“I Don’t Know How To Pass Rush”December 19th, 2013
Gerald McCoy told a stunning story last night on the Buccaneers Radio Network, one that reflects terribly on Michigan State football and shines a stunning light on Bucs rookie defensive end William Gholston.
McCoy was asked on WDAE-AM 620 to talk about the recent rise of Gholston, whose playing time and performance has increased dramatically the past few games.McCoy said Gholston has risen from being beyond raw, painting a clear picture of Gholston coming to the Bucs in the fourth round of the 2013 draft as an athlete with little football knowledge.
Apparently, per McCoy, the Bucs engaged in an early spring practice drill that called for defensive linemen to use a pass rush technique. Gholston was apprehensive and McCoy told him to “just do your best pass-rush move.” Ghoslton responded, “I don’t know how to pass rush.”
Joe was taken back, but McCoy wasn’t kidding. He actually relayed that story and quote twice. McCoy also said Bucs rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence out of the University of Illinois was in nearly the same boat but not as bad, citing Spence’s scant knowledge of the game out of college.
How does that happen in major college football to a couple of guys who are known among the Buccaneers for their work ethic? Amazing.
Coincidentally, Joe asked Greg Schaino to detail Gholston’s development yesterday at One Buc Palace. The head coach painted an exciting picture.
“I’d love to,” Schiano told Joe.
“A couple of things about Will. No. 1, he’s immensely gifted, right? So he’s big, he’s fast, he’s long, he’s strong, all the things you want out of a defensive end. He came out early, so he’s a little young. His best days are clearly ahead of him. What we’ve tried to do is force feed him without suffocating him, if that makes sense. So we’ve given him what we feel was as much as he could handle early on, and maybe even a little more than he could. Right toward the beginning/middle of the season we probably gave him a little more, but Will has really come on. And now you can see the light going on in different parts of his game. He’s recognizing things more quickly. He’s playing with that strength that he has; he’s now playing with that strength.
“But again, when you’re a young player, and he’s considerably young, he came out as a junior, figuring it out a lot of your abilities kind of get squelched a little bit, and then as you start to be more comfortable with the defenses and the calls and the techniques, because it appears that you just line up and go straight ahead, but there’s a lot more to it for the defensive ends. They have to play several techniques. They have to read offensive linemen as they get up the field. What’s happened through repetition and a lot of hard work, Will has gotten better and better.”
Schiano went on to praise Gholston for taking care of his body and his great sense for batting down passes with his long arms. “I’m really fired up about him and we’re going to need him this week,” Schiano said.
All this further reinforced to Joe that the New Schiano Order knows how to develop defensive linemen. Remember, Gerald McCoy said last year that Schiano’s staff taught him how to tackle. However, that casts a dark shadow on Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, who simply haven’t gotten it done.
Joe’s inclined to conclude those guys just don’t have what it takes to be above average starters and the Bucs should move forward accepting that.