“Grown Man” From Day 1

May 16th, 2016
Joe talks late bloomers with defensive line coach Jay Hayes.

Joe talks late bloomers with defensive line coach Jay Hayes, who shared a hell of a story.

One factor that could save the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’  pass rush this season is the emergence of a late bloomer.

The Bucs have a stack of candidates.

Defensive line coach Jay Hayes, who spent the last 13 seasons with the Bengals, is known for developing players and resurrecting careers. Just look at his work with former Bucs Wallace Gilberry and Michael “Ghost” Johnson.

There also was another guy familiar to Bucs fans in the clutches of Hayes. That’s Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a seventh-round pick of Cincinnati in 2009.

Joe asked Hayes last week about his impressions of McDonald as a late bloomer, and about what he remembered of his former player before he was traded to the Seahawks in 2011.

Hayes told a hell of a story.

A practice squad player in 2009, McDonald did not travel with the team on road games, but the then-rookie showed up at the airport every time the Bengals arrived home. Even at 3 a.m., Hayes said, there was McDonald waiting to do whatever his teammates were going to do, and to show his support.

“No one told him to do it,” Hayes said of McDonald. “That’s just the kind of guy he is and that’s why he’s had the kind of success he’s had throughout the league in Seattle and Cincinnati and here. He is a grown man and he’s carried himself that way since I’ve known him.”

Hayes added that McDonald, 29, “always been a very mature player, a guy that was serious about his craft and wants to get better.”

This great insight helps explain why Lovie Smith called McDonald “the glue” of the defense, even while he missed a load of games last year with an injury. It also gives a glimpse into why Dirk Koetter, back in February, named McDonald one of seven key defensive players.

39 Responses to ““Grown Man” From Day 1”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    sounds good….hopefully he stays healthy and proves much needed help for gmc….GO BUCS!!!

  2. Kevin Says:

    I really like Mcdonald and Hayes was the best signing of the offseason hands down!!!!!

  3. LakeLandBuc Says:

    If Jay Hayes can only get more production from our $16 million DT.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Folks forget that in 2014 McDonald had more tackles and more assists than all other DLinemen, including GMC. Plus he was 3rd on the team with 5 sacks, all that in only 13 games. Bucs DLine was never the same after McDonald went down last year. Favorite defensive player on the Bucs.

  5. Ocala Says:

    I’d still like us to have one more DT and WR

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    Hopefully we don’t regret not taking a DT in a draft that supposed to be chock-full of them!!! Counting on guys that get injured every year can be a dangerous proposition!!!!

    Clinton McDonald
    games played 19
    games injured 13

  7. godzilla13 Says:

    Clinton McDonald is a great player but has missed 13 games in the past two years. It makes sense to have 16 starters on defense as Mike Smith has said. Jay Hayes has 3 DT and 5 DE’s from last year plus a rookie. Both William Gholston and Robert Ayers can play inside. That leaves Noah Spence, Jacquies Smith, Howard Jones and George Johnson at DE. Hopefully the rotation will keep the players fresh and injury free.

  8. Brent bull/buc Says:

    If gholston and ayers are playing dt then our de rotation sucks. There is no way around it we need at least 1 more quality dt. Same is true with receiver. Maybe next year we’ll have a complete team. Need to add a safety too.

  9. salish_seamonster Says:

    I still think Rankins would’ve been a smarter pick for this defense than VH3. They need to get another nightmare in the middle. I think we would’ve been okay without drafting a CB that high. But, it’s a moot point, and I’m expecting big things from Hargreaves. We need to keep McCoy, McDonald, and Spence healthy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gholston logging significant time there, even on first downs.

  10. Odor's right hand Says:

    I’m aware it’s not exactly Bucs news but would love to see something on Hayes and his secret to a productive Ghost Johnson.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ll say he’s a grown man…..Looks like he’s 40……reminds me of a couple of those 20 year old Villanova players…..looking 40ish.

    As for our depth…..I’m not concerned….we still have some cap space and can pick up a veteran FA DT/DE & WR….there will be many cuts between now and the season.
    We could even try to trade Glennon for a player since we couldn’t get a draft pick for him.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…Glennon? Rhealist thinks we should trade Glennon for a ham sandwich and I say it better have lettuce, tomatoes and mayo too.

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    It all boils down to availability down the stretch. There are gonna be lotsa injuries. Yes, we could use a little more depth. WE gotta stay healthy. And in this league, its almost impossible. Backups often tell the tale of the tape as fill-ins after about 9 0r 10 games. The battlefield is no joke.

  14. tmaxcon Says:


    no one is going to give up a Ham sandwich for 8…. maybe one of those cheap disgusting “Chopped Ham” sandwiches from 7-Eleven but no way real ham has be devalued that much

  15. Buc_The_World Says:

    I like how some people in their responses are saying exactly what our needs are on the defense, please enlighten me, when did you get the defensive playbook? What is Mike Smith’s defense exactly? How is he going to use the ends, tackles, and linebackers? But I’m sure you know what Mike Smith needs on his defense better than he does. Maybe we should have made one of you the defensive coordinator.

  16. BUC4EVER Says:

    who knows what they are thinking, its all a guessing game – we are thin at DT and over-stocked at corner without a doubt, maybe a lot more 3 man lines than we think are coming with more use of LB pressure…LOVE McDonald – he’ll be a coach someday hopefully

  17. Buc1987 Says:


  18. LakeLandBuc Says:

    We don’t need to spend a top pick on a DT, we are spending big money on GMC. He gotta start putting up numbers like Aaron Donald,Geno Atkins and Fletcher Cox. Plain and simple

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    We spent the 3rd overall pick on GMC, 2nd round on Brian Price, 3rd on Roy Miller, 1st on Clayborn, 2nd on Bowers. We have more needs at other positions, we spent a 2nd on Spence this year.

  20. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Why haven’t we given Dwight Freeney a call?

  21. SB with Jameis Says:

    Good evening my Bucs’ brothers!!
    Love hearing this about McDonald Joe. Great nugget!

  22. cmurda Says:

    Get better Bishop. We need you. The defense has lost all cohesiveness with Stralman back. It will come back but it might be too late to salvage this one.

    P.S. Why is Roddy White still not on this team?

  23. SB with Jameis Says:

    ^^^^ Thank you cmurda
    To both of your observations.

  24. ptwalk Says:

    Hayes will be the D – coordinator when Smith leaves in a yr or 2, that might have been the attraction.

  25. The Buc Realist Says:


    Because Roddy White is old and slow!!! If the Bucs still need him he will still be available after the season starts and his contract won’t be guarantied!!!!!

  26. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    87… Rhealist! LOL! I see what you did there!

  27. SB with Jameis Says:

    Just stop it Ehirc.

  28. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Ok Nhew

  29. SB with Jameis Says:

    OK…………..I am not Nhew. I am a Ghatr and Bhuc fan

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Stop biting my rhymes…

  31. SB with Jameis Says:

    You guys shouldn’t be awake at this time.

  32. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Damn Crosby

  33. cmurda Says:

    Crosby got to play the hero but he hasn’t done anything. That was just bad luck for us in OT. We had a rush going with numbers and then the puck got poked and then they were on a 3 on 1. You just have to hope goalie can make the save but Vas didn’t have much of a chance. It was a 1 timer not even 10 feet away.

  34. SB with Jameis Says:

    How long has it been for us Tampa fans since our Football team has had a shot at a World Championship?
    Our Hockey team has had TWO shots since then and are knocking on the door for a Third shot!
    Someone? Anyone?……..Tampa has a better hockey team than football team?
    ………Thought time.

  35. SB with Jameis Says:

    And it is midnight you guys’ time. Go to bed for bucs sakes

  36. MadMax Says:

    Mr. Hayes….the next DC if Mike Smith moves on after a year or two. SO GLAD to have him here!!

  37. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I hear ya @big poppa Buc

    We could certainly use a guy like Freeney off the edge on passing downs, cause if u go by history it will tell u GMC and Jac Smith will not play all 16 games and those were our two most productive guys on the line last year. I think they combined for a total of 16 sacks if I’m correct. So u take Smith out and our pass rush becomes very weak. Freeney provided 9 sacks last year in limited playing time, and he would come relatively cheap as well. We could certainly use a weapon like that on our line.

    And I’m a big C-MAC fan, he has been very productive when healthy. He will play a big part for our defense if he can stay healthy. Diddy know he was a 7th rnd pick for cinci either.

  38. RustyRhinos Says:

    tmaxcon, So you would rather have another QB on our roster take over if our America’s savior QB where to get injured? Please tell me which one of those non starting QB’s has more TD’s than the guy you love to hate on. Who is it? How many NFL games have any other QB on our team started, played in, been activated on game day? Who is it? Please do tell us.

    We all get it you do not like Mr Glennon. But who do you think will offer us a better chance to win if called upon.

  39. Rod Says:

    Still don’t understand how you have Billings sitting there in the FOURTH round and pass on him with all the injury prone DT’s we have. So, here are a few players we passed on:

    Vonn Bell

    Will be interested to see if your choices have the better careers, but based on our history, I highly doubt it.