Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Holdover William Gholston also can make Bucs' D-line better

TAMPA — DT Gerald McCoy has seen the Bucs add what they hope will be key contributors to the defensive line in DE Michael Johnson and DT Clinton McDonald. But he's also excited about the progress he saw at the end of last season from rookie DE William Gholston.

"Especially in this defense, Will is one of those rare guys with his size and ability," McCoy said. "He has potential. He can do things he doesn't even realize he can do."

Gholston, a fourth-round pick from Michigan State, had just two tackles in the Bucs' first seven games and eight in the first 11. But he had 22 in his final five, including 1½ sacks against the Bills.

"I had to tell him last year: 'Hey, man, you know if you try this, nobody can stop it,' " McCoy said.

"Then he'd go do it and (say), 'Aw, man, you were right.' "

McCoy made a flattering comparison for Gholston, saying he reminds him of former Panthers and current Packers DE Julius Peppers, who played for new Bucs coach Lovie Smith with the Bears from 2010-12 and totaled 30½ sacks.

Peppers is 6 feet 7, 287 pounds while Gholston is 6-7 and 275, and both have the versatility to rush from the outside or hold their own on the interior.

"I always say he looks like Julius Peppers in his pads and how he moves when he wants to," McCoy said. "I say, 'Man, you could be that guy.' Pep plays inside sometimes, plays outside. When he wants to get to the quarterback, he can. He's a physical specimen, and that's Will."

Gholston likely enters camp as the No. 3 end behind fourth-year pro Adrian Clayborn, who is expected to start at left end opposite Johnson. The team could add a pass-rusher in the draft with some mock drafts pairing it with a defensive end as high as the second round.

MORE Changes: While much has been made of the offseason overhaul, with Smith and GM Jason Licht signing 23 players and cutting veterans, the team has been busy behind the scenes as well.

Tampa Bay will have a new lineup of physicians and surgeons. John Zvijac, head orthopedic surgeon for 16 seasons, did not return. Replacing him is Chuck Nofsinger, a team physician at USF since 2006 and an assistant professor and director in the university's College of Medicine Orthopedic.

Also new as orthopedic surgeons are David Leffers, a USF team physician since 1984, and Seth Gasser, who has worked as a team physician with the Lightning, Storm, Rowdies and USF.

The team said the changes have nothing to do with last year's MRSA infections that sidelined K Lawrence Tynes and G Carl Nicks, and hit rookie CB Johnthan Banks.

THIS AND THAT: The same day WR Mike Williams was traded to the Bills, one of his biggest fans, St. Petersburg's Travis Grand­lienard, died. Grandlienard, 28, battled ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis, but had a memorable visit with Williams in 2010 — including attending practice and receiving a framed, autographed jersey — special enough that it was mentioned in his obituary. … The team should have dates for its 2014 opponents this week. Profootballtalk.com reported the league will announce schedules as soon as Tuesday.

Comments
Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Saints, Eagles, Steelers.Three games against three playoff teams to open the NFL season.Who in the league scheduling office did the Buccaneers tick off?What an injustice!Or not.Maybe the league did the Bucs a favor.Would you rather face the Saints, E...
Updated: 2 hours ago
O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

Add another to the long list of Bucs players and coaches excited about first-round pick Vita Vea: offensive line coach George Warhop.Warhop said the 347-pound defensive tackle from Washington kept showing up as he looked at tape on Pac-12 offensive l...
Published: 05/19/18
Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

TAMPA — At least he stopped short of calling them soft. That's not a word you ever want to use when describing an NFL player, much less the entire offensive line. That would be a tough pillow to swallow.But it's clear George Warhop didn't like ...
Published: 05/19/18
Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be honored at Pop Warner's annual "All-American Scholars Banquet" in Orlando with the national sports organization's "Inspiration to Youth" award.McCoy, who has been to six straight Pro Bowls, is the first-ever...
Published: 05/18/18
Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Most appropriately named player on the Bucs roster? Undrafted rookie Shaheed Salmon, a linebacker from Land O'Lakes who has quickly shown the ability to fight against the current and get to where he wants to go.Salmon, 22, wasn't drafted and didn't h...
Published: 05/18/18
Mike Evans, Jameis Winston among top 25 players under 25, Pro Football Focus says

Mike Evans, Jameis Winston among top 25 players under 25, Pro Football Focus says

Mike Evans and Jameis Winston are two of the 25 best young players in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.In the website's Top 25 Under 25 list, Evans ranks 11th and Winston ranks 20th. Evans is the highest-ranked receiver, and Winston is the hi...
Published: 05/18/18
More praise for Bucs WR Chris Godwin: ‘I see him as a starter’

More praise for Bucs WR Chris Godwin: ‘I see him as a starter’

Perhaps no Bucs player is drawing more consistent praise from coaches than second-year receiver Chris Godwin, who emerged in the second half last year and got his first career touchdown on the Bucs' final pass of the year to beat the Saints in the se...
Published: 05/17/18
George Warhop on Donovan Smith: ‘You have something here that’s special’

George Warhop on Donovan Smith: ‘You have something here that’s special’

A year ago, Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop was unwavering in his support for left tackle Donovan Smith, and on Thursday, he again made it clear he considers the fourth-year player among the best at his position."I don't think I'd take anybod...
Published: 05/17/18
Bucs OC Todd Monken to Jameis Winston: ‘Let’s not try so hard’

Bucs OC Todd Monken to Jameis Winston: ‘Let’s not try so hard’

Jameis Winston doesn't lack for leadership qualities, but sometimes he can go over the top. Whether it's eating Ws before games, picking fights with opposing defensive backs or playing hurt, the Bucs quarterback can put added pressure on himself.Bucs...
Published: 05/17/18
Jameis Winston: Most underrated quarterback of 2017?

Jameis Winston: Most underrated quarterback of 2017?

To the casual observer, Jameis Winston had a disappointing 2017 season. He missed three games because of a shoulder injury, and in the games he did play in, the Buccaneers had a 3-10 record.Did Winston regress? No. In fact, he might have been th...
Published: 05/17/18