Another Bad Sign For Clayborn’s Bucs Future

May 26th, 2014

adrian clayborn 1118When Lovie Smith called second-year man Steven Means his “prototype” defensive end last week, that was just another big clue Adrian Clayborn’s Tampa Bay future is in doubt.

The size, speed and long arms Lovie was referencing in means are not among Clayborn’s attributes.

Consider the following:

In 2009, Lovie Smith traded a second-round pick to the Bucs in midseason for athletic underperformer Gaines Adams (R.I.P), who was big, long and fast.

In 2010, Lovie replaced Adams with a whopper of a contract for Julius Peppers, one of the greatest and largest athletes to ever play DE. Lovie also drafted Corey Wootton out of Northwestern, a 6-6 DE who dropped in the draft after recovering from a knee injury in college. Wootton had seven sacks for Lovie in 2012, in a part-time role.

In 2012, Lovie’s last season in Chicago, the Bears drafted DE Shea McClellin in the first round. He had elite speed but not the size. McClellin was a bust at DE and is being moved to linebacker this season.

In 2014, gigantic, long, athletic Michael Johnson was Lovie’s go-to choice in free agency. He’ll start for the Bucs at RDE.

Joe doesn’t doubt that Clayborn can be a positive contributor as a rotational defense end for Tampa Bay this season. But with his contract ending after the season, and the Bucs already declining his 2015 option, Joe would bet the Bucs would prefer to have inexpensive second-year man William Gholston win the starting left defensive end job.

Also, Clayborn simply doesn’t fit the “prototype.” And Lovie’s here to do it his way.

39 Responses to “Another Bad Sign For Clayborn’s Bucs Future”

  1. dick2111 Says:

    I’m guessing that if Adrian Clayborn has 10 sacks this year, whether in a full-time or part-time role, that Lovie will bring him back next year.

    Simply put, Clayborn’s future is in his own hands (even if those hands are at the end of arms that aren’t as long as some others).

  2. Harry Says:

    …and with Lovie planting Johnson at RDE, Clayborn will have to find his playing time at LDE, a position where he is at a disadvantage. Not looking good for Claybron

  3. biff barker Says:

    Lovie talking up Means is motivation for Clayborn and Bowers. Happens every year in every camp.

  4. biff barker Says:

    Clayborn is not going to be handed the LDE job. He’d be better suited rotating with Johnson.

  5. Chef Paul Says:

    Clayborn was a Hawkeye. I’ll always be a fan of his and follow his career. But I’ve been worried about this since we got Johnson. I don’t think he beats out Johnson, and it’ll be just as tough or tougher for him to beat out Means. Hate to say it, but the writings on the wall. Clayborn has to ball out this year for us to keep him I think. Prove us wrong AC!! I’ll always root for you.

  6. pablo Says:

    Adrian Clayborn will have more sacks than Micheal Johnson.

    Pablo said it 1st !!

    Lovie will have no choice but to franchise tag him

  7. Architek Says:

    He should contribute greatly in a rotation and in the goal line heavy packages. It’s unfortunate but his attributes just don’t fit what this system calls for.

    I would trade him to Dallas or Chicago – teams desperate for 4-3 DEs and depth for a late pick in next years draft, which is going to be deep as well.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    You can question Clayborns arms…..but never his heart & hustle……

  9. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    AC is just not fast enough anymore to just ” Go get the QB ” i am sure that they tried to trade him but could not even get a 6th rounder. Maybe if there is a know running down maybe Ac will come in.

  10. Architek Says:

    Your post doesn’t warrant a response from people – MJ pass rush is superior to Clayborn, naturally his speed and length alone outclasses AC.

    You are starting to posts more outrageous stuff lately and it makes no sense.

    Count your recent as yet another non-English compliant senseless posts.

    Your résumé is adding up pretty fast! Soon you will be blocked for something stupid – always happens to people like you looking for attention.

  11. Architek Says:

    Why would they franchise tag a player they wouldn’t even pick up the option on?

    See what I mean – you make no sense!

  12. Adrian Says:

    AC will bounce back this season and be a solid contributor. If anything, it’ll be a good idea to keep him around for depth after this season just in case.

  13. Chef Paul Says:

    What’s wrong with Pablo’s post? I remember every one hating on the Realist. Calling him an idiot, pessimist, for going against the grain on some topics. He turned out to be right on almost everything. All I’m saying is a person should be careful bashing on people because their predictions and opinions don’t follow the mass’s thoughts.

    Or is everyone just tired of the whole third person routine?

  14. Lou. Says:

    I like Pablo.

    Pablo likes Pablo.

    I am not Pablo.

    I also like Means and Gholston. Clayborn (and Bowers), not so much.

  15. Jim Walker Says:

    Go back and watch the games from last year. Especially the Rams game. Clayborne just stood around and took the whole game off. Cut the guy, he has no motor and no drive to play. He is worse than useless, he is a determent to the team.

  16. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Yikes, at this rate McCoy and Foster may end up as the lone Bucs drafted by Raheem and Dom! Hopefully AC can live up to his 1st round selection. Rah may have been a great guy to do chest bumps with, but damn it is becoming obvious that he was horrible at evaluating talent in the draft. Thankfully Schiano got Golston and Means in here 😉

  17. Jim Walker Says:

    Adrian Clayborne was a bust. His play is atrocious. I didn’t think it was as bad as it was until I watched the 2013 season again with an eye on him specifically. He does not play with aggression. Takes 1st and 2nd down off and then only sometimes plays hard on 3rd. Misses WAY too many tackles. He never tries to run anyone down from behind, he just stops and watches us get burned. Even backup tackles easily throw him to the ground like a rag doll. If Lovie sees what I saw I am surprised he is on the team.

  18. Tnew Says:

    I really like Claiborne but Something on film must’ve spooked lovie and licht about his game. I don’t see Claiborne ever being the best end in the game so the bucs must look elsewhere.

  19. SAMCRO Says:

    If the bucs keep 4 DT and 5 DE (9) on the 53 man roster, then there is no reason why Clayborn wouldn’t make the team. Unless of course JOE is going on record to say that either DE’s Matthew Masifilo, Chaz Sutton, David Hunter, Scott Solomon, or Everett Dawkins, are better than Clayborn. Just like always, with the “Doom and Gloom”.

    These guys make the team.





  20. Bill Says:

    Just like Dommer said after drafting him, Claiborn = Spires.

  21. Espo Says:

    Clay getting more sacks than Johnson isn’t all that far fetched. I hope they keep one upping each other all year long. You should actually read Pablo’s post instead of just ripping on it because he posted it.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Lovie is not going to cut him this year, and that’s what matters.

    EVEN if Clayborn is not starting, he’s getting paid backup money. If he isn’t starting (which I believe he will be), he is worth keeping on the roster because good backups are not easy to find.

    And on top of that, Clayborn is a hard worker who has a strong desire to overachieve. We won’t be likely to find a better backup.

    I wouldn’t write him off just yet. I think he’ll be starting opposite Johnson.

  23. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    poeple have a right to there opinion no matter how wrong it is. Watch the Bucs to look at all the waiver wires and practice squad players to replace the mistake of drafting AC. If Ac will gain weight maybe he could play for a 3-4 defense that is his only chance to stay in this league now.

  24. BamBamBuc Says:

    Clayborn, Bowers, Gholston and Means are gonna get about 100% of the LDE snaps and maybe 10-20% of the RDE snaps split between them in practice and camp and preseason… and maybe even during the season, to see which will survive. Basically, that’s about 30% each, which will limit ability to be spectacular. Whichever win, it will be great competition and fun to watch. I don’t care which stay and play, just who is better.

  25. owlykat Says:

    AC got 7.5 sacks last year still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. He also was taught minimal technique. He will have better coaching this year and is a good run stopper and disruptor even when he gets no sack, so has a lot of value as the prime substitute if Gholston or Johnson go down or needs a breather. Means has value only as a situational rusher. He is not big enough to hold the perimeter against a big pulling guard. It should come down to whether to trade Bowers or cut Means. If the DL Coach can turn Bowers head around and get all his talent out of him, and Clayton plays great this year, it will depend on how vital Means is to Special Teams because Gholston is strong enough to play inside, as to whether they keep five DEs. The Georgia Tech Rookie three technique could be developed on the Practice Squad and only added if McCoy should go down! We have plenty of Defensive End talent!

    Clayborn, in fact, had 5.5 sacks. Here’s the link to the final 2013 numbers: –Joe

  26. Dougy balls Says:

    I love are rotational depth on the d line this year . Do the joes have any thoughts about how many de – DT we will carry and do they think bowers or anyone of the other de will be part of a DT rotation for obvious passing situations . And if Pablo thinks clayborn will be tagged then Pablo I will say it again. PABLO IS AN IDIOT

  27. Dougy balls Says:

    Happy memorial day to all of our true Americans . If you know or see anybody who’s in the military or was in the military don’t be shy to shake their hand we all owe it to them for the freedom we enjoy

  28. Barry Says:

    Trade Clayborn for Ritchie Incognito. You’re welcome.

  29. SteveK Says:


    Clayborn had 5.5 sacks and was recovering from an ACL injury.

  30. Architek Says:

    Like I said he’s a solid rotation player – but the point is he was drafted in the 1st round.

  31. buc4lyfe Says:

    I guess we’re going to reference the bears since that was lovie’s first head coaching job but last i checked he’s in Tampa because despite julius peppers he got fired. There aren’t many peppers type players sitting around especially on our roster. He said the same thing about ghoulston, as for now means is running with two’s and threes behind AD. It takes more than speed and size to succeed just ask bowers that

  32. PRBucFan Says:

    AC when healthy is beastly, he was in the running for DROY, he’s shown he can produce.

    Lovie will get the best out of AC.

    Don’t expect him to disappear anytime soon if he can indeed remain healthy.

  33. PRBucFan Says:

    Curious to see who Lovie has running with the #1 to date? lol 😉

  34. Thomas Says:

    Lovey and his coaches are going to get the best out of Clayborn and Bowers. If those two cannot deal with not having the starting role handed to them then neither belong in the nfl or on this team. You do what players have always done in this situation- you suit up and play your ass off!

    I like Clayborn better than Bowers- but -just curious- what did they weigh in at this year? Did Bowers show up like he knows he’s i n for a fight? Clayborn? I hope so because you know Means, Gholston and Spence are going to show up… Whether they can take the spot or not remains to be seen. I’d bet on seeing at least one of them, if not more being more prominent this year as opposed to last year.

    This defense is going to be better than the ones we’ve seen around here lately. They will be disruptive and get after the qb’s. Look for many Interceptions this year by our safeties and corners and lb’s.

  35. Danati74 Says:

    Gholston and Means have every opportunity to make this team as all above them. AC is good enough to warrant his 1st round grade. We have all seen him make big splash plays. Just not enough. Bowers has a chance due to being one of the most dominant players coming out of college. Poor rock star for picking these guys and Brian Price included. He did pick up Gholston and Means too in later rounds too. Going to be a good battle to watch. Situation is probably why they didn’t go DE in draft.

  36. THETRUTH Says:

    Y so down on Claiborne especially with his sack totals with what we are told by all buc experts how poor defensive scheme we ran with all the stunts.

  37. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Clayborn was recovering from a nasty ACL. Takes two years( ask Revis)
    Bowers was recovering from a torn Achilles- probably the worst Leg injury. Takes two years

    Both will be better. Bowers will still prove to be a better Pass rusher. He has the arm span and Length. He is quicker.

    Clayborn will be a 2 down DE. If they are smart- he will move inside on Passing downs. He has the size to add weight, and the motor to thrive on the inside.
    Plus the quicks to be disruptive. His short arms wouldn’t be an issue, and his relentlessness is ideal for tackle.

    I like a Johnson, McCoy, Clayborn, Bowers/Gholston line. You have some guys that fight hard on the inside.

    But don’t forget. Clayborn had more sacks than Johnson last year.
    We have time to find out.

  38. Brandon Says:

    pablo Says:
    May 26th, 2014 at 10:20 am
    Adrian Clayborn will have more sacks than Micheal Johnson.

    Pablo said it 1st !!

    Lovie will have no choice but to franchise tag him

    All proof I need to know that Pablo is an idiot. A one-armed unproductive DE with no burst is going to beat the RDE in sacks…. Clayborn barely beat Teo-Neisheim in sacks last year, and that was with Clayborn playing his much better side of RDE. Gimme a freaking break, Michael Johnson is going to blow up!

  39. pick6 Says:

    interestingly, if you put aside michael johnson’s 12 sack season, i believe clayborn’s rookie campaign and this past season recovering from an ACL injury stand up as the 2 most productive seasons by a starting DE candidate on our roster.