Bullish On Will Gholston

June 1st, 2014
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A former Lovie Smith colleague weighs in

From the beginning last year, Joe thought the third-day drafting of Michigan State beast Will Gholston was a nice gamble. He had the perfect size for a defensive end and could play inside when needed.

College football types thought if Gholston fell in the right hands, then he could become a stud. Gholston, who came out as a junior, was thought to be a raw, undisciplined manchild.

Well, last year Gholston impressed Joe and many others the way he worked from the very bubble of the roster to the inactive list to the active roster on gamedays to starting at left end in December.

In a column for the NationalFootballPost.com, former Bears executive Gabe Gabriel believes Gholston is a player both Bucs fans, and moreso Bucs opponents, better watch out for in 2014.

I’ll admit, I’m guessing here, but in Lovie Smith’s defense, Gholston has the physical traits to be a star. Gholston has always looked, but never played, the part. He is tall with long arms, athletic, and has a burst. His play at Michigan State and his first year in Tampa has been up and down. He has flashed but hasn’t put it all together.

Joe Cullen is one of the best defensive line coaches in the business and is the perfect coach to help Gholston reach his potential.

Last year Gholston played in 12 games and finished with 30 total tackles and 2.0 sacks. In Smith’s defense, Gholston should get 7+ sacks and 50+ total tackles. He has the talent to do it. Now it is up to him to get it done.

Not sure where Gabriel gets that Gholston’s season was up and down. He was on a straight line from poor to better. Gholston’s 2013 season was hardly a rollercoaster.

If Gholston makes the same kind of progress this season as he did last season, then Gholston very well may solidify his position at starting left end.

17 Responses to “Bullish On Will Gholston”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think there is little doubt that Gholston will be a solid performer….if not a starter…surely he will provide excellent depth to the D-line….he is young & very inexpensive….we need players like this. I am hoping that Means is in the same category.

  2. ander Says:

    gholston has a great upside i believe he will be the starter once the season starts with daquan bowers backing him up. on another thank god their will no te.o noeshim on the bucs next year.

  3. Mike Says:

    Yeah up and down seems like this guy hasn’t watched any games. Kid got better every time he stepped onto the field. I’m certain he will be be a beast with the new regime. I’d actually bet on it!

  4. JBuc Says:

    I believe the knock on Gholston coming out of college was the same as Bowers now. Look like Tarzan, play like Jane. Low motors in defensive lineman (or anyone for that matter) are hard to change. Hopefully, Lovie can show them the opportunity that is there for them if they apply themselves. The difference between most athletes at that level is desire.

  5. Macabee Says:

    I’ve already made my mind up regarding LDE. Will Gholston is the heir apparent and the job is his to lose. A clear message was sent to Clayborn when they did not pick up his fifth year option. And Bowers, while talented, cannot stay healthy and seems to lack the drive and discipline to get better at DE.

    Not telling Lovie what to do, but this is JBF, nobody cares what we say! Lol. I’m starting Gholston at LDE with Clayborn in rotation to spell Gholston and when he moves inside on certain plays. The question has often been asked “who’s backing up McCoy”? Bowers has been at 288 for the last two years and is a couple of BBQ sammiches away from being able to hold down the middle. I’m bulking that guy up (which I think he will enjoy) and permanently moving him behind McCoy while Euclid Cummings develops on the PS.

    Let’s get after the QB this year! Go Bucs!

  6. Destinjohnny Says:

    Go hard Will you only get so many shots in life

  7. Lou. Says:

    Bucs Nation has a statistical and performance-based review. It is bearish on Gholston’s play last year. Feels he lost his balance too much and used his hands poorly. Snap analysis did not reflect as much progress as some of us felt we saw.

    That is where the more critical or cautious take is coming from.

  8. BucfaninMi Says:

    If he stays focused and the right coach, he’s a pro bowler! He and LVD every year until they’re done!

  9. Architek Says:

    If he stays healthy he will beast!

  10. Tomcin Says:

    The only line Bowers is going to back up is the unemployment line. Got to keep Claiborn on the right side backing up Johnson.

  11. Steve from Oregon Says:

    I continue to scratch my head about Bowers…He was touted as a can’t miss special end coming out of college the sure first pick in the Draft if his knee issue hadn’t of popped up.

  12. buc4lyfe Says:

    It would be nice, bucs fans got spoiled with sack masters Warren Sapp and Simeon rice, considering our defensive history it’s hard to understand why it’s not the easiest position to evaluate. Steelers are known for great linebackers, we should be been known for defensive line but thanks to horrible drafting that lineage got cut off, hope lovie can get us back to dominating defense not just good but dominating

  13. MadMax Says:

    we have another work in progress with Chaz Sutton…..as long as he progresses, we’ll be happy with his results too.

  14. William Says:

    We already have our version of Sapp, Rice, McFarland, Brooks, Quarles, Barber & Lynch with McCoy, Johnson, McDonald/Spence, David, Foster/Casillas, Verner & Goldson. Here comes Rice ~ in Gholston.

    This defense will get the stadium sold out!

  15. buc4lyfe Says:

    Like the good ol days William, lovie owes the fans that considering the first two hall of famers were d line for us, and only hall of fame considerations will be defensive or head coaches. Lol guess glennon will be the first offense player to ever be in the hall of fame for us

  16. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Quiz time!
    Who was Bucs first pro bowler?
    No peaking!
    Hint- he was a D-Lineman

  17. BoJim Says: