TAMPA - Only one Buccaneer, for now, will represent Tampa Bay in the Pro Bowl come January. And it may not be the one player most people expected to get that honor. Gerald McCoy was named to the NFC team, while 16-year veteran Ronde Barber was left as an alternate. If added, Barber will be in his sixth Pro Bowl.
The Buccaneers also have two other first alternates: Vincent Jackson and rookie Doug Martin.
For McCoy, if he escapes Sunday's season finale unscathed, this will be his first complete NFL season since being picked by the Buccaneers third overall in the 2010 draft. Both of his first two seasons were cut short by biceps tears--one on each arm.
He's already registered career-highs in sacks and tackles-for-loss this season, and has led a Buccaneer defense that is tops in the league against the run.
The Pro Bowl will be January 27th in Honolulu, the Sunday before the Super Bowl.
Gerald told the media after his selection that this won't be his first trip to Hawaii -- he was there this past off-season. His fiancé told him when they left that the next time they come back, they would be going for free. It turns out she knew, long before anyone else, what we came to find out Wednesday night.