McDonald Hoping Success Wears OffJune 16th, 2014
Does Joe need to remind anyone how rotten the Bucs were rushing the quarterback last year? In pains Joe to even think about it much less type about it.
It’s one reason why general manager Jason Licht went out and bought Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald, a defensive end and a tackle, respectively. You don’t run out and buy two defensive linemen if your line is anywhere near average.
It will be interesting to see what McDonald brings. He’s coming from Seattle where he started in the Super Bowl, but rarely started in the regular season. He is expected to, at worst, battle Akeem Spence for the starting tackle spot opposite Gerald McCoy.
It seems the Bucs are hoping winning habits from McDonald spread to the rest of the defensive front, notes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
He has started only two regular-season games in his four-year career, but he started in the Super Bowl in February, stepping up with five tackles and a Peyton Manning fumble recovery in Seattle’s victory over Denver.
So McDonald joins a defensive line that also added Cincinnati’s Michael Johnson in free agency (the two were teammates with the Bengals in 2009-10), and Smith has talked about the importance of setting the tone for a defense from the line of scrimmage.
“We bring a different attitude, a chemistry the team has but needs a lot more of,” McDonald said. “They already had great defensive linemen here, so for us to add to that line is a blessing. We’re bringing a part of who we are. We’re a growing defense, a young defense. It’s no one-man defense out here. The biggest thing for us is trying to form as a group, that way we can be a great D.”
Auman also writes how Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier raves about McDonald’s influence with his new teammates.
The Bucs defense showed promise last year. Just look how many turnovers they forced. But the offense was so miserable, they could not convert those turnovers into points. The Bucs were fifth in the NFL with 31 takeaways. Every team ahead of them in takeaways was in the playoffs. The Rams were the only other team in the top 10 in takeaways with a losing record.
So the only thing missing from the defense to be really good is to get heat on the quarterback. That is largely why McDonald was paid to come here.