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March 31, 2014 @ 11:31 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs' McDonald Brings Super Bowl Experience To Tampa Bay

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers made a big splash during the first few weeks of free agency adding a number of starters to the roster. One of the players, former Seahawk Clinton McDonald isn't a household name, but is one of just three Buccaneers who owns a Super Bowl ring. McDonald hopes to help his teammates earn their own in Tampa Bay.
During the opening week of free agency earlier this month, the excitement level by most fans of the Buccaneers was concentrated on the bigger names for the most part, like Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson and even left tackle Anthony Collins.

But defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who may have slipped through the cracks in many people’s minds, could be a huge boost and an impact player for the Buccaneers. Poised to line up next to Gerald McCoy and expected to get pressure on the quarterback, McDonald has only excelled in one of his four NFL seasons, but the one year paid off for the former Memphis Tiger.

Signed to a four-year, $12-million dollar contract, McDonald’s career stats before last year were mediocre to say the least. In three seasons the former Arkansas native had totaled just 64 tackles, and average of just 21 per season. And in the span, McDonald had never posted a career sack. But in 2013, when teamed with one of the most formidable lines in the NFL playing for the Seahawks, McDonald notches 35 tackles, posted 5.5 sacks, and even had an interception. The proverbial light seemed to come on.

“I think it was definitely opportunity meeting chance. But also the things that happened like studying tape, putting forth the effort and putting forth the work.”

McDonald knows his path from Cincinnati to Seattle, being released and later re-signed, then his journey to Tampa Bay hasn’t been the one he may have seen for himself as a rookie back in 2010, but told PewterReport.com it has made him the player he is today.

“Who is to say if I had been a first-round draft pick things would have went the same way that they have?" McDonald said.  "I can’t say that, nobody can say that. We don’t know. At the same time I experienced a lot and learned a lot in the process and I am still learning a lot. I am just a player trying to learn all I can so I can pass it along to the next guys (one day).

“(When) I was released it made me realize you only got one shot at this sport, one shot at this life and you got to make it the best opportunity or make best on the opportunities that you have presented with you. With that in mind, I got back in my college mode and got back on grind mode and do what it takes to make the necessary sacrifices to get what you want.”

As one of just three Buccaneers to own a Super Bowl ring (Tom Crabtree, Evan Dietrich-Smith with the Packers in 2010), McDonald hopes to share his knowledge he learned from winning a championship with his new teammates and offered this advice.

 “The experience from the Super Bowl and winning was more so (about) responsibility, doing the right things,” McDonald said. “After we won the game and everything, we got back on the plane and Coach Ken Norton, Jr. –everybody’s using the word ‘champ’ now – and he told us that it’s a responsibility. You start to feel that more and more. It’s not just one guy. It’s a team effort, and with this group of guys on the stage and along with the guys that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers already have, and the staff, it’s going to take an effort.

“It’s going to take hard work, it’s going to take bringing your lunch pail every day, it’s going to take coaching, it’s going to take criticism, it’s going to take honesty – you have to be honest with yourself and you have to be ready to go out there and work for it. Like me and Coach Smith talked about, (the Super Bowl) was more so a reward for the hard work that we put in, and I believe when we put the hard work in here, we’ll get the reward.”

McDonald later referenced the famous Fredrick Douglass quote, “People want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning,’ when describing what it takes to be successful.

“Some people want success without hard work," McDonald said. "At the same time it takes things like that, it takes some kind of adversity to bring out the best in people.

“I hope to form a brotherhood here, a championship team here with the guys on stage and the guys that are already here as well. We know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot dedication, it’s going to take a lot of focus but I think we have the right people to do it and get the job done.”

Last modified on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:11

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  • avatar

    @surferdudes: Count my blessings, drink a toast to Gaines Adams, look at a 4th round QB with my new pick, and take Mike Evans in the first.
  • avatar

    A lot of us stated last year when we paid big money for Revis, and Goldson, that you build your team from the front back. Donald would be a great pick, and McDonald was a good pick up. We're either going to get a good player at 7, but I'm hoping a team wants badly to move up. So what would you do if Clowney fell to 7, and the phones start ringing?
  • avatar

    Donald is a good player with 11 sacks last year but he would be a stretch at 7, especially when we can draft Jay Bromley out of Syracuse with 10 sacks last year as a three technique in the third round and we can get a future Franchise QB (after Tedford's tutoring) at 7, and a great MLB in the second round, and a LSU Guard in the 5th round, and best athlete who will excel at Special Teams, and then we are set for this season.
  • avatar

    We have a big need at three positions for this spot 7 pick? WR, OL, DL. Surely there will be a highly rated player available to fill that spot? I don't see how we blow this pick unless we stretch for a QB, or TE, or LB.
  • avatar

    Bobby Rainey has a ring with the '12 Ravens.
  • avatar

    I rooted for M. Johnson. I thought (& still believe) he is the answer for the Bucs at DE. The Man, the Player, the Playmaker. All Solid. When I watched the Pressor, I was taken aback by McDonald's demeanor. I really like his lunch-pale attitude. He's direct, specific, and doesn't waste energy. Great qualities in a grown-up, a man, and a player. I've only seen a hand-full of plays. But I'm looking forward to seeing a bigger body of his work. I like him at the nose, and in rotation at the 3 spot, because he can do that. Draftniks: Yep Donald is the real deal. I keep running into the same problem though. DT's take a season or more to maturate in the NFL. McCoy is Far superior to him. (Best in the league) Soooo, McCoy plays as much as possible and Donald fills in. A 7th overall that doesn't see much of the field. Or Donald plays out of position?? He's great at this position, but lets put him over here where he's just good...or even let's say: really good. Still not a maximized pick. Mack is the same. A Great 3-4 LB, who is only really good in a 4-3. Eh...is that really the best use of the 7th overall pick. Revis was the exact same delima. He's great at Man, but we're playing zone. (I Know we aren't just playing zone, but in general, & for the sake of discussion.) He could do that really good, but at what cost? Great teams maximize their resources. Hopefully the Bucs' aren't this high in the draft for YEARS to come. I for one, hope we go out (of top 10 picks) in style...with a steal. Just like we did in FA.
  • avatar

    Im concerned that we signed a one year wonder to a four year contract.
  • avatar

    Why does it matter? It's not guaranteed money (some of it might be). They can cut him if he turns out to be a bum.
  • avatar

    IMHO I would pick Donald at 7 and rotate him with McCoy and McDonald and have a great D line.
  • avatar

    I have to consider that his success was in part based on the whole Seattle defensive front playing solidly. If we have the same type of pressure from each DL position, as Seattle did last year, then he should do well.
  • avatar

    I like the attitude. I like that he seems to know what it takes to be a winner. But talk is cheap. Let's see what he does on the field.
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