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September 29, 2011 @ 3:04 pm
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

The Walking Wonder, Price Exceeding Expectations

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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After an excruciating surgery to repair a pelvic injury second-year defensive tackle Brian Price has amazed doctors, coaches and teammates with his ability to return and play at a high level.

Coming back from a type of surgery few have even ever had, Buccaneers defensive tackle Brain Price has surprised many. With screws attaching parts of his body in places that metal should never touch, Price is a walking wonder.

With six tackles, including three for loss plus a sack, few could have seen this coming. At times even Price wondered what the future held.

“You always have that good angel and bad angel on your shoulder,” Price said. “Ninety percent of the time I knew I was going to make a great comeback, but that 10 percent was saying, ‘What if I never play again? What if my get-off isn’t the same?'

"Overall I had to stay positive about it. The only person that could stop me was me. If I were to keep telling myself I wasn’t going to play again … words have power.”

Rookie teammate Da’Quan Bowers said watching Price work his way back has been an inspiration.

“He has come a long way,” Bowers said. “I have been in that predicament and it’s a hard thing. The way that I saw him grind and fight and claw through camp when he came back and wasn’t quite healthy, it inspired me. Here I am with a minor surgery, and here is a guy who had screws all up in his back and in his hamstrings. The way he goes about his everyday life and works hard inspires me.”

Another rookie who has admired Price’s comeback is Adrian Clayborn, who along with Price notched their first NFL sacks last Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

“To have a guy that pushes himself as hard as he does without complaining (is inspiring),” Clayborn said. “To know you have screws in your bones to connect your hamstrings is crazy. I don’t know how I would be able to play like that. And he does it without a peep. It is just incredible.”

Price isn’t 100 percent yet but isn’t using his injury as an excuse to stay off the field.

“It’s hard to say where I'm at (health-wise),” Price said. “I don’t really even think about it when I'm in here. I just want to play. I have put up a lot. You have to go through a lot of trials and tribulations to get to the top. I just show up with a smile on my face willing to get better and better each day.

“If I dwell on how bad it hurts or how much pain I'm in, then I will stay in that position. I just want to get better and better each day. The mind is a powerful muscle. I can't be weak minded during this process. I like to think I am a tough person and am willing to put up with a lot. I love showing up and playing football. That's what I live for.”

When the Buccaneers drafted Price [6-foot-1, 303-pounds] out of UCLA with the 35th-overall pick in the 2010 draft, the book on him was his quick burst and first step. So far, even with the injury, Price doesn’t seem to have lost a step. Bowers is amazed at what he sees everyday in practice and on the field during games.

“You can’t coach that,” Bowers said. “That's natural ability. To be his size and have that first step is God’s grace. Not a lot of people his size can move like that and he's been blessed to be able to do the things he does. And although he's coming off the injury I can’t tell it by the way he plays.”

Success can mask pain sometimes, and with the stellar play of Price and his teammates, the Buccaneers are off to a 2-1 start and are atop the NFC South. Price credits the new defensive line coaches, Keith Millard and Grady Stretz, with the results the line have shown early in the 2011 season.

“They've helped everybody so much,” Price said. “Our whole mindset is different. Our whole defensive line is different than last year. We want to go and get it. Coach Millard challenges us on the pass rush. Grady Stretz helps us with the run and last week we held Atlanta to 30 yards. So the mentality up front is way different. No line, no shine. Pass rush and pass coverage goes hand in hand. Our swagger has changed around here as a team.”

Millard said Price’s style of play is a key factor in what the Buccaneers want to do defensively each week.

“Brian Price – this is a ready-made defense for him,” Millard said. “He was the key element for this all falling into place. I knew when we got him healthy and ready, he makes a huge difference. And no he’s not a 100 percent, but he’s a better 70-75 percent than most guys out there. You have to account for him.”

In the locker room it is common to see Price, Bowers, McCoy and the other defensive linemen having fun and cutting up. Bowers said the closeness of the unit off the field helps make game days even better.

“Having that sense of urgency and trust factor does (translate to the playing field),” Bowers said. “When you hang out with somebody outside of work you get to know someone’s personality. Just like Brian. He doesn’t say anything outside of work. But you know when he's on the field he isn’t going to say anything, just get his job done.”

Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2011 21:08

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  • avatar

    Not to belabor the point or be Captain Obvious here, but Brian Price is a certified stud. Seriously, this is one serious person and if i was in a foxhole, BP is exactly the guy i'd be looking to join me & mine. Keep it up, young man. We're e all very proud to call you our own as Bucs fans.
  • avatar

    I've been a fan of Price ever since I saw him in training camp his rookie season. I never lost faith that he would come back and play well, I just didn't expect it to be this early in the season. I thought it would come in the middle of the season. I have no doubt if this line stays healthy and continues to play together they will become the best D-line in the universe. Well, the known universe.
  • avatar

    Just hearing about Price's injury gives me the shsivers. I wasn't expecting him to come back this year much less contribute to the level he has been. Props to Brian Price for being a classy guy and for the coaches and rehad folks keeping him positive and playing. Great styory.
  • avatar

    i knew coming out, barring injury he could be the best DT we have. You need that first step and bull type body. BTW, do they even have Price jerseys?
  • avatar

    Smash'em Price!! GO BUCS!!
  • avatar

    BP we love u!!!! I made the call right after the draft that you were twice the player 93 was and as usual my scouting report was dead on. I will also say that watson and hayward are both better then black. One more tidbit Freemans skill set isnt a good match for Olson offense.
  • avatar

    Brian Price physically and with his quickness really does remind me of Warren Sapp on the field. Warren was always a butt-head off the field, but was our angry butt-head! This D line rotation with GMC, Miller, Clayborn, Bennett ,Bowers and Okam added to the mix is the old Buc Ball. Last game in the stadium you could see and feel it! I am so happy.
  • avatar

    Once I finally got over that McCoy should have been further ahead last season because he was the third pick; and just saw him as any pick or free agent then I was able to realize that he is doing okay. I am no longer doing any McCoy bashing and I like what I see out of him? What I see is a defensive line playing as a team, a unit, a force. What I see is that all these guys are pushing themselves to be better for the team. I like that a lot. I believe as a team if we don't drink the monday night football cool aide; the defense will keep the Colts to less than 20 points and the offense will score over 25 points. It's Buc Ball and we will find a way to win! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    EXACTLY. NEVER judge a player by where they were drafted. Coaches should not either, but unfortunately they do. Just judge them by how they are playing and this line, as a whole, is coming on strong.
  • avatar

    Can't help to be impressed with this young man. I'll be honest, I had some doubts when training camp started, but he has proven me wrong. If he ever gets to 100% he may be scary good.
  • avatar

    Doubts, heck, I figured he was destined for IR when I saw him at the players only camp in bradenton.
  • avatar

    I did not know the extent of Brian Price's injury, and that he is only playing at 70-75%. Very nice story. Now I need to go online and buy a Brian Price jersey to wear!
  • avatar

    What a strong and faithfull young man, I wish him the best, and hope he can be all that he wants to be..Love U man..Go BUCS
  • avatar

    I was one who (sans any sarcasm) felt we might not get Price back. Still worry, becuase of the rare procedure he underwent, each time I watch him play. Wish we know more about how long it will take to heal? WIll the tendons reattach themselves to the pelvis (no longer relying on the screws only) and be as strong - or stronger than ever? So many questions about the surgery. No questions about the young man. If they had a mental toughness meter this player would peg it twice! Go Brian! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    And to think there were those on this board who declared Price "fat and lazy." I don't profess to be a Defensive Lineman Whisperer, but I guess some of you only listen to the game on the radio, don't watch the line play in a live game, only follow the ball on TV or judge performance by statistics (for losers) and look to see who got a sack. You obviously haven't been seeing the disruption McCoy has been creating. I believe he leads the team in QB pressures with 9, which most coaches agree is just as important as sacks. Is it greater impact to have 9 pressures and no sacks or one sack and 3 pressures? I'll never understand why there are those who find McCoy's upbeat personality offensive. If Sapp had a similar personality he would have owned the town.
  • avatar

    You're right Scubog...anyone still bashing McCoy just doesn't watch the game. They read the paper afterward or they get on NFL.com and look at the stats and when they don't see McCoy's name they say "Man, this guy sucks!!" When you actually look at the game and can see what McCoy has been doing to allow others to make plays it is a whole different perspective. I'm not even worried about McCoy getting his share of sacks. He's come so close in the last two games it's crazy. He has been in the QB's face all day. What I am loving is that this D-line is starting to play as a unit. It wouldn't matter if McCoy was getting 3 sacks a game if no one else was stepping up and making plays. Right now the whole D-line is getting in on the action and that's a good thing.
  • avatar

    Price's quickness is off the chart. McCoy is quick and disruptive too but on one play last week Brian was already penetrating thru the A gap and 2 of the other 3 DLmen were about half way out of there stance. Then there was Clayborn who hadn't even moved yet. I love Adrian he brings it hard every play with a bad attitude, if he can get a little quicker off the ball he'll be devastating. This D line has a very bright future if they can stay healthy. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Bucdiez, why take a shot at McCoy after reading a good article like that? We should be proud of all are young lineman. That ghost looked good holding on to Ryan's leg when Clay rocked him. That's the hole young pack hunting, enjoy it.
  • avatar

    Thats awesome to hear about Price. I dont think any of us thought he would be this good this soon. But on the other hand, it sounds like McCoy is turning into a ghost on the line when he should be the spotlight. Not good...
  • avatar

    What games have you been watching.....I was AT MInnesota and he was all over the place there....and last week he was doubled and still made a mess of the blocking which ALLOWED others to pentrate. He may have a ways to go but he is disruptive and that is the key... if he blows up the blocking plan others can make plays. Tired of hearing people whine and GMC....what is it coach says....stats are for losers.....McCoy is no ghost...at least not to the two guys taking him on./ GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • avatar

    Ignorance is supposed to be bliss....... you don't sound like bliss. - - - - McCoy has been the best OVERALL, most consistent D-Lineman through the first 3 games.
  • avatar

    BP is definitely showing up strong, give these guys time as the season goes, after the bye week when they have a chance to get their second wind, because they are still very young, they will be the talk of ESPN and NFL Network, since they are not getting much play right now.
  • avatar

    That's the best article I've read on this subject - keep up the good work!
  • avatar

    Glad to see the positive attitude that Price is bringing to his game. Just think how good this defensive line is going to be when both he and Bowers are 100 per cent and they both have a season or two under their belts. This is going to be an awesome defensive line! Go Bucs!!!
  • avatar

    Great article Mark. Good to see the rookies finding inspiration in Brian Price. I have to admit, I lost faith in him this season and I'm eating crow every day for it. He was someone who I thought should have gone in the first round last year but after that surgery, I never would have imagined him doing this well.
  • avatar

    Just think what we will have when both Price and Bowers are 100% and the whole Defensive Line has gotten a year or two under their belts together. It is just going to be stupendous! I believe Price should be the leader of the defensive line. I just love his attitude. He is all about production and fighting through his pain and not just running his mouth like someone else picked just ahead of him.
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