The Rising Stock Of Will GholstonFebruary 17th, 2014
Last year when (now former) Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik drafted defensive lineman Will Gholston on the third day of the draft, Joe thought the Bucs may have got a bargain. The guy had the physical tools. The issue was, could he be coached up?
Gholston told Joe he learned plenty from former front-7 coach Bryan Cox. Initially, it seemed Gholston may have been a September casualty of the final cuts.
He survived but started on the inactive list. Gradually, he improved and not just earned a spot on the active gameday roster, but started seeing playing time. By the time the season ended, Gholston was a starter and was making more plays on the defensive line than anyone not named “Gerald McCoy.”
Gholston has even impressed the spreadsheeters over at Pro Football Focus. They believe Gholston should be starting in 2014 over Da’Quan Bowers, believes Khaled Elsayed.
We’re going with William Gholston over Da’Quan Bowers at defensive end, well aware that could change. Unfortunately, Bowers hasn’t lived up to the hype and while the team wanted him to replace Michael Bennett, he failed to lock down a starting job and contributed just 212 snaps and 17 quarterback disruptions as a situational player.
While Gholston earned and deserves to compete for a starting job, Joe isn’t quite yet prepared to shovel dirt on Bowers’ days with the Bucs.
Joe has faith that new Bucs coach Lovie Smith can resurrect the Bucs defense; that he can find ways to allow defensive linemen to breathe on the quarterback. Thus, Joe thinks the best thing that has happened to Bowers in years is Lovie being hired.
Still, Bowers has scant time to turn things around. He’s now under his third head coach and defensive coordinator, and neither the new coach nor the general manager has any professional or emotional ties to him. Rarely do under-performing players see a fourth coaching staff (in a perfect NFL world, no player would see a fourth coaching staff on the same team).
If Lovie cannot right Bowers, Joe suspects no one will.