“Making His Presence Felt”

October 14th, 2022

Russell Gage

Joe is always eager to hear takes of a former Buccaneer receiver who knows Byron Leftwich extremely well (except for the time this guy screamed for the Bucs to sign a female kicker).

Of course, Joe is referring to blocking icon Michael Clayton (2004 to preseason 2010).

Clayton, who is head football coach at Plant City high school, was on WDAE radio this week barking loudly about all things Bucs and he is a big fan of Russell Gage and not so high on the 2022 version of Scotty Miller.

As for Gage and his 23 receptions this season, Clayton likes how the Bucs’ $10 million per year receiver is “making his presence felt already” through just five games and grinding through injuries.

“You’re growing if Russell Gage is getting looks and getting balls and building rapport with Tom Brady. Your team is still getting better,” Clayton said of the Bucs offense.

Clayton also is bullish on Julio Jones, who he said doesn’t need to play much to impact the season. Just get Julio healthy, Clayton said, and let him make a few big plays while making the Bucs the most threatening receiving corps on the planet.

Throw out any notion that Julio needs time with Brady; Clayton said he saw enough on opening day to know a Julio return will be “like riding a bike” and he’ll hit the ground running — whether that’s Week 8, 12 or 14.

The current challenges of the Bucs’ offense, Clayton said, are not on offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

“What he’s calling is there. You’re not executing,” Clayton barked.

This isn’t a BSPN blowhard talking about Leftwich without knowing him. Clayton said he spent countless hours “on a day-to-day basis” with Leftwich watching film in 2009, when Leftwich was the Bucs’ starter to open the season.

“You don’t meet a lot of football minds like Byron Leftwich, which is why he got the job in the first place,” Clayton said. “You could have pinned him for that job when he was still playing because he was a brilliant mind.”

Joe can’t wait to see what Leftwich has in store for Sunday against a decimated Steelers defense.

29 Responses to ““Making His Presence Felt””

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    Well so that means that Bymron knew that Clayhands should have been a 6th offensive lineman instead of WR. Another ex-Buc whose rookie season turned out to be his only season.

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    PS – I really like where Gage is at, battling injury while still producing in critical situations. TD against Fudgers, 2pt conversion against Fowls are two examples. He’s only going to make more of an impact.

    Now, it’s time for the little toothache feller to show up and actually do something as a wide receiver. I’ve been waiting for a year and a half. The crow was about to spoil so it’s in the freezer. C’mon, man!

  3. SB Says:

    @Goatfarmer….Aka TMax or one of this site’s most infamous trolls…………Go POUND Sand!!

  4. SB Says:

    Oh snap…………I said T something mini or something that tripped Joes Filters.

  5. geno711 Says:

    Clayton was the 2nd most overrated receiver in Buc history.
    He could block but he could not get open ever! (OK maybe 1 year)

    Clayton in that 2009 year that Leftwich was there caught 16 passes in 48 targets. 48 targets and 230 yards and 1 TD.

    Doggie, Woof, Woof.

    I try to be a fan of all the current players and coaches, but it is hard for me right now with Leftwich. I believe he misses BA more than anyone.

  6. westernbuc Says:

    We lost Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet, and Rob Gronkowski, three major run blockers. Our receivers have been banged up and our QB is going through a divorce. The execution isn’t there because we have a lot of new faces and little trust. All that means is that the offense will only improve over the course of the season. I’m not worried at all.

    That’s what Brady always did in New England, and it’s what we did in our super bowl run. Clayton’s right.

  7. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Clayton has zero credibility.

  8. SB Says:

    Bottom line is that our offense should carry the team should the D slip.
    That said, i would like this to be the first game of ‘Complimentary football” all season.

  9. HC Grover Says:

    wanted, gay transgender, hemale, shemale, woke with green hair, kicker

  10. HC Grover Says:

    an onsides kick specialist

  11. Redeemer Says:

    westernbuc, you mean the wildcard playoff run with zero crowd noise? Oh yeah and a home superbowl game against a decimated offensive line. This team can’t win that way.

  12. Whoolio? Says:

    Yeah Leftwich calling 11 passes on 15 plays in the 4th quarter of a game we were up 21 with 13 mins to go and nearly blowing the game was truly genius. He certainly kept everybody on their toes.. Clayton is a coach of a 2-5 highschool team for a reason.

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    SB – whatever I said to offend you, I’m not sure but I’m happy about it.

  14. David Says:

    Great tech. I know I’ve said it before but I will listen to people inside the Buc organization and those with close ties to it over the couch potato sitting at home crying about the offensive coordinator of the greatest scoring years in Buccaneer history.

  15. David Says:


  16. David Says:

    No one should be high on Scotty Miller since the 2020 playoffs. Playing at 80% Russell Gage has been great

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Makes sense if your coaching a high school team, the perfect offense.


  18. Kentucky Buc Says:

    It’s a shame the coaches don’t read this site. All the problems would be solved and we’d be undefeated while averaging 65 points a game.

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    Now that Godwin is returning, Gage will not be forced to play and get more rest on his very bad hamstring he’s had since the beginning of camp.

  20. Greg Says:

    Sorry to see all the haters spewing their venom when their football IQ is below POP Warner. Those that know realize this team is good and we do actually have a good coaching staff and the proof will come as the season wears on we get into the playoffs. Go Bucs!

  21. SB Says:

    What Greg said:!
    Get on the ship or get off. Don’t poke holes because we are all supposed to be in the same ship!

  22. SB Says:

    It is Sad that being negative is the new normal.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    I love roses and cotton candy! The delay of game penalty on the 2pt conversion at the end of the GB game was simply unfortunate! No need to criticize the run defense, they’re simply trying not to get called for unnecessary roughness! Goedeke getting mauled by large gigantic humans is just a part of the learning curve. The fact that the run blocking is horrible is just due to the other team’s defense!

    Yay! Never criticize your team if you’re a real fan! Everything will be just dandy! Bowelswich forever! Yay!

  24. JP Says:

    Michael Clayton, the Ian Beckles of WR’s. Note the players that were stars aren’t around to make posts or comments on this site. Perhaps they have gone on to do big things beyond football as well.

  25. Kody Says:

    It’s like the Bucs have 2 opponents every week—whoever they’re playing and Leftwich.

  26. Jeff Says:

    Clayton says a lot of dumb stuff. Gage is a bust right now. I’d sit him for 6 games and let him finally get healthy. Bucs can’t manage a hamstring injury worth a crap!

  27. Bucobill99 Says:

    Jeff says alot of dumb shizz too remember his sources said brady wasnt coming back during training camp go pound sand troll boi

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s interesting that there is no blow-back over Clayton’s praise of Gage…..but considerable with Leftwich….

    I happen to agree with him on Gage….I think he’s been playing through injury the entire year. I agree on Julio….”like riding a bike”…..agree on the new muggable version on Scotty.

    As for Leftwich’s great football mind……”A mind is a terrible thing to waste”…….

  29. Tap-Out Says:

    We winning …then stop whining! PLEASE!