After selecting Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn with their first-round pick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris held press conferences to discuss the selection. The first section is Dominik’s section followed by Morris. The question or comment from the media is bold below.
BUCS GENERAL MANAGER MARK DOMINIK
Dominik’s opening statement about the drafting of Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn:
“I am very excited about the player that we just selected. The mindset that we’ve had in building this football team in terms of building the Bucs two years ago it’s about toughness and it’s about the football player mentality in terms of how hard you play, when you play and where you play – all those things. He also ties into the two-time captain. That’s two years in a row that we have taken a first-round pick that is a two-time captain at a major university. He’s a leader and he brings a lot of traits that we think are very important to this football team, and we are very excited to welcome Adrian Clayborn to this team.”
Can you discuss his shoulder condition – Erb’s Palsy?
“His shoulder is fine. Erb’s Palsy is what the shoulder is. It’s something he was born with. He’s been playing with it and living with it his entire life. It’s nothing that gets worse. It’s just something that happened at birth and it’s something he’s played with his whole life. It’s not something we were concerned about at all as a medical staff.”
Does that limit him to playing right defensive end?
“That doesn’t limit him, but that’s what he is for us. So it actually works out fine for us. It doesn’t limit us to where we would put him on the football field. He’s a right end for us. He’s going to come off that right side and continue to be a disruptive force that we think he’ll be for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Clayborn’s production dipped from 11.5 sacks as a junior to 3.5 sacks during his senior year, was that a concern?
“Sacks sometimes – you can’t just determine a man by his production that way. If he would have come out last year we would talk about how many sacks he did have. This guy is a productive football player. He creates havoc on the football team. He helps other players around him become productive players, which is what we want him to do with Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Roy Miller. He’s going to do that for our football team. He’s going to continue to generate the push and the pressure that we want to attack and apply to the quarterbacks that we have in our division now that we have Cam Newton as well.”
What impressed you most about his play on the field?
“His motor. He’s a relentless football player. He will go full [bore] on every play as long as he can and as hard as he can. You’ll see that. I’m looking forward to our fans seeing this guy play in pewter and red. He’s going to be a guy that attacks the football field and attacks the run. He has some very physical hits. He’s a good finisher. He has good change of direction. We’re very excited about him. He’s going to be a productive football player for us and I know he’s going to make us a better team up front. It all does start up front in terms of attacking the quarterback.”
Was this the guy the Bucs had targeted all along?
“He was. We had hoped that he would be there. With as much research as we could do, I feel like I didn’t want to have to trade up to select him. I thought I could play my cards to the vest and hope that he would be there at 20 with all the research. It was a unanimous choice within our building. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s not cliché at this moment. Both defensive line coaches, our defensive coordinator, who is also our head coach, our director of college scouting, the area scout, our other pro scouts that help oversee the draft and myself all felt like he was the right pick at 20. It was great to hear from his agent afterwards that Adrian was hoping and praying that he would be a Tampa Bay Buc. That’s three-for-three with [Gerald McCoy and] Josh Freeman.”
Is this an acknowledgement that defensive end was the number one need for the Buccaneers?
“It’s an acknowledgement that I felt like he was a great fit for us, but it didn’t mean that it was the only position we were going to take. I was being sincere and still will be sincere that our board is wide open right now. We’re going to continue to stick to our board. That’s why we took Adrian Clayborn. He was absolutely the highest-rated player on the board.”
How much will he help the rush defense?
“He’s a physical player. He’s really explosive inside with his hands. He is able to control tackles and shed and make tackles. He’s going to help us in the run game as much as he is in the passing game. He’s one of those guys that you want to finish a game – whether we win or lose – we want people to remember that we played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We feel like he’s one of those types of players that after you are done you are going to know you have played Adrian Clayborn because it’s been a tough 60 minutes.”
In 2009, Clayborn had an incident with a cab driver. Can you address that?
“Yes, he did have an incident with a cabbie, but the bottom line was that nothing happened in terms of altercations with the football team. He was voted a two-time captain after that incident. Kirk Ferentz went to bat for him and talked to every scout about him. … When you talk to Adrian Clayborn you are going to see why that’s why he’s our selection.”
BUCS HEAD COACH AND DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR RAHEEM MORRIS
Morris’ opening statement:
“I’m really excited about getting Adrian Clayborn. He brings a Rambo-type mentality to your football team. A boy-dog so to speak. A guy that is not only going to go out there and hunt the quarterback, but hunt anybody that has the football. Also, he falls right in the line of doing whatever is best for Josh Freeman. He’s on defense, but you stop people and get the ball back for Josh. That immediately helps with what you do with your quarterback. I’ll open it up for your questions.”
With all the good quarterbacks in the division, how important is your pass rush?
“You know I don’t like to put any emphasis on any particular thing. Peyton Manning has been great in his division for a long time and people try to stack up defensive players to stop him and they're still trying. That’s not what is going to be the case, and that’s not what’s going to happen. What happens is we’re going towards an offensive league, and right now we had the ability to add a defender to our football team that gives us a chance to get the ball back and score, which is the ultimate goal for us. That’s what he’s going to do for us. In our locker room we also mentioned he’s a two-time captain, and what he’s going to bring as far as the competitive toughness to his room and the beast that he can be and he is going to be a force on the football field for us that’s what I want and why we got him.”
Clayborn played containment and only bull-rushed in college, are you concerned about his lack of pass rush moves?
“No, in Iowa he played a little bit of a two-gap scheme. How he was asked to play on first and second down a lot of the times until they called a certain amount of packages. We also interviewed his D-line coach and he certainly confirmed that for us and what his thoughts were and some of the things he was able to do. When you see when he lets go as he did as a junior when he got 11.5 sacks and also to add on to why his production went down a bit this year, because of the 11.5 sacks he got the year before they were able to force production to him, double team him with a back, chop him, but you have to look at the disruption he caused and the things he was able to do and the amount of what Rod [Marinelli] used to call around here the 'close but no cigar reel' and you’re entertained by it, and it makes you want to go out there and get a player like this on your football team and in order to make him improve the rest of the defense as well.”
What makes a defensive lineman successful as a first-round pick?
"It's the continuity of all of those guys together. When Warren [Sapp] got here, we were able to put three other guys out there with him that were able to go out and rush the passer as a unit. I talk about us rushing the passer and what we are going to be able to do. We invested a lot of time and money in our d-line, position coaches wise, and now we're doing that with our d-line in order to get us better. These guys have to grow together with continuity, build these things together, and grow up and become a great team for us. Really [they need to become] one unit for us that's going to go out and be productive. I have a lot of confidence in that and I have a lot of confidence in the young man we drafted."
Are you confident with Clayborn's character issues?
"I'm really confident in character issues, especially when you're dealing with a guy like [Iowa head coach] Kirk Ferentz. Coming through a program like that, going through a tough, hard program like Iowa, there have been other players that came out there that have blips and they haven't had any others in their career. We can mention a couple, but I don't want to call out names because they play for other teams. When you deal with people you trust and deal with people that go against him every week that you're very close to, they give you detail and correct information, and you can take those things. Just the results of what happened at that program with being voted a two-time captain. You don't get voted a two-time captain at Iowa without being a respected, great character in the locker room."
How much better did Gerald McCoy get with this pick?
"He got a lot better. Not only Gerald McCoy, but Michael Bennett, Brian Price, Roy Miller, and all of those guys will benefit from having another guy in their unit to go out there and rush the passer with those guys as one. That's one of the biggest things I've learned and I've had the ability to sit back and watch, grow, and develop this young defensive line. They just have to get together and come up with their plan to support that."
How anxious were you sitting there and waiting for the pick?
"I'm always anxious, especially when it's a guy you really, really love. Like Mark mentioned, this was one of the guys we had highly touted on our board and at the time our highest touted guy on our board. We're really fired up. When he came in here a couple of weeks ago, [Dominik and I] both looked at each other and knew that he was the guy. We can't be over exuberant about it. We have to pick the guy when he's there and prepare for what to do if he's not. We're really excited."
~ by Scott Reynolds, Charlie Campbell, and Andrew Scavelli