Film Study: Why Gerald McCoy was brought to the Las Vegas Raiders

Over the past two seasons, the Raiders defensive line has been a work in progress. They’ve brought in guys like Yannick Ngakoue, Carl Nassib, and Quinton Jefferson among others, all brought in to fix one of the league’s worst pass rushes.

However, after the first full day in pads, the Raiders knew what they had wasn’t enough, especially at the 3-technique spot.

“I’ve always been a 3-technique my entire career,” Gerald McCoy told NFL Insider Josina Anderson late Wednesday night. “I’m going to do what I always do. I’m going to get upfield and disrupt and get after the passer. This is an incredible division with a lot of good teams.”

The 6-4, 300-pound defensive linemen was the No. 3 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft. McCoy has been selected to six Pro Bowls, and he was a first-team AP All-Pro in 2013. He’s played in 139 games, has tailed 334 tackles, 59.5 sacks, and 153 quarterback hits. Being able to get to the quarterback is natural for McCoy.

McCoy was released from the Buccaneers prior to the 2019 season, after spending nine seasons with them. After being released, he spent one season with the Panthers, before heading to Dallas and signing a 3-year deal. A ruptured quad tendon during training camp ended his season with the Cowboys before it began. This injury kept him out of football for a full season.

Now healthy, Gerald McCoy is ready to show that he can still compete at the highest level. “Over the offseason, I lost a lot of weight to get to where I’m at. I really been strictly focusing on my nutrition and diet so my body can heal better at my age,” McCoy said.

Gerald McCoy now heads to the Las Vegas Raiders, and will be competing for playing time with Quinton Jefferson, Kendal Vickers, Solomon Thomas, Darius Philon, and Darius Stills. All six of these defensive linemen will be competing for snaps at the 3-technique spot as Johnathan Hankins has the one-technique locked down.

McCoy has a lot left

The concept of winning at the point of attack isn’t something you lose with age. On this first play below, Gerald McCoy wins with the most effective way to win, the old fashion jumping of the snap.

McCoy is lined up in the 3-technique, and all-pro left tackle David Bahktari has a simple down block. However, McCoy realizes that Bahktiari is leaning just a little bit towards him. He knows that if Bahktari is blocking down, that means the left guard is also blocking down, which will give McCoy a small crease between the guard and tackle.

As Rodgers snaps the ball, McCoy times it perfectly, bursting through the gap and blowing up the 3rd down play, forcing the Packers to settle for a field goal.

Source: NFL Gamepass

In this next play below, the Falcons left guard and left tackle try to double team McCoy, who splits the double team and resets the line of scrimmage two yards into the backfield. Instead of bending it back inside, the running back bounces outside where two Panthers defenders waited to tackle the back for a loss. Although McCoy doesn’t get a credit to the stat sheet, these types of plays are paramount to winning football games.

Source: NFL Gamepass

In this final play below, you are going to see McCoy line up at the one-technique, something he doesn’t do too much. Russell Wilson is going to hand the running back the ball on a trap play, and McCoy reads that the center is blocking him outwards.

McCoy punches the center in the chest and controls him all the way through. Once he sees the ball in the running backs hands, he rips the linemen downwards, and blows the play up.

Source: NFL Gamepass

Age is just a number. Gerald McCoy showed just two seasons ago with the Carolina Panthers that he is still an explosive football player that can help a team win.

Does McCoy fix the Raiders pass rush issues? That is something to be seen. However, what McCoy provides for the Raiders is a player who can have a presence on the inside and potentially get after the quarterback, something they haven’t been able to do since they had Richard Seymour, almost ten years ago.

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