Gholston Proving He’s One-Dimensional

September 30th, 2016

Zero quarterback hits for DE Will Gholston (left)

This is a contract year for manbeast defensive end Will Gholston. Lean but a rock solid 6-6, 280 pounds, Gholston was primed to break through in his fourth season.

Unfortunately, it’s not happening.

Gholston, 25, may be the best run-stuffing defensive end in football. He is that good. Just turn on the film. No tight end can block him, and he he knows how to tackle and the effort is always there.

The problem with Gholston is he can’t rush the passer. That’s been the story of his career. With injuries to Robert Ayers and Jacquies Smith, Gholston has had plenty of pass rush opportunities, but he’s not breathing on quarterbacks. No sacks, and he’s not looking dangerous. Per ESPN, Gholston has zero quarterback hits.

If Gholston keeps up this kind of season, then the Bucs will have a decision to make. Would they want to invest in a valuable and legitimate young defensive end who can’t pass rush?

They might have to if coaches keep believing Noah Spence isn’t ready to stop the run.

Joe had high hopes for Gholston taking a modest pass-rushing leap under new defensive line coach Jay Hayes. It seems unlikely now, but if he is going to break through, Sunday would be the ideal time.

20 Responses to “Gholston Proving He’s One-Dimensional”

  1. pick6 Says:

    when koetter talks about the culture problem, high profile names have been throw around as culprits. it’s fair to wonder whether some lesser lights like Gholston and Akeem Spence are among the dead weight. By all accounts they are physical beasts, and although we have seen them flash some ability, here they are in year 4 with us still talking about their upside instead of their production. I have no way of knowing how these guys or the alterraun verners of the world respond to adversity or prepare during the week, but given how far below their ceilings guys like this seem to be playing, it’s at least possible that the underachievement points to character traits in some guys that do not fit Dirk’s desired culture

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    just keep him inside….line him up next to GMC and he should get more pressure with GMC getting double teamed….have h.jones start at de along with the rookie lambert…bring spence off the bench….GO BUCS!!!

  3. Scurvy Dogs Says:


    That’s an intriguing line-up. I don’t know if he’s big enough to take on a guards though.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Keep him. At that age there’s a place for him on our roster.

  5. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    It’s still very early in the season, but to no one’s suprise the bucs once again are providing little to no pass rush. We were hoping coach Hayes would be the Awnser but so far it’s the same ol bucs. But as I said it’s still early and we gotta give Hayes time. But if your waiting for Gholston turn into a rusher all of a sudden, you better keep waiting, I think he is who he is, he might improve a bit more under Hayes but will never be the pass rusher Tampa wants him to be. With that said I still hope they resign him because he’s a great 1st and 2nd down end. But only if the price is right.

  6. Conte Piscateli Says:

    I’m not Jay Hayes, and no expert on the subject, but he will never be an edge rusher. But for the life of me I can’t figure out how he isn’t a dominant bull rusher. His size and strength in the run game should translate to pushing tackles into Qb laps.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Losing #56 has hurt us far more than I think any of us realized.

  8. Chris Says:

    There isn’t any run stopping D ends in the HOF. This is part of our problem. Putting guys on the line with no pass rush ability. When’s the last time a dominant rb gashed us for 150 yards? It’s a past happy league and we’re playing 1970s defense. Hey , we,re stopping the run, so what

  9. LargoBuc Says:

    Gholston has his role. Having someone like him to set the edge is how you bring up third and long. However once you get to third and long, that’s when he should come off. But until Noah Spence is ready, it’s going to be more of the same. We have no pressure off the edge at all.

  10. SOEbuc Says:


    “It’s still very early in the season, but to no one’s suprise the bucs once again are providing little to no pass rush.”

    Agreed. After this next season I want to trade GMC (getting a lot in the process) and draft a dominate DT and remake this dine.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    @scurvydogs….he slid inside a lot last year when Clint McDonald went down…but you may be right…eventually he may wear down towards the end of the season….he reminds me a lot of Michael brockers…he was a de when he first came into the league and had success stopping the run…had trouble getting pressure on the qb, so they asked him to gain 20-25 pounds and play inside….now he and Donald form a nice 1-2 punch on the inside….Donald can rush the passer from the inside while brockers is strictly a run stopper….

    the last thing I want to see the bucs do is let this guy walk….the talent is their I just think he’s being used wrong…same with banks….resign him, tell him to gain 20-25pounds because he’s strictly a dt….with his attitude and the way he plays the game he may welcome the transition….banks should be our starting free safety….GO BUCS!!!!

  12. BigHogHaynes Says:

    He should already be resigned! Rushing the passer is not his forte, it’s not his fault that we can’t find a “one dimensional” pass rushing Defensive End, stop getting rid of players that can actually play!

  13. Waterboy Says:

    Is it from lack of speed and explosiveness or lack of technique? My thought is he may be be slow to develop technique but that can be learned over time. He’s flexible enough to play on the inside or out so he’s definitely worth resigning as long as he continues to keep those penalties down this season.

  14. ElioT Says:

    Still better than a DE who can’t rush the passer OR stop the run. We’ve had plenty of those.

    This D-Line needs to step up!

    Let’s Go!

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    To add to Hog’s statement, lets stop trying to trade THE best D-lineman on the team SOE!
    813 is right about Gholston on the inside. Maybe they can find a way to rotate him in for McDonald on passing downs and bull rush the QB, stunt him a bit.

  16. Bryan Says:

    If our DT’s would worry more about moving the QB off his spot and forcing them outside the pocket instead admiring their get off then maybe a DE could get a sack every now and then. Ask yourself this. How comfortable has QB’s been in the pocket over the last few years? How easy is it for them to move up in the pocket and throw and not have to throw off their back foot? Is it not the DT’s job to collapse the interior of the line and make it difficult for the QB to step up? I am going to continue beating this drum. Go watch Fletcher Cox. He is constantly driving his man onto the spot and making it near impossible for the QB to move up. You can give credit to Schwartz if you want to.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bryan- Good point but put yourself in an OCs position against the Bucs. Who has the most potential to be disruptive? #93. So, given the lack of pressure from the other DT and zero pressure from the outside, who do you focus on? #93.
    Until someone not named Gerald gets some pressure, we will continue to allow QBs to be faaaar too comfortable in the pocket.
    Also, not having watched Fletcher, there are probably slight differences in technique and strengths compared to our DTs.

  18. morgan1672 Says:

    I would resign Gholston put 20-30 lbs on him. Play him at DT. He can rush on the inside.

  19. WesTampaBuc Says:

    Gholston Inside on passing downs would easily get blocks/deflections. And those occasional draw plays would get stuffed, instead of 20yrs on 3rd and 18. Gholston is the only interchangeable piece on that D-line

  20. godzila13 Says:

    I agree on Gholston moving inside on passing downs especially the way he is playing right now. Where did the beast who could man-handle every offensive lineman he faced last year go? He has 9 tackles so far this year but has yet to produce a sack, QB hit and only 1 QB hurry. He is still a great run stuffer but seems to have lost some of his speed and power rushing the passer. Watch Robert Ayers how he gets after the QB. He has speed with an aggressive, relentless approach with violent hands. Try a spin move or an inside counter move. He may just catch the OL by surprise. Anything but the every passing down bull rush “throw your arms in the air” move. We need to see more Noah Spence and Howard Jones at the DE positions if we are are going to produce a pass rush. C’mon on William.. you are in your contract year!