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May 13, 2013 @ 10:45 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Gholston's Versatility Is Attractive To Buccaneers

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers feel they have found solid depth and a potential starter in former Michigan State Spartan standout William Gholston. The ability to play both ends, linebacker and even inside on the defensive line is something the Bucs scouting department found intriguing.
When Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett left via free agency back in March many were clamoring for Tampa Bay to replace the team’s top pass rusher with some of the prominent names available in free agency. Dwight Freeney was (and still is) available along with former Falcon’s standout John Abraham.

The Buccaneers so far have passed on both players, and others still available in free agency. Part of the reason was the selection of former Michigan State defensive end William Gholston who the Buccaneers feel will provide both depth and a spark behind defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers.

Part of the attraction to Gholston is the Detroit native’s versatility to play inside or outside along the defensive line.

“He definitely has the flexibility to do that,” head coach Greg Schiano recently said. “When you have the linemen we have, the defensive front we have now, you let them compete and then you get the best four or three depending on the front you’re on out there and go from there. But he’s got the height, weight, speed, and skillset to go either outside or inside.”

General manager Mark Dominik agreed with Schiano’s assessment on draft night.

“He’s versatile,” Dominik said. “Coach talked about him going inside. For a big man he plays with good knee bend, which is really important to win the leverage game, especially at his size, and he’s able to do that. I think that’s what makes him attractive, that’s part of the package that we really liked. And again we felt like he was continuing to grow this year. Although he came out, we felt like there’s a lot of potential still in the body in the young man.

“Again, he was one of the thirty guys that we brought in here, and [we] really got time to really spend with him from a coaching and from a personal standpoint. And we really started to appreciate everything about him, not just the tape that we saw, but what he can become we believe. So that was a big part of the selection.”

Gholston himself recently told PewterReport.com that he is glad he offers options to his new coaching staff.

 “That is one of the first things when I converted from linebacker [to defensive end] in college,” Gholston said. “That is the first thing they told me to do, try to play left side and right side. If they move me all down the line that way then I would have the possibility [to play more]. I could grow; get bigger or I could get smaller.”

Gholston liked what he saw from his first few days of the Buccaneers rookie mini-camp earlier this month.

“Just get to the ball (is what we did in college and now here),” Gholston said. “Our defense (at Michigan State) was taught to swarm to the ball. Wherever the ball was you had to be. I did drop back in coverage some. I stood up at linebacker also. I was a redzone linebacker. Nobody really knows it because nobody really got in the redzone too much. I did a lot of different things. I am glad my coaches put me in those situations.”

The 6 foot-7, 278-pounder has been all smiles in interviews with the media following the draft, but those who have followed Gholston’s career knows the former Spartan is a different person on the football field.

“I feel like as a defensive linemen every defensive linemen has to play with that nastiness and that edge to them,” Gholston said.

Gholston has had limited interaction with his new Bucs’ teammates but is familiar with some of his defensive line counterparts.

“I definitely watched Adrian Clayborn in college when he played at Iowa, I really looked at him and I knew Gerald McCoy when he got drafted when he first got to Tampa.” Gholston said. “Those two guys are explosive. And Da’Quan Bowers he is also a double-digit sack guy before he got out here. So those guys are pretty good guys. Guys I can learn from.”

Last modified on Monday, 13 May 2013 10:58

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  • avatar

    I like a player Gholson's' size and measureables on the strong side at DE. I don't want to watch him playing inside. But his production has come nowhere close to his potential, which is a red flag, unless his problem is that he hasn't been coached up properly. If that is the problem, the Bucs may be able to turn him around, however I would not bet on it. The proof will be on the field!
  • avatar

    Im surprised no one mentioned the brief comment about him playing LB in goalline situations. With our small LBs i could see him having more value there then moving inside to play DT.
  • avatar

    nybuccguy; that's a good point and I forgot about that.
  • avatar

    To all the professional scouts and coaches with NFL experience on the PR message boards.....RELAX!Whether those guys pan out and become starters, situational starters, or just warm bodies is way too early to tell. I know you all had picked Tom Brady, a late 6th round pick, as a future Hall of Famer during his rookie camp but lets not get ahead of ourselves giving out draft grades. If these guys suck, then yeah, they were bust, but no one can credibly make that call right now. Everyone drafts for NFL production, whether they think previous college success will translate directly or if the raw skills and talent can be coached up. Either way, its an educated choice that sometimes hits and sometimes does not. Enjoy the simple fact we have a shiny new secondary that should be elite and new depth along DLine and LB corp that is on the way to where it needs to be, even if not perfect just yet.
  • avatar

    "Ever since Julian Jenkins was taken over Mark Anderson in the draft because Jenkins had "versatility" along the defensive like (aka the ability to suck at more than one position) I cringe when I hear the Bucs front office try to justify a pick by saying that. On the bright side Gholston is at least significantly more talented than Jenkins was but it's a good question if he'll ever maximize " +1 Finding a pass rusher is priority #1. If they have additional value by playing another spot or special teams that is fine.
  • avatar

    How is he a potential starter if he can't rush the passer? This guy's ceiling as of right now is backup at best until he shows otherwise.
  • avatar

    I have been following closely all of the comments following free agency and the draft and have been astounded by all the naysayers that are attacking the direction the Bucs have taken. Time for a reality check..... The Bucs had a lot of holes to fill and lost 2 starters on the DL. Compare that to almost any other team in the NFL and they would trade those losses for theirs, in a minute. The Bucs went from the WORST secondary in the NFL to the 3rd BEST, according to Charlie Casserly. That alone is one of the finest remakes in the league! They couldn't address all the holes, like TE, outside LB and DL with Pro Bowlers, like they did the secondary. You have to have some low budget guys to fill out your roster. Either we get some average to above-average play from these fill-in players, or the holes to fill next year will be still there. You can't remake an entire team with probowlers, but the Bucs have done a fantastic job doing just that with RB, WR, G, DL, LB and secondary. NOBODY has spent more $ to bring in quality FA's and drafting starters and we all know the results rests on Josh's shoulders.
  • avatar

    I think it was SR who did a story months back about our new director of scouting from Seattle who likes to take measurable potential because he believes that NFL coaching is just that much better than college coaching and thus, the NFL team can get great value out of mid-round picks like this one. It's a reasonable theory but depends on the Bucs having that superior coaching. We'll see.
  • avatar

    You people already predicting failure for a mid round draft pick sound just as foolish as if someone took this same stage and predicted a Rookie of the Year trophy. Funny how some fans(?) think taking a "doesn't look good to me" approach makes them look like they somehow have greater insight than those of us who take a "wait and see" outlook. Of course then there are those who will declare "bust" after the third game if the youngster doesn't have 5 sacks. Hysterical JonnyG.
  • avatar

    @Deacon Blues: first, i like your name. second: a 4-3 DE should produce some sacks/passes broken up etc. . @ all and Third: Gholston is quick moving/tall and could be key in hunting down QB´s who like to run out (C.Newton, R.Wilson, who else we play against). We don´t have to agree with the pick, but it makes sense and has "potential". The DT Spence is worse. Profesional Lifter, not Football player, but also could develope into sth good (and then we won´t resign him, in order to draft another "potential"). Bucs made good job drafting two DE late, if just one of them becomes at least a good rotational guy, it´s fine. They missed out DT/WR/TE in this Offseason, but again: There were to many holes, to fill them all.
  • avatar

    10 sacks, in 3 years of college.
  • avatar

    Looking forward to seeing Gholston and Means in Camp and Preseason. We need at least one of these guys to stand out.
  • avatar

    Whats funny is none of you know what his responsibility was on any given play, because you watched somthing on YouTube or maybe saw a Mich st v Notre Dame or Mich game makes you an expert in what he was asked to do. Whether contain, fill a certain gap based on the formation, rush, spy, drop on a zone blitz. You have no clue....
  • avatar

    My thinking is that our defensive line scheme is evolving into what will become an effective pass rush. I am getting it why he was drafted him.
  • avatar

    Horse- I love your optimism its a nice change for you, so I guess I won't ruin it by saying " this guy only had 4 career sacks in college" stay positive and hope that Domick knows something the rest of the world doesn't about this draft
  • avatar

    Tough crowd. Since he hasn't failed us yet as so many predict he will, the Bucs aren't trying to justify this pick, they're just telling us what they saw in him.I'll be the glass half full today,great pick at a position of need. Good luck with your Buc career William, at least you're not alone, most fans think your other draft mates suck too.
  • avatar

    sorry surferdudes...just trying to keep a reality check. I am hoping for a winner but conscious of the odds here....
  • avatar

    I don't know that anyone is questioning his talent. He's got ability he just has to play consistently and translate more of his talent into production. If he had Johnthan Bank's career at DE he would be a top 3 pick. He went from a 5-star recruit to a late 4th round pick so there's potential, but also question marks that he has to answer and I hope he will.
  • avatar

    I know there will Buc fans who say "give these guys a chance"...but I also see little to get excited about in our college recruits outside of Banks. I understand all of these guys looked good on some tape at some point, but reality is just stacked against them...all of these guys were passed over multiple times for a reason(unless we think every other team's front offices are terrible). It's always possible that we find a diamond in the rough - and I hope we do - but we don't really have a great history of doing that (Penn is probably one). I am happy to get excited about the great plays these guys show in practice but I will keep my expectations in check...I think we're in the hands of our starters this year with little by way of depth....GO BUCS...STAY HEALTHY!
  • avatar

    Ever since Julian Jenkins was taken over Mark Anderson in the draft because Jenkins had "versatility" along the defensive like (aka the ability to suck at more than one position) I cringe when I hear the Bucs front office try to justify a pick by saying that. On the bright side Gholston is at least significantly more talented than Jenkins was but it's a good question if he'll ever maximize it.
  • avatar

    Well that all sounds good on paper, but in college all he did was prove to the contrary. He had all of what 4 sacks in his whole college career? I don't think he shouldve been any higher than 7th round and thats only because of his size. Potential starter?? Haha that sounds just like a Buc DLman over the past 10 years...
  • avatar

    Not a Gholston Fan at all he may be versatile to play both positions but he underwhelms inside and outside so to me thats irrelevant, I hope he proves me wrong and he tears it up but I think we have Kyle Moore 2.
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