Greg Schiano knows that he needs a better pass rush than the one he saw from his players in 2012. The inability to get after the passer was part of the reason for the dismal overall numbers against the pass that approached historically bad territory.
But the solution this offseason wasn’t to pursue a pass rusher in free agency, nor was it to focus on this position through the draft. Instead, the Buccaneers chose to rely on the two high draft choices they selected in recent years to deliver on their potential. And the potential for one of those young linemen was put on display to a national audience on Monday evening.
Greg Schiano joined NFL Total Access live and told the assembled analysts that he felt Adrian Clayborn could mimic the 2012 season of Gerald McCoy by coming off of an injury and stepping into the starting role to deliver a Pro Bowl season. This is a good bit of pressure to put on Clayborn, so can he deliver despite these high expectations?
Clayborn has never been a flashy player. He’s not the fastest and he’s not the strongest to ever play defensive end. But he’s a smart player who has a great blend of power and speed, and with the threat of Gerald McCoy growing on the interior of the defensive line, Clayborn will get his chances in 2013.
He’s going to have to stay healthy, and he’s going to have to take a step forward. But much like McCoy in 2012, Clayborn enters 2013 as a slight disappointment who has yet to deliver on his first round potential and promise. But Greg Schiano was willing to announce on national TV that he thought Clayborn, more than even his fellow promising defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, was a potential Pro Bowl player and the answer to the Bucs’ pass rush needs.
What do you think, Bucs’ fans? Can the Claymaker deliver on his promise for the Bucs this fall? Let us know in the comments.