The way things are shaping up, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers figure to have a pretty good defense in 2013. They’ve of course made a couple key additions to their secondary, but it’s their pass-rush that really needs to get going this season. In 2012 the Bucs only accumulated 27 sacks, good for 29th in the NFL.
One of the main reasons for this, was the absence of defensive end Adrian Clayborn. The second-year starter suffered a season-ending knee injury in week three, and the team’s pass-rush was never the same.
Clayborn is on track to return to the field this season, and he says he no longer is taking anything for granted:
“I think the main difference between this year and last year for me is that I’m a little more appreciative of the game of football now and what I have. I don’t want to ever take that for granted, because I realize now that all it takes is one play and you could be out. One play and it could all be over for you, so, you know, knock on wood.”
This is what you want to hear if you’re a Bucs’ fan, a young player that knows how great of an opportunity he has. What Tampa has, is a very talented DE with Pro Bowl potential. I watched Clayborn his entire career at Iowa, and I can tell you that he was definitely worth a first round pick for the Bucs.
Clayborn fits the mold of how successful defensive ends look and play, and it seems that he also has the most important thing of all – heart. His comments show that he wants to be out there, and play football to the best of his ability. He’s not a player just collecting a paycheck. If he can stay healthy, I think we’ll start to see just how good Clayborn can be this season.
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