Clayborn Likes New ResponsibilityJuly 25th, 2014
One interesting thing about this year’s training camp will be how guys perform under the new regime, guys who may not have hit their ceilings yet.
Enter Adrian Clayborn. Formerly the starting right defensive end, he has had an up and down career in his first three seasons with Tampa Bay. The former first round pick blew out a knee two years ago and that may have hindered his production last year.
Clayborn, in a manner of speaking, is in his contract year after the Bucs declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Also, he has been moved from right end to left end after the Bucs signed defensive end Michael Johnson.
Clayborn did not log any plays at left defensive end while playing four years at Iowa and the braintrust of the Bucs defensive coaches last year tinkered with Clayborn on the left side.
“Right now my goal is to get comfortable at left defensive end and win a starting spot and get ready for a great season,” Clayborn said. “It is just repetition and to get more comfortable on the left side.
“I have to rotate my hips the other way, that’s just about it. It’s different in that I will not be coming from the quarterback’s blindside any more. The rush is a little different.”
One of the lasting, nauseous memories of last season was once, Clayborn was asked to cover speedy Saints running back Darren Sproles in pass coverage. Just what kind of twisted mind would hatch such a coverage to have a defensive end attempt to cover one of the fastest players in the NFL downfield in pass defense?
That nonsense won’t be repeated this fall. Clayborn admitted he has one main goal, and it isn’t to chase running backs downfield on pass coverage. Rather, it is to plant opposing quarterbacks like a pallet of St. Augustine grass.
“I’m more comfortable [with a singular focus of attacking quarterbacks] and I think that will show on the field,” Clayborn said. “I am not that smart so [concentrating] on one thing is good,” Clayborn joked.