Defining A Pass Rusher

March 26th, 2014

William Gholston was a name on the lips of Lovie Smith this morning

So who’ s going to play left defensive end?

Lovie Smith was asked today at the NFL Owners meetings whether it was a battle between Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers?

Lovie was quick to throw William Gholston’s name into the mix but wouldn’t give a favorite in the race as he’s done at other positions.

Speaking about Gerald McCoy and how he can progress, Lovie explained how he will evaluate pass rushers and why Michael Johnson was purchased to play right defensive end.

“You judge a defensive linemen, pass-wise, can they win a 1-on-1 battle? Gerald can,” Lovie said. “That’s why it was important for us to get a defensive end that’s a great player, that you can’t just concentrate on Gerald. To us, a win is getting Gerald in a 1-on-1 situation against that offensive guy, whoever that offensive guard might be. And we feel like, you know, things are going to go our way quite a few times.”

On McCoy’s 9 1/2-sack season, Lovie was clear he believes McCoy can show marked improvement. “That’s hard to for an inside player, and he missed a few,” Lovie said of McCoy’s sack total. “We feel like he can take another step.”

But back to the left defensive end slot, Joe’s confident Lovie will play a game of may-the-best-pass-rusher win. As Warren Sapp has said many times, this defensive front is about rushing the passer and stopping the run on the way.

21 Responses to “Defining A Pass Rusher”

  1. Macabee Says:

    Rotoworld reports and Rick Stroud tweets that Adrian Clayborn will be moved to LDE. I thought that might be coming, don’t know if it will work.

    Think that was clear from Joe’s post here. Johnson is the starter at RDE. What happens after that, who backs him, etc., is unclear. –Joe

    Speaking of things I don’t know (I’ll be brief. lol), I thought I knew most of the NFL rules, even read the CBA, but I didn’t know they stopped the clock on sacks. Rule changed. Live and learn!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    LDE……I hope Mack!!!

  3. teacherman Says:

    Goldson should start.

    He is a beast.

    Are Adrian Clayborne and Bowers on guaranteed contracts this year?

    If not, we should cut them both.

    Clayborne belongs on the Steelers.

  4. Brandon Says:

    Clayborn is more a 5-technique RDE than anything else. He is strong but not nearly quick or strong enough to be dominant at RDE in the 4-3 and his right side is too weak for him to truly reach his potential at LDE in the 4-3.

    Clayborn’s contract is guaranteed, Bowers’ is not. Cutting Clay would not save us any money.

  5. jeff Says:

    This article is a lie I watched on NFL network and Movie clearly said Clayborn will start at LDE and will have competition behind him

  6. jeff Says:


  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Wait. At the end of the season I thought McCoy got his tenth sack? What happened to it? He had to split it with someone else?

  8. WalkdaPlank Says:

    So far Clayborn has not lived up to first round status, but he also has been injured. Should’ve kept Bennett. Clayborn reminds me a little of Stylez White or Jimmy Wilkerson.

  9. Owlykat Says:

    Not signing Bennet to a long term contract as our top sacker was a major error and I said so on PR when we didn’t keep him. You need to make decisions based on proven production and not assumptions that can come back to bite a GM. Gholston had two sacks right at the end of the year when Schiano finally realized Teo with one sack all year was not producing. Duh! If he had put Gholston in there when Teo first faltered we’d have had a double digit sacker.

  10. Kalind Says:

    I love the idea of Gholston opposite Johnson. Imagine the batted balls at the line! They’re both 6’7″! And GMC is 6’5″. Have fun with that Drew Brees. If we draft someone like McCullers in the third…that’s another huge body at 6’7″ 355lbs. It’d be like a wall of hands. Clayborn has had chance after chance after chance after chance. Times up. You’re a career backup. Time to own it.

  11. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Doesn’t Clayborne have a medical issue (palsy?) that effects his play on the left? I remember the issue came up during the draft.

  12. bigpoppabuc Says:

    I suspect Clay is on the trading block. I saw someone mentioned the steelers. Or even the Ravens… He a physical player with a great motor, just out of place as a 4-3 DE. Another team with a more favorable system could really use AC… He’s got value imo.

  13. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Gholston yet another example of a New Schiano order guy still on the Bucs roster. I will point that put next time a new thread pops up somehow trying to prove cutting guys drafted under Rah or Gruden is an example of ridding the team of “Schiano stink” a comical spin of the facts

  14. Bill Says:

    Gholston = Tyoka Jackson.That’ a good thing.

  15. BamBamBuc Says:

    ODB – Erbs Palsey has Clayborn with one arm slightly shorter than the other, and it was speculated that he could only play the right side during the draft. However, if you watch games last year, he lined up at LDE fairly regular late in the season and even as a stand up OLB on the left side in 3-3-5 nickel sets. The biggest question on the left is the ability to beat a TE/RT combo in run support as LDE is typically considered strong side (although motion and alignment can always change that). Clayborn had several pressures from the left side last year.

  16. biff barker Says:

    Clayborn is slow coming off the ball and doesn’t use his hands like the top flight players do.
    Pretend he was a fourth round pick slotted to be a rotation guy. You’ll feel better soon.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    Gholston is a beast! Expecting him to make big strides in his second year. Can’t count on Bowers. Clay looks lost standing up and out of position at LDE.

  18. NY Buc Says:

    I really liked the Gholston pick last year, I thought it was a great value pick from Schiano/Dom getting the guy in the 4th round. Hopefully he continues to improve like he did towards the end of last season.

  19. NY Buc Says:

    I’m going to be an optimistic homer on Bowers…maybe Lovie’s system will fit his skill set better. I still think he wasn’t fully 100% last year either. Then again the history on Rah/Dom picks panning out in the NFL has not been very good (McCoy being one of the few exceptions, and even then the first two years where looking like busts do to injuries)

  20. Cody Says:

    I agree we should try to move Clayborn; preferably to a 3-4 team…

    I hope Gholston can win the starting LE position…I like the idea of having 2 long guys on the ends…

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    A lot will depend on what all these youngsters did this offseason. Who put in the work, who is healthy and who had been pounding the weights on the gym. Hopefully they all have and AC has his knee issue behind him. I like Gholston and Means both. Means was just a little small on the frame. Hopefully that had changed and he can play special teams as well. Usually guys on the bottom of the roster will put in extra work to move up, like the DT we got from Seattle. Bowers will probably show up with the same spare tire around his waste.