McDonald Talks Healthy Line

June 22nd, 2016
Talks to key d-line.

Talks keys.

The best ability is availability.

No, Joe’s not referring to tweety Austin Seferian-Jenkins missing half of all Bucs games since being drafted in the second round in 2014. Rather, Joe is talking about the defensive line.

It was Alterraun Verner, a cornerback, who opened Joe’s eyes about the defensive line and its critical need to stay healthy.

He was right. Last year, the defensive line was nothing if not banged up. Jacquies Smith, Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence and Gerald McCoy all missed significant parts of the season. (Spence had back surgery prior to the season).

Joe asked McDonald last week about how much health could help the defense.

“Health within the whole team is going to be a tremendous help,” McDonald said. “To get the guys to the gate healthy and everybody is ready to play instead of getting guys back from injury, and then having to get them in shape for real football is a big component. So I think by us having a smart and proactive way we approach the game, I think we’ll get to that gate and say, ‘You know what? Everybody is healthy, everybody is in shape, and everybody is ready to go,’ and that’s half the battle in the NFL.”

Hard to argue with much of what McDonald had to say. The Bucs needed to beef up their line, which they did in the offseason. Still, not having starters able to answer the bell sure hurt.

Of course, it is six in one hand and half a dozen in another. If every pass play is a jailbreak for opposing receivers like in 2015, then it’s hard to get pressure when the quarterback already unloaded the football.

Was there some kind of 11th commandment Joe was unaware of? One that forbid Coach My Scheme from covering receivers on slant routes or trying to blow them up at the line to disrupt timing?

24 Responses to “McDonald Talks Healthy Line”

  1. BigHogHaynes Says:

    It’s all LOVIE’S fault, injuries and all!

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, sometimes I get a good feeling, yeah” – Etta James

    I have a good feeling going on about this season. I think Doug’s about blow up even more and I think Winston’s going to take a GIANT step forward.

    Much of that feeling comes from the o-line.

    Pre-season where are you?

  3. Buc1987 Says:

    BigHog…prior to Lovie being hired it was all Schiano’s fault too. Before him it was Raheem. Most fans around the NFL will always blame the last HC for miserable seasons. Hell Schiano won 7 games in his first season as an NFL coach, not some 15 year vet. If Schiano got the blame than Lovie certainly deserves a lot of the blame that gets thrown his way.

    Can’t keep blaming it on the players, year in and year out.

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    DL to me is still a mystery. O-line makes me smile.

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    there is no denying the bucs have a fragile defensive line. Akeem Spence, GMC, McDonald, Jac Smith all have missed significant time or played hurt.

  6. Pa Privateer Says:

    I think we have a very good mix of Pass Rushers and Run Defenders this year. The best part is that all of them have game time experience between previous injuries and previous coaches trying to find best combination of players on the field. IF we can stay healthy and implement a good scheme, we have a great crop of players to rotate throughout the game/season. I think the DL is going to be this year what the OL was last year for us. Unknown at the beginning to becoming a strength of the team.

  7. pick6 Says:

    other than perhaps OL (and maybe, amazingly, CB), every position group on the team is 1 or 2 injuries away from being significantly below NFL standard. we might go places this season, but only if our starters don’t miss significant time

  8. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Injuries happen every year. They will again, but we have depth and superior coaching to overcome most situations I’m excited to see 2016 unfold

  9. Rrsrq Says:

    My concern is safety, we are not TE most talented back there, unless we get some Kwon-like play from our rookie, if someone goes down back there, we better have a helluva pass rush.

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    4-3 Look
    LDE Robert Ayers | Noah Spence
    LDT Gerald McCoy | Clinton McDonald
    RDT Akeem Spence | A.J. Francis
    RDE William Gholston | Howard Jones | Jacquies Smith

    Camp Meat
    Kourtnei Brown
    George Johnson

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    3-4 Look
    LDE Gerald McCoy | Clinton McDonald
    NT Akeem Spence | A.J. Francis
    RDE William Gholston | Robert Ayers
    LOLB Noah Spence | Kourtnei Brown
    LILB Kwon Alexander | Luke Rhodes
    RILB Lavonte David | Daryl Smith | Jeremiah George
    ROLB Howard Jones | Jacquies Smith

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    LUV…I like the 3-4 look better.

  13. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I didn’t see them do much, when they were completely healthy.

  14. RustyRhinos Says:

    Bighog, “So I think by us having a smart and proactive way we approach the game”

    This quote sure sounds like the former head coach did not have the right proactive approach to training to have the team be at their best at the right time.
    So yeah that would fall upon the former head coach and “his” staff.

  15. Joe Says:


    Might want to flip the DEs in your 43 front. Ayers/Spence on the right side. Jac Smith’s natural position on the left side.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    LUV…I like the 3-4 look better.

    The scare thing is – there’s a couple .. guys
    Currently on the roster bubble – with other clubs.
    That if released (or traded), can help our defense & special teams tremendously.

    S/SS Antonio Axum (Minnesota)<–Resigned Harrison Smith
    S/SS Daniel Sorensen (Kansas City) <-Will Resigned Eric Berry
    S/SS Duke Williams (Buffalo)

    DE Datone Jones (Green Bay)
    DE Trent Murphy (Washington)
    DE/LB Roy Robertson-Harris (Chicago)

    DT Joel Heath (Houston)
    DT DeShawn Williams (Cincinnati)

    KR <—C.J. Spiller

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    4-3 Look
    RDE Robert Ayers | Noah Spence
    LDT Gerald McCoy | Clinton McDonald
    RDT Akeem Spence | A.J. Francis
    LDE William Gholston | Howard Jones | Jacquies Smith

  18. BigHogHaynes Says:

    RustyRhinosl: this how I look at it, even in OTA’s there is a chance someone may go down with an injury, a player comes into camp maybe not in the best shape, but he’s working at it, he pulls a groin that’s no one’s fault, there are times when it’s just the nature of the beast!

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Would Be Sick – if we could get the following @RB

    RB1 – 22 – Doug Martin
    RB2 – 34 – Charles Sims
    RB3 – 28 – C.J. Spiller
    HB – 32 – James Wilder Jr.

  20. Mike Johson Says:

    Still baitin’em up huh Joe? Readers must Finally be getting tired of hangin ole Lovie over and over again. I’m shocked the 2 regulars have not jumped all over the Lovie scent here. They’ll be chiming in real soon.

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    @luv…that 34 look could be a monster…GO BUCS!!!!

  22. Mike Johson Says:

    YES..I’m Mr. Disgruntled. But I will say this. Our success will hinge on our DEFENSE. Not our Offense. Yellow!! Jameis and company will be Ok. But can WE stop opponents at critical times? That..remains to be seen. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Don’t believe me/ Just ask last yrs superbowl winners..They them Broncs…released the..CRACKEN!!! Do we have a Cracken..or Crackens?
    We shall soon find out huh…!!

  23. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Need to
    Add another dt. Hopefully there will be some good vets being cut. Will need to add another lb too. Other than adding depth at those 2 spost our defense is set for 2016!!

  24. Bring bucs back Says:

    Mike J,
    You’re always defending Lovie yet, you are most concerned about the defense, which was HIS “specialty”. Welcome to OUR side. We too are more concerned about the D that Lovie had two years to improve and failed. Right?

    I, like many, was excited when Lovie was hired but, LOVIE changed my mind!