The Unexpected Call To “Bobby Mac”

June 9th, 2017

The Bucs’ driven newcomer

Joe finally got a chance to talk to the seven-year veteran cornerback, the Super Bowl veteran, who landed on the Bucs’ roster last month.

Joe’s talking about Robert McClain, who was unwanted in free agency until the Buccaneers came calling for a tryout.

McClain, 28, spent years — good years — with Mike Smith’s Falcons, but he hadn’t heard a peep from Smith until he arrived in Tampa to workout for the staff, so McClain told Joe after Thursday’s practice.

“You know it came out of nowhere; it came out of left field. The Bucs called me and invited me in for a workout. I had a good workout. It wasn’t like I was nervous. I was in great shape and ready the entire offseason,” McClain said.

“I was working out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, to make sure I stay in shape making sure I stay football-ready doing field work once a week. You got to make sure your feet are good for when you get that call.”

Since entering the league as a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2010, McClain said he’s adopted a mentality to just “keep grinding and competing nonstop,” even finding ways to challenge himself during offseasons.

Dirk Koetter said “Bobby Mac,” along with Javien Elliott and Hey Jude Adjei-Barimah, can play both outside cornerback and nickel. Of course, McClain has big time experience that his younger counterparts do not.

After sitting on his couch for several weeks, McClain was called to the Panthers late in the 2015 season. He earned a starting job and started through the playoffs and in the Super Bowl for the Panthers.

Last year, he battled for time at nickel with Carolina against ex-Buccaneer Leonard Johnson. McClain lost and was cut in December. He closed the season with San Diego.

McClain’s best years, 2012-2014 with Mike Smith in Atlanta, saw him showcase his versatility and durability. McClain missed just one game in those three years, and he had 20 passes defensed and three interceptions through 15 starts.

Something about him, though, got him ignored by the entire NFL — a passing league that doesn’t leave good cornerbacks unemployed.

Regardless, McClain says he’s still a guy grinding for a job — and he’s happy he found the same coach he left in Atlanta three years ago.

“He’s still the same old Coach Smith, winning mentality at all times,” McClain said. “He’s the same guy as a head coach as he was as defensive coordinator. It’s great to see.

10 Responses to “The Unexpected Call To “Bobby Mac””

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Last year, he battled for time at nickel with Carolina against ex-Buccaneer Leonard Johnson. McClain lost and was cut in December.

  2. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Great depth pick up and already knows the D

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^The original “Toast”!!!

  4. K2 Says:

    I agree…he provides great depth! He probably won’t start in the slot, but good special teams and depth!

  5. jerseybuc Says:

    I seem to remember that 2014 Falcon team having a pretty porous D. Not to say McClain was the main cause of it, but they jettisoned a bunch of guys after that including him. And as LUV noted, getting beat out by Largo Johnson is kind of a red flag to me.

  6. bucs_365 Says:

    Wait now… He was beaten out for the nickel slot by Leonard Johnson? And he’s going to beat out one of the guys we already have? I’m not sure I get it. Sure, Johnson is a gamer, but he’s got no speed and we cut him a few years ago. This McClain signing is hopefully just for TC competition, cuz we need to do better than Leonard Johnson’s losing competitor.

  7. FutureBucsGM Says:

    Solid depth.

  8. Mord Says:

    Emergency depth and special teams

  9. Buc89 Says:

    If he’s going to play and Leonard “first down” Johnson beat him then cb is a definite need.

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Not saying he’s great, because I don’t know either way, but he’s played in the league for several years. Why are some of you so negative? When I see posts that a player is “garbage” or “trash”, that is wrong. What have you done in your life to say another human being is garbage?