Clinton McDonald May Be The Gem

March 17th, 2014

Bucs DT Clinton McDonald could be the steal of the team’s 2014 free agent class.

Joe has lost count how many guys the Bucs have signed since the free agent dinner bell rang Tuesday. The way the Bucs have shuffled their roster, a revolving door needs to be installed at One Buc Palace.

The overhaul continued yesterday with another offensive lineman being signed, Oniel Cousins, and a linebacker, Dane Fletcher. Of all the players signed, the hidden jewel may be defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.

By all appearances, McDonald isn’t supposed to compete with Akeem Spence for a starting role. He was brought in to start. BSPN Bengals guy Cole Harvey talked about McDonald, who spent time with the Bengals before playing a key role with the Super Bowl champion Seahawks last year.

Based off what I saw in Seattle last year, I’d say [McDonald can make an impact]. We talked a lot earlier about sacks. It’s not easy for a defensive tackle in constant rotation with others to pick up 5.5 sacks, particularly on a defense like Seattle’s that had so many playmakers at every level. That’s a dedication to McDonald’s blue-collar work ethic and team-focused mentality. He may not have been a great player in Cincinnati, but he was a respected teammate. If he keeps grinding the way he clearly has since he left the Bengals, he should be just fine for the Bucs.

It’s one thing to be a Buccaneer Man, a guy the team can be proud of in the community, but first and foremost, that man has to perform on the field in order for the team to get wins. It’s that simple. It appears McDonald is a complete Buccaneer Man.

This seems to be Lovie Smith’s type of guy: a winner both on and off the field.

29 Responses to “Clinton McDonald May Be The Gem”

  1. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Let me first say you have been absolutely crushing it with all your FA articles. Love the facts and opinions. You are my first source of all Bucs news.

    Secondly, to your point, a FA summary list would of who’s gone, who’s here would be awesome. Maybe in a few days after the fury has settled down a little.

    Thanks again for your efforts.

  2. Architek Says:

    Well I won’t be as complementary because my opinion is Joe has actually been more of a pessimist this off-season.

    It started with Revis and even on the interviews I’ve listened to one of the Joes are glass half empty.

    The funny thing is I’ve read multiple articles and heard credible analysts praise and express how efficient the signings have been. I hope the Bucs win a lot this year and put many doubters on notice – the question will then be what will Joe spin then.

    I love this site but I’m very disappointed in the negative from Joe.

    And if the Bucs do get Manziel I am sure they will sing praises again.

  3. biff barker Says:

    Maybe the best news of all is that we have not reached and overpaid for any of the FA signings thus far.

  4. biff barker Says:

    Architek, Joe’s is being more pragmatic than pessimistic. We are still a 4-12 team so this outlook is not without cause.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    As a Buc fan….I have been forced to be an optimist….I was a pessimist once and it didn’t feel very good. Joe can be whatever he wants to be….its his site.
    I get a huge laugh out of the Johnny Football stuff that Joe puts out. When given the opportunity on the radio the other day, Joe brought up Teddy Bridgewater as a possible QB that might fall to us…..Johnny Football wasn’t brought up. I think he saves the Johnny stuff for us….

  6. Harry Says:

    @TBBF: I think Joe just wants a real franchise QB, just as I do and many others. Whether its Teddy, or Johnny doesn’t really matter. Someone who is exciting to watch and can take the team down the field in the final minutes when its needed.

    Teddy was originally expected to go #1, now maybe thats not the case. I think that is part of why Joe focused on Johnny; he was more of a possibility to drop to us.

  7. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    Wanting a Franchise Qb and just taking any Qb very high in the draft at all cost are two different things. That is how the bucs ended up with Freeman. in 2009 I really think that they would have drafted any QB that fell to them.

    For the record I have always been an optimist for the bucs to become a winning franchise again. some people just don’t like the steps it takes to become one.

  8. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “Wanting a Franchise Qb and just taking any Qb very high in the draft at all cost are two different things. That is how the bucs ended up with Freeman. ”

    Nailed it. That’s all I’ve been saying. Just because you take them high does mean they are worthy of the slot.

  9. Architek Says:

    I get it but it’s one thing to have a certain outlook but when the greater audience are praising the Bucs for what they’re doing what makes you the exception?

    4-12 is bad and there is no denying we were bad but in mindset alone and better coaching this team can double it’s win totals instantaneously.

    There is reason to be excited!

  10. Buc Neckid Says:

    Can we stop using “Buccaneer Man”
    Brings back too many Schiano-era Memories
    Cannot tell if you are calling anybody NOW referred to as a “Buccaneer Man”
    as a good thing or a bust.
    Afterall, We aren’t now referring to Licht as “Rockstar”

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Clinton McDonald will have to beat out Greg Spence for the starting role. After a nice rookie year, Spence may wish to fight for the role. Competition. Gotta love it.

    On a properly trained and prepared defensive line, I suspect that Spence and Clayborn will look a lot better.

    And Gerald McCoy, who got 10 sacks on a bad line, may just come close to 15-20 sacks.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Architek, you call it being negative, I call it being honest. Joe has a right to share misgivings, and frankly, I share some of his misgivings.

    And some of my own.

    You certainly have not been shy about being negative over the years. Suddenly when someone else is you take it badly? Double standard.

    But here’s the thing. For years now, we have been sold a bill of goods during every off season. Most of it has been lies by either the team or the media.

    So people are going to be skeptical at this point. The organization has to earn the trust of the fans back.

    A HUGE step would be to draft a QB in rounds 1 or 2 and develop him into a great franchise QB. AND let Glennon compete to do the same. Certainly, Josh McCown isn’t going to earn anyone’s trust. So many here clamored to sign him, but when he loses 3 games in a row those same people will turn on him.

    When that happens, it will be all about what the Bucs have waiting in the wings. And Mike Glennon better not be the only one with promise.

  13. blackmagic00 Says:

    I can’t stand the term “Buccaneer Man”. Sounds so childish.

  14. owlykat Says:

    I think you are right about McDonald, Joe, but I believe Fletcher may be even more of a gem than McDonald if Foster cannot learn to cover passes for Tampa Two, which is unlikely. Fletcher is not only a ST Ace, he was also the backup MLB for the Pats and likely has the flexibility to cover passes too. However, I think the Bucs should take in the draft the 6’8″ MLB for Michigan ST., who will remind Lovie of Urlacher because he can also cover passes, knock down passes, tackle sideline to sideline, and trounce all RBs between the tackles! Foster needs to be moved to his natural position from college as SLB where he can be a star like David is.

  15. Bobbucsfan Says:

    I enjoy Joe bringing up Johnny football it’s always good for a laugh or asking my self how does the Charges signing a punter = the bucs possibly landing Johny Football at #7. Joes like the “its Obviously Aliens” guy on the History channel. Joe is doing something right because when I start scanning the headlines I start with this site. That and it seems he’s always updating it.

  16. William Says:

    @biff – the 2014 season officially started March 11. We haven’t lost or won a game since. That makes us 0-0. We are cleaning up what caused the 4-12 record. And we are building a new profesional NFL team. The present situation and decisions taken by Lovie & Light are creating our foundation for the up coming season. Enjoy the off season.

    Joe is doing his job which I enjoy very much.

  17. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    There is a pessimistic few called the ” rockstar mob ” that think that the roster was playoff ready, Just add JF and the playoff were a lock. there are rumbling that Lovie and Licht are tearing a talented team apart for nothing, and that it was bad coaching and bad luck that was the sole cause of poor performance.

  18. Harry Says:

    @The_Buc_Realist Says:
    “…just taking any Qb very high in the draft at all cost…”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe anyone said this. Not me, not Joe. Its kind of insulting really to imply that I am suggesting anything like this. In fact, I have been on record that I want to see us take one of these QBs only IF Lovie and Tedford deem one of them worthy.

  19. Stokes963 Says:

    Exactly Biff, not paying $16mil for Joe’s man crush has allowed for us to spread the love and fill a lot of holes.

  20. biff barker Says:

    Architek and William, I for one am optimistic about the future. But as of this morning, we are still a paper team.
    It’s always refreshing to see the Bucs get some positive national recognition though. Considering the dumpster fire/fires last season, having a respected leadership team in place is imperative.

  21. Harry Says:

    @biff: I fully agree with you. The roster changes that have been made are a combination of personnel upgrades and a change in the type of players that are needed to run Lovie’s and Tedford’s schemes. We are still a 4-12 team, however, I think Lovie can greatly improve on that (less “dumpster fires” – I think Schiano greatly contributed to the meltdown that is Josh Freeman, not to take away Free’s mentally weak contributions…). How much will be determined several months from now.

  22. Rob Says:

    The phrase “Buccaneer Man” needs to have followed Schiano out the door.

  23. jackpc1 Says:

    Fletcher is a younger and perhaps more effective version of Adam Heyward who is projected to be the team’s Special Team’s ace.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    A good DL rotation is key to the success of any defense. Having a McDonald/Spence combo will create havoc for the opposition, regardless of who the “starter” is.

    I don’t know if I’d say Joe was being negative. I mean, it’s his opinion. I shared some of those as well, including the Revis deal. As the plan becomes clearer, I do understand the premise of what they’re doing. I think it’s fair to question motives when we’ve suffered through a decade of bad football.

    Go Bucs!

  25. Fritz50 Says:

    “Exactly Biff, not paying $16mil for Joe’s man crush has allowed for us to spread the love and fill a lot of holes.”

    Your opinion, & , certainly a valid one, but I happen to feel we weren’t THAT far away, that we had to toss ONE of the best corners in the game into the trash can. I think coaching was a huge part of why the team fell apart , on the field , if not in the locker room. On the other hand I do recognize several facts.

    First, and foremost, it’s Lovie’s team , and his right to make the changes he feels are needed.
    Second, I feel that the changes he’s made so far , at the least, have not hurt the team, substantially.
    Last, I realize that I am FAR from an expert on football, at any level.

    As such, it’s hard to be down on this offseason. I remember the 2003 offseason , where Gruden & Co. Kept saying they didn’t need to make many moves & we were , essentially, just trying to keep the core intact. Then we had 8 players lost in the Carolina game alone, & fell off a cliff. I’m ok to wait & see how it all works out. Guess I’m just a ‘sheeple’ , continually buying the current party line. Ahhh well.

  26. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I’m happy with the recent signings bringing in some decent players. I have always been optimistic prior to every Bucs season, in the older days I could’nt go into a restroom without writing a prediction on the wall about the success of the upcoming season. Of course I was let down by every prediction every year. Hope is a cruel thing when expecting the best and getting it all wrong. I’m still excited about this coming season.

  27. David Williams Says:


    I agree with you and for the reasons stated by you here, I think Lovie Smith would pass on Johnny Football for just those reasons. He is good on the field but his off-field antics would never pass the Lovie Smith test. What about Brett Smith from Wyoning, an Johnny Football clone but 6′ – 3″ with quick release and quick feet? Just asking.

  28. Oahubuc Says:

    I don’t know about McDonald having to beat out anyone. He came from a system with a rotational line and had 5.5 sacks playing about 50% of snaps. Depth, depth, depth.

  29. PRBucFan Says:

    It’s one thing to be “honest” it’s another to act like EVERY decision made is the wrong one or to act as if you seriously had the ability to run the team better.

    Truth is if you could you’d be a GM right now in the NFL.

    It’s weird hearing people that used to positive be only negative and people who were normally negative now be the positive ones lol.