Intrigued By Defensive Line

July 23rd, 2014
Imagine what Bucs DL Will Gholston can do with real coaching?

Imagine what Bucs DL Will Gholston can do with real coaching?

Two days, folks. Two days! In a little more than 48 hours, you won’t have to remember much the god awful pass rush of the Bucs last year. It’s a nightmare Joe can’t quite clear from his head without some new football to purge it from Joe’s memory bank.

Yes, in two days training camp begins. Joe will be out at One Buc Palace sweating and twittering for your dining and dancing pleasure.

Joe has stated many times before he has no concerns with the defense. Nor should you. If Bucs general manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith thought there were holes in the defense, they would have drafted someone to try to plug those holes. But it was all offense all draft long in May.

Joe’s still looking forward to watching the defense once the pads come on Sunday. Joe is curious to see how the coaching of Lovie and defensive line coach Joe Cullen elevates the linemen. Bucs blogger Pat Yasinskas of ESPN took a quick look at the defensive line.

There have been some major changes here and those changes should lead to improvement. Defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald were brought in to help upgrade a pass rush that wasn’t very good last season.

All-Pro Gerald McCoy returns at the defensive tackle spot, and he and McDonald should give the Bucs a strong interior pass rush. Adrian Clayborn seems to be the leading candidate to start opposite Johnson. Clayborn, a former first-round pick, has failed to play up to his potential so far in his pro career. And he enters a contract season, too.

But Clayborn isn’t guaranteed a starting job. William Gholston showed lots of promise last season and should at least earn rotational playing time. Steven Means also has some upside. Akeem Spence started last year as a rookie, but he’s likely to be the top backup to McDonald this year.

Interesting that in Yasinskas’ piece, nowhere can you find the name “Da’Quan Bowers.”

Why is Joe intrigued about the defensive line? Well, if you — like Joe — were impressed with how far Will Gholston came in one season with a defensive staff that thought getting pressure on the quarterback was slightly harder than figuring out a Rubik’s Cube, imagine how much Gholston can progress with real coaching?

Joe imagines Clayborn will be better. Because the Bucs didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, it is now a contract season for Clayborn. Play well and cash in, real simple.

12 Responses to “Intrigued By Defensive Line”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Talk about meeting deadlines, you said 7 AM tomorrow, and magically, it’s here.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Yes, in two days training camp begins. Joe will be out at One Buc Palace sweating and twittering for your dining and dancing pleasure.

    Anybody else going to make it out on Friday? I live in DC but I’ve been in Siesta Key for the last month or so. At the very least, I’ll be there on Friday. Anybody should feel free to stop by and say hi or how much you hate my comments, I’ll probably be the only shaved headed guy wearing a sleeveless away James Wilder jersey.

  3. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I, Just like Lovie, are more intrigued in seeing that there is 3 new starters on the line from this time last year. Only McCoy will retain his position from last year.
    I am excited about the bucs, not about their chances in the nfc south, just excited they hit the reset button this off-season.

  4. SAMCRO Says:

    The real nice thing about our new and improved defensive line is that they will practice against our suspect O-line. Hopefully, that will make both lines even stronger.

  5. Tom Edrington Says:

    Imagine how Gholston will progress with real coaching?

    Heck, imagine how the entire team will progress with real coaching!

  6. flmike Says:

    All the defensive lineman should prosper from the new coaches and new scheme, it simplifies their jobs, no more wondering who I’m covering coming out of the backfield, no more wondering who’s gap I’m supposed to stunt into, no more trying to figure out if I’m supposed to be doing this because we DIDN’T practice it…even if it works, just straight ahead bull rushing the QB and playing the run on the way by…aaahhhh back to the days of yore…The Tampa 2 Defense is back.

  7. Harry Says:

    Amen to all your comments. Its so nice to have real coaching and not a total control freak. Go Bucs!!!

  8. Jim Walker Says:

    I hope to never see Clayborn dropping back into coverage this season.

  9. bigpoppabuc Says:

    I’m a fan of Steven Means. I like his athletic ability and in college he showed some great quickness on the edge. Hopefully he’s been in the weight room all summer, and soaking up all the coaching he possibly can… If so I think Bowers will find himself unemployed in a few weeks.

  10. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    “imagine how much Gholston can progress with real coaching?”

    I’m hoping Gholston will be the Rice of the future. I’ll be surprise if he is not starting by November. Exciting times!

    @Brandon – I’m planing to be there. I’ll find you. Go Bucs!

    @Joe – what happen to your t-shirts? I want a baseball cap! Is the project halted?

  11. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    not trying to sound “mo” but i’m salivating over Gholston’s potential at being coached to run str8 for the QB as opposed to running around him in circles. And for the record, DON”T ANYONE count out Clayborn, he’s got talent and the heart of a lion.

  12. Owlykat Says:

    Our Defensive Linemen will be great this year, with the possible exception of Bowers, who won’t make this team if he doesn’t change his lazy attitude. Our Defense is going to make QBs miserable! Interceptions and takeaways will be up, and at last we will have an Offense that will capitalize on the short fields.
    Load our cannons!!!