Will Gholston May Have Saved Bucs

September 28th, 2018


It sure looks like Jason Licht’s plan is working. But with an unexpected guy pitching in.

The Bucs’ AC/DC-loving general manager decided to beef up his defensive line big time in the offseason, not only getting a talented young defensive line coach but adding five linemen, three of them tackles.

However, those three tackles (Mitch Unrein, Beau Allen and Vita Vea) have contributed just slightly more than a beer vendor. Allen has been hurt the past two games, Vea has yet to take a snap due to a training camp injury and Unrein is on injured reserve concussion issues.

The guy who has contributed is reserve tackle Will Gholston. Now in his sixth year with the Bucs, Gholston can thank his agent for even having a job with the Bucs. Gholston was awful last year (no sacks for a starting defensive end is downright shameful) and no one would have blinked had he been cut, especially with his salary.

Here is where his agent comes in: the second year of his contract, 2018, was the final year guaranteed ($6.5 million). So the Bucs were basically stuck with him.

Turns out, for the better.

Gholston was moved to tackle against the Steelers due to all of the injuries. And while the Bucs’ pass defense is still wretched (worst in the NFL), the Bucs’ run defense is actually quite good, No. 3 in the NFL behind Philadelphia and Chicago.

Of course, if you play good defense in the middle that is usually the cornerstone of a good run defense. Today, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter discussed Gholston.

“Thank goodness for that,” Koetter said of Gholston’s versatility. “We needed that. You never expect to lose three of your top four defensive tackles. It is crazy how injuries happen and sometimes to one division.”

The fact the Bucs have won two close games and have been stout against the run, without Gholston playing strong, you could argue teams would have run more on the Bucs and perhaps pulled out a win rather than suffer a close loss.

27 Responses to “Will Gholston May Have Saved Bucs”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    A pleasant surprise for sure.

  2. LakeLand Says:

    Will Gholston is too light to play inside,he will do for a few plays on passing downs

    He’s a liability against the run, while playing inside

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Now, IF Vea ever comes back, our run defense can be even better.

  4. doolnutts Says:

    What gets me excited about all this is imagine where we will be when the DL is back to full strength. Beck has been out all season as well excited to get some of these guys back.

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    makes sense….his strength was always stopping the run not rushing the passer….put players in position to be successful…..that’s all bucs fans and players want…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  6. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Surprised to see were 3rd against the run… That must be because we had a couple good leads. Could also be coordinators wanting to attack our young secondary. But Kamara and Conner were able to get yards when they really needed to. The tackling on defense overall has been subpar imo.

    And I was definitely open to them cutting Gholston but I guess it’s good they didn’t. Worthy and Nassib have been big pickups by Licht as well. When the hurt get healthy our DL should have great depth.

  7. diggler Says:

    No way wrong Joe. Saints and Eagles were behind early and had to play catch-up so they had to abandon the run.

  8. Joe Says:


    May want to email the NFL. They have the Bucs listed No. 3. You can click the link to see for yourself.

  9. Joe Blahak Says:

    they better have their big boy pants on this week…here comes Howard, over and over again…

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    Beware of that BEARS Defense. They are big, fast and agile. Our O line had better be more than ready. This is the 1st team we have faced with this good of a Defense.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    This is like Schiano’s defense a few years ago, it was the best defense against the run in the NFL while being the worst against the pass. So did the Bucs have an awesome rush defense? Not really – teams just could pass all over them so they didn’t bother to run the ball. Not say it’s that bad, with that defensive line and those LBs, the Bucs should have a good run defense, but with those corners and safeties, teams aren’t going to bother to run the ball until they’re running out the clock, like the Steelers did, after Dirk ripped the ball out of Fitz’s hand and put the game on the Bucs rush defense, with predictable results.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Philadelphia’s run defense is ahead of us because they played against our run.

    Our pass defense is so bad….who wants to run?

  13. Trench War Says:

    There have been a lot of high scores league wide. The rules are tipped in the offenses favor and a major reason for high scores. Safety play has been dismal league wide because of rule changes. We might be last in that category but there’s not a lot of separation between last and the middle. Look at how many QB’s are already on pace for 4000 yard seasons?

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    TBBF…..Wouldn’t it be nice to hold Mitch to around 150 yards or so?

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    I ain’t scared of Mitch baby! And JPP and Vin better be hungry for a QB.

    Gerald……I need you to get a sack but no more of this forgiveness BS. Drop a cleat on his face guard…..Not hard but let him know next time it will be!!!! Set a frickin tone bro……..Don’t just make a play in the 1st quarter set a tone in the 1st!!!!

    JPP the only reason your here is to get double digits sacks and that’s it!! If you don’t make a play this week youre not on pace for your goal/expectations.

    Vin, you’re good I see ya there. You’re going to wreck somebody’s season soon, I can already envision it.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    lol Jimmy

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    JimmyJack – the “d-line whisperer” !!! Love it!

  18. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I don’t know why any team would bother running the ball against the Bucs when they’re completing 80% of their passes.

  19. BucEmUp Says:

    Is it a 3rd ranked run defense based on total rush yards allowed, rushing tds, everything rushing combined? Or is that a yards per rush allowed ranking. The Bucs have been in three shootouts in the first three games with both sides passing to stay in the game and or.maintain The lead.

    If the 3rd best ranking is based on yards per carry allowed then I’m a happy guy, but it If it’s based on total rush yards allowed etc I’d like to see how many rush attempts there have been against the Bucs compared to the rest of the league and see how that stacks up

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs were NOT “stuck” with Gholson this year. They had a free out prior to March 18th and didn’t take it… so after THAT – yea, they were stuck with Gholson on the roster this year because of $6.5M guaranteed.

    One of the biggest head scratching moves of the offseason IMO – and just because he is filling in (badly) at DT for now doesn’t mean it “worked out” either. No teams pays their 8th best DLine player $6.5M per year….

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    1sparkybuc….I was waiting for someone to say that. Our run defense might be ranked high cause no one runs on us. Not checked the attempts or stats or any of that garbage. Not a stat fan.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Pickgrin – Where do you get that from, I’ve never seen it reported anywhere.

  23. Mike Says:

    How the hell can you be both 3rd on the run and last on the pass ?

    Oh yeah- communication

    Smith has no clue

  24. Mike Says:

    If Spence is too slow or dumb or whatever these genius coaches think, why not let him rotate and plug some holes?

  25. Mike Says:

    Maybe he’s not dumb-
    Maybe he pointed out how they are dumb so he’s riding the pine- big mystery

  26. Bucs fan #7423 Says:

    Bucs ranked #3 against the run is a misleading stat. Teams don’t need to run against us because they can just pass the football. Fire mike smith

  27. Owlykat Says:

    Gholston played the run so well inside Pittsburg often got yards outside on the ground. He is doing his job and will be spelling Vita Vea this week who likely is not in such good shape that he can play 90per cent of the snaps like JPP or McCoy.