McDonald Has A Couch-To-Riches Story

March 11th, 2014

New Bucs well-paid, pass-rushing defensive tackle Clinton McDonald has got quite a story to tell when he meets the Tampa Bay media tomorrow.

McDonald was cut and out of work after training camp last season before winning a Super Bowl ring with Seattle.

So the story goes, Seattle cut him after 2013 training camp and two-plus seasons of service and he went back to Arkansas to work his butt off in the heat for a chance to return to the NFL. The Bucs and every other NFL team let him sit there for two weeks before Seattle called him back, documented the News-Tribune.

“It just seemed that something happened, like the light went on or the sense of urgency changed,” Pete Carroll said. “He said that he’d never really felt like he’d ever been cut before. He had kind of been released and brought back on practice squads and stuff. This was the first time he really felt it. Sometimes you’ve got to learn the hard way. But he’s really been able to step up his game and be a really good asset for us.”

“… He’s been more active,” Carroll said. “He did lose some weight … he came back at 285 (down from about 300) and just seemed to be quicker and more active, and by far the most active that we’ve seen him. He’s been very consistent, too. He’s played real well and done a great job.”

McDonald finished last season with 5.5 sacks, the only ones of his career, and now the Bucs are paying him $3 million a season, about six times what returning starter weed-friendly Akeem Spence earns.

Here’s what the Seattle Times said about him in a pre-Super Bowl story.

The Seahawks tinkered with multiple pass-rushing combinations on third down, most involving speedsters.

But in the second half of the season, the Seahawks settled on using McDonald at defensive tackle on third down because he had a knack for collapsing the pocket around the quarterback.

He is third on Seattle with 5.5 sacks. He hadn’t recorded a sack in any of his previous three seasons, two with the Seahawks and his rookie year with Cincinnati.

Joe’s also learned that McDonald will rush off the left edge.

This is a very interesting pickup by the Bucs. Lovie wants to get after the quarterback, and now he’s upgraded his pass rush at two of four defensive line positions.

15 Responses to “McDonald Has A Couch-To-Riches Story”

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “weed-friendly Akeem Spence”

    Did I miss something?

    Also, if McDonald is rushing off the edge, does that mean he’s moving to DE?

  2. zam Says:

    I’m not sold on Michael Johnson to be honest, hope I’m wrong though.

    Clayborn with some good coaching (which he has never had) could surprise I think.

  3. Harry Says:

    “…he’s upgraded his pass rush at two of four defensive line positions…”

    Yes, McDonald is ONE upgrade over Spence. Not sure about having two. Jury is still out on Michael Johnson – 3.5 sacks versus 5.5 for Claybourne.

  4. Harry Says:

    Bonzai, Spence got popped in his home state of Alabama(?) about a month ago for having a small amount of wacky tabaccy

  5. Orca Says:

    ^ You can look at the stat sheet, but the people who studied his game say he’s one of the best at playing the run and he gets a lot, a LOT, of QB pressures. Most defensive coaches will tell you that oftentimes those pressures are just as good as sacks because they force incompletions or turnovers. I expect Johnson to be a difference maker, especially next to McCoy.

  6. INDYbucsfan Says:

    This is my favorite signing so far. Although I think Johnson might be a little bit better than his stats show.

  7. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I really like the additions to the d line. If we didn’t sign another I’d be content. Bowers and Clayborn on 1 side and Johnson on the other with McCoy and McDonald (the Big Macs) I’d say that’s certainly an upgrade. It’s not the huge de we all wanted, but let’s face it, Jared Allen wants to play in the post season. he’s already a rich man. he wants rings. And if we did somehow get him to sign it would be for a kings ransom. Johnson wasn’t exactly cheap but compared to Allen it will look like peanuts.

    I’m hoping scheme and the rest of roster will balance out the need to top flight DE. And who knows Johnson might turn out to be the 10 sack DE we’ve always wanted.

  8. owlykat Says:

    Johnson was a double digit sacker in 2012 but that was next to a DT with 20 sacks in two years so they could not double team him that year. He also is good against the run at 270 pounds so I think he will be good. McDonald got 5.5 sacks last year and lots of tackles so our DL is upgraded.

  9. BucFan4Life Says:

    Joe are you drinking too much? How is 3 million a year “Well paid” for a DT that is coming off 5.5 sacks, WITH ONE START. Enter yourself into a mental health center please.

    You might want to do a little research.–Joe

  10. Matt Says:

    Clayborn is a strongside DE and kind of a tweener. He has always lacked that explosive first step to be a dominant 4-3 DE but also isnt big enough or strong enough (suffers from erb’s palsy) to play 3-4 end. He’s still solid in run support and a good rotational player but will never be elite.

    Gholston may actually beat him out and that would give us two tall mammoth DEs that can rush and bat down those short crossing routes. I doubt Bowers makes it past the 2nd round of cuts.

    Michael Johnson is going to be a monster in Lovie’s system. Mj will be left free to rush the passer. Bennett is solid but doesnt have the potential 13-17 sack season MJ has.

  11. Brandon Says:

    zam Says:
    March 11th, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    I’m not sold on Michael Johnson to be honest, hope I’m wrong though.

    Clayborn with some good coaching (which he has never had) could surprise I think.

    Based on what? Clayborn lacked any real explosiveness and COULD NOT run the arc like a true RDE would need to do. He’s a bull rusher and a hand fighter, that is not what you want from your RDE. You want your RDE to run the arc, set the edge of the defense, and force the QB to step up into the interior pass rush. Clayborn rushes LIKE an interior pass rusher. I thought he was a TERRIBLE draft selection at the time, and all he has done since then is prove me right. Cam Jordan was on the board and has been excellent with the Saints.

  12. Brandon Says:

    You can’t coach up a lack of talent. Considering Clayborn seriously lacks explosion and can only play effectively from the right side, he may have a different NFL zip code this season. I think he is a better fit as a RDE in a 3-4. I think teams like the 49ers might be interested.

  13. Rrsrq Says:

    Lovie not thru, likely still goes defensive pressure in draft or maybe a CB now in the first three rounds

  14. BucinNC Says:

    Verner to bucs 4 year deal

  15. Jon Says:

    Macdonald and Johnson. Not good. Macdonald was cheap why? Because he’s an average player. Johnson is soft, no toughness at all watched him I hoped for allen