The Good, Bad and Ugly Of Adrian ClaybornApril 29th, 2011
Many readers know of JoeRaysFan.com and Joe’s proud partnership he has with Cork Gaines, the proprietor of the absolute best Rays blog on the interwebs, RaysIndex.com. It just so happens that Cork, who grew up in Carrollwood, is a Hawkeye.
No matter where Cork is, whether it is New York or back home in the Tampa Bay area or his current residence in Austin, Tex., Cork always finds a way to watch his Hawkeyes, and the Bucs, each and every weekend.
By Cork Gaines
As a proud graduate of the University of Iowa, I did not miss a single play by Adrian Clayborn this year. So you can imagine that I am damn excited that he will be in a Bucs uniform this year. Here are a few thoughts on what I saw this past season…
THE GOOD: This guy is going to be an instant fan favorite. He is colorful and demonstrative. But he is also the “underdog” type. That is, he not a workout freak. He doesn’t have the best body. He is not the strongest guy and he is not the fastest. But his motor never stops. And every time you look up he has beat a bigger, stronger offensive lineman (or two) and is chasing the QB. He is a football player and he just has a knack for making plays.
THE BAD: Where you have to worry is that sometimes, grit and guts and determination can get you by in college, but not in the NFL. That being said, it was the Big Ten, so the offensive linemen Clayborn was beating were not slouches. There is some thought that he could really dominate in the NFL if he ever dedicated himself to get in shape. But how many guys suddenly morph into gym rats after they go to the NFL and get the big paycheck?
THE TELLING: If I had to pick one guy to compare Clayborn to, it would be Warren Sapp. Clayborn is not a physical specimen, but he is stronger than he looks, and has some deceptive quickness. He is a character and just seems to have a knack for getting to the quarterback. Sapp had his fair share of sacks. But how many more plays did we see where Sapp had broken through and forced the QB to scramble out of the pocket with Sapp on his heels? If Clayborn is playing well, we will see a lot of those.
As long as he makes plays, he will instantly be one of the most popular guys on the team and we will see a lot of “Clayborn” jerseys in the stands on Sundays.