No Set Defensive Ends

June 6th, 2014
Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen believes he can resurrect DE Adrian Clayborn's career.

Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen believes he can resurrect Adrian Clayborn

When the Bucs went free agent shopping this past spring, the Bucs didn’t waste time getting what they believed to be a pass-rushing right defensive end. The previous two years, the pathetic pass rush was a flat out embarrassment to football fans.

It sure seemed like Michael Johnson was entrenched as the starting right defensive end. He may be. But per Pat Yasinskas of, it appears both Johnson and Adrian Clayborn will flip back and forth between left end and right end.

“When I look back at Adrian, I look back at his rookie year when he had his hand in the dirt all the time, just going vertical, getting off the ball, being disruptive, 7 1/2 sacks from the right side,’’ Bucs defensive line coach Cullen said. “Then he had the injury and then you look at last year, he had 19 1/2 tackles for loss, 5 1/2 sacks and three of them were on the left side. And it was a little bit different scheme but still he’s rushing from that side, so he’s going to play both sides. Michael’s going to rush from both sides.’’

If Cullen could tell Clayborn was a much better rusher with his hand in the dirt, then why the hell couldn’t the previous regime see that? Or did the Bucs’ previous coaching regime not know how to use iPads that were in vogue with playbooks and film from chest-bumping Raheem Morris?

Instead, the genius that was defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, he believed Clayborn, rather than playing with a hand in the dirt, was more apt to guard speedster Darren Sproles coming out of the backfield in pass coverage.

Just writing that, the thought is so asinine, Joe had to chug a beer.

If Clayborn is going to rebound into a promising pass-rushing defensive end, then Cullen should help him. Frankly, Joe has about given up hope for underperforming Da’Quan Bowers.

28 Responses to “No Set Defensive Ends”

  1. Captain Stagger Says:

    Clayborn will be the first Buc to reach double digit sacks.

  2. Harry Says:

    I think Bowers problem is more laziness than anything; no hope there. This is a big year for Clayborn and I think he knows that. he could hit a big payday by getting it done this year, and I think he might.

    Can’t wait to see the D play.

  3. BucsQcCity Says:

    I trust Cullen to get the most of whoever is on the field.. Same with any position on the team. I want wins.
    No matter who is on the field

  4. Corey Says:

    What is there to ressurect? The guy has yet to have a productive season since he’s been in the league. He’s about as much of a waste of space and cap as Carl Nicks

  5. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Yeah damn that Bill Sullivan, and that OC Mike Sheridan sucked too I guess.

  6. DooshLaRue Says:

    Joe gets those guy’s names confused all the time.
    Kinda can’t blame him, since they both Sucked.

  7. SAMCRO Says:

    I don’t get how you give up on Bowers this early in the season. He hasn’t even started training camp yet. Always the pessimist.

  8. Joe Says:


    I don’t get how you give up on Bowers this early in the season. He hasn’t even started training camp yet. Always the pessimist.

    Sorry, Joe does’t live in dreamland. Bowers is not playing for Clemson. Please explain to Joe in great detail what Bowers has done in the NFL that Joe can point to and say, “You know what, he has really kicked arse. I see a great season for him.”

    Dude was handed a starting job last year and didn’t do squat with the chance.

    Joe doesn’t understand how any sober mind can say, “You know what, based on his NFL track record, Da’Quan Bowers is going to make people forget Too Tall Jones.”

    Yeah, maybe Joe Cullen can get something out of him. Pardon Joe if Bowers’ history in the NFL isn’t giving Joe any confidence that will happen.

  9. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    So, the way the coaches used a player, affected his performance?

    Imagine if this logic were permissible to be used for ALL positions….

  10. flrocker1 Says:

    You hear it all the time, scheme will and does affect a players performance (production). It only makes sense. Joes example of Clayborn covering Sproles (and others) is one of the reasons he wasn’t as productive. How can he record a sack 7 yards down the field? Or with those crazy stunts they were doing?

  11. csidedave Says:

    It would be nice to get back to a d-line rotation like we used to have so they don’t run out of gas on those sweltering days.

  12. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Personally If clayborn starts all year then we are just wasting time. He will be replaced next year. With the D-Ends only losing a little bit of stats, the Defense as a whole put more pressure on the Qb and had more sacs then the past 5 years.

    Some of the media act like Lovie will not run stunts. He will, But if some of the quitters on this team run half-A$$ stunts like they have been, then they do not need to be on the team.

  13. joe$sucsfan Says:

    ODBS good point. I assume you are talking about MG. But as you know Joe only prints what helps him make his point and beats it till its dead. It’s his opinion and that’s fine, at least he gives us our say. So I commend him for that.

  14. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    I’m going to use my version of the eyeball test but for DE, Bowers will be a backup and Clayborn will be a rotational guy at best. My basis…Rah+Dom picks are statistically more likely to be overrated busts than any other group I have seen drafting for the Bucs

  15. Moving On Says:

    I’d like to hear what Joe Cullen thinks about Bowers. Everyone should keep on calling him out. Keep on calling him a bust. Y’all just might jinx it. It’s better to have low expectations and be surprised, rather then set them sky high and be disappointed. Anything could happen with Da’Quan, since he is on the Bucs I will continue to support him and be positive. Everyone can speculate all they want but no one can foresee the future, especially in the NFL. “Not For Long.”

  16. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Its a no brainer….

    We are about to see what good coaching does for talented players this year.
    Last year McCoy was chained to STUNTS. This year he will take the shortest route to the QB.

    I have a feeling McCoy will be making the QBs eat dirt more often this year.

    So yes since the players had to follow instruction given by the general their performance was disrupted. But hey the general slept fine at night because he had control of the ship. In the general’s mind winning was a minor detail.

    We will notice revived performances by some of our players with the new scheme and mindset of our coaches.

  17. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    If you don’t set your thermostat to 68 degrees you understand the logic. Really is not that hard… lol

  18. Joe Says:

    It’s better to have low expectations and be surprised, rather then set them sky high and be disappointed.


  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Harry Says
    “I think Bowers problem is more laziness than anything; no hope there.”

    I don’t know if there is “no hope”, but there certainly isn’t much of it. People see how McCoy worked out after his injuries and think the same can happen with Bowers for some reason. But McCoy, between injuries, flashed plenty of talent.

    Bowers never has.

    Corey Says
    “What is there to resurrect? The guy has yet to have a productive season since he’s been in the league. He’s about as much of a waste of space and cap as Carl Nicks.”

    This is not true. In his rookie year he had 7 1/2 sacks. For a rookie DE that is great. Coming off his injury, while still recovering, he had 5 1/2 sacks.

    Those are the flashes of goodness we need to see. Just like with Gerald McCoy, a bunch of fans have given up on Clayborn and want him gone. You were all wrong about McCoy, but did anyone learn their lesson in that? Nope. Now we have a very similar situation with Clayborn. History repeats itself.

    Clayborn is a hard worker. He stays in the best condition possible. I said the moment Johnson was signed that Clayborn would move to the left side and do very well there. Watch and see.

  20. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Blame coaching all you want, but GMC became a pro bowl DT under Schiano and LVD has been lights out. Schiano had his share of coaching flaws, but he got individual production out of the good players (notice how Lovie came in and got rid of most of the underachievers except those with contracts that made it cost beneficial to keep another year)

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m not completely sold on Frazier. But I suspect if he doesn’t work out, Lovie has a backup plan for next year.

  22. buc4lyfe Says:

    Coming off an injury Clayborn had a lot of haters even this off-season when we picked up Johnson. People just like who they like, Michael Bennett never had more than 4 sacks before he broke out his contract year, which was the year Clayborn led us in sacks, this guy deserves a chance and seems lovie will give it to him…we’re always hyping the unknown here, gholston, means and any new face that comes along, age of instant gratification like they don’t realize it takes time to reach fuel potential just like mccoy hasn’t even done yet, that but still has upside we haven’t seen yet

  23. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    All we need to know is that the first thing Lovie did was find A Clayborn’s replacement, He will get a shot during training camp and pre-season. He might even make the final 53 man roster this year. But he will not be resigned. its nice that he kepts trying to get to the QB. But Lovie will want players that do get to the QB.

    If they say you have a high motor and never gives up, that just means you cannot get there in time.

  24. buc4lyfe Says:

    Joe Says:
    June 6th, 2014 at 10:27 am
    It’s better to have low expectations and be surprised, rather then set them sky high and be disappointed.

    Clearly not with MGM

  25. pick6 Says:

    it’s the strangest thing, so few people actually acknowledge that clayborn performed at a high level in both his healthy seasons. you’d think he was the second coming of gaines adams. the reality is his average healthy season arguably shows more production than the average season of our big money pickup michael johnson

  26. Buc the Haters Says:

    People don’t give credit to Clayborn for having a strong year last year bcuz it took him done time to get his strength back from the injury and he didn’t start playing stronger and better later in the season…. But, I think it’ll be a battle between Clayborn, Gholston, & Means… I think it’ll be more of a rotational system and players will be battling for overall DE ranking instead of a 1st & 2nd string LDE & RDE… I say our DE lineup will go like this: #1 Michael Johnson #2 battle between Clayborn/Gholston #3 Loser of that <— battle #4 Steven Means…. Bowers will be released bcuz of laziness.

  27. Evan Says:

    This is a make it or break it for Clayborn. Either he has a fantastic camp & wins a starting job & earn an extension OR he’ll get traded. I was upset when we drafted him but his rookie season proved me wrong. Then things went downhill with Schiano & Sheridan in town. Regardless, He has to earn every single penny this year otherwise he’s done in this town.

  28. Danati74 Says:

    Im sure we have all seen more flashes from AC than Bowers. Atleast we can consider them good depth if they don’t start. As this new regime likes…not a lot of drop off.