Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn arrives, ready to get going

Bucs coach Raheem Morris, left, and general manager Mark Dominik show off first-round pick Adrian Clayborn.


Bucs coach Raheem Morris, left, and general manager Mark Dominik show off first-round pick Adrian Clayborn.

TAMPA — Adrian Clayborn wanted to make sure there was no misinterpretation as he made his first impression on Tampa Bay.

Standing behind a lectern at One Buc Place, the Bucs' first-round draft pick had to react when it was pointed out some defensive ends play with more finesse than ferocity but he might be different.

Clayborn interrupted and deadpanned: "That's not me."

Instead, Tampa Bay will come to learn the former Iowa star drafted Thursday night prefers to mix things up with opponents. He'd rather engage them than run by them. And he doesn't mind a little run defense, either.

In short, Clayborn is the sort of defensive end the Bucs haven't often had.

"I think I am (balanced)," Clayborn said. "That's why I consider myself a football player, not necessarily a pass-rush guy. I like playing both sides of the game. I think the run is more fun than the pass. I like kicking offensive linemen's (butts).

"I like to be physical. I'm going to have to switch it up a little bit and kind of get a finesse game. But any time I can get the bull rush, I'm going to do it."

And Clayborn said he hoped, more than anything, he'd get the chance to do it in Tampa after hitting it off with coach Raheem Morris and other members of the staff during the predraft process.

But there came a point Thursday night when he wasn't certain it would happen.

Clayborn pointed out the Browns traded up to the spot immediately behind the Bucs, No. 21, with — according to Clayborn's camp — an eye toward drafting him.

And Clayborn was jittery the Bucs might opt for another defensive end as the No. 20 pick approached. As he nervously sat in the Radio City Music Hall green room, Clayborn was most concerned about Cal's Cameron Jordan and Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers.

"When we got to 17 or 18, I start looking around at Cam Jordan like, 'Is his phone ringing?' " Clayborn said. "At one point, I couldn't see him. Then I thought about Bowers. I was like, 'I hope his phone's not ringing.' I just kept looking around. I don't know if anybody noticed.

"They took forever to send the pick in. I think there was about three minutes left. So for seven minutes, I was looking around like, 'What the hell's going on?' "

After Clayborn's fate as a Buc was sealed, everything was a blur. There were a series of interviews that lasted past midnight, a late-night dinner with family and friends in Manhattan and a 5:30 wake-up call Friday morning for his flight to Tampa.

Of course, Clayborn never made it to sleep. He was too excited about becoming a Buc: "I (said), 'I'm not missing that flight.' "

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn arrives, ready to get going 04/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.