“The Prototype” Delivers

August 9th, 2014


There were many bright spots for your beloved Bucs in Jacksonville last night. Don’t let the skeptics ruin your Saturday.

One came from a guy Lovie Smith says is his “prototype” defensive end. And that performance threw an interesting wrinkle into the D-line competition.

Second-year man Steven Means, a 2013 fifth-round pick, registered a sack and two tackles for a loss. The way the national media is gushing wildly over the night of rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, one might think Means’ sack was something extra special. It was no BS sack. Means beat his man and closed fast for a thorough takedown of Bortles (see photo).

It was May when Lovie said the following about Means: “If you just look at size, speed, long arms, you notice [Means] on the hoof a little bit,” Lovie said in May. “He’s that prototype guy that we’re playing with, with that speed. He’s not the biggest guy around. We don’t care about really, so much size, but want to have a lot of fast guys that can come off the edge and rush the passer.”

What’s interesting is that Lovie says Buccaneers will dress seven defensive linemen on game days.

But after last night, there are eight viable bodies: Adrian Clayborn, Will Gholston, Michael Johnson, Steven Means, Gerald McCoy, Da’Quan Bowers, Akeem Spence, Clinton McDonald.

The ascent of Means makes things interesting and competitive.

Will Bowers continue to show he can back up McCoy, like he did pretty well last night? Can Gholston perform as an inside and outside rusher?

Keep in mind Means has been a regular on first-team special teams. Competition is always positive, and Joe’s very glad it got kicked up a notch last night on the defensive line.


39 Responses to ““The Prototype” Delivers”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our defense is fine and we have some depth…..looking good everywhere but Oline…..get out the checkbook!!!

  2. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I think that we need to remember, That the bucs were ranked last in offense last year ( by yds per game) Second to last was the Jags. If you rank them by total points, which really should be the way, the Jags were ranked dead last, the Bucs were 30th.

    The d looked good against the worst offense in the league in my opinion.

  3. clafollett Says:

    I thought Means did a very good job last night. Lovie will have some tough choices to make. It’s hard to say who the low man is right now on the d line. I thought the all played well. What a good problem to have.

  4. louden Says:

    If a player is good enough, he will make the 53 man roster.
    With that in mind: Cut Clayborn – he isn´t a 4-3 DE IMO

  5. louden Says:

    Anyone else noticing how slow Clayborn is at reading a play?
    Out of position to often.
    To slow first steps – no explosion, but good hustle, well whatever.

    Might trade him (at least a former 1st rounder 😉 ) and Doug Martin.

    Please not wasting future draft picks to get that Guard(s)/Tackle(s) that we need

  6. BucsQcCity Says:

    Still not convinced by Means but he did good yesterdsy. Spence was invisible and I’m disapointed by that

  7. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    The Jags were throwing a TE or just a running back to Clayborn, and he still did not get pressure. the Jags slide the whole line over to double team the real D-lineman.

  8. HotRod Says:

    @BucsQcCity Spence wasn’t invisible, he had that nice roughing the passer penalty….

  9. Greg Says:

    Greg agrees with Joe! Greg agrees with Joe ! Holy crap this NEVER Happens…

    We all agree that the O line looks as bad as we feared but besides that I saw good coaching for all three strings of defense. Not out classed like last few years when the back ups come in. Offense weapons look good once line starts improving which they will. Love new tight end and Charles Simms. Would love to see Demps get any kind of blocking. Did I see Daquan Bowers make plays???

  10. bigpoppabuc Says:

    AC is playing his way out of Tampa. He just can’t find a fit. I’ve always liked Means and knew he’d be a fun project out of Buffalo. AC has hit his ceiling and it’s not good enough. I think the writing is on the wall.

  11. BucsQcCity Says:

    Simms was probably a luxury we couldn’t afford at 3rd round. Let see if they can coach up to at least not be blown on each play. Collins got blown away but I think he’ll be fine… We’ll see

    Move To 1st squad: omameh, edwaard, ASJ, Simms/james

    Downgrade: martin, Rainey, oniels, cousins, meredith, stocker

    And L&l should start making calls around the league for OG availability. At least see what’s the asking price

  12. J 2.0 Says:

    I was not overly impressed with Bortles. He has a weak delivery and is going to get his receivers killed one day.

    Bowers was very impressive last night. He looked like McCoy out there and I think DT will be a great fit for him. I also like Gholston’s play as well. Nothing needs to be said about McCoy, he is the best we got.

    Elephant in the room. You can say whatever you want to about the OL play last night. It was bad all night long. With that said there was one QB who looked like an NFL caliber QB, that lead his offense, looked comfortable, made confident throws, avoided pressure, and needs to be the starter. He shall remain unnamed because we all know its true.

  13. J 2.0 Says:


    Clayborn had a sack and a batted down pass last night. What game were you watching?!?!?!?!

  14. Bucnnole Says:

    Sign Incognito!!!!!!

  15. Dreambig Says:

    It interesting that all the d’lineman who made plays were already on the team last year. Didn’t see much from Daniels or McDonald. Claiborne, Bowers, McCoy, Means, And Spense all had a few nice plays.

  16. Dreambig Says:

    Oops meant Johnson not Daniels

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, I agree with you. If they get the Oline shored up they could be very good. They have the money to spend if they find the right guys.


    Listen to you guys, trade martin! lol Yeah lets get rid of our best RB because he couldn’t run with a horrible O line.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    RBs take a beating and they should keep all four of them.

  20. buc4lyfe Says:

    Credit to means it was a good game but his man fell down and the question to me is which of these guys will perform against first team talent, William gholston was getting manhandled and and we haven’t seen Michael Johnson since he press conference signing. Apb out for him because he’s gone missing for months now

  21. OB Says:


    Your thoughts on making some of the DL into Guards, they can’t do much worse?

    Take a deep breath. –Joe

  22. buc4lyfe Says:

    Credit to means it was a good game but his man fell down and the question to me is which of these guys will perform against first team talent, William gholston was getting manhandled and and we haven’t seen Michael Johnson since he press conference signing. Apb out for him because he’s gone. Ams means celebrated like he had just broke a sack record

  23. buddha Says:

    Will someone please get some perspective. There was no game plan. The game means nothing to starters. The offensive line is not settled and is the unit that most depends on coordination with each other. These games mean practically nothing.

  24. buc4lyfe Says:

    Lol yes Greg schiano acted like preseason games meant nothing last year not playing his starters. They are playing hard buddha don’t kid yourself of course it’s important, after all the time in the offseason and ota’s you really think something I’d gonna magically happen by the time the panthers d line comes to town? They look bad and Blake bortles looked better than Glennon did. Glennon NEVER played like that in preseason or regular season

  25. Phillip Says:

    I’m not a big stats guy as you can twist and turn them into whatever you want to prove a point (hello MGM)…BUT

    People are quick to forget that #22 is the same running back from 2012 that had the following stats…

    ATT – 319
    Yards(rushing) – 1,454
    AVG – 4.6
    TD(rushing) – 11
    20+ runs – 11
    40+ runs – 5
    Receptions – 49
    Yards – 472
    AVG – 9.6
    TD – 1
    20+ – 4
    40+ – 3

    So for the people say bench him or trade him… Just shut up

    Back on point… I think the whole 7 lineman thing is just a way to put pressure on a couple players to step up and show something (Bowers Means specifically).. I’m positive if the last roster spot came down to keeping Cousins or Bowers/Means… WE ALL know who would be kept 🙂

  26. Owlykat Says:

    Best OL–Dotson LT, Daniels LG, Present Center, Omameh RG, Collins RT. Cut Cousins immediately. Pickup a good backup Center, let Meredith heal up his leg, and find another good Guard prospect. Edwards is a good backup Guard and could start after he builds his strength to an NFL level. Defense is great as is Special Teams. Patton should be our returner. Keep Josh our starter until we draft and develop a Franchise QB.

  27. Capt.Tim, Back from Davie Jones's Locker Says:

    Yup- gotta agree with a lot of you here.
    Feeling good about our defense.
    Feeling good at QB,RB,Wr, and TE.
    Special teams should be ok

    That offensive line isn’t a pro unit. Fire that coach- get some damn O-linemen.
    If ya gotta trade Martin and Clayborn to do it-
    Then Do it!!!

  28. Seattle Buc Says:

    Why are some ppl talking about trading our best offensive player to get some OG cast off someone else’s team? Dont panic.

  29. Pewter_Power Says:

    This has always been the problem with Tampa’s fan base. One unit looks horrible in one preseason game and they want to blow the team up and trade our best rb. smmfh

  30. joe$sucsfan Says:

    joe, thank you for the opening statement on this post.

  31. Oahubuc Says:

    Someone said they didn’t see much of McDonald. If you have the chance, watch again. He was playing pretty well.

  32. Matt Says:

    That D is going to be NASTY!! Let’s not forget we were missing out top 2 CBs. Bortles looked good against a vanilla cover 2, big deal… The back up MLB wasn’t getting a deep enough drop on most of those seem throws. And Barron and The Hawk (Major lays wood too) will knock their blocks off on those throws and the wrs will have gator-arms by half time.

    As for the offense, that offensive line is horrible but fellas we have weapons galore. Sims is nasty quick and has soft hands. Double back formations with Sims and Dougernaut will be nasty. Herron, Streeter, ME run good routes and are ultra competitive. Herron was open in tbe endzone, he and MG8 will get that timing down.

    The holding calls on ASJ were because he dominated the defender so much that he lifted his pads up. Didnt you see lovie say “Come on bro you can’t shove his pads up like that and not expect to get calked” he’ll getvit cleaned up. We had wrs wide open all night. Tim Wright is a matchup nightmare. In the regular season dont be surprised when McCown just starts throwing it up all day. The oline will not give our qbs time for routes to develop. I hope we can give up that extra 2015 pick we got for Zuttah for Boone from 49ers. Edwards will be very very good. In two years. If we dont address oline Mccown nor MG8 will make it thru the season.

    Again, that defense is going to be nasty. Top 7 this year, Top 5 next year.

  33. Broy3434 Says:

    Did u people really just say bench Doug Martin. His Oline was the worst on the field, the dline he played was the best on the field. Stop u fools. Saying Mike James over Doug Martin. When Rainey or Mike James runs for 270 or w/e on tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour without nicks or Davin in the lineup- then we’ll talk. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read that people who haven’t seen live action outside last night want Martin

  34. Brandon Says:

    I was most impressed with Means on the sweep right and he came around LT and pursued hard and almost made a play on the RB before he turned the corner. That’s speed and effort, two keys to being a great player.

  35. White Tiger Says:

    Size, speed, or combinations of both, coupled with versatility – one of these names is not like the other: Adrian Clayborn, Will Gholston, Michael Johnson, Steven Means, Gerald McCoy, Da’Quan Bowers, Akeem Spence, Clinton McDonald…

    Adrian Clayborn will be odd man out. Not because he doesn’t have talent, he does, just not enough to compete for a position on THIS defensive line.

  36. BucIt941 Says:

    Im sorry but Martin is over hyped as our best RB. Ok, so his rookie year he had 4 phenomenal games. The rest were MEH. His second year he looked awful up until he got hurt. I fully believe Sims, Rainey, and James can all carry the work load for this team. I never saw a drop off in talent whether it was Martin or someone else starting at our tailback last year or that first preseason game. In fact i’ve seen more production coming from the back ups. since the day we drafted him i’ve had my concerns and they are all coming true. Not very good in passing downs as a blocker or a catcher, to small to be a between the tackles runner (all season) and not fast enough to be a “take one to the house on any given play” type of player.

    But this is the kicker in why a trade (NOW) would be a good idea. As far as the rest of the league is concerned Martin’s stock is still really high, which means we can get a good player/deal out of this but we have to act fast. If he go out there and under performs we are stuck with an expensive reserve.

    I would rather have at least 1 starting caliber O-Lineman than keep the 4th starting caliber RB we have on a team. Because regardless of how good they are. ALL will look like garbage and we mave have a murdered QB before the season is over if we keep this Oline as is.

    Bottom line i am ok with trading Martin for a true starting OLineman because at this point its a MUCH BIGGER NEED.

  37. Discount08 Says:

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT OFFENSIVE LINE, REALLY? I am scared for our offensive line, they got beat over and over again. There are no holes for the running backs, they are going to have to get creative all year long. And did not like what I saw from McCown last night, all I wanted to see was him make a few nice plays down field to our big wide outs, and he couldn’t do it.

  38. BucIt941 Says:

    Let me be clear, i am not saying Martin is a bad RB in any sense of the meaning. I am simply saying that he is not an ELITE workhorse RB in this league at the moment. I am not the average fan who just listens to what everyone else thinks or says even by those so called “Expert” analyst. I do my home work, I watch game film (yes i have access), i really break down what i see including all scenario’s for the circumstances.

    With that said i am fully aware of how well his rookie year was. BUT and i really mean but, that doesn’t always translate to consistent success in this league, Michael Clayton ring a bell? I see both the good and bad in Mr. “Teach me how to Dougie” Martin the bad is he has bad hands in passing situations, if he can’t make it past the D-line he drops like a sack of potato’s, he can’t out run most DB’s, he struggles blocking during passing downs as he gets ran over A LOT. The good: He can squeeze through SMALL creases in the O-Line, he a great initial cut and burst move, his bread and butter is screen passes, short yard dump offs, and plays around the outside of the Tackles, Good Vision and ball security.

    Here are the reasons why i believe trading Doug would actually benefit the team more than keeping him. For arguments sake lets say we try and trade Doug for 49er’s Alex Boone, than here is your result.

    Now with that extra RB roster slot keeping Demps, and Nate Askew isn’t a question, you get to keep both. We go into the season with Charles Sims, Mike James, Bobby Rainey and Jeff Demps (gadget player), Along with a talented FB in Nate Askew. that’s still a very intriguing stable. You also patch a HUGE hole on offense by putting Alex Boone between Dietrich-Smith and Anthony Collins. Meredith and Edwards can battle for the RG spot which instantly makes our O-Line much much better. Any of those RB’s can actually run with this Line and our Qb’s may not die on any given Sunday. Bottom line you get so much more by given up much less and everyone is happy. Martin gets to go to Cali “where his family is” 49ers get a new #1 RB and Tampa Bay doesn’t crumble right out of the gates.

  39. gotbbucs Says:


    In agreement with everything you said, however, good GM’s wont give up a sack of potatoes for a RB.