my career, but I'm not finished. When I decide to step out on the field and to continue my career, that means a lot. I really dive in – I give it my all – and that can be a lot of different things from on the field playing to actually helping out the younger guys in the room. I witnessed today that they're so young and I really could help them out for this team and for the future. I just want to have a big impact any way that I can, but I also want to get out there, contribute and show my worth."

(On what it felt like being out with the team during Tuesday morning's workout)

"It felt good – just actually seeing all the talent. You know a lot of the names, but just actually to be out there with them and actually see it face-to-face from his [Tom Brady's] handoffs to his passes. I've scrimmaged Tom in the past and we're pretty cool – 'Hey, what's up?', things like that. But, to actually see him work – he's like a general leading the troops. Teaching them what he wants in the routes, things like that. I've always been cool with Mike [Evans] and to see the growth he's had in his career. So, it was just cool to see everybody together, playing as one [and] working hard – guys coaching each other up, trying to compete and push them. At the end of the day, we're all playing for one goal and that's the Super Bowl. So, it was good to see everybody today."

(On if he was interested in joining Tampa Bay immediately after hearing QB Tom Brady was signing with the organization)

"I think most guys – once he signed here and then Rob [Gronkowski] signed shortly after – would want to play here. But that's kind of how it happened. They (Tampa Bay) always had an interest level with me. They contacted my agent a couple of times. It's all about the right timing. I was waiting to see what was going on – [Philadelphia] was another big one that I really wanted to explore that option when they reached out. It just clicked at the right time. Enough waiting – let's do it. Let's get in there with the team, let's learn the offense, things like that. I mean, come on – I'm in Tampa, nice weather and I'm playing with Tom Brady? How do you beat that?"

(On Brady's accuracy during Tuesday's practice)

"He looked good – he looked real good. As he's throwing the ball, I heard a couple of the guys whispering, 'Dang, how many years do you think he'll play?' That's how good he looked – seriously. Me and 'Gronk' (Rob Gronkowski) talked about it – his will to win, his will to go out there and still keep doing it. Once you see a guy like that kind of display that attitude, you want to be a part of it. It says to me like, 'Man, how much longer can I do it?' He looked good today. He looked in good shape. He threw the ball very well. He's like a coach with a helmet on."

(On if Tampa Bay's interest in him dates back to March or if it developed recently)

"Whatever it was, it happened. I liked them; they like me. We set a date and I'm here."

(On if he feels a shortened offseason without preseason games is a good thing for him at this point in his career)

"That's always good not to have a whole bunch of camp days and preseason games. I'll take that. I think the only thing about that is you don't get the time with the guys. You are going to have days where it's not going to go well – you need those days, you need that adversity. I think that builds the core of the team. Now, I won't complain about it. I guess it's a good and a bad."

(On Tampa Bay Head Coach Bruce Arians and if Arians has provided insight on McCoy's role in the offense)

"Yeah, he talked about me probably getting like 25-30 carries a game depending on – nah, I'm messing with you [laughs]. We didn't talk about that yet. We talked a little bit because I'm kind of late, so I'm trying to get on track with the playbook, getting familiar with the guys. We haven't talked about the roles yet. I'm sure that will come eventually. I know a lot about him. He's a York (Pennsylvania) guy, I'm from Harrisburg (Pennsylvania), so very similar, very close. I knew about his offense for a while – he's a hell of a coach. I'm excited to be here playing for him."

(On if he's willing to be a mentor to RB Ronald Jones II or if he views their dynamic as a competition)

"I think in every position guys are competing, no matter if it's out publicly or if it's mentally. Guys are trying to compete, to push each other to get better. It's his role, it's his job. He is the guy here and I want to help him out in any way possible. I see he has a lot of talent. If I can help him out to be any better for our team, I'm willing to do that."

(On if his time in Kansas City showed him that it takes more than talent and good coaching to win a Super Bowl)

"You need a couple of things. I think, one, you do need talent. Some coaches or people may not believe that – I believe that you need talent and I do think you need a solid quarterback. Then other things – it comes down to just being a great team. All the small things, being disciplined, that really carries over to tight games where you need to win – being disciplined, being smart. Last year with the Chiefs, they had a lot of talent, but they have a lot of good coaching. To bottle up all [those] young guys with their personalities and the obvious egos that come with success – to kind of manage all that – that's tough to do. I give a lot of credit to Coach [Andy] Reid, but a lot of that has to do with the quarterback. It's not all just the physical attributes, but there's things that go miles and miles away for the team when the quarterback is just being a leader. You talk about [Chiefs QB] Patrick Mahomes – he's young, but he's one of the first guys in that building. He's leading by example not only just by throwing the ball, but by the vocal things and making the guys believe. A lot of that stuff has to play a big role. I think building a team with talent, you need all those extra things to be a successful group and win a championship. That's just my opinion from being around [those] guys in Philadelphia with the talent that we had there."

(On what he can add to Tampa Bay's offense and if he will be OK working in a limited role)

"I only can control what I can control. If it's five carries, if it's 10 carries, whatever it is, I'm willing to give it my best effort – 100 percent. I can't really complain – I had zero touchdowns and zero carries in the Super Bowl, so just to be on this team and help out and be part of it. They're building something special here – I truly believe that. Any way possible I'm willing to help out and contribute."

(On being a reliable pass-catching running back throughout his career and what that adds to the running game)

"Especially I think with Tom Brady in this case, that's one of the first things I asked him is, 'Hey, make sure you let me know what you want out of the running backs from receiving, because I know you did a lot of that.' I reached out to [former Patriots RB] Dion Lewis – we're good friends – and just asked him about what Tom likes in receiving backs. [I am] probably going to reach out to [Patriots RB] James White next. That's something that I don't really think is too hard. I've had to beat linebackers and linemen in the hole and stuff like that, so just to run a route and beat a guy – I feel more comfortable with that. You're getting the ball in space and when you're doing that, you also become a threat. Now, the regular check down for other teams is 'OK, let the back get the check down.' But now, we actually throw it to him. You create different holes and seams for other positions. So, I look forward to that. I really do. Then, the best thing about that is you get tackled by a little safety or a corner here and there, not by a big linebacker [or] like [Ndamukong] Suh, those type of guys."

(On his relationship with former NFL RB Frank Gore, how he's been able to maintain good health and drive throughout his career and why he wants to continue playing at his age)

"I think since I've been a kid, I've loved to compete. When somebody may say you can't do something or asks if you can still do something, it makes you want to go. That's kind of my situation. I trained with Frank Gore each summer and he's always competing and competing and competing. We work out with the younger guys to see if we still got it and we beat up on the younger guys. It's one of those things – I've been playing this game since I was five years old, so I look forward to playing it. There's going to be a time where it might be time to go, but when you compete against the younger guys and you're giving them a run for their money, it's like, 'Why would I stop?' I love this game. That's really my attitude."

(On the challenge that comes with being a team with high levels of talent and expectations heading into the season)

"Some things you can't control. If you do everything right and you have the leadership and talent, the desire, guys want to win – anything can happen in this game. But, if you have those things, I think the chances that you will succeed are very high. At the end of the day, you can't control everything. Sometimes the ball may roll this way or that way – not in your favor. But, the ultimate goal is just to play together, help each other out and potentially you get that championship."

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