Countdown to camp: Defensive line

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
8:00
AM ET
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get ready to start training camp Friday, let’s take a position-by-position look at the team. Let’s start with the defensive line.

There have been some major changes here and those changes should lead to improvement. Defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald were brought in to help upgrade a pass rush that wasn't very good last season.

All-Pro Gerald McCoy returns at the defensive tackle spot, and he and McDonald should give the Bucs a strong interior pass rush. Adrian Clayborn seems to be the leading candidate to start opposite Johnson. Clayborn, a former first-round pick, has failed to play up to his potential so far in his pro career. And he enters a contract season, too.

But Clayborn isn’t guaranteed a starting job. William Gholston showed lots of promise last season and should at least earn rotational playing time. Steven Means also has some upside. Akeem Spence started last year as a rookie, but he’s likely to be the top backup to McDonald this year.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider