Sportress of Blogitude

Gerald McCoy texted Jameis Winston ahead of showdown with former team

Gerald McCoy may be unhappy with how things played out when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut him loose in the offseason, but he continues to have former teammate James Winston’s back.

McCoy, who caught on with the Carolina Panthers after the Bucs’ new coaching staff released him in May after nine seasons with the team, will face his former teammates on Thursday Night Football in Week 2.

McCoy saw from afar how Winston was raked over the coals following a brutal Week 1 showing in a 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a horrible performance in which the Bucs QB threw three interceptions, including two pick-sixes.

The veteran defensive end revealed this week that he reached out to Winston via text this week to offer words of encouragement.

“I texted Jameis and told him, keep his head up. Media has been trying to tear him down,” McCoy said, via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud. People are saying, “Ah, same old Jameis.’ All this stuff. I just told him, “Keep your head up. It’s the next game.’ Not this game. Skip this game and go to the next one. Play bad in this one and then fix it.

“I told him, “Keep your head up. Don’t worry about what they said. We all have bad games.”

Winston responded in kind on Tuesday by praising McCoy while speaking to reporters.

While McCoy has a definite beef with a new regime in Tampa led by Bruce Arians, he still has love for the organization, saying he intends to retire as a Buccaneer when his NFL career is said and done. It’s clear as well that McCoy holds Winston in high regard despite the quarterback’s ongoing struggles.