The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made some upgrades on the defensive line this offseason, including signing Michael Johnson to a five-year deal worth $43.75 million, a move that solidified him as the starting right defensive end. That’s meant Adrian Clayborn, Da’Quan Bowers, William Gholston and Steven Means will all be battling it out to start on the left side.
Clayborn, a starter from last year, figures to be the front-runner, although that will come with some challenges. Up until this point in his NFL career, he primarily lined up on the right side. But in this system, he’ll line up on the left, where a condition known as Erb’s Palsy — an injury to the neck/shoulder area during birth that results in nerve damage — puts him at a natural disadvantage. Team’s also typically line their tight ends up on that side, another obstacle for Clayborn.
Here, he talks about those challenges, his expectations for his first camp under new head coach Lovie Smith and entering the final year of his rookie contract.