Clayton Says He Wasn’t “Totally Committed”November 14th, 2012
The ol’ ball coach once challenged local media and said, “I dare you” to write something bad about blocking icon Michael Clayton.
The comment was funny and sad at the time (very un-Schiano-like) and, of course, the blocking icon went on to dig his own grave, aided by hands of stone and deposit slips.
Recently, the blocking icon provided an intriguing peek into Bucs history during an interview with Joe’s friends over at OffTheRecordSports.com. Clayton essentially wrote something bad about himself, admitting to having a shoddy work ethic during some of his time with the Bucs.
After that, people said I fell into coach Gruden’s dog house. You know, I’ve never had any issues or problems. I’ve always played hard and had a great relationship with my coaches and been respectful. But, you go through that ordeal and I didn’t know what that was all about. And then it was just the NFL was looking for somebody to blame. I got a lot of praise behind closed doors, but I got a lot of blame in the media. But, overall we just weren’t that good, weren’t winning many games. Had a lot of injuries. Had a lot of different quarterbacks I played with. I played with almost nine quarterback’s in my six-year tenure with the Bucs. There was a different quarterback…sometimes I had two or three quarterbacks in a year. As a receiver, that’s never a situation that’s going to give you those big numbers that you want. A lot of great receivers have suffered personal goals because of that. So that’s really what happened.
But for me mentally, after going through that for a few years being young, not fully devoting myself was another part of it. I felt that they weren’t committed to me and I lost that mental battle of not being totally committed to my job. It was a situation that I had to go through and had to mature from. Learn how to be the better man. Played special teams to redeem myself from the hole that I had for myself. I eventually got my job back by humbling myself and working my way back to the top by playing special teams. A lot of things happened and I learned a lot. It put me in position to play for the New York Giants for two years and win a Super Bowl. Because I was mentally prepared to be a true professional and lead older and younger guys. I was thankful for my tenure with the Bucs.
Now it’s unclear when Clayton wasn’t “totally committed” during his Bucs tenure. But regardless, that comment makes one of rockstar general manager Mark Dominik’s biggest signing blunders look even worse. Though it’s interesting to note that Clayton went on to earn the respect of Tom Coughlin and earn a Super Bowl ring.
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Joe’s so glad Dominik finally relieved Bucs fans from the dark days of having to watch the blocking icon disappoint repeatedly.