“I Don’t Know How To Pass Rush”

December 19th, 2013

The development of Will Gholston is a bigger accomplishment than it seems

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.

31 Responses to ““I Don’t Know How To Pass Rush””

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Thank you Joe, Your story just validates and highlights what I have been saying for a very long time. At what a poor job the pop-star has done in the first 3 years, Thank Goodness that his powers have been greatly reduced. I say again that Coach Schiano is still cleaning up from the Rah/Dom fiasco.

  2. Mike J Says:

    That is interesting considering that Michigan St., along w/ Stanford, is such a top defensive program. I wonder how much the new rules limiting practice have to do with these deficiencies.

  3. Buck Rogers Says:

    Goldston has been in beast mode for the last 2 weeks!

  4. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Look, I’m not going to bash Dominick for drafting raw guys. I get development. However, when you are going into the season with 2 unproven, injury plagued DE’s, and then you have extremely raw rookies that don’t even know how to pass rush behind them, that’s where I have a problem with Dominick.

    The $$ was there to bring in a few vet DE’s for depth and just in case Bowers and Clayborne didn’t play well. Seriously, why not cover your arse?

    But, Dominick did nothing. He pushed all of his chips on red. I just don’t get why he takes such needless risks, that could so badly hinder the team.

    Same with the defensive backs in 2012. He’s a reckless GM.

  5. al121976 Says:

    Some people really aggrivate me, how could someone complain that for years we didnt have a coach who knew how to develop players and then when we get one say “why draft someone who is raw?”. I think getting those 2 in the fourth round was a great move if they can be taught how to use thier attributes correctly. Who’s to say they wont be great players next year after they have had some experience and learned hot to play thier position? if these guys turn out to be great, no one should question this year or why we drafted them.

  6. mvermulm Says:

    “All this further reinforced to Joe that the New Schiano Order knows how to develop defensive linemen.”

    The problem is, they don’t know how to put them in the right positions to maximize their talent and style of play when they’re actually on the field. Clayborn and Bowers are very good when they’re asked to go straight forward and rush the passer, but they’re terrible when put into stunts. Developing players is one thing; coaching a game with those players is entirely different.

  7. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:


    If you referring to me. I explicitly said I don’t blame him for drafting raw guys. I blame him for leaving the defense unprepared THIS year. He relied on untested, unproven players with RAW guys behind them. And, with plenty of cap room.

    This year was to be a playoff year. Now we go to year 6 of Dominick’s rebuild. 28-50 (.358)

  8. mpmalloy Says:

    Nothing raises sports media outlet ratings like
    incessant drama and dysfunction and nothing
    is more damaging to a sports team.

    I never bought into the anti-Schiano histrionics
    and it’s paying off. Schiano knows defense.
    This is just another testament to that.
    The Schiano haters are the sports equivalent
    of catty high-school girls creating drama for
    their own agendas.
    Good Lord girlies, have a little bit of patience
    and foresight

  9. BucTrooper Says:

    This is an unbelievable revelation. Our general manager has drafted two defensive lineman who don’t know how to rush the passer and a defensive tackle who doesn’t know how to tackle. Is our general manager watching film or is he watching the old Mary Tyler Moore Show?

    But if you extrapolate this finding it makes sense: Freeman couldn’t throw, Benn couldn’t catch. He liked Stocker so much he traded up for him and he can’t do anything.

  10. mvermulm Says:

    BucTrooper, it looks like he knew what he was doing with those three guys since GMC is a ProBowler, and Spence & Gholston both look like good young rookies. Probably, he and Schiano liked everything else about them and assumed they could mold them. The problem is when guys picked at the top with experience as pass-rushers fail (i.e. Bowers, Clayborn, Price, Adams, etc).

  11. McBuc Says:

    Uh, buctrooper, I am pretty sure 31 other teams would take GMC in a hot minute. The fourth round guys were said to be raw talent that needed developing from the begininning…oh, and other teams even had Freeman on their boards as well. Who knows, if Freeman started out somewhere else he may have turned out different, but that does not matter anymore. Why not point out guys lkkike Mike Williams and Martin? Every team has hits and misses. The fact that you lumped GMC into a point to try and discredit Dom is crazy anyway.

  12. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “Every team has hits and misses. ”

    Name a GM with as many misses who’s also 28-50.

    The only GMs with worse winning %s are first or second year GMs. Year 6 of the rebuild coming up. He depended on raw guys to back up unproven and injury prone players. Absolutely zero safety net. Which DIRECTLY correlated to the defensive weakness this year.

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    Adrian Clayborne has made plays all year!

    He is a beast of a DE!

    On first and second down that is.

    He just isnt a very good pass rusher.

    So what we need is a small, undersized, Dwight Freeney or Von Miller type, pass rushing specialist fo replace Adrian Clayborne on passing downs.

    @Joe DE’s are not only supposed to get sacks. If you think that Adrian cant play, then you havent been watching this season very closely. He makes dynamic plays every game.

    Adrian is all heart. High motor. Incredible bull-rusher. He just lacks the agility to be a great pass rusher.

    But I am happy he is on our team!

    Adrian Clayborne is SOLID!

  14. teacherman777 Says:

    And Gholston and Spence were steals in the fourth!

    Schiano is the man!!

  15. Mike J Says:

    teacherman777 , or you could have drafted Cameron Jordan in the first place.

  16. CalBucsFan Says:

    Too bad Schiano doesn’t have the same skills with the OL because they’ve been leaking like a sieve all year. What’s with that? Last year there were excuses with all the OL injuries and how the line would be one of the best once all the players come back. Now this year, they are all back (except of course Nicks) and look worse this year! Penn seems lost out there at the most inopportune times too, is it time to ship him out too Schiano?

  17. Laughing Stock II Says:

    @Oil Derreck Brooks ~ You are forgetting those who are in Free Agency must “Qualify as Buccaneer Men.”

    Who did Dominick miss in free agency that could have been signed by Dominick? You can forget about Bennett by his comments this season you know he did not have the best relationship with Schiano.

    I know Dominick brought defensive players to the team who were released and done well on other teams this season. Schiano sent them away not Dominick.

    What GM is available and better than Dominick? For now I’m happy with him. The coaching needs to change…

  18. Cmurda Says:

    Im not sure I understand the Clayborn shots. The guy has 5 sacks with 2 games to go and he’s been getting better and better since returning from a major injury. These last couple of games, he has been playing very strong. In fact, our D Line has been playing much better. I’ll respectfully disagree with Clayborn. I think he’s a keeper and will continue to get better. Bowers, on the other hand has actually had his name mentioned the last few weeks on the field. Hopefully, he improves but its not time to implode the D.E. position. We can be successful with this team as is on defense. The question marks are on offense.

  19. SKelly Says:

    Cmurda….clayborn takes shots because 5 sacks through 14 games from an everydown DE (1st round pick) is horrible.

    JJ WATT 9.5 sacks 2013, 35.5 career – top player in league
    Robert Quinn 15 sacks, 7 FF, 30.5 career – second in sacks in league
    Ryan Kerrigan 7.5 sacks, 23.5 career, 4 FF – 175 total career tackles
    Aldon Smith 8.5 in 9 games, 42 in career, 132 tackles
    Cameron Jordon 11.5 sacks, 20.5 career, 139 tackles

    Adrian Clayborn 5 sacks, 12.5 career in 33 games, 95 tackles. 1 FF

    There were the DE’s drafted with Clayborn in 2011. Comparing them, AC is the worst of the bunch by far and why the expectations on him are higher than what he is producing.

  20. SKelly Says:

    Gholston is great BTW. and guys, a dude with his raw talent, if he could pass rush coming into the NFL would be a first round pick. He went in the 4th because he was all potential but no production coming out of college. Him improving is because the BUCS are coaching him up. He could be a beast in a few years if we can develop him and he keeps working.

  21. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    @Laughing Stock II

    Dominick has full and final say on the roster, not Dominick (that’s a fact). Why did he hire a guy who has such disparate views on talent?

    That’s like hiring a sushi chef for your steak restaurant, than complaining when he doesn’t want to grill the steaks that you just bought. This crap should have been planned BEFORE you hire the guy.

    Or, we have a GM with absolutely no balls who has no control of hiring of head coaches, and no say over the roster. Is that the kind of GM that you expect to bring home a Super Bowl? A division title?

    One way or the other, he is mediocre.

    Who to hire???? Are you saying there aren’t assistant GM’s and comparable at successful franchises, who are just chomping at the bit to get their opportunity. There’s plenty other fish in the sea.

    Or, maybe you are just content going into his 6th year of rebuilding at 28-50??

  22. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    crap, I meant not Schiano.

  23. Z-Bucs Fan Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Cmurda on this one. Clayborn was seen as a beast his rookie year, with 42 tackles and 7.5 sacks. Then he lost an entire year to a major knee injury, and has come back with 51 tackles and 5 sacks this year, and we’re not done yet. Really not regressing all that much based on the stats. It just seems to me that he should be given the same “not back all the way” pass that we’re giving to Revis, Joseph, etc.

  24. bigpoppabuc Says:

    As “Schiano’s guys” continue to outshine “Dominik’s guys” it becomes even more clear, the severity of the mess Schiano walked into. I like Dominik’s ability to control the cap, sign free agents and negotiate trades…. It’s just pretty obvious that he needs a great scouting department to help him in the draft.

    guys like Gholston and Mike James are credited to Schiano and co. while Dominik has shined on the business side of things, like the trade for K2, Talib, Revis, and Blount, G. Adams and Brian Price.

    each of them may have their flaws but together, it’s been working well so far.

  25. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    He shined with Winslow?

    The guy he gave the biggest TE contract in NFL history? That guy? You mean, Dominick, the only guy who offered more $ than the Redskins for Haynesworth? And resigned Clayton? And signed a headhunting safety in an era of the NFL protecting WRs?

    I will agree that Dominick is good with the cap. I would make him at cap guy and move his office completely away from anything having to do with choosing talent. Put him in McKay’s role in ATL.

  26. McBuc Says:

    Oil, I kind of think the piss poor coaching over the six years has something to do with it as well. maybe Shiano can get better, for our sake I hope he does. I really am ok with sending Dom with him if they can Shaino…If a new experienced coach comes in and want his GM with him, I am all for it. I also agree with you that there are other guys waiting to advance, but that does not always make them good…It may be worth a shot though. I also still point out that Shian did not have anything to do with the first draft, he said so himself. he also says they work together on the draft…unless he is lieing…

  27. BucTrooper Says:

    To the right honorable gentlemen who questioned my previous statement (sorry, I was watching CSPAN)…

    Well why do the Bucs have to serve as OJT for the rest of the league? Can’t the Bucs draft/scout some pass rushers who, i don’t know, can PASS RUSH RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE? Am I asking too much?

  28. Timbo Says:

    I looovvveee how everybody who bashes on Dom completely ignores the picks he nailed and the way he’s been able to help bring some great free agents to the Bucs. Let’s also not forget that he swung deals to move up and nab both Doug Martin and Lavonte David. He also essentially passed on Mo Claiborne when everybody and their mother wanted us to draft him and instead went with Mark Barron who is really playing good football.

    He’s also done a heck of a job getting production out of late picks going back to Sammie Stroughter in the 7th round some years ago. I get he’s had some misses, but seriously…the guy has put together a talented roster, lets NOT FORGET the OLD and expensive roster he inherited. Who has better young talent than us? Seriously…. Just sayin’….. lol

  29. Destin johnny Says:

    Finally Dom has a good middle round pic!!!

  30. Knockout Radio – Talking Sports with Randy Harris – Daily Bucs Links: Offensive line still sucks Says:

    […] JoeBucsFan.com » Blog Archive » “I Don’t Know How To Pass Rush” – Tampa Bay Bucs Footb…Gerald McCoy teaching the rookies. […]

  31. BoJim Says:

    Claiborn will be all right. Give him a chance to get 100% again. You’ll see.