Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn’s second NFL season didn’t go the way he would have liked as a torn ACL ended his year after just three games.
Clayborn used his time away from the field to concentrate on both rehabbing his knee and adding muscle to his upper body, something that has earned him praise from coach Greg Schiano. Schiano said that Clayborn looks like a different person as a result of his work and that his work “is really going to pay benefits” when he gets back on the field. Clayborn’s knee is sound enough to get clearance for all activities, but Schiano said that the team will be taking it slowly with the defensive end this spring.
“Adrian is doing well in his recovery,” Schiano said, via the team’s website. “We are going to keep him out of team periods right now, just for safety. Could he do it? Yeah, he could do it but there’s no reason to right now. Maybe as we get into June, we’ll give him some, when I visit with [Head Trainer] Todd [Toriscelli] on some on that. I like where he is and what he’s doing.”
With Michael Bennett in Seattle and no surefire improvements to the pass rush made in free agency or the draft, the Bucs are relying on Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers to provide the lion’s share of pressure on the quarterback this season. That makes a cautious approach now all the more sensible as a limited schedule in May is far easier to swallow than a limited one in September.