Will Gholston Developing Nicely

December 8th, 2013
Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston drags down Buffalo quarterback EJ Manuel.

Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston drags down Buffalo quarterback EJ Manuel.

Last spring the one player that intrigued Joe more than any other draft pick was defensive lineman Will Gholston out of Michigan State (Sparty has had a good weekend, huh?). Gholston was raw, had loads of talent, but needed that talent honed and manicured and sanded.

Joe thinks he can say few rookies have risen as far as Gholston. He was so invisible during preseason games and mired with the third team in training camp practices, Joe was afraid for Gholston that he wasn’t going to make it to the final cut of 53 men.

Alas he did. And for much of the season Gholston has been on the inactive list, but the past few weeks he has risen to be a designated pass rusher of sorts, beginning with the Monday Night Football game against the Dolphins.

Today, Gholston awarded coaches for their faith in him by racking up a sack and a half, with two tackles and two assists in sparse duty before he got dinged up and had to leave late in the game.

Here is what Bucs commander Greg Schiano said about Gholston last week leading up to the game with the bungling Bills.

“Versatility does help him, because he can play five-technique, three-technique, he plays in the sub package,” Schiano said. “Will Gholston is a big man, he’s a strong man, he plays hard, he can run. He’s got all the physical attributes you look for. We’re kind of just shoving him out there – ‘Let’s go,’ you know? There’s no better way to learn than under the fire. He’s responding as well. You don’t keep doing that if he doesn’t respond.”

Here is what Schiano had to say about Gholston’s play Sunday:

“We talked about that during the week, that we just keep putting him out there because, as we give him more, he performs a little bit better,” Schiano said. “You’ve got to earn that chance, and we think that he’s earning it, so we’re going to keep pushing him out there. Now, I can’t tell you without watching the tape how he did performing his job, but the production you see; I guess he had a sack or two, right? I saw the one play he was chasing after the quarterback full-speed, and laid out. That’s the kind of effort we’re looking for. We’ve talked about it – he’s got the physical make-up. You’ve got to remember, he came out [of college] as a junior, so this is a young kid playing in the National Football League. He’s only going to get better, so we’ve got to just keep moving him forward.”

Gholston, who was unavailable after the game, has seen a lot of football in the past four years. He was recruited to Michigan State as a linebacker, mostly an edge rusher, and played some middle linebacker. But he sort of grew, body-wise, out of linebacker and into a defensive lineman.

“Adjustment? It was a fun transition,” Gholston said of going from a freshman linebacker to an NFL defensive tackle in such a short time. “I learned a lot.

“I am just happy to contribute. I don’t complain at all. I just want to get out there. Once I get out there more and get more confidence, maybe I can play more. I just want to contribute to the team.”

17 Responses to “Will Gholston Developing Nicely”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    Means ..still is in the wings…..

  2. Chris Says:

    Can we start him over Neishem. ?

  3. BucFanForever Says:

    I am pretty sure I saw Gholston bat down a pass early in the game too.

  4. skelly Says:

    This guy looks legit when he is out there.

  5. Mr. Patrick Says:

    I like this kid. Give him more time this year at RDE and see what he can do

  6. mike norris Says:

    thats a great sign! thank for the update joe.
    sounds like spence, wg and banks may develope

  7. Buc Neckid Says:


    Seems pretty good to me for 2014

  8. clafollett Says:

    Will had a great game. Glad to see he is getting some playing time. Let’s see what he can do against SF’s front line next week. I’d like to see him wrangle Kapernick to the ground a few times.

  9. Joe Says:

    I am pretty sure I saw Gholston bat down a pass early in the game too.

    You did!

  10. d-money Says:

    I bet he had a little extra pep in his step after watching Sparty whip up on the Buckeyes.

  11. That Guy Says:

    Now just get him a real coach.

  12. RCS Says:

    Rastamon -Means was in on plenty of plays. Actually got good pressure on the QB when Revis had the big hit but was being held. If not held he would have gotten the sack.
    Means is progressing well.

  13. dmatt Says:

    Yes it was Gholston who batted down the pass. This guy has the size, talent,and physique, he just need to be coached up. With the right coaching he can be turned him into a freak of nature…i.e. a young Julius Pepper. Jumping up batting passes down can deter the passer from his target. Just ask former Bucs quarterbacks and especially Chris Simms about Julius Peppers. Daniel Nesheim is not applying pressure on the QB, nor is Clayborn. Steven Means is quick off the ball and is getting pressure on the QB when he’s in the game. I say we start Means and Gholston the last four games to get a snap shot of the two going into the 2014 season. Akeem Spence has not disappointed, he’s an upgrade over Roy Miller. The three of these players along with McCoy can be a reminisce of the 2002 Bucs front four. Clayborn’s arms appears to be too short to bat down a pass, bull rush a OL, or to wrap up for a tackle. It appears that Bowers feeds off other teammates who make plays. He may have a chance to redeem himself, if not, then in with the new and out with the old.

  14. Chris Says:

    Alright. ^^^. He’s been a nice surprise over the past month or so. But lets not throw any Peppers comparisons around just yet.

  15. Captain Stagger Says:

    Means over Clayborn…..put down the pipe…..

  16. pick6 Says:

    still need that fearsome edge guy that can open up the middle more for spence, mccoy, and whoever else. the teams that have carved us up the last 2 years have done so because we still don’t do enough to disrupt the really good lines and really good QBs. Clayborn would be a great complement to an elite edge rusher, but i think he is lacking as far as what you want a #1 DE to do for your defense. maybe golston, means, etc have that potential but i’d rather see them be dangerous members of a rotation while we try to go land a real-deal pass-rushing DE early in the draft

  17. CalBucsFan Says:

    Been waiting to see this young man play, Ghouston looked awesome, glad to see him get more snaps.

    But if he’s improved because he’s been “coached up”, why haven’t the coaches do the same with Bowers? This guy was touted to be possibly the no. 1 pick 2 drafts ago but fell to the Bucs in the 2nd round due to injury. Assuming his injury is fully healed, then what’s up with him?