It's not always about numbers.
Sometimes, a player can't be judged simply by what's on the stat sheet. Instead, it's their hard work and excellence on the field that tells the story.
That's the case with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl as a member of the NFC squad. It is McCoy's first Pro Bowl selection since being drafted No. 3 overall by the Bucs in 2010.
"I just wanted to play a full season," said McCoy after learning he made the Pro Bowl. "But it is definitely a gift from God. You guys have always heard me say I am just trusting in God's plan. I don't know why the injuries came, but I just trusted in the Lord and his plan for my life and I guess this was according to his plan. I am really at a loss for words. This is a dream come true. I really just don't know what to say."
After having his first two years in the league cut short due to season-ending injuries, McCoy has rebounded well and played in all 15 games this season for Tampa Bay. He doesn't have the flashiest numbers, but McCoy has posted career highs in sacks (5.0), tackles for a loss, and tackles (30). McCoy also has two passes defensed and one forced fumble.
McCoy's dominant play has also been a major reason why the Bucs have the NFL's top-ranked rush defense in yards per game and yards per carry.
"My goal was to be at my best for my team," McCoy said. "And by doing that, I was able to accomplish that I could show that I can actually play a little football. I just had some issues with my injuries. But my goal and focus this season was to just be at my best for my teammates."
And while McCoy was the only Bucs player to be initially named to the Pro Bowl roster, he may be joined by a few of his teammates.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson, running back Doug Martin, and free safety Ronde Barber were all name alternates, with Jackson and Martin being first alternates.
Another example of why numbers aren't everything can be seen in the snub of Barber.
Barber won the fan vote for the free safety position, but wasn't even named a first alternate. Apparently, the players and coaches like San Francisco's Dashon Goldson and Seattle's Earl Thomas better, even though Barber had more tackles, interceptions, and sacks than both players.
The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 27, 2013 and televised live on NBC at 7:00 pm (ET) from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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