Give Clayborn Time, Says Steve White

August 17th, 2011

Few things are more enjoyable to Joe than talking football with former Bucs defensive end Steve White (1996-2001). The man spits out great Xs and Os for the common man with more ease than Joe shovels french fries into his pie hole.

White has been on sabbatical from sharing his football insight on his blog and on radio, but Joe hopes his appearance last night on 1010 AM with Derek “Old School” Fournier of is a sign White will be treating fans again this season.

White talked all things Bucs D-line and more and urged fans to stay patient with talented Adrian Clayborn, whose impressive motor he says will carry him until he gets his technique.

“He doesn’t have that benefit of really somebody to learn behind. And that’s why I say that learning curve is going to be steep. For instance, one time [against Kansas City] I saw that he took off around the corner and it looked like a good corner to him, I bet. But he turned the corner at about nine yards. Well, in the NFL there’s very few times you’re going to find a quarterback, unless they’re running a triple reverse, that’s at nine yards. You have to cut that corner at seven yards if not six or five,” White said.

“And so that’s something he’s going to have to kinda pick up a little bit on his own because it’s one thing to say it, it’s another thing to do it. And you have to feel that. You see what I’m saying. Because when you’re running and you’re trying to pass rush it’s not like you’re counting out yards, ‘Ok, I’m at six or seven I better turn.’ You kinda have to feel that.

“Whereas in college, there are plenty of quarterbacks at seven or eight yards. There just standing there patting the ball like, ‘C’mon, sack me.’ So those are the kinds of things.

“It’s going to take some time. And hopefully people will give him time to really put it all together. But I think the future’s really bright.”

White went on to share a story of his former Bucs teammate Eric Curry, who enjoyed an indirect route to the QB. 

“We used to call it the Eric Curry route. That became our little running thing in the [defensive line] room even when [Curry] was there. You take this circuitious route to the quarterback that’s never going to really work out for you,” White said.

Joe will have more from Steve White tomorrow.

Joe’s not expecting miracles from the rookie defensive ends. Though stud play from Gerald McCoy would be damn nice, and Raheem Morris seems to think it’s on the way tomorrow.

38 Responses to “Give Clayborn Time, Says Steve White”

  1. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Mauha Deeb — Joe killed your tailgating line here. Joe asks everyone to keep comments remotely on point to the subject of the post. Thanks. –Joe

  2. Kevin Says:

    Great stuff from “Two Hand Touch” last night with Steve. I really hope he starts blogging again for the season. His DLine education is priceless! Thanks for the recap, Joe!

  3. mjmoody Says:

    No doubt seeing half the D-line on top of KC’s QB was great. In the meantime I point back to ATL v. NO followed by TB v. NO at the end of last season. 2 different ways to attack the same QB. ATL blitzes a ridiculous # of times but didn’t have the 2ndary to keep up their end. TB got only pressure but did have the 2ndary. Many times disruption in the QB’s comfort zone is enough to get the ball out and off target allowing a DB to record an INT. Hopefully enough to provide AC some time to find his feel.

  4. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Nice dose of reality for JBFers from SGW. Thanks, it is good for the fanatics to hear the truth from time to time.

    I actually love Clay’s heart and desire, it is just fantasy to think that he will give you more than Styles during his rookie year when he had 3 sacks in the big 10 last year.

    The front 4 (and likely front 7) is worse, not better, for 2011. At least we are building toward the playoffs in 2013!

  5. SteveK Says:

    Clayborn will have more than 4.5 sacks…

    His work ethic alone in practice will allow him to develop into a 5+ sack kinda guy.

  6. MikeBucFan Says:

    Give me a break Thomas, if Steve didn’t say that and Clayborn struggled you’d be yelling that he’s a bust just like you do with Mccoy. You are so pathetic it’s amazing.
    How are we worse? Because we’re getting an improved Mccoy and 2 good defensive ends? Sorry to burst your bubble, but Stylez was garbage. The line is going to be MUCH better.

  7. Kevin Says:

    @ Thomas 2.2 –

    I would be very curious to know how many sacks you expect from Clayborn, the entire DLine, and the entire defense for the 2011 season.

    I understand your skepticism, but comparison of the camp performances between 2010 and 2011 leave me optimistic for 2011.

    And for the record, my prognostications for my questions above are 6/25/35 – a significant, but not unreasonable improvement.

  8. McBuc Says:

    Kevin…Do not hold your breath. Thomas does not reply to direct questions that make sense. I do not think Steve White is saying anything different then most people on this site have been saying about Clyborn. It is the same thing Steve White and everyone said last year about mcCoy. Thomas and Tampa2 have already called mcCoy a bust, even tho he put up the same type numbers as Sapp did his rookie year.

    Thomas, what is FAN short for?

  9. Dave Says:

    I completely understand thinking the D-Line is worse because rookies are on it, but sometimes that logic is flawed.
    The DEs last year were horrendous. It is almost LIKELY that they are better this year. Based on the play at the end of the season from Bennett I would say they will be better and that does not account for how the rookies may do.

    I am not expecting double digit sacks from either rookie DE, not realistic, but if each of them and bennett getting 5+ and MASSIVE improvement from McCoy…. leads me to believe the D-Line can get 20 sacks this year wich is almost what the entire team had last year.

    Bottom line is they are building for the long term and last year proved to you that you can be successful in the short term while doing it. There is no reason for me to believe the front 7 will be any worse off. I believe with the rookies and Foster and new D-Line coaches that they will be better against the run and pass simply because they are going to be more aggressive.

    Sure mental mistakes will happen but there is no reason Black and Hayes and Barber can not help them make up for some of it, Ruud’s brain is not going to be THAT big of a deal.

  10. Kevin Says:

    @ McBuc

    I know, I know… Shame on me for trying to interject logic and reason 🙂

    I realize that I wear pewter-colored glasses, but do attempt to remain objective. When people make claims that are countercurrent to my opinion/understanding, I want to know what makes them think that way. In this case, I just want to see what a pessimistic fan (Thomas 2.2) thinks is a realistic sack total for the season. Always interesting to see how the other side thinks.

  11. jvato24 Says:

    The front 4 (and likely front 7) is worse, not better, for 2011. At least we are building toward the playoffs in 2013!

    This is an opinion and you state it like a fact. Ill bet you the Defense is ranked higher .. Has more TFL and more Sacks … By quite a few

  12. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Woops! Sorry, Joe. I forgot. Especially the first post! My bad.

  13. McBuc Says:

    I hear ya Kevin, it would be interesting to know. maybe we will get lucky and he will answer the question. I figure 8 sacks for Clyborn, and 25 for the line. Look for some new blits packages, so Black, Geno, Foster, and barber will combine for 6 more. We may even see 1 or 2 from our safety positions.

  14. McBuc Says:

    Claybonr’s 8 are included in my line 25 number. 10 will come from McCoy.

  15. McBuc Says:

    I may have to up my line number to 30.

  16. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    The defensive line got so few sacks last year that Bowers and Clayborn would have to be corpses to not luck into more sacks than our guys had last year.

  17. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    There will be more sacks with Clayborn and Bowers. That’s a guarantee. That doesn’t make me a blind homer. More sacks than the almost none the defensive ends had last year will be pretty easy and not that much of an accomplishment.

  18. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    jvato- the front 4 is worse? Really? You really think Kyle Moore and Stylez White(our starting DE’s for most of last year) played better than Bowers and Clayborn will this year? You really think that? Stylez- 4.5 sacks, Kyle Moore- 0 sacks

    You really think Bowers and Clayborn can’t rack up more than 4.5 sacks between them this year? If you knew anything about Bowers and Clayborn you would know that at the absolute minimum they are GUARANTEED to be far better run defenders than Kyle Moore, Stylez White, Tim Crowder etc. Don’t expect double digit sacks from these guys year 1 but do expect improved all around defensive end play.

  19. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Seriously rookie schmookie. I know it typically takes a couple years for defensive ends to develop into double digit sack guys but it doesn’t take long at all for them to develop past the level of play of the guys we had starting here last year. Not long at all.

  20. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Isn’t it funny how Thomas is now all of a sudden a Stylez White fan? Not one word about him until he’s not on the team! What are the chances he would be singing a different tune had we re-signed him?

  21. jvato24 Says:

    BecklesHeartsRuud – My bad .. I copied Thomas 2.2 quote and didnt put his name. I didnt say that

  22. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Jvato- oh no problem man. I thought that was out of character comment for you. I should have realized only Thomas would come up with a titanically dumbass statement like that but I quite often skip right past his comments so I didn’t realize you were responding to him.

    Hawaiian- Yeah its pretty hilarious man. To hear Thomas tell it he would be build his own NFL dream team starting with Barrett Ruud and Stylez White… with Gruden coaching. I am surprised we haven’t heard about how much worse our TE core is now that “rah-rah” made the mistake of letting the amazing John Gilmore go.

  23. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Oh yeah and the linebacking core is garbage now that we lost Niko “career special teamer” Koutovides to the Patriots. Koutovides will make multiple pro-bowls under Bill Belichek. “Rah-Rah” is just an amateur who didn’t realize how great Koutovides.

  24. RastaMon Says:

    Gaines Adams had a whole lot of Eric Curry path to the sack….RIP

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    really thomas, it’s pure fantasy to think that clayborn could get 4.5 sacks this year? even you should be able to see how stupid that comment is. can we get these damn games started so fools like this can get back under thier rocks when the wins start.

  26. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Like the spineless punk he is, Thomas has gone into hiding … until Joe fires him up with another article about GMC, Raheem, or the Glazers.

  27. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Ok Kevin: the strongest basis for a sack prediction for clay is last year: 3 sacks against big 10 tackles in 13 games. Also, the last rookie de we drafted, Moore, has 0 sacks in 2 years. Thus 3-4 sacks is very likely where clay will end up if he remains healthy. If Bowers stays healthy he will have more, maybe 6.5-7.5.

    Nobody knows about McCoy bc he has been hurt; at the 3 technique he should be able to stink and get 4-5 sacks, which is what I would predict for him. I think the D Line can probably end up with 21-24 sacks, add another 5-6 from the lbs and maybe Ronde.

    Don’t get me wrong, don’t dislike these d lineman (except for gmc at #3 overall), I just know that they will not be good THIS year. I think crowder, Bennett and Okam are better than their younger alternatives right now. Late last year confirmed this – the D get better as soon as gmc got hurt (look the skins game, gmc plays the first half and NFL record rushing yards, he goes out and immediate improvement).

  28. Kevin Says:

    Thomas – thanks for the prediction.

    So, you’re going with 26-30 sacks for the team. IIRC, we had 26 last year, so your prediction would have us on track for last year, maybe a touch better.

    I completely agree that Clayborn has room to grow and don’t expect double digit sacks from him (or anyone else on our DLine) but I like what I see out of the DLine thus far and have higher expectations from them this year. Sky’s the limit over the next few years with a young DLine that grows together.

  29. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Beckles: I would not build a team with Ruud, styles and niko but If I wanted a better chance to win in 2011 I would have paid and retained all 3 (or better players) as a stopgap until maturity and as insurance against injury. That is what teams who want to win at all costs do. Pay and keep vets until beaten out, not draft replacements inject them into the lineup before you have seen them play and cut loose proven vets to save money.

    We don’t win at all costs. Our owners view winning as “low costs.” if the NFL allowed it I am sure that they would say shares of this team on the Singapore stock exchange.

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Really, the D got better as soon as GMC went out? So the shutout win in SF (first time they were shutout at home in over 30 years, and about the same amount of time since we even won there) meant nothing? I guess if he didn’t play, Gore would have run for no yardage, huh? Your hatred for him is embarrassing. To say he will stink and get 4-5 sacks is a nice little built in excuse, but complete bullspit. 5 sacks for a DT is good (not great), but certainly not stinking (especially in year 2). But I know I’m talking to the wall on this one, as always. You really need to get over the #3 pick thing already. You are like a nagging female, you can’t seem to move on with your life, you just can’t let it go. Pathetic.

    So you are going to predict Clayborn has the exact same production as his senior year? Ok, fair enough. I disagree, but we will have to wait and see. From what I have read, he has been giving Penn fits in camp (however I acknowledge that camp is not games). Numbers from college don’t always translate into the pro game. The game is different, and often times the players are used differently. However, using Kyle Moore as an example is stupid in so many ways. First of all, he hasn’t even played a full season. Second, he was a day 2 pick (not a high pick). Third, he’s not Adrian Clayborn. Every man is different. Some develop right away, some take longer, others don’t develop at all. Even the best of organizations draft busts, believe it or not.

  31. gotbbucs Says:

    thomas, i would wager to guess that you never watched clayborn play a game in college and have no clue what iowa asks of thier d-ends. i’m from iowa, i’ve seen the games, and i know exactly what the bucs have in this guy.

  32. MikeBucFan Says:

    There we go Thomas! Those are 2 very well thought out answers (I don’t really care if they’re wrong or not). You’re learning my boy. You weren’t disrespectful to anybody and didn’t call anyone a sheep! Now if you could just quit taking shots at the Glazers/Raheem/Dominik in every post you’d be on the right track.

  33. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Not sure if you are aware of this little known fact, but an NFL team is only allowed to keep a certain number of players. That being said, to retain those 3 studs you mentioned, we would have to cut 3 of the guys currently slated to make the team (wait, let me check my math…….yep, 3 guys). So, who would you like to see cut? I’ll take my chances with McKenzie over Niko, but that’s just me. Fact is, we are going to still have to cut guys that can play in this league, which is a far cry from where we have been in the last 5-7 years.

    Nothing develops talent as quickly as playing in the games. No matter how much you study in the classroom and practice, nothing substitutes for real game action. Our young guys are developed beyond their years as a result of their playing time over the last couple years, and we will reap the rewards for years to come. Where would Mike Williams be if we had kept Antonio Bryant, or brought in Brandon Marshall? We have a veteran team, and they are almost all younger than 25! That’s crazy, but true. As for our cheapness, talk to me in a year or two when all our guys are ready for big time contracts, and we actually will have the money to afford them, without having to get rid of players to do it.

  34. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “thomas, i would wager to guess that you never watched clayborn play a game in college and have no clue what iowa asks of thier d-ends.”


    I would wager everything I own that you are right gotbucs. However, I would also wager everything I own that Thomas will claim the exact opposite, and he will quickly google a review on Clayborn, copy it, and try to look like he knows what he is talking about.

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    Wow, another thread completely devoted to Thomasina’s garbage and BS. What a waste of energy.

    It’s nice to hear from Steve White again. Glad you were able to chat with him Joe. Good Job.

    I watched the entire KC game play by play in slow motion for the defense. Because I’m not an expert like the little twerp2.2, take this with a grain of salt. #94 has a motor unlike any defensive lineman we have seen in Pewter in some time. He is all out on every play and constantly running down the ball and the play, no matter where. I’m not predicting any sacks for any of them because I don’t know, but I see the potential and there should be marked improvement. I am cautiously optimistic that this may be the best D line in Tampa since 02′, with the potential to be even better.

    It is very unfortunate that every thread now on JBF is devoted to arguing with an idiot that can’t recognize his A$$ from a hole in the ground.

  36. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Hawaii- Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! Thats exactly what Thomas will do buddy! Seriously gotbbucs is right. Clayborn has talked about in interviews how the defensive line philosophy for Iowa in 2010 changed from his stellar junior year. He said the coaches asked him to bulk up and play more of a read and react style like the Bucs played(and failed miserably at)under Todd Wash. Now under Keith Millard he will be going back to the one gap pentetrating style of play that sparked his amazing junior year.

  37. OAR Says:

    Do you guys hear that sucking sound?
    You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Thomass Zone!

  38. Dave Says:

    Early I said 20 sacks form the D-Line… meant to say 20+ and really I was thinking HIGH 20’s

    McCoy: 8
    Miller: 2
    Okam: 2
    Price: 3

    Clayborne: 5
    Bowers: 5
    Bennett: 6
    Crowder: 3

    These are NOT remarkable goals and not one in double digits….
    YET this puts the D-Line at 34 Sacks, add in the rest of the team and suddenly they have 40+ which EASILY surpasses last year.

    Stylez White is gone for a reason: he did not like to work. He was not a good example.

    They have new D-Line coaches who have these kids believing and working at it. The new agressive nature of the D-Line ALONE will acount for a handful of sacks.

    The pressure was there on damn near every pass thrown during the KC game, and KC has a heck of an O-Line.
    These guys are getting after it and the best one of the bunch on the inside has not been turned loose yet: McCoy.

    As time goes on, Hayes, Foster, Black, Grimm, Barber are all going to benefit from the D-Line pass rush by being freed up for a bltiz here & there.

    Fun to watch and can’t wait.