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July 28, 2011 @ 3:44 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Clayborn Glad To Get Contract Signed Early

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Tampa Bay defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the team's first-round pick, was thrilled to get his contract signed so that he wouldn't miss any of the team's training camp practices, which begin on Friday at One Buccaneer Place.
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay’s first-round draft pick in 2011, reported to training camp at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday and spoke about signing his rookie contract early Wednesday morning before practices begin on Friday. Clayborn, who was the 20th overall selection, signed a four-year contract that the Bucs can make a five-year deal by picking up an option year, as is allowed with all first-round picks per terms of league’s new collective bargaining agreement.

Unlike Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who joked and playfully teased the media, Clayborn’s mood appeared serious and focused with the task on hand. As the first of the NFL’s 32 first-round picks to sign, Clayborn knew getting to camp on time is a key factor is shaping his rookie season.

“That was important just to get here on time and get ready to play football,’’ Clayborn said. “I’m a couple months behind. The money and the contract were important but I just want to play football, so I’m glad I’m here. I think the CBA made it a lot easier to get the deal done.”

Acknowledging the importance of being signed on time, Clayborn is focused on getting up to speed quickly now that he can work with new defensive line coaches Grady Stretz and Keith Millard.

“Learn the playbook, I mean you can’t play fast unless you learn the playbook,” Clayborn said. “So I definitely have to get more into that. Things have changed since the last playbook they gave me so I have to learn new stuff and get after it.”

The 6-foot-3, 281-pounder is looking forward to having some veterans to lean on, even if those he will look to are nearly as young as he is. Clayborn and McCoy have spent weeks together in the offseason in San Diego and in Tampa training together this offseason.

“Gerald had definitely been helpful, he helps me out with different techniques,” Clayborn said. “All the guys [will be a mentor]. I’m taking advice from any position – any player, any coach, the equipment guys. I’m taking advice from everyone.”

When McCoy spoke to the media about Clayborn on Thursday he had some key advice for the new Buccaneers defensive lineman.

“Eliminate stress man, eliminate stress,” McCoy said. “Half of my rookie season was stress. Eliminate stress. Just have fun playing the game, because we don’t have it for long. Just enjoy your rookie season.”

The former Iowa Hawkeye isn’t exactly sure what to expect his rookie season but knows the lack of sack production from the Buccaneers’ defensive line last season is part of the reason he is here in Tampa. Clayborn had 11 sacks during his junior season, but his sack production fell off during his senior season and he finished with only 3.5 QB captures.

“I don’t know what the expectations are [for the defensive line],” Clayborn said. “We are going to get into camp [and see]. It is definitely going to be a lot of competing, so it is going to be fun to compete with everybody. The jobs are not sewn up, so we have to go out there and compete and hopefully I come out victorious.

“We had that same situation (lack of sack production) at Iowa my sophomore season, we were pretty much last in the conference in sacks. So you just take it as a chip (on your shoulder) to get to the quarterback and not have your coach bringing it up every meeting. So it’s just a little chip on your shoulder to get to the quarterback a little more.”

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
Last modified on Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:55

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  • avatar

    Go Clayborn- he's my guy now
  • avatar

    I see Clayborn as a guy similar to McCoy who will start slowly as he tries to soak in everything. Once he gets through that, I think we'll have a real disruptor off the edge who brings some much needed swagger and some thump.
  • avatar

    Know one knows yet just how good Brian Price is (health wise) and his injury seemed a bit strange last year? If the Texans do cut DT A. Okoye, I'd love to see us take a good hard look at him. Remember, when Gruden/Allen were taken a Def player the year they took G. Adams, Okoye was the big talk even in this magazine. Remember he was only 19 y/o because he grad early, went to college early and was youngest player ever drafted and in 1st round. Not sure if he fits this def, but if GM does please give him a look see. Nice 3 man rotation with him, McCoy and Price (if healthy). I know GM plans on resigning his own, and I like it (depending on the players). I would give Freeman 8 games and depending on how he's playing (good or great) then lock him up to a long term contract. This team is has finally gotten a FRANCHISE QB and I for one would like to see him become our P Manning (but with a few more Super Bowl wins). Then the rest of the young guns get locked up. But adding a very good vets (like when we got Sim Rice to help the front 7 made all the difference in the world on that def) I'd like to see us get someone who can help out this young ball club. I love what you guys are doing Bucs please keep it up, and keep improving our home town team "Tampa Bay Buccaneers"... Donnyd...
  • avatar

    buclover1988 - I feel you. I'm not saying Im not giving the guy a chance to prove me wrong. I just don't understand how you get 8-10 sacks a year out of his 3 his senior season which shouldve been his best. But I guess there's only one way to find out!
  • avatar

    he was double teamed all year, at times triple teamed. Regardless of what his "stats" say and the stats are misleading in this case, he was still the big reason why iowa was ranked 6th in the country against the run. he also has way more talent around him now then he did at iowa with mccoy and bowers. just get used to black beard roaming the backfields of offenses for the next ten years.
  • avatar

    Being a hawkeye fan, i have watched every single snap of clayborn since he started at iowa and i can tell you his talent matches his attitude....the guy is a difference maker along the dl. He is phenomenal against the run and will pressure the passer. his instincts and ability to diagnose plays are extremely underrated...bowers may be the sack machine, but clayborn will make a HUGE difference in our rush defense and will get his sacks anyways because he will be around mccoy, bowers and miller.....i look for clayborn to be a very high tackle guy and an 8-10 sack a season guy...his tackle ratings will be around the 80's maybe even higher......and we hear this EVERY YEAR...how many fans couldnt get sold on josh freeman?...how many people werent sold on raheem morris? a lot of us werent sold but dominik proved us wrong....i love the clayborn pick because hes going to add a nastiness to our dl that we havent had in a LONG TIME...
  • avatar

    I dont know what it is, but I just cant get sold on this guy. I really like his attitude and effort so far but I just dont feel like his talent matches it. I feel like Bowers will be a sack machine at LE for us but for Clayborn to only get 3 sacks as a senior in college... I just dont see him doing much. Hopefully he proves me wrong.
  • avatar

    When you're the best player on your team in college, opposing teams plan their whole schemes to stop you. The same thing happened at USF with George Selvie. He had a phenomenal sophomore year, but his production dropped the following year due to him facing double and triple teams every snap. As a result, Jason Pierre-Paul had a great year and became a 1st round pick. Had Selvie or Clayborn come out after their high stat years, they both may have been high 1st round selections. I think Clayborn will be fine and a huge upgrade over Stylez White.
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