Rookie DEs Can Shine After Lockout

July 6th, 2011

In separate interviews with Justin Pawlowski, The Commish of WDAE-AM 620, both Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn acknowledged they might not grasp the playbook for a while but they already know how to get to a quarterback and drive his body into the turf.

(Perhaps they can teach Kyle Moore.)

Interestingly, in a position-by-position examination of how rookies may or may not be succesful following a lockout-shortened offseason, longtime NFL scout and executive Greg Gabriel writes that pass rushers are among those who can be expected to deliver an impact quickly. Gabriel penned his piece for

On defense, linemen probably have the best chance to play early, especially if they are outstanding pass rushers. At the least, the good pass rushers can play in passing situations and just be turned loose. It may take a bit longer to play on running downs only because the coaches have to be sure they know the defense. A simple mistake can lead to a big play because the defender is out of position.

Joe is very intrigued by this take. It makes a ton of sense. It also could further explain why rockstar general manager Mark Dominik waited to snatch two defensive ends with his first two picks of 2011, knowing a prolonged lockout was inevitable.

Joe’s just going to hope either Bowers or Clayborn is healthy and exceptional. If the Bucs strike gold on just one of those guys, they should be in great shape going forward.

31 Responses to “Rookie DEs Can Shine After Lockout”

  1. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I just hope Clayborn goes the GMC route and cuts some of that gut. He looks pudgy as heck for a DE. Perhaps GMC has already instilled that idea in Clayborn given their recent outings together.

  2. HFXBUC Says:

    It’s interesting to note the emphasis Gabriel puts on being in position as a key to a players effectiveness especially a young defensive line…. I’m sure glad we don’t have a young D-line, even so it would be great if the Bucs had a player on defence who excelled at getting players into position. Maybe we can find a highly effective FA MLB who knows our defence, who is never injured and is a proven on field leader. Hey, maybe we can sign Barrett Rudd away from….oh wait a second….

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    Yeah look how well that’s worked the past two years…….NOT!

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    deeb, i’m pretty sure clayborn’s plan after the draft was to try and loose 5-10 pounds. i wouldn’t want him any smaller than 275-280 given that he’s more of a mauler than a speed rusher. he’ll never look like the “prototype” d-end.

  5. Dave Says:


    You Ruud apologists act like no other player in the history of the NFL has ever been as smart and has ever been able to position players.

    It doesn’t matter, the longer this goes, it appears the logical thing is for Ruud to be signed to a 1 or 2 year deal with the option for him to cut loose after 1. The longer this goes I do not see another team offering him enough to lure him away… but who knows.

    Personally, I think McKenzie cans tep up and do what is neccessary but we’ll see.

  6. Dave Says:

    As far as pass rushers coming in on passing downs to be turned loose…. wouldn’t this be the guess regardless of a lockout?

    As far as Clayborne with a little gut, I don’t care as long as he can play. He is a power guy. I seem to remember Sapp was not the leanest guy around.

  7. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @gotbbucs Yeah. did a “Welcome to the Bucs” video with Clayborn. They were showing him around One Buc Palace and he spoke of losing 5-10 lbs in order to be faster. I was just hoping that, similar to GMC’s weight plan, he loses 10-15 lbs of fat but gains 5-10 lbs of muscle respectively instead of just losing 5 lbs of fat. Even though he would have only lost 5 lbs or so of total weight, he would have actually changed his composition to being more muscular and leaner instead of just less fat. Seems like that would lead to a bigger increase in speed(because of less fatty weight) and power(because of increased musculature).

  8. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Dave True, but Sapp was certainly an anomaly. Clayborn could carry that same moniker, but probability suggests otherwise.

  9. the_buc_realist Says:

    There is not alot of difference between being a rookie and not knowing where to be in position, and being a veteran in position and physically being pushed out of position

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    How much worse can the Bucs rushing defense be than last? 2009 the Bucs rushing D was 32nd. Last year the Bucs rushing D was 28th! I’m willing to bet that anyone they put at MLB will improve these numbers. I don’t hear any of the secondary (7th in passing D) complain because the D lineman weren’t getting any pass rush! Everyone acts like Ruud’s play & play calling are something special. Trust me; being last in rushing defense IS nothing special!

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Actually there is a huge difference.

    Look at all the top MLBs and they have a quality line in front of them. That’s where the issue for the Bucs has been. By this time next year, that issue should be well behind us.

    While I agree that Ruud needs more strength, I also think he is a smart player. He reads defenses well.

    If you put a rookie in there right away, this defense will be a wreck. The young Dline will be trying to compensate for the weakness at MLB and that will delay their own development…and two of those guys are rookies too.

    It’s better to put in Ruud and have Foster as a relief guy, rotating him in for experience.

    Remember…the defensive rookies are getting almost no exposure to the defensive playbook, and the longer this lockout goes, the less prepared they will be to start.

    Pity Freeman in hte first half of the year. Might be a good time to give Johnson or Carpenter some reps.

  12. Pete Dutcher Says:

    scratch that freeman comment…kid distracted me, lol.

  13. Brandon Says:

    Joe, the primary reason the Bucs took two DEs this year while taking two DTs last season, is that last season the DT position was extremely deep and talented, and this past season the DE position was extremely deep and talented… and both were needs. Lucky us.

  14. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Maybe, in 16 NFL games, Clayborn can surpass the earth-shattering 3 sacks that he had last year playing a 13 game big 10 schedule. LOL

    How do you play an entire season of pass rushing a qb who throws in the neighborhood of 30 times against you – that is roughly 400 passing downs – and you end the year with 3 sacks. Oh, yes I forgot that was GMC’s production as well. I think if both of these guys stay healthy and play the entire season – combined they may end up with 7 or 8 SACKS!

    Tim Crowder alone should have that many. Roy Miller, if he plays a lengthy career, may end his career with 7 or 8 sacks. I believe that Roy had an unbelievable ZERO last year (but I may be mistaken).

    Bowers if healthy should apply pressure. Price appears to be ready to apply considerable pressure to the Buffet Line at the local Ponderosa.

  15. K2theSoldier Says:

    I’m glad you’re able to laugh at your own jokes Thomas. Because nobody else is.

  16. Garv Says:

    Speaking as a fan who has followed the Bucs and the NFL for many years, I’m very excited about the direction the FO has taken with the defense and the defensive line. Everyone knows we need to apply pressure to opposing QB’s, that that pressure will make the entire D better and their jobs a little easier.

    There are always going to be “experts” who believe they are smarter than everyone else, particularly those who actually make a living in the NFL as opposed to those typing behind screen names. Just because these self professed “experts” exist most certainly does not mean I have to buy into their negativity and their irritating contrarian style designed to shake things up.

    McCoy, Price, Crowder, Miller, Bowers, Clayborn? Well, excuse ME for thinking the best DL in years is just around the corner. I’m just a fan.

  17. Dave Says:

    THOMAS 2.2 is right. mcCoy will not get better, Clayborne will suck, Miller is a compelte bust and we should sign Chucky back as coach tomorrow.

    MY G*D…. are you always this pleasant and optimistic in life? Being realistic is one thing, being completely negative ALL THE TIME ABOUT EVERYTHING is just plain and simple: being a D*CK.

    You can’t possibly be married…………….

  18. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    My comments were positive on Crowder and Bowers (and have also been positive on many others). How can I be a negative hater when I compliment those I believe to be deserving as well? How do you reconcile that?

    I believe that Free, Ruud, Winslow, DJ, Mike Will, D Penn, Ronde, Cody etc are very good players. I love Greg Olson as a coach and think that Dom has done a surprisingly good job.

    I just think that McCoy is nothing but a mouth so far, and I did not like the Clayborn pick because of his low production at Iowa last year. I have always believed that the transition will be more slow and difficult if you are not productive at the college level (which also was the case for GMC – I believe that he underachieved at OU – research his numnersd there).

    You sheep are like girls at a Justin Bieber concert, you are all giddy and think that everything done by this org is correct and will work out. I am realistic – I think that some components of the team and org are good (most notably Free) and others are not (most notably the Glazers, Rah and the extremely green front 7 with the exception of Ruud).

    That should not be so offensive to you sheep.

  19. Freeman4President Says:

    Really Thomas, what part of Clayborns game didn’t you like specifically? I am interested to see your perspective of what flaws exist in a D linemans game? Surely with all your years playing Maddon you have great insight on how D end should be played…

  20. Freeman4President Says:


  21. gruss222 Says:

    Just another broken Thomas2.2 record. Always the same rhetoric.

  22. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    2.2 inches is the only sheep on the blog. I wish I could see his face when his boy Grimm gets benched for TJack. Players WANT to play their butts off for Coach Morris, players didn’t even want to play in Tampa under Gruden. As far as I’m concerned Raheem is one of the best young up and coming coaches in the league, admittedly I would’ve preferred he first would’ve been a DC before being a HC; but he’s seriously grown on me over the past year. I’ve never heard so many players go out of their way to emphasize that they fight their rears off for a coach.

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Really, that’s what you consider a positive comment? You really are a negative little man. Fact is, you don’t know sh%t. You are nothing, you always have been nothing, and you always will be nothing. You have absolutely no credentials, and no one takes you for anything more than an old, grouchy, pessimistic little b!%ch. You can call me and everyone else a sheep over and over again, but that simple fact will never change. Every single post you have ever made has at minimum a sprinkle of negativity, but always a huge scoop of bullspit. I know you think you are being realistic, but if you lived in the real world you would know that (even if true) no one wants to hear negativity from the same person over and over again (even Eric learned that). That person quickly gains the reputation of being an arse hole, and people gravitate away from that person.

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    Tommy Boy, I would relish the opportunity to have you call me a “Sheep” to my face. I would probably show you the other end of your @sshole in about 2 seconds. And I promise you would learn what the word “Respect” means in about 3 seconds. Your about as much of a realist as a Casey Anthony juror. The thing that sucks is we have to put up with your crap because we like Joe and this site. One thing I hope you learn when you grow up is that sometimes you should just go with the flow. Being right can be wrongful when it offends everyone in a room. It’s one thing to offend someone or several people occasionally, but when you offend everybody all of the time, you have serious problem. My grandfather used to say “You’re always talking when you should be listening”. So even though you think your right all of the time, the majority of people in the room think your wrong, and when you say the same negative thing repeatedly, it makes some, like me, want to choke the everlovin $h!t out of you.

  25. Posey99 Says:

    2.2 I agree man give it a break. This is a TEAM SPORT as a fan you should be supportive of your team and cheer them on. If you do not have anything nice to say then keep your mouth shut or pick another team. this isn’t some corporate communist corporation to critique its football man its suppose to be fun.

  26. McBuc Says:

    Here we go again with the “sheep”. If being positive makes you a sheep, than repeating yourself OVER AND OVER with the same ignorant crap…makes you a stubborn jack ass.

  27. Gary Says:

    Thomas just man up and promise us all this: when gmc and Adrian start playing like the monster D linemen we all know they are, you will finally admit that you don’t know $hit about football and just cry all the time like a little girl for no reason.

    After the dline improves and Ruud is replaced (this year or next) with no significant dropoff, practically everything you said will be wrong. If that happens have the balls to admit it.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    thomas, this is an awfully tight corner you’ve painted yourself into with all of these negative claims to fame.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    He won’t respond because he knows better.

  30. Captain Stagger Says:

    Reel it in folks… Did clayborn under preform in the sack department his senior year….yes! Did his college coach shift AC’s focus to eating double teams and stopping the run…yes! (at least that’s what he told the media) Is 11 sacks in college a bad number???? I do believe he was good enough to pull that off.

  31. McBuc Says:

    Capt, this does not change the fact that T2 is in fact a “jack ass”. Stubborn and redundant. If I am a “sheep” for seeing the glass as half full, than he is a “jack ass” for sticking to the same ignorant rants over and over and over and over….