Clinton McDonald Is “The Glue”April 26th, 2014
The Bucs have a young, experienced defensive line. That’s by design. Newcomer and Super Bowl champ defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, 27, is the elder statesman by a few weeks.
Joe talked to Lovie Smith about McDonald yesterday, and Lovie already has a feel for what McDonald is delivering to his linemates.
“He’s the glue,” Lovie said, referring to how McDonald’s quiet intensity and approach fits in.
Joe can say McDonald certainly appears to be a sharp contrast in personality to outspoken and lighthearted Gerald McCoy, though both are very much rooted in their religion.
McDonald and his former Bengals teammate Michael Johnson — together prior to McDonald’s three seasons under Pete Carroll in Seattle — also bring a great deal of playoff experience to the Bucs. Joe thinks that’s extremely valuable and impacts their entire approach.
For all of McCoy’s strengths and growth as a leader, he’s never “been there,” and now he’s surrounded by guys who have been.
Obviously, there’s a ton of confidence in McDonald on the field. That’s why the Bucs pounced on him in free agency. McDonald is a very late bloomer by NFL standards, breaking out in his fifth season last year. McDonald was cut by Seattle after training camp and re-signed before Week 3.
Pete Carroll painted a picture of a man who was ignited by getting cut and lost 15 pounds in two weeks before returning to Seattle on a mission that led to 5 1/2 sacks and a major role on the Super Bowl champs.
Joe can’t wait to study what kind of pass rusher McDonald really is. Lovie has even hinted that McDonald can come off the left edge.
Just three months till training camp.