KANSAS CITY — Not only did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers manage to dismantle, disarm and disembowel the Kansas City Chiefs in their preseason opener, they took leaps forward to accomplishing a much larger goal for the 2011-12 season.
The goal, at the moment now as I see it, isn’t a Super Bowl quite yet but rather a deep and serious run at one. That being an attainable second year goal for this growing squad (because year one doesn’t…doesn’t count), the way the Bucs reared their viciously rabid heads on Friday undoubtedly fills the hearts and heads of Bucs Nation with chocolate covered dreams of success reminiscent of Homer Simpson dancing with candy bunnies in chocolate rain.
“He’s a tough dude, man…When I call him ‘Alpha Male’ it’s for a reason”
-Raheem Morris on Adrian Clayborn
Of the numerous shining lights, Adrian Clayborn is one of many new Bucs eager to impress and show he belongs on this squad. According to head coach Raheem Morris, who put high stock in the rookie drafting him 20th out of Iowa in this year’s draft, likes the fire charged start to Clayborn’s Buccaneer’s career.
He’s a tough dude, man,” Morris said. “He’s been through a lot. You can almost tell by his demeanor and the way he carries himself. When I call him the ‘Alpha Male,’ it’s for a reason.”
‘Alpha Male’ may just be a rookie, but clearly the sky-high expectations of him are being met so far. This is splendid news for Bucs fan and particularly Raheem Morris who, if they all stay healthy, will have a defensive front consisting of Adrian Clayborn, Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Da’Quan Bowers.
There were doubters of Clayborn when the Bucs drafted him, but it seems he lives to blow people’s minds. His dreadlocks pouring out the front of his helmet give him that much more of a warrior’s mentality. He almost seems, much like Morris’ nickname suggests, a hungry wolf on the sideline drooling to return to the game and take another shot at whoever is not only carrying the ball but anywhere within it’s vicinity.
Bucs offensive tackle Donald Penn recognized this early in training camp when the team joke was Penn never had to work harder in his life than he did against Alpha Dog Clayborn.
“One of the strong points that I see in him already is trying to get him off that block on the run,” Penn said. “He really holds his ground good there, and that’s going to help our defense set that edge.”
The fast paced, hard hitting start for the Bucs and their new additions is great, but it IS just one game and a preseason game at that. But it’s hard to not get excited about seeing a team that hasn’t officially had a full offseason in terms of play coordination, film sessions and practices gel as well and as potentially as it did Friday in Missouri.
It’s a stepping stone and one that leads to a bit more of a challenge against the high flying New England Patriots next week at Raymond James.