Something To Prove

June 26th, 2014
adrian clayborn 0603 believes Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn has “something to prove.”

Boy, a lot of players have something to prove on this Bucs squad. Where does Joe start?

There is defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, there is quarterback Josh McCown, there is left tackle Anthony Collins, there is running back Doug Martin. You could go up and down the roster and find guys with something to prove.

Chris Burke of believes Bucs fans need to look no further than the defensive line.

In a series on NFL players who need something to prove, Burke points a finger at defensive end Adrian Clayborn.


Burke: Adrian Clayborn, DE

Even though Clayborn bounced back from a 2012 knee injury to start 16 games and deliver six sacks last season, the Buccaneers opted not to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract, meaning that he could hit free agency after 2014. That decision sends a pretty clear message to Clayborn that the new, Lovie Smith-led coaching staff has its doubts about his future — or at least about Clayborn’s value at the $6.9 million his 2015 option would have demanded.

So Clayborn finds himself in a prove-it contract year, though the opportunities should be plenty in Smith’s defense.

The soon-to-be 26-year-old Clayborn is slotted in as the starting left DE for the Buccaneers, with newcomer Michael Johnson on the right side. How well Clayborn performs there ultimately will determine if Tampa Bay deems him irreplaceable or if he will limp into free agency next offseason. The Bucs would be thrilled to see Clayborn prove them wrong, because they have limited usable depth behind him — William Gholston may be ready for a larger role, but Da’Quan Bowers continues to be a disappointment.

Joe has a hunch Clayborn will turn things around. Yes, it was a very clear message when the Bucs did not pick up his fifth-year option, essentially saying, “Prove it.”

Clayborn showed promise his rookie year. Then in his second year, he blew up his knee. Not good. Last year, how did anyone expect Clayborn to rack up sacks when he was dancing around virtually every play like Beyonce in some crazy-arse stunt, not to mention the psychotic concept an allegedly sober person hatched to have Clayborn cover speedster Darren Sproles in pass coverage.

Just a hunch, the Bucs are going to craft defensive line play to get the most out of players like Clayborn, not waste their talents.

30 Responses to “Something To Prove”

  1. Snook Says:

    At this point, he’s probably not going to end up living up to his draft status.

    All he needs to be is Greg Spires in this defense. 5-6 sacks.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    “…….like Beyonce in some crazy-arse stunt, not to mention the psychotic concept an allegedly sober person hatched to have Clayborn cover speedster Darren Sproles in pass coverage.”

    Take a deep breath Joe and let it go. It’s alright now. It was just a bad dream but its over now.

  3. robert8 Says:

    Robert – Joe has 20,000+ visits here daily and has a nice little business. Do you really think Joe is running a mess of a site that it’s unusable? Please don’t continue on this path. Joe checks the site daily from multiple sources and locations and computers, from multiple counties and states. Joe sees no issues like you are experiencing, and Joe’s traffic growth is excellent, too.–Joe

  4. The Don Says:

    i love that image of dude covering darren sproles:

    The play is happening, and Schiano is thinking” nice, just how we drew it up in practice”

    And then he realized Clayborn was 280 lbs, and sproles danced to the endzone.

    I think it is a fun thing to remember. Lets see how things shake out this year, if we have any “memorable moments” .

    Hopefully , they will be on the good side of the memory bank.

  5. mark Says:

    The team has something to prove, it’s call playing like professionals for a true NFL coach. From what I’m reading there is new blood flowing. It starts with the leadership and flows down to the players that they are professionals not a college team. You can’t ask them to play like men when they are treated like kids.
    Those that believe will be there next year, those that don’t ….won’t.

    This should be a very interesting season.

  6. Ctbucsfan Says:

    Beyoncé! Lol! I love how every time you bring up Adrian you can’t go without mentioning the Sproles play! Keep it coming Joe, good stuff

  7. Harry Says:

    I think Clayborn will come thru. I predict at least 8 sacks. This is difficult to predict bc some of it depends on how much he rushes from LDE, where he is not as good. Frigging Cheeseburger Bowers should be included as having something to prove since he is also a FA after this season. Unfortunately, Cheeseburger just doesn’t have any stones to put forth the needed effort.

  8. Tom Edrington Says:

    If you want to get down to it, the entire team and coaching staff have something to prove.

    Don’t they?

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Clayborn 6 Sacks
    McCoy 8 Sacks
    Johnson 8 Sacks
    Gholston 4 Sacks
    McDonald 5 Sacks
    Spence 2 Sacks
    LVD 2 Sacks
    Means 1 Sack
    Foster 1 Sack
    Casillas 1 Sack
    ATV 1 Sack
    Barron 1 Sack

    That’s 40 sacks…..would be happy with that… effort….

  10. Hawk Says:

    I agree with Tom.
    The goodbyes to all those starters was the coaching staffs’ way of telling the remaining players, “Prove to us that we made the right decision”.

  11. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    “Clayborn is solid, and solid will get you 4-12”

    Lovie Smith on Clayborn.

  12. Harry Says:

    I like the 40, but I think either Johnson or McCoy will get dbl digit sacks (I am surprised you don’t predict anyone getting dbl digit sacks). I also see LVD getting 4 sacks. He has the wheels and this D likes to blitz from the LB spot.

    And you ‘forgot’ Cheeseburger Bowers! LOL, Does this mean you ‘predict’ him getting cut?

  13. b.Bruce Says:

    Adrian will lead the Buccaneers in sacks this year.GMC will get doubled Claiborne will make the most out of it out of all the other lineman.tampaaaaa

  14. Surf Buc Says:

    Our current defense + Lovie Smith = a serious threat.

  15. Espo Says:

    I think everyone believes he has something to prove. I believe he’ll prove it… And so will Gholston

  16. Ryan Oster Says:

    Im not sure it was a “very clear message” or a “Prove it” statement. Even if he records 10 Sacks this year, TB will not offer to pay him $7.0M per year. That’s basically All Pro money. I doubt him or his agent expected TB to pick up the option at that price.

  17. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I just don’t think Clayborn has it, I could be wrong and for the first time, he could play well this year. With Lovie’s past draft history and the money that is will be on the d-line, I see a lot of value in drafting DE next year.

    If you have a “high motor, and relentless, it just means you cannot get to the QB in time in Lovie’s defense”

  18. Chris Says:

    Clayborn has that non stop motor but he just isn’t quick off the snap and doesn’t make up for it with an array of pass rush moves nor speed. He’s all power. He does a nice job setting the edge against the run. He’s more of a 3-4 de IMO. A guy that can get you a couple sacks while freeing up an outside pass rusher off the Edge.

    I think Gholston beats him out to be honest.

  19. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Last year, how did anyone expect “player”…..

    Of course, it’s ok to use this excuse at any position but QB. Then it’s the ol’ “last placed offense” schtick even though it would not have even been last place if not for “Team Friendly Resigning” Freeman, stinking up the joint.

  20. RastaMon Says:

    I have AC’s back….he has GREAT effort and was a 1/2 a step away so many times….

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Harry

    My post was simply meant to show that we can have a great year as a defense and plenty of sacks as a team without a spectacular performance from anyone. It was not really meant to predict individual sack performances….and yes….Bowers, if he makes the team should get a couple & Johnson & McCoy should hit double-digits!!!
    LVD will probably get 4 or more….

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    Clayborn will give it all he’s got. I expect him to excel this year. And to b.Bruce… baaaaaay

  23. Buc'd up Says:

    I love how people think that clayborns assignment was to cover Sproles in straight man, when in reality he was in a zone coverage into the boundary.. The whole mindset behind the coverage is to allow the DBS to flex out and cover more area in the middle of the field .

  24. Cody Says:

    1 of My bold predictions for the 2014 season is at least 2 Buccaneer DLmen will register 10 sacks or more….It’s long over due, McCoy finally has some experienced studs up front with him…this will be the 1st time in his nfl career that teams won’t be able to double/triple team him every week…I expect us to field a SuperBowl caliber defense…

  25. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    @buc’d up
    if you stay here long enough, you where here all kinds of Joe’s crazy revisionist history. such as

    Mike Williams was traded because he had a mattress in his yard
    All Schiano ran was stunts,
    In 2010 the referees kept the Bucs out of the playoffs.
    and my favorite, The rockstar was respected throughout the league.

  26. Eric Says:

    Hey next month is the last one without a Bucs game to watch and argue about!

    Who has it better than us??????

  27. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Realist

    How about Donald Penn not being one of the problems with the O line last season. That’s one of my favorites.

  28. CLW JB Says:

    AC reminds me of Greg Spires sooooooooo much – motor never stopped and had a club for a left arm – my money is on him doing very well, 7-8 sacks 40-50 tackles -think about the flush sacks coming his way from GMC and Johnson – it’s almost like we have new age clones of the old D – I am very amped to see what this athletic defense can do.

    The beast rookies added on the offense side to go with VJax and the deepest backfield in the league

    This is a team headed up, FINALLY!!!!

  29. Jim Walker Says:

    This guy stinks. Re-watch the Rams game from last year and watch Clayborne get owned by the backup after Long was injured. Clayborne took the whole game off.

  30. Jim Walker Says:

    Just got done rewatching the Buffalo game. AC is just not a good player. Watch the film.