Gerald McCoy already working toward next season

The NFL draft went as it was supposed to go this season – the top two picks were rookie of the year winners as St. Louis’ Sam Bradford and Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh were honored.

So, what’s next for the third pick in the draft, Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy?

He’s aware that as a defensive tackle he will be judged against what Suh, also a tackle, does with the Detroit Lions. And McCoy is set out to do something about it. Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that McCoy is already working to drop his playing weight 15 pounds to 296 for next season. He’s started training in California a month after the Bucs’ season ended.

"People were like, 'Why are going out this early?'" McCoy told Breer. "First of all, I love to play this sport. I love to play it. But this is also my job, my career, and I'm not going to do a mediocre job at what I do. I want to do the best I can. And if I'm not training now, I don't feel like I'm doing that."

McCoy started 13 games for the upstart Bucs and came on during the second half of the season. He had three sacks and was peaking when he was lost to a biceps injury. Suh had 10 sacks for the Lions and was an All Pro selection.

"I'm going to be tied-to-the-hip to this guy for the rest of my career, or at least for a while," McCoy said. "You see what he does. But I tried my best to not focus on what he did, because I had to worry about what I was doing and what I could do for my team. But you see these lists each week, rookie of the week or defensive player of the week, and you get to see what guys are doing across the league.

"So I saw that he was doing pretty well. I said, 'I kinda gotta get on my horse a little bit.' He had a great season."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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