Bucs Gerald McCoy and Will Gholston – Photo by: Getty Images
Defensive end Will Gholston has been as consistent as any Bucs player this season, adding another seven tackles in San Francisco Sunday while recording his first sack of 2016.
Through all the injuries along the defensive line, Gholston has been a reliable presence for the Bucs and the team has called upon the fourth-year pro to take on a leadership role. In the last three weeks, where Tampa Bay has held opponents to an average of 100 yards rushing with a patchwork defensive line, Gholston had 23 stops and been a definite force against the run.
Bucs DE Will Gholston and MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“I think we said in one of these meetings that Will, all of a sudden when Gerald and [defensive end Robert] Ayers were out, he said, ‘Hey, I’m the elder statesman here,'” Koetter said on Monday. “He’s put together three really good games in a row. He’s playing so hard.”
Making Gholston even more valuable, particularly in the wake of injuries to other guys, is his versatility. A rare combo of size (6-foot-6), strength and speed, Gholston’s capable of lining up inside or outside and using whichever advantage – long arms, slender frame – needed to be successful.
“Those are his best assets,” Koetter said. “He’s relentless in his effort, he’s got really good stamina, he’s versatile and he can move around.”
Gerald McCoy, who added two more tackles and a sack Sunday, repeatedly praised Gholston during training camp. At one point the All-Pro three-technique alluded to a play Gholston made in preseason as an example of how the entire team should play every down – with relentless effort.
Since being taken in the fourth round out of Michigan State in 2013, Gholston has steadily improved and become an essential part of the Bucs defense. And going back to McCoy, Koetter didn’t fail to mention that the Bucs are simply better off with their defensive captain on the field.
“I think Gerald gets a bad rap sometimes, people don’t appreciate what he brings to the table,” Koetter said. “Having coached against him, you’ve got to double-team him, or your guards are going to struggle to block him. Your center definitely can’t block him single. He can beat a double team and when he does get singled, he’s going to get penetration.
“I said Gerald was going to be on a pitch count, he played 64 plays, I think he took himself out one time,” Koetter continued, noting McCoy’s sack-fumble on Sunday. “A lot of the players that come back after a three-week absence, they look a little rusty out there and we had a couple guys that were in that category. Gerald did not look rusty. He looked like he was right back in Pro Bowl form. Gerald is one of those unique players that makes the other guys around him better and we were very happy to have him back.”
After two straight road wins, Tampa Bay returns to Raymond James for the first of three consecutive home games beginning on Sunday against the Raiders. The Bucs are slight favorites over Oakland (5-2), according to TopBet.eu
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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I’m not t going to praise the Defense until after the Oakland game. If we can compromise Carr then we can sing the defense praises. I will say our CB’s are doing good. Two of our LB’s are good, but Daryl Smith is just to slow. If we can get either get McDonald or Ayers back we would have a good pass rush; Noah Smith should replace Daryl Smith and let him also be the blitz guy. Go Bucs lets get this win!
I have been a big supporter of Gholston and am proud he is playing so outstanding. If we can just luck out and get Ayers back we will be rocking and rolling up front. Spence is getting better and better too. The only way to stop Oakland’s QB is to put pressure on him and bring down his productivity. Pressure will up the chances of interceptions too! I like McDonald too and hope he can get back in on the fun this Sunday.
owlykat – don’t forget Clinton McDonald too. He’s been an anchor in the middle when healthy and working with McCoy. If we manage to get McDonald and Ayers back, and if Noah Spence continues to develop as he has the last couple games, we could have a very strong pass rush.
I also agree that “hopefully” we get Robert Ayers back for this week. I actually think that this weeks game is the key game in this turn around or so to say for our Bucs. All 3 of our wins have come on the road so sooner rather than later, we need to figure out how to win football games at home. The Raiders are having a good year thus far so this will be a good “for real” test if we are truly making that turn for better. I also hope Shep can have another game like last week which helps out our passing game. Owl hit it right on the head when he mentioned Oakland’s QB and pressure, he’s exactly right, pressure for him, rattles him and forces him to make bad decisions and poor throws. We must put the pressure on him and also send blitz packages to get into his head a little. I would also put Hargreaves on Amari Cooper. We are only a half game out of first place in the NFC South and Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina have yet to come to Tampa which is what I mean about finding ways to win at home. Next 3 are: Raiders, Falcons (which could be a huge game) and the Bears……ALL HOME GAMES.
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No matter how many times our coaches and opposing OC’s praise GMC there are still folks around here who, for some reason, still think our defensive captain is a bust. All one needs to do is watch him play to see the disruption he causes. I know we all liked the bombastic Sapp, but GMC is a very good player. Wonder how he’d fare with Simeon Rice coming off the edge?
Likewise Will Gholston, one of JonnyG’s targets for criticism, has steadily improved. He may never be a sack artist but his contributions in stopping the run are still worthy of recognition.
Gohlson is just another lunch bucket kind of guy. And you know what that’s great. All he does is come out
and try his best. And his best is still getting better. We can build a great team with lunch pail guys.
Of course the BUCS are happy to have GMC back.
What would have been strange is the BUCS saying they were disappointed get him back.
That’s my Captain obvious moment.
Getting one of the premier DT’s in the league back, who wouldn’t be happy.
GMC, just another lunch pail guy too. Does his best every play and does not shoot his mouth off.
I’ll take a whole team just like them any day.
One more thought on GMC. He seems like a very happy and balanced individual. I can’t remember seeing a photo or interview with him were he wasn’t smiling a positive.
Lunch Pail I’ll take it.
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