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. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  2. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  3. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  4. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.